Lollapalooza 2011 posted

The 20 year anniversary of Lollapalooza, my 5th year at the festival, the 30th anniversary of my life, and the turning point of a pretty major change in my (and Kari's) life. We had some huge milestones going on this year... all of which sort of overshadowed each other, and moved too fast for me to fully appreciate them like I should have.

Either way, Lollapalooza was a giant, super expensive blast again this year. There's the standard eating of great foods, dealing with crowds, late night dinners and even later night partying, so I won't get into all that… but here's a breakdown of the shows we saw this year.

  • Tinie Tempah sounded great. We only stayed for a few songs of his set, but I wish we would've stayed longer.
  • Skrillex was actually pretty dope. I totally expected a hardcore, bloody earhole dubstep set, but he was actually able to ease off the murderous noise and keep the kids interested. Don't get me wrong, he definitely dropped the dub step, but I was really impressed at his ability to play to a crowd. Also, Perry's stage was amazing this year.
  • OK Go is when I really started to get into my Lollapalooza groove. These guys were rocking it, they were having fun, and they were wearing google color suits on the Google+ stage - it was awesome.
  • Muse started with some great songs and sounded amazing. Unfortunately we only stuck around for a bit though since we heard Coldplay was amazing live.
  • Coldplay was absolutely terrible. wtf. This was seriously like a giant, emo, junior high school campfire sing-a-long. It completely ruined my birthday mood for a minute, haha. I hate you, Coldplay.
  • Death From Above 1979. Hell yes. I am so glad these guys got back together to start rocking again. I loved every second of this show.
  • Deftones Sounded awful. Which is unfortunate because it was totally