• Alison Green
  • The Postal Serivce headlined Lollapalooza on Saturday.

The biggest story of Lollapalooza’s second day involved a band that didn’t even show up—Death Grips. I wasn’t terribly surprised given the noise-rap group’s reputation; they are, after all, the same guys who had an extremely public falling out last fall with their old label, Epic, after they leaked their second album, No Love Deep Web (which is perhaps better known as “that album with the erect dick on the cover”). The idea that the same group would choose to not show up in town to play a big corporate festival isn’t far fetched, but what’s irritating about the whole ordeal is the fact that Death Grips didn’t end up playing their Friday night aftershow at Bottom Lounge, either.

The news about Friday night’s no-shows had a more scandalous tone than just any old cancellation—Pitchfork initially reported that the band’s recordings were played over Bottom Lounge’s PA, that the stage was starkly set with a drum kit and a backdrop of a suicide note allegedly written by a Death Grips fan, and that attendees trashed the kit—which makes me wonder if the whole affair wasn’t just one big publicity stunt. According to DNAinfo (quoting Bottom Lounge’s marketing director), the club’s employees were informed by the band’s manager that “the stage set up and the Death Grips album being played ‘was the show.’ It appears to us that despite having a signed contract, they never intended on performing.” Not only does that support my theory, it also—if true—constitutes a publicity grab at the expense of the very people who went to see that band and only that band, as opposed to the random festival attendees with presumably less interest in them.