6:50 wheels-up time came early but I was SO excited to be making this trip out to Chicago. I've talked about getting Lollapalooza tickets for like five years now and this year I finally pulled the trigger and got a one-day pass for Sunday. I got into Chicago early enough to stop at my old favorite breakfast spot, the Cozy Corner, to fuel up for the day and then catch mass at St. Stanislaus Koska. It really felt good to be back in the city and without a car to worry about. No parking or traffic problems, just me, my backpack and the CTA. Lollapalooza was amazing. Completely and totally worth the ticket price. I hadn't been to a big outdoor show in a while and never to anything on this scale. The festival sold all 1 and 3 day passes (225,000) for the second year in a row. I did a pretty respectable job of catching all the acts I wanted to see. Luckily everyone I was interested in was on the south end of the festival. I was really impressed with how accessible everything was. The lines for beer, food, and bathrooms were all amazingly short. There was free sunscreen to use and free water to refill with (both of which were crucial). If you didn't see it on the news, the heat was oppressive & relentless. This website's got a great review of the day, but here's my super brief rundown of what I saw:
- Ra Ra Riot - these guys were playing when we were just getting there and getting organized so we really only caught the last 4 or so songs. I have some of their stuff and I like it. Would've liked to catch more, but I instead chose to get a really good spot at the stage next door for... (setlist)
- Bat for Lashes - Now I only knew one of her songs and her cover of Kings of Leon "Use Somebody" but I'd read a fair amount of buzz on this girl and wanted to check her out. It was GREAT. Her voice is like a "siren mermaid" according to my Lolla-partner, Guam, and that's a pretty good description. Her outfit was crazy awesome and she is super cute, but her performance made sure those were not the things that people were talking about. I will be purchasing her CD before the night is over. (video)(setlist)
- Vampire Weekend - After a quick recharge and rehydrating, we wove a long ways up and staked out a great spot for the band I was most excited to see. I love nearly every song on their album ("Blake" drives me nuts) and their music is perfect for a summer party. They did not disappoint. We had a ball during this set. The crowd was great and the band was fun. Super, super, super. (setlist)
- Passion Pit - This was hard. I hard to sacrifice the first half of Passion Pit's show so I could enjoy the full Vampire Weekend set. We hustled, as much as you can hustle among 30,000 or so people trying to switch stages, over to catch the last half and got there just in time for "Sleepyhead." Lollapalooza is known for having one mistake each year where they underestimate the following of a hot act. Last year it was Girl Talk. This year it was Passion Pit. They were on a smaller stage and the crowd was ridic, overflowing into surrounding areas and everywhere was just a massive dance party. caboose called it on these guys and I've been enjoying them a lot but hearing them live was a whole new level. (setlist)
- Cold War Kids - We took this time to cool off and sit for a while (after some hilarious 'engagement' pictures by Buckingham fountain) but could hear their show and it was good, but not necessarily incredible. Love their music though.
- Snoop Dogg - He's definitely got the hits and cranked 'em out, but it is not a type of show or performer that I can dig on too much.
- The Killers - We found a great spot to watch these glammy headliners from, off to the right, up a slight hill with a great view of the stage and the sea of 40,000 or so fans. Although I thought they took a while to get going, they definitely have a good looking, glitzy show and their encore rocked. (setlist)