Lollapalooza: Pujol ramps up the festival energy

Saddle Creek Records band Pujol played 13 songs packed with power in its short Lollapalooza set.

Saddle Creek Records band Pujol played 13 songs packed with power in its short Lollapalooza set.

“What’s up?” Daniel Pujol asked. “We’re gonna play some songs for y’all.”

Pujol, pronounced “poo-jole” and not like Albert Pujols, is the leader of his band, which is aptly named Pujol.

The band’s set on Saturday was the kind you want at a festival: Short, powerful songs packed together. “Mayday,” the set opener, was a great way to jumpstart everyone’s day.

Near 1,000 people gathered to see Pujol, a Nashville band that’s signed to Omaha’s Saddle Creek Records. The incredibly prolific guy played songs from his last several EPs and albums (which he’s released over the last two years or so) as well as a whole bunch of new songs, which should be out later this year on an album called “Kludge.” (That’s pronounced cloo-dge, by the way.)

As the set went on, Pujol (the man, not the band) explained what each song was about. “Mission From God” was a reference to “The Blues Brothers” and “Two Cent” about “God and the Internet,” he said.

I loved how, even that early in the day, the band had a big draw and the song “Black Rabbit” got people into a dancing mood. That tune has a massive groove, and between Pujol and his second guitarist, they showed how they’re not just some crappy garage outfit. They can really craft a pop song.

It’s evident on the band’s newer songs including “Dark Haired Suitor,” a more down-tempo (for them) tune about infidelity, as well as “Circles,” a song that had my head bouncing so much that I started to worry about neck cramps. New songs also included “Post-Grad” and “Fistfight.”

A personal favorite was also “Psychic Pain.” That song and others made me realize more and more that the band is like the Rolling Stones drug through busted amps and a little grime. Pujol even has the Jagger howl and Richards’ chunky blues guitar down, too.

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