“People dancing, people laughing
A man selling ice cream
Singing Italian songs
Eh curare! Itza nice Ey!
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I’ve been waiting such a long time
Saturday in the park”
My experience from Lollapalooza was just that: A Saturday in the Park but I was wishing it was Pitchfork instead of the Fourth of July. DO NOT get me wrong. Lollapalooza is a grand time with a myriad of bands to chose from, but the convenience of a Saturday stroll is out of the question.
The distance between the Music Unlimited and the Bud Light (two main stages) is costly. Game plans and band map out sessions need to be considered very strategically. At Pitchfork you could see the completion of a set and do not have to worry about stressing over missing the beginning of the next. The beast that is Lollapalooza controls you and causes you to make quick decisions based on if you are “feelin’ or not” because of location. I have been going since the beginning of college and enjoy how big the crowds are but intimacy is cherished after a day in Grant Park.
I drove up to Chicago on Friday to catch the Local Natives / Walk the Moon set at Lincoln Hall on Friday and my only ambition was to catch Saturday at Lollapalooza and head back to Indianapolis before My Morning Jacket on Sunday. One and done in the festival scene and believe me….I got all I needed.
Comfort and convenience aside, I had a splendid time seeing some great live bands. Many of which I had been waiting to see for a long time which was an added bonus.
1:00 PM – J Roddy Walston and the Business – Playstation Stage
2:30 PM – Phantogram – Sony Stage
3:15 PM – Friendly Fires – Bud Light Stage
4:30 PM – Dom – Google+ Stage….side: Only saw a song or two. I saw their after show on Saturday night so it was not priority. Food and bathroom were paramount at this point
5:45 PM – Drums – Google+ Stage
6:30 PM – Local Natives – Sony Stage
8:15 PM – Lykke Li – Google+ Stage
9:45 PM – Beirut – Google+ Stage
I just realized I saw more bands than I thought after compiling this list. Totaling out at 8 is a very good day. I will bet my life I would not have been able to do this if I had gone on Friday.
- The crowd at Local Natives was the biggest crowd of the day that I noticed. It brought a tear to my eye that a band I had been following since the beginning was finally it.
- The Friendly Fires show was a sweatbox. They came with energy and I was thrilled they delivered. A dance circle was created by my crew. It took off. About 20 strangers participating in a jig fest to a band we all love – Can’t beat that
- Sarah Barthel from Phantogram might be the hottest Alt chick out there
- Beirut was not as cool as I expected
- Lykke Li owns me
Thank you Lollapalooza. It was another Saturday in the park but next time I’ll be waiting for July (Pitchfork Festival 2o12)
Written and experienced by Brett McGrath
The After Show: (n) the opportunity to prolong your festival weekend with a low capacity, indoor venue where festival acts (and the occasional local product) join forces to rock your sun burnt faces off.
Lincoln Hall is a spectacular venue. The capacity maxes out under 500, with plenty of room to hand jive and such. (As a fellow from Indy, I am not quite Rhodes Scholar status when it comes to Chicago venues, I could be wrong about the capacity). Alpha King on tap – YUSS SIR. The ability to build your chill zone and vibe out to music – ABSOLUTELY!
Cincinnati poppy pop pop alt rockers Walk the Moon served as the opening act. I have gushed over these guys over the past few months. Their release I Want, I Want has been a member of the Heavy Rotation Club since July. Disappointment quickly set in after the band closed “Anna Sun.” Failing to play the title-track “I Want, I Want” coupled with the neglect of “Blue Dress” set me off to a bad start.
Then it happened…..
“I knew this would be the part
My plane’s arrival catches me off guard
We’ll all be leaving with a broken heart
Wallets empty and we’re back at start”
The lyrics from these LA All-Stars could not have proven any more correct. My wallet was on its last legs after this show (not to mention weekend) but being caught off guard never felt so $$$$!
“Airplanes” was a uniform bonding experience with strangers. “Sun Hands” was passion derived from common interests. Finally, “Shape Shifter” changed perspective while placing importance on positioning and lust for a band.
Written and experienced by Brett McGrath