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08/06/08 at 05:59 PM by Anthony Lutz
I survived day number one of Lollapalooza, and really all that I can say is that it was awesome, and I'm beat. I saw a lot of bands today, some good, some bad, but one thing's for sure; this festival is nothing to joke about. I'm writing this post as we're on the bus and heading back home. We missed the 10:40 stop, so we're on the 11:40 stop. Mine and Jon's iPhones have been fucked up, and this event is held by AT&T, go figure. So here's a recap of who I saw and the order I saw them...
We missed Holy Fuck, so the first band we actually saw was Rogue Wave. They were good, but it was way to fucking hot, so we sought out the shade, and watched The Terrible Twos. They were really good, and that was also my third time seeing a different band of Matt Pryor's. After they played, Jeff Tweedy took the stage as an acoustic act. Since we're going to be missing Wilco over Rage, this was the next best thing. He played a short set, but it was really good. At least he played "Hummingbird".
The next act we saw was Duffy. She was pretty lame, and was basically a wanna-be Miley Cyrus. She was pretty shifty/stupid live. Speaking of which, after Duffy played, we saw Gogol Bordello. They basically reminded me of why their a ripoff of Flogging Molly. I wanted to beat the two Asians, the leadsinger looked like a kid toucher circus freak, the violinist looked like the retarded cousin of Steve Zissu, the guy playing the bongos was like a lion on speed, and to top it all off they had a black dude wearing a white hat that looked like a mop. P.T. Barnum would truly have been proud.
After I saw that freak show, I went and checked out Cat Power. She was really good, but didn't have a lot of crowd interaction between songs. She was one of my favorites of the day though. After her set, I checked out a couple of songs by The Raconteurs before making my 15 minute trek across the park. They were alright, but I don't actually listen to them, so I didn't care too much either way. When I got across the, I watched the ending of Bloc Party's set. Yup, my theory still stands corrected, shitty band with an ugly singer. The only reason I even stuck around was for Stephen Malkmus, and a halfway descent spot for Radiohead.
Stephen Malkmus was the perfect band to see right before Radiohead. If only I could actually see Pavement... The next band that was up was the one I had been waiting for all fucking day... Radiohead. They were everything I had expected and more! The light show was amazing, the fireworks were great, the band was top-notch live, and even the crowd of people to see them was impressive! The only thing that really sucked was getting split up with Jon and Rachel, but I made a few friends while watching Stephen Malkmus, they even let me smoke a little :o)
Tommorow, I'll think we'll get there a little later. Day 1 wore me out, but starting with MGMT, bring that shit right on!
I'm sitting on the train once again, only this time with 2/3 of Lollapalooza over with. Today wasn't as near as exciting as day 1, but it was still fun none the less. Instead of getting there as early as we could, we slept in and got there just around 3. It didn't bother me or anything, I really needed the rest, so that's a major difference between today and yesterday. The first band that we saw were The Gutter Twins. They were alright, but since we had just gotten there, and it was halfway through their set, we really didn't pay too much attention to what was going on. With the next band, MGMT, it was on like Donkey Kong! Easily one of the better performances I saw, this was really a great band to catch live. Since they only have one album, they pretty much played everything from it. At this point, Jon and Rachel had split up with me to go see Explosions In The Sky.
I stuck around, met a few cool guys, and waited to see Brand New. They were really nice, and were all into a lot of stuff that I'm into. Radiohead, torrent sites, etc. I watched half of Brand New, then headed off to see Explosions as well. Both Explosions and Brand New were let downs from the first time I had saw them. Ah well, I will still hold their first shows forever in my heart. The next band I saw was Okkervil River. They were in my opinion, my favorite band of the day. They played a flawless set with songs like "Real Love" and "Unless It's Kicks" these guys were amazing. It was also the closest to any band that I had saw, and was when I was reunited with Jon again.
The next band I saw was Battles. Like their counter-part, Don Cab, these guys were awesome. However, I sat through most of their show, so I was mainly listening rather than watching. It was kind of funny in a not so funny way that this kid was passed out against a tree for their show, but then the medical staff had to take him away. Oh the laughs! The next band was the one that was tightly tucked away in the back of our minds for the whole day - Rage Against The Machine. However, there is a catch. Keep in mind that I already announced what the best act of the day was... Anyways, these guys were good, and had a crowd that barely rivaled Radiohead's. But their fan base is filled with a bunch of fucking jocks, so compromising with them was practically pointless. All that they wanted was for the crowd to step back so a few people wouldn't get trampled on. That didn't go too well with the fans, and you could hear comments such as, "I didn't realize Zach had become such a fucking pussy!". Had there not been so many delays with their idiotic crowd, they probably would have been my favorite, but it just goes to show that a fan base at a concert can be something that can make or break it.
