Lollapalooza Recap

We arrived in Chicago a day early to be ready for the weekend festivities. Thursday night there was an EW party at Rockit on Hubbard featuring a performance by Chiddy Bang and Hockey which we were lucky enough to attend. We were planning to get there for the 6:30 start, but unfortunately the rush hour traffic made us miss the Chiddy Bang set.

While listening to the sounds of Hockey we enjoyed complimentary drinks and appetizers. The rest of the night we spent bar hopping until we were too tired to walk anymore and landed back at our hotel.

Friday we had intentions to get out early and catch B.O.B’s set at 11:30 but to our dismay there was a huge mass of people waiting to get into the park. I was really surprised at the lack of organization for getting people inside. They just herded us into the gates like cattle.

Once inside I was excited and overwhelmed by the size of the park and the large distance between all the stages. It was at this point that I had to re-think my entire lineup and choose the bands that I really wanted to see.

Entering by the Budweiser stage we heard the lo-fi punky distortion of San Diego band Wavves.

We wandered over to the Sony Bloggie Stage an Saw the tail end of Foxy Shazam’s set. While we didn’t see a lot I liked the his stage presence and high energy.

The rest of the day was spent between the Budweiser, Sony Bloggie, BMI, Adidas Mega, and Parkways Foundation stages. Despite running back and forth I feel like I saw adequate amount of music.

The highlights include: the fun, danceable indie pop rock of The Constellations; the sweet twang of American Bang’s southern rock and roll; Chromeo’s electronica dance and hip hop; Neon Trees catchy pop rock led by the entertaining Tyler Glenn; the Black Keys moody and psychedelic influence, and the titillating glam rock stage of Semi Precious Weapons. The audience was floored when Lady Gaga came out on stage, made out with front man Justin Trantor and then stage dived into the crowd.

The night ended on a high note with the wonderful stage antics of Lady Gaga. She’s come a long way in three years since her first show at Lollapalooza. Her mass of costumes and stage set was a theatrically fun experience. She is truly a great performer.

While I love music, sometimes I like sleeping more. Especially when I’m out seeing the sights and nightlife until five am. Saturday we got to Grant park in time to check out Blues Traveler. They started with their hit “Run-Around” and then played a cover of Sublime’s “What I Got.” The Harmonica fueled blues set brought me back to the 90’s.

Next we saw a bit of Dan Black on BMI. This Brit has an interesting blend of pop, rock, and hip-hop. I liked the touch of face paint that matched the stripes on his shirt. He has a distinct sound and it translates through to his live show which is is entertaining with his dancing gyrations on stage.

We attempted to see the xx but the sound was horrible at the Playstation stage so we headed back to watch the set of Gogol Bordello. This troupe features a borage of musicians from all over the world. Their music is described as gypsy punk and you will surely have a great time watching them.

Next up was AFI who I must say was a favorite the day for me. They played a set of hard-hitting crowd pleasing rock.

Wanting to see it all, we stayed for a few songs of Social Distortion and then went back north towards the Playstation stage. Unfortunately we couldn’t get across the park in time to see Metric’s set but we did get a bit of Spoon and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero. I liked both bands and ESMG was definitely a crowd favorite with their hippie sound. People crowded the Sony Bloggie stage and spilled out onto the street.

We caught a bit of the last reggae rock stylings of Slightly Stoopid at the end of the day while going to get reday for the last show of Lollapalooza that day.

The night closed with Green Day whose played a mix of old and new hits against a backdrop of a city skyline. Their music was only surpassed by the fabulous pyrotechnics and fireworks.

Sunday was a day for slacking because I just couldn’t get myself out of bed. Though we woke up at noon, we didn’t make it in until a little after four since we took a quick trip to see Wriglyville and get some food.

We had made it into the park with enough time to catch the last half of Yeasayer. With three days of sun and heat I was at a breaking point. I wanted to curl up in a ball on the grassy knoll. However, I was determined to go on. I was going to see the rest of the festival.

We hit up MUTEMATH and a few songs of MGMT although the sound was very low and sounded like it was coming from a radio down the street as stated by Kim S.

After a bite to eat we wanted to check out The Temper Trap and The National. I liked both bands but they were a bit mellow and were making me sleepy.

We watched the last few songs of Cypress Hill and it was enough to give me a momentary fix of energy. Finally it was time for the headliners.

Unlike the two earlier nights there were no onstage theatrics or light shows. It was just the band in stage against a backdrop of black and white video screens. And it was all they needed. Soundgarden sounded amazing. Before heading north to Arcade Fire we heard all the good 90’s hits like “Black Hole Sun,” and “Spoonman.”

Arcade Fire offered a good alternative for those who weren’t into the metal that Soundgarden was churning out on the south side of Grant Park. The band exuded high-flying energy through the combination of guitars, organs, and strings. They provided a fun good time with music that made you want to get up and dance; if you had the energy to move.

Lollapalooza weekend was spectacular. I crammed as much music as I possibly could into these last three days and it was wonderful.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top