• 08-19-2010, 07:16 AM
    Mr MidFi
    My Lolla Weekend (sorry for the delay)
    OK, ok... I'm sorry it's taken this long to post up about my 2010 Lollapalooza experience. But now that I've been nudged into action...

    Day 1 - Friday, 8/6
    In past years, something has always prevented me from getting the most out of my Lolla trip. A sudden work emergency, family obligations, etc. Well, I resolved this time to get my money's worth out of all 3 days. So I showed up to get my wristband a full hour before the gates opened... only to hang out with the freakshow of Lady Gaga fans. Yikes!

    As soon as I was scanned in at the gate and got my alcohol-wristband and a tall beer, I headed straight to the side-stages and got my rock on.

    These United States... Decent roots-rock with a good ear for melody and a good attitude. Stuck around for 3 songs, then bolted for...

    Foxy Shazam... Caught their entire 30-minute set, and holy mother of gawd! What an act! Like Freddie Mercury on meth AND acid and backed by the wackiest, most fun-loving band you've ever seen. Ever. 32 minutes would have started to become annoying, so this was perfect.

    The Walkmen... Stayed for 2 songs, and the sound mix was so awful that my buddy (Larry the Graphic Designer) couldn't take it anymore. A shame, really.

    New Pornographers... A very solid set on the main stage, well done by one and all. At times, it seemed like the mid-afternoon sun shining in their faces was getting to them, especially Neko. All the Dan Behar songs featured a bleary-eyed Dan wandering onstage with a drink, singing his song, then wandering off again. Fun and funny.

    The Black Keys... Another solid set, on the same stage. But for whatever reason, I just wasn't in the mood for thumpy, grimy blues-rock at that moment. So I wandered to the back of the crowd, and then over to a secondary stage where I could still hear the show while Jimmy Cliff's band set up.

    Jimmy Cliff... Front row, baby! The man is a marvel, still incredibly spry for a man of his years, and still in fine voice. Made eyes with his hot backing singer the whole show (she was right in front of me).

    The Strokes (reunion)... Better than I expected. They came out and rocked the place, like they'd never left. But after about 45 minutes, I just had to walk the long mile to the other main stage and see what all the fuss was about...

    Lady Gaga... Ugh. I caught one song, which she sang while covered in fake blood. And then a huge fountain came up on stage, spewing fake blood to atrocious disco beats. Time to walk back to the train station.

    Day 2 -- Saturday, 8/7

    The Soft Pack... Not as good as I'd hoped. The singer was consistently flat on every note, and the crowd was a little slow to shake off the groggies. The guitar player started jamming real hard power chords, signifying the show closer, and the rest of the band started shaking their heads and laughing like it was a mistake. But it wasn't... the guitarist understood that rocking had to be done right then and there, even if it meant an early exit. Well played.

    Blues Traveler... Larry is a fan from way back. Meh. Actually, their raggae-cover of Radiohead's "Creep" was interesting.

    Gogol Bordello... High-energy gypsy-punk zaniness and hijinks is what I expected. Angry, ultra-left-wing indoctrination session in a soviet gulag is what I got. Everyone loves these guys and their live show, but to be honest, the schtick seemed a bit forced to me.

    Grizzly Bear... We were pretty drunk and tired by 4:00, so we kicked back in a grassy spot and listened to the Grizzly Bear set. And it was just what the doctor ordered. At times, they managed to capture an early Pink Floyd vibe. Music that gets under your skin and stays there.

    Spoon... Spoon!!!! My first time seeing them, and they were excellent. Britt was in fine voice, and the songs he selected were nearly all rhythmic thumpers and butt-shakers, always good for a festival crowd.

    Green Day... It was exactly, precisely what I expected. There's a reason why these guys have been a big touring act for 20-odd years. They rocked, and I ended up in the mosh pit. It was a good night for all (except the teenager I knocked down).

    Day 3 -- Sunday, 8/8

    Caught the last song from Frank Turner. Sounded good. Nice energy.

    Company of Thieves... 3 fair to middling musicians with a really good singer/songwriter/front-woman holding everyone's attention. Sort of a 21st century 10,000 Maniacs, but... completely different. I enjoyed their set completely.

    Band of Heathens... Decent country-bar-rock. Time for more beer.

    Freelance Whales... Semi-precious indie darlings. Not bad, but not terribly exciting.

    Hockey... These guys came back after a disastrous show last year, when technical difficulties killed their entire set and they had to give away all their beer to appease the crowd. They made up for lost time with a solid set. Sort of like Franz Ferdinand meets Echo & the Bunnymen, but not quite that good.