And alas, my hopes go out that Mr. Reznor's fans aren't going down the same path tomorrow night...
As I'm writing this, I have conquered the third, and final day of the 2008 Lollapalooza! Today was a really good day as far as seeing bands go, and if all goes well, I will be more than wiling to attend next year's festival. Today started with my ankles feeling extremely sore (surprise, surprise) and going to Urban Outfitters only to receive two of the exact same dunnies that I had already had! Anyways, Rachel split up from Jon and I to go to the art museum. Jon and I went to who we thought was going to be The Weakerthans, but it was The White Lies, followed by Office. It turns out that The Weakerthans had canceled, so I got to see these two bands instead. I was bummed to miss The Weakerthans, but these two bands ended up making up for it.
The next band that I saw was Nicole Atkins. She was really good, and reminded me of the likes of Charlotte Sometimes. After she played, Black Kids came on. Their name is partly false advertisement, because there were only two out of five members in the band who were actually of African-American descent. Other than that, they put on a fun and energetic show. After that, Jon and I parted ways, and I was on a mad hunt for Mountain Dew. I finally found some right next to the place that sells coffee and ice cream. I kind of wandered around a bit to kill time before Flogging Molly played. I ended up seeing a few songs by G. Love and His Special Sauce. It was alright, but one of those performances you really don't pay much attention to.
I finally went and waited in front of the stage for Flogging Molly. I had the unfortunate opportunity of watching part of Iron & Wine's homo set. However, when Flogging Molly came out it was all worth it. Considering this was probably the 7th time seeing them it was probably their best and most memorable set that I've seen of theirs. They dedicated a song to Joe Strummer and Johnny Cash (something I don't recall Gogol Bordello doing), and were especially good at pleasing the crowd. From here on out, the day got nothing but better.
I went and met back up with Jon and Rachel to see Girl Talk. This was another amazing performance by a band I had already seen. Everyone watching seemed to really be in it, so much that people were climbing up trees without branches to see the show. The show was cut short though so that we could see The National, who also put on a really good show. It sucks though, because I'm not as familiar with their stuff with a band like Flogging Molly, but it was still a good show none the less. The next act, Nine Inch Nails were the true heroes of the day though.
From the moment they came on, I was mesmerized. Everything about their show rivaled Radiohead's performance from two night's prior. Their light show, the filming with the cameras, and the sheer magnitude made it everything I had been waiting months for. Trent Reznor was really set to impress, and he succeeded gracefully. Comparing this performance to Radiohead's is too cruel, so my conclusion is that the two tie. They definitely made Lollapalooza more than a music festival, but something I will always remember, and by default will be something that I will always look back and compare other concerts to. Like Warped Tour '02, the time I saw Green Day, my first experience with Sigur Rós, or the The Get Up Kids final show, this is yet another concert going experience that has raised the bar for me in terms of what a really good show is. It also proves to me that when I think I've seen it all, there's that more I still have yet to see.
I got back from Chicago 2 days ago, and couldn't be happier to sleep in my own bed again! I've still been pretty exhausted from everything, and I've been finding myself drifting off to sleep a lot during class, but this is a week long class, so it's half-way over now. I wanted to make a post that reflected what I would have done differently as far as going to Lollapalooza would have went.
First of all, I would have watched all the bands that I missed, due to either being too hot out, too worn out from the night before to get there in time for the next day, or the band simply canceled out. These bands include: Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Innerpartysystem, The Go! Team, The Octopus Project, The Weakerthans, Holy Fuck... I think that covers it, but I figured I'd at least get it out of my system. I'm sure there will be other shows with some of the bands listed, but I'm not sure, bands break up all of the time, and none of those bands have come close to Missouri yet. I guess we'll see.
I also wish I would have brought one of the camelpacks, and keep it filled up with Mountain Dew! The power of caffeine is really strong, especially when you've gone all day without it. And Coke's caffeine is weak so that doesn't count. I was lucky enough to find a vendor on the last day that sold Pepsi products, so that redeemed itself. It also would have been cool to have a catheter connected to me, so then I wouldn't have had to worry about going to the bathroom during all my favorite bands! However, if someone tripped over it, or it accidentally got pulled out, I could see how that wouldn't go so well.
I also wish I would have listened to more by some of the bands I had saw. I knew every word to Radiohead like the back of my hand, but I found myself not knowing lyrics to Rage Against The Machine and Office. I guess the fact that the shows they put on were good was all I needed, but being able to sing along always makes it more fun. I also didn't like the long walk from the Park to the bus station, then the 30 minute ride back home. All together walking and riding the bus took about an hour and a half to get back to Micah's. I mean it was free to stay there, which was great, but that was a huge drawback. That really brings meaning to the phrase, "Beggars can't be choosers."