Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lollapalooza - Beardless Style

First off, sorry I didn't do a day 2 or 3 recap blog the day of, honestly getting back after the heat of the day, drinking and packing made it pretty much impossible.

I have been to music festivals before. I had not, however, been to Lollapalooza, or Chicago for that matter. This was a weekend of firsts.

First night in town, we got acquainted with basement abode for the weekend and Oak Park. Very nice part of Chicago and very convenient for the travel into town. Had some drinks at a local bar and prepped for day 1.

Anyone who has talked to me about festivals for longer than 5 minutes knows my stance on Voodoo in New Orleans. I go, but I have my clear stance on why I think it could far better. Lollapalooza is an example of my stance. Its a festival that caters to a particular audience, and due to this, people travel across the country to come spend their weekend here. Rarely was there a gap in my schedule where it was my clear cut time to grab food or use the restroom. Instead, it was a constant bouncing back and forth between artists that I have been dying to see or bands that I had seen that I knew would blow me away.

Day 1 was just that. Even with the constant rain, the bands I saw made me forget how wet I was. For a full descripiton, read my day 1 recap. I realized I pretty much said it all there. The one thing I will restress was that was a day that saw the best bands that I had not seen before. The Knux absolutely killed and I am still listening to Remind Me in 3 Days. The best performance for me, however, of the entire weekend was Bon Iver. This is a show that will stick with me forever. He's soothing voice, matched with graceful harmonies made for a no nonsense performance. It moved me.

Oh yeah, Wicker Park struck me a very clean version of Brooklyn/Williamsburg.

Day 2, dry and HOT, was a day of being wowed by repeat offenders. I had seen quite a few of the artists playing Lollapalooza this year already. Delta Spirit started my day, and did so in wonderful fashion. They played some new material and apparently will be releasing a new album sometime around January. I still prefer them in a small smokey club. Los Campesinos and TV on the Radio both upped the bar for themselves, however. Both put on high energy shows, but Los Campesinos really made you feel it deep down. Its obvious these guys and gals are having the times of their lives doing what they do. Animal collective would definitely have to be the dissappointment of the weekend. I only heard 2 actual songs. While a club show may be a good time to do a lot of ambient instrumental jamming, a festival is not the right place. Arctic Monkeys played a great show. It was during this show that I experienced one of the highlights of my entire weekend, and it was unrelated to music.

While waiting in line for the port-a-potties, I heard 2 loud thumps. I look over and see a guy and girl had climbed the fence behind them, gotten on top and jumped down into the festival, obviously trying to skip the steep ticket price. The guy made a clean break. The girl, however, was quickly chased by two security guards. She turned a corner with the two of them closing quickly on her and I never saw the end result. Then while my back is to the port-a-potties witnessing this, I hear about 30 more thumps. All of sudden there is a mass of teenage boys doing the exact same thing. Apparently, the 2 security guards were the only ones, cause all of these people made it over quite easily.

Day 3 had no excitement of that level. In fact, a late start due to taking some time to enjoy hanging out with our great hosts and an impromtu water fight had us getting to the fest around 2:30. We relaxed while listening to The Airborne Toxic Event who I had never heard of, but put on a decent show. With Dan Deacon coming to a small club in NOLA in October, we decided it would be better to listen from afar and stake out a spot to up close for Vampire Weekend. I had seen them at Tulane's campus right when they broke out, but this show was far superior. They played new material which has me excited for their next release, and they played their set flawlessly. Cold War Kids put on a good show but are still on my list of bands I need to see at a club. Snoop was cool, I mean he is snoop. Deerhunter was cool. Caught a bit of Lou Reed, which I feel good that I did. Band of Horses were the perfect band to slot for the sunset time slot. They wrapped up my weekend with a solid performance that was beautiful. Its unfortuante that Lou Reed ran late and Band of Horses and Jane's Addiciton overlapped at the end. The Killers were like dessert. Rich, flavorly, but you can only handle so much of it before it would make you sick. We saw the perfect amount of their vibrant light show matched with the right amount of the first album to quench my sweet tooth.

That was my Lollapalooza. Thank you to Caitlin for meeting up with us and having a good time with us. And a special thank you to Kelly for doing this with me for the first time.

I think this may become a yearly tradition.

Oh yeah, pictures to come, and maybe even some goofy videos of me. Kelly may even convince me to post the infamous "poncho video."

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