    Violent Soho... Australia's answer to Nirvana, except more fun-loving. Mid-set, they passed around a hat and asked for cannabis donations. They scored 5 j's.

    MGMT... Much better than I expected. A large crowd had gathered at the north main stage by this point, in anticipation of Arcade Fire, and they were all ready for a good time. So was the band. A very symbiotic groove descended over band and crowd alike, and it was all very groovy indeed.

    The National... I held my position at the main stage while The National played a secondary stage within earshot. It sounded really great, and I kinda wish I'd abandoned my ground to go see them. I'd seen them before, so I decided against it. A nice mix of songs from the past 3 albums. Great stuff.

    Arcade Fire... Chills and goosebumps, for 90 straight minutes. It was undeniably a big night for them; the new disc dropped a few days before, the crowd was about 45,000 strong, it was a beautiful evening by the lake, framed by the gorgeous skyline. And they killed it. They killed it dead-solid on every song, and they knew it. By the time they played the encore/closer, "Wake Up," nearly everyone was singing along to the wordless chorus and holding their arms aloft. Transcendent.

    Any questions?
  • 08-19-2010, 10:42 AM
    dean_martin
    excellent synopsis of a 3-day event! My son went to Bonnaroo and except for the occasional text I didn't get too many details. HOWEVER, I did see the pics on facebook.

    BTW, I encouraged him to catch Jimmy Cliff.
  • 08-19-2010, 10:49 AM
    Mr MidFi
    Somehow, I neglected to mention seeing Mavis Staples' entire set. My bad, because she was really good. The show was a tad churchy for my taste, but her cover of "The Weight" by The Band was worth the price of admission. And Jeff Tweedy came out and played two songs as well.

    3 solid days of wine & beer + a week and a half later = spotty recall.
  • 08-19-2010, 01:30 PM
    Swish
    Nicely done. No way I could remember all that sh<a>it after 3 days and countless beers.
  • 08-19-2010, 01:46 PM
    Mr MidFi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Swish
    Nicely done. No way I could remember all that sh<a>it after 3 days and countless beers.

    Thanks. But in all honesty, it's the wine you have to watch out for. Nicely chilled Estancia pinot grigio.. a full bottle for only $24. After a few hours in the hot sun, that stuff goes down like water. :crazy:
  • 08-19-2010, 01:57 PM
    3LB
    a real "you are there" re-telling

    but you forgot to tell what became of the hot back-up singer
  • 08-20-2010, 11:00 AM
    Mr MidFi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 3LB
    a real "you are there" re-telling

    but you forgot to tell what became of the hot back-up singer

    She seemed to get a little embarrassed about being ogled by a middle-aged drunkard in a Wilco shirt. The poor thing.

    And thanks... but a true "you are there" retelling would have involved a lot more bodily fluids. :nonod:
  • 08-20-2010, 11:34 AM
    bobsticks
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Swish
    Nicely done. No way I could remember all that sh<a>it after 3 days and countless beers.

    Your liver is so black, shriveled, and dead that it says "Whatchu Talkembout Willis?"...
  • 08-21-2010, 09:27 AM
    Swish
    That has to be the...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bobsticks
    Your liver is so black, shriveled, and dead that it says "Whatchu Talkembout Willis?"...

    ...nicest thing you've ever said about me. Danke!
  • 08-22-2010, 12:02 PM
    ForeverAutumn
    Excellent retelling of the event. Thanks for the reviews. I've never been to a a big festival like that. For some reason it seems that when they hold them here they fill the days with sucky bands. :(
  • 08-22-2010, 07:14 PM
    3LockBox
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bobsticks
    Your liver is so black, shriveled, and dead that it says "Whatchu Talkembout Willis?"...

    that is so wrong, so uncalled for...
    :nonod:










    a liver so black, shriveled and dead would obviously say, "I'm comin to join ya Lizbeth!"
  • 08-23-2010, 05:37 AM
    Mr MidFi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Excellent retelling of the event. Thanks for the reviews. I've never been to a a big festival like that. For some reason it seems that when they hold them here they fill the days with sucky bands. :(

    I go every year, and I love it every year. But it needs to be said... it's really not for everyone. I can think of very few people in my age group who would enjoy it half as much as I do. That's why my wife doesn't go; she'd hate it there. The heat & humidity, the crowds, the binge-drinking, etc. would all be a bit much for her, I'm afraid.