So this was the first year that I attended Lollapalooza, the annual music festival held in Grant Park in Chicago. From hearing things from people who have been there and watching videos of past performances on YouTube and Palladia, I couldn’t wait. I was trying not to wish summer by, but it was hard not to. Anyways, let’s get right into it….
After arriving and checking in to our awesome hotel, we quickly made our way to the park so we could hit up Metric, who I didn’t fully get into until this year when they released Synthetica, which is an outstanding record. Their set was full of energy and just synth-pop greatness. Emily Haines is such an excellent frontwoman. We stayed at the same stage for the next band, who also happened to be one of my most anticipated, in Passion Pit. These guys put on arguably the best set of the entire festival for me, playing every song I love by them. I can’t begin to describe how fun “Take A Walk” and “Little Secrets” were live.
After a food break, M83 was the next band on my list, and they did NOT disappoint. Not even the awful stench around that stage could take away from their performance. The saxophone solo during “Midnight City” was one of my more memorable moments of the entire weekend. Other than a few songs, I’m not too familiar with a lot of their stuff, but they are definitely a group to check out.
By now it was getting time to leave and head over to the Congress Theater for the Nero/Die Antwoord/Anamanaguchi after show. Let me just preface this by saying I have never been this sweaty in my entire life. Anamanaguchi was “Nintendo-core” as I like to call it… all instrumental, but loud, heavy, fast… excellent guitarwork. We had then made our way to the very front row for Die Antwoord, my most anticipated artist on this bill. I had no idea what to expect, other than it would probably be an experience unlike any I’ve had before at a concert. The duo is very unique and different. Hip hop isn’t my thing at all, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a super good time with their set. My body was completely done at this point (I had one hour of sleep going in to this day), so for Nero I just chilled in the back which proved to be a very good decision, as Nero’s set was nonstop raving for a good 90 minutes. Overall, the after show was a big success.
The second day started off with a bang as I watched the last bit of Doomtree’s set. Like I said before, I don’t listen to rap a whole lot, but they were fun and had a massive crowd for such an early timeslot. After them, I headed over to GIVERS, who also had an unexpectedly giant crowd. I only stuck around for 3 songs because I also wanted to catch part of Delta Spirit, but they were absolutely incredible live. I hope GIVERS gets massive in the States. Young group of kids with seemingly unlimited energy who can write insanely catchy pop songs. As the clouds started to roll in, I decided to make the mile walk over to Neon Indian. I was able to catch two songs from him before we heard the “evacuation” announcements come over the speakers. At first I thought it was a joke… they can’t kick out tens of thousands of people, can they? I was especially mad when I realized I’d probably miss out on Washed Out and The Temper Trap.
But after a two hour storm delay, the festival was back on, and everything was right in the world again. I immediately headed over to the Calvin Harris stage, which at this point, was nothing more than a mudbath. That sort of ruined it for me, so I decided to try to get a good spot for Avicii. It was disappointing because Calvin Harris was probably in my top 3 artists to see for the weekend. That decision ended up working out for me though, as I ended up getting a fantastic spot for Avicii, who also wins the award for best stage setup of the festival. A DJ on top of a giant head, complete with moving lips and other awesome digitized graphics. Great end to a long, LONG day.
After 48 hours of electronic and dubstep, it was time to rock out on the last day. But not before a little bit of Outasight. We were older than probably 90% of the crowd for him, but I don’t care. The dude is bound to become a pop sensation and “Now or Never” and “Tonight Is The Night” (which also happens to be the Monday Night RAW theme song, haha) are great pop jams. After this, we headed over to Macklemore, who was easily the BEST hip hop performance I saw that weekend. I then decided to head over to the Google Plus stage, so I could get a good spot for The Gaslight Anthem, but first I had to watch the Dum Dum Girls. They had a very good stage presence and look, but their music was a little too low-key for what I wanted at that time. But that was okay, because the Gaslight Anthem absolutely killed it. As the Dum Dum Girls crowd was leaving, us Gaslight fans were letting them know that they are about to miss “the band that is going to save rock and roll music”. Their set was perfect, full of all fan favorites. I actually had goosebumps for most of the set, this band is that special. “45” live was absolutely incredible and will hopefully be the song that puts them over the top.
After that I RAN my way down to the Redbull stage so I could catch At The Drive-In. The first thing I noticed was the extra security guards and barriers. You know things were about to get crazy for this show, which was 10 years in the making. If you’re not familiar with these guys, they are one of the pioneers of the indie-hardcore sound. They only have 3 releases, but all received incredibly high reviews. The band broke up in 2001, but came back together in 2012 for a few more shows, this being one of them. They only played for about an hour, instead of the 75 minutes they were given, but I can’t complain with their set. Was great to see “Lopsided” in there… and ending with “One Armed Scissor” was just insane. I’m so glad I was able to catch these guys live.
After that, I made the mile hike again to check out the ending of Florence and The Machine. Man, she can SING. My weekend then ended with Justice, who put on arguably the best electronic performance of the weekend. They are definitely a group I would pay to see again, was very impressed.
Alright, that’s enough typing for now. Bottom line, go to Lollapalooza.
Oh, and here is an outstanding video of the entire Gaslight Anthem set: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8d2Z2ShcOA