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Lollapalooza Review

August 10th, 2010 -

This was my first time attending the festival, and I was not sure what to expect since it was in downtown Chicago.

As for the logistic side of things, I am not sure what these people were thinking. From one end of the park to the other, had to have been almost a mile. Usually, that’s not a problem, except there were so many time conflicts, that you had to either split your time up at each stage, or just decide to miss the other band because by the time you got there, you have already missed the entire set. I was also under the impression, that the stage placement for the bands were based on a game of darts. There were several occasions on the smaller stages, that people were just overflowing.

Lolla’s green message was pretty contradictory as well. They only used cardboard box water instead of bottles, but then gave out 45 page programs, which they must have had 250,000 printed for the entire weekend. A four page booklet would have sufficed.

Overall, the weekend exceeded my expectations, but I don’t think I’ll be returning to Lolla anytime soon.

Friday highlights

  • Wavves comes on stage and says that they just smoked pot out of a beer can before coming on stage.
  • The Walkmen closed their set with “Stranded,” and the horn section was magnificent.
  • During the Semi Precious Weapons set, Lady Gaga comes out topless to play the drums, then crowd surfs.
  • Lady Gaga and The Strokes were preforming at the same time- only caught 45 min of The Strokes set, but they made it into my top four performances of the weekend.
Saturday Highlights
  • Alex Ebert, from Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, asking everyone in the crowd to sit down for their encore of “Brothers.” The band came down from the stage to join everyone. People were climbing trees just to see what was happening.
Sunday Highlights
  • Yeasayer, was actually one of the only low lights of the entire festival for me. Not only was the bass turned up so high that we had to walk over to the other stage just to listen, but I was really disappointed with the entire performance. I had planned on seeing them a few months back at Coachella, but because of traffic, I had missed them.  I am willing to keep an open mind that it was just a fluke , and that their October 5th show at the Fillmore Miami Beach, will not be a repeat.
  • I had seen Mute Math 4 times prior, and I knew the show would be nothing but stellar. The energy that this New Orleans quartet brings on stage, is a breath of fresh air.  During the show they each play a minimum of 2 instruments, including the keytar, and home made Atari instrument. Paul Meany, the lead singer, while playing the piano just started doing somersaults on the piano. They closed the set with “Reset.”
  • After seeing The Temper Trap, I was headed to go see The National. MGMT, was still preforming  at the next stage over, and I went to take a peak.  Once their set was over, I realized not one person moving.  Everyone wanted good spots for Arcade Fire. I ended up making my way to the 3rd row, but ended up missing all of The National.  I was in a sweaty gridlock for over an hour, and  could only hear the faint sounds coming from The National. In the end it was worth the wait.  This was my first time seeing Acrade Fire live, and I was blown away.  On stage they were playing the piano, keyboard, French horn, accordion, violin, just to name a few.  They opened the set with “Ready to Start,” and played “Haiti,” “Rocco,” “We Used to Wait,” No Cars Go” along with several more. They closed the set with “Wake Up,” and 50,000 people we’re chanting during the entire song. After the show was over, everyone walking towards the exit for blocks, were still chanting the lyrics from “Wake Up.”
Top performances of the weekend
Arcade Fire
The Strokes
Mute Math
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
I have no idea who this violinist was, but I was mesmerized.


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