YOU GUYS. I just…I really love Lollapalooza. I’ve gone every year since it became a Chicago based event and I really look forward to it every year. Its a hot sweaty rain soaked mud caked three day marathon that tries the spirit but there are usually multiple moments of musical brilliance which make it worthwhile. That said, massive festivals like this tend to feature extra amusements besides things going on onstage and I’m planning on trying to share as much of that as I can on this here blog.
Points of interest from Day 1:
Most Consistent Failure: Me getting to the park on Friday before 3pm. I missed The Neighbourhood and Icona Pop because I suck. This is a yearly occurrence.
Worst Fashion Trend: ALL OF THEM. Where are all these hipsters finding old NBA jerseys featuring never relevant players? Why all the neon? Was there a memo about flowered head bands? Why didn’t everyone just mark it as spam?
Thing That Happens Every Year That I Complain About Anyway: cell phone service in the park – there has GOT to be a way to fix this. The moment you cross Michigan Avenue your cell phone is basically useless and its such a huge pain in the ass. I’ve been able to work around this by kicking it old school and arranging meeting places with my friends but…ugh. I can’t tweet at all and you guys know how I feel about that kind of thing. Also, in a crowd that huge, finding your friends at those pre-determined meeting places is still a challenge. FIX IT #FirstWorldProblems
Most Disturbing Fashion Trend: Teenage Ass Cheeks – Look, I know I’m an “old” but I found it more than a little disconcerting that the most popular look among the high school/college set were high waisted denim shorts cut so high and so overly frayed that it was Buttcheekapalooza. WHERE ARE THEIR PARENTS!?
Thing That Happens Every Year That I Complain About Anyway #2: Perry’s stage – THE HORROR. EDM is hardly a fringe genre anymore so I don’t really understand why it needs its own dedicated stage. The sound bleeds into every part of the park (you know what that epic ten minute version of “Radioactive” at the end of the Imagine Dragons set didn’t need? A thumping bass beat wafting over from Perry’s) and since there is ALWAYS someone playing that stage you can’t avoid it. I’ve had some fun times there back when it was a smaller tent set up but its really time to put Perry’s out to pasture. Or enclose it some how. Or send it to Northerly Island. Or Wisconsin. Its gotta go.
Biggest logistical screwup: Imagine Dragons on the Lake Shore stage – In the early years of Chicago based Lollapalooza sound bleeding across stages was a common problem. Luckily this has been fixed for the most part (Ugh. Perry’s. Why?) but it has been replaced with the occasional “uh…we didn’t think these guys were THAT Popular” stage assignment screw ups. The best example of this so far?
The Imagine Dragons set on Friday afternoon. Whoever booked this band on to the Lakeshore stage was asleep at the wheel. Unlike a fair number of bands at Lollapalooza that get afternoon slots, Imagine Dragons has several recent HUGE hits and the organizers should have expected a large audience. From my personal recollection this is the largest crowd I’ve ever seen at this stage. I also heard from people in the audience that their power blew right before the set started and it seemed like they were working without full power for the duration. All that aside, the band put on a GREAT set, which really put a point on how they deserved a later slot on a bigger stage. Boo, Lollapalooza.
Best Fashion Trend: Men Daring to War Short(er) Shorts – I feel the tyranny of the board shorts is coming to an end. Let us all rejoice and give thanks. Lollapalooza is a bit of a bro fest so overly long cargo shorts and the like will always have a place there, but I have to give props to some of the younger guys who have clearly adopted the trend of shorter and/or slim cut shorts. I’m not talking mankinis or anything but I haven’t seen that many man knees at a festival in a long time. As a vocal supporter of #ManThighs this pleases me greatly. This is a trend that I hope guys in my age range will pick up from the younger set. That said, there was a guy walking around in a leopard print speedo (with his cell phone tucked into the side. Of course) and…lets leave that to the professionals, ok?
Most Welcome Discovery: Sensible Shoe Lollapalooza – It never takes long into my three day immersion into this festival to have “I’m too old for this” moments. But yesterday during the New Order set (which was FANTASTIC by the way. The old boys still have it) I found my people. Sensible Shoe Lollapalooza are people like me. Over 30. Dressed for comfort. SSL does not crowd into small spaces just for the sake of it. SSL does not shove their way through the crowd. SSL dance because the music moves them, not because they want to call attention to their wiggling ass cheeks. SSL paces their beer consumption and wears sunblock. SSL have handi wipes in their backpacks. SSL will most likely be found sitting on waterproof blankets during sets from acts that first came to fame in the 80s/early 90s. SSL is the best Lollapalooza.
Most Disappointing Trend: Drugs – Seriously you guys. And I’m specifically talking to the younger kids here: STOP IT. Passing a little weed at a festival is a time honored tradition and I don’t see the harm in it. However, I’m seeing more and more kids (teenagers and college aged kids) who have clearly been hitting the hard stuff. Late yesterday afternoon we stumbled upon a group of teens frantically trying to prop up a girl who was CLEARLY tripping on something heavy. She couldn’t hold her head up, she was vomiting, and all her dumbass friends could do was grab at her and try to force her to drink water. Or maybe thats all they WOULD do since they were all surely on something illegal (for my money I’m going with the dreaded Molly) and didn’t wanna get caught. Luckily there was security nearby and we were able to direct them to the group and hopefully get her some help. Maybe this makes me a old lady killjoy but I’m always disturbed by how many kids I see drunk or high out of their minds at these festivals. I’m talking “its 3pm and they already can’t stand up under their own power” out of it. I know that music festivals are just a scene for a lot of people, but whats the point in going if you’re going to be too messed up to enjoy it? I ragged on all the teenage ass cheeks earlier but I’d rather see every girl in hideous American Apparel curated finery healthy and having a good time hippie dancing and being annoying, than lying on the grass in their own sick. WHERE ARE THEIR PARENTS!?
In just a few hours I’ll be hitting the park for Day 2. Its a busy day for me lineup wise but my most anticipated act of the day is DEFINITELY Kendrick Lamar. I’m also gonna get my country on to Eric Church which will be a treat. More tomorrow!