Monday, August 06, 2007

lolla 07

After last year's fest, I didn't think it could get any better. And when this year's line-up was first released, I had mixed feelings. Sure, there were some artists I couldn't wait to see (Lupe Fiasco), some I wasn't sure what to think (Daft Punk), and quite a few I had never even heard of (!!!). So I was moderately excited about it.

The excitement grew the week before the festival, even after I started remembering how much walking back and forth and back and forth across the dusty fields I would be doing. And the heat - the forecast was predicting mid 90s temps all weekend. So I braced myself for a long and tiring weekend....and somehow it managed to be SO much better than 2006.

First of all, I bought my ticket back in the Spring when they first went onsale. $150 was tough to swallow, but seeing as I would get quite a lot for my money (last year Kanye was worth every penny that I paid for the weekend), I went ahead and bought one. Then, just a week before the concert, I got a free ticket through work. So I wound up selling one of them, making some money back before I spent it all on water, beer, and wine in little plastic cooler bottles.

To top it off, just two days before the festival, I was invited to a private VIP party being held at The Underground. Dubbed the Official VIP Launch Party of Lollapalooza, the party was crazy and the most perfect way to start my weekend. Free drinks all night. Mickey Avalon (Time Out Chicago called him the "walking casualty of Hollywood" - perfect), Satellite Party, and Danny Masterson spinning. This was actually my introduction to Mickey Avalon (I didn't know much about him until Friday when I just had to find out more) and I was shocked when Simon Rex appeared on stage. This is a man I used to swoon over when he was on MTV and now he looked like he had just climbed out of a gutter (he raps by the name of Dirt Nasty). We moved up toward the stage for Satellite Party (of course this is one night I don't bring my camera), and we were close enough to see the glitter on Perry Farrell's face. The highlight of the performance was when he looked straight at my friend and I and said "What's up bitches?" (he then said this over and over again to a number of other people). I absolutely loved it. After the performance, we danced. And danced. I introduced myself to Billy Dec. My friend and I had a chat with Danny Masterson (aka DJ Momjeans). And then at 3, we went home.

I took the day off on Friday for the concert so I was able to sleep in after our very late night. How could I be so tired when the weekend was just starting? But as soon as I arrived at Grant Park, my spirits rose. My energy returned. And since I had access to the private MTV cabana on Friday, I escaped the heat and chilled out all afternoon. The cabanas were awesome (free food, drink, decent bathrooms, comfortable seating, shade). Located on the side of the main stage, we were able to catch a lot of the acts there, as well as hear the bands on the nearby MySpace stage. In fact, we didn't want to leave no matter who was playing. How could we? The one time we ventured out of the cabana, we immediately wanted to go back. All in all, I caught Jack's Mannequin, m.o.e., G Love, The Rapture, Satellite Party (round 2 but much further away this time), LCD Soundsystem, and Daft Punk. Wow.

Daft Punk was incredible. If you were there, you know what I mean. If you weren't, check this out.

My day didn't really begin until 3:30 when Rhymefest went on stage, so I hung out with my roommate and checked out a few bands with her. Tapes n Tapes were pretty good, as was Acqeduct. During the latter's set was one of my favorite moments from the weekend. About halfway through the set, they announced what every band coming through Chicago should do: cover an R. Kelly song. Next came the most rocking version of "I'm a Flirt" that I think I'll ever hear. Totally random. Rhymefest was great, although the sound was kind of funky at his set. I wandered off toward the end to check out The Roots nearby (good, but a little too much jamming for me). At this point, I rounded up all of the friends I needed to find and we made our way across the park for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Now I'm not too familiar with them, but I loved how crazy this whole set was. Karen O was so over the top like any good rock star should be.

By the time this show was over, it was beginning to rain. My friends and I chilled in the middle of the field and listened to Spoon while slowly getting very wet. Since we were planning on leaving early to get to the Double Door for a show featuring Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Chin Up Chin Up, and The Ponys, we just left even earlier so we could clean up before heading out again. It was my first time at the Double Door (and went for the second time the following night). Chin Up Chin Up opened and I fell instantly in love with the keyboardist whom I later introduced myself to. My friends and I then made our way super close for Ted Leo which was a non-stop set from which I, and many others around me, emerged totally hot & sweaty. (I cooled myself off before meeting the aforementioned keyboardist).

Knowing that I would be out late on Saturday night and that I wanted to be at Lolla around 1pm on Sunday, I set my alarm Saturday afternoon. I managed to get there around 1, making my way to the AT&T stage an hour before Lupe Fiasco, my main attraction, went on. If tehre was any artist I couldn't wait to see, it was Lupe. And I thought that it woulnd't be too crowded that early so I'd get a great spot. WRONG. Lupe just happened to be on the same stage as Pearl Jam (who weren't playing until 8), and all of these diehard Pearl Jam fans were camped out in the front. ANNOYING. It was clear that the majority of these people had no idea who Lupe was, and those of us that were there to see him were somewhat annoyed. Despite this, I managed to wedge myself up about 10 rows back from the front surrounded by a bunch of lame dudes who couldn't have cared less about this set. Boo. At one point, they even started mocking Lupe which angered me even more. Since it was early and I hadn't been drinking, I chose not to say anything to them. Instead, I just enjoyed the show even more: dancing, jumping, waving my arms, and bumping into them as much as possible. It was disappointing in that the show was great, Lupe was great...but the crowd was less than (at least in the front where I was). Still....I loved it.

I didn't really have anyone else I was dying to see that afternoon so after getting a veggie burger and checking out the Kidz stage, I met up with my roommate for some Iggy Pop (crazy shit), Peter Bjorn & John (sound problems which allowed me to hear !!! for a few songs), Modest Mouse (ehh), TV on the Radio (enjoyed), and then Pearl Jam.

Pearl Jam was pretty damn good. I've never been a huge fan, although I knew more songs than I thought I did from back in the days of junior high & flannel shirts. My roommate and I danced around like crazy, enjoying the fireworks that went off during "Evenflow". This was a much better scene than last year during crazy ass Red Hot Chili Peppers, where I got caught in a mix of crowd surfers who kept falling on my friends and I. Again, we left early (9:30ish) to make it over to the Double Door (I am now friends with the bouncer there which is probably a good thing) for another show (Los Campesinos and Peter Bjorn & John). Not too familiar with these bands beforehand, but heard great things about both from my roommate. Both bands were great with the small crowd, like when Peter and Bjorn jumped into the crowd at the front for their finale, playing among their fans.

Dead tired. Sore. Probably a little dirty too. But it was totally worth it.

The best thing about festivals like this is discovering new bands. There are so many artists who I fell in love with during the weekend and have been downloading already. My iPod is definitely needing a refresh.


Bev said...

I felt tired, sore and a little dirty just reading all that. I've never heard of more than half those bands, but sounds like you had a blast.

danielle123 said...

Check out this video about chicago nightlife!!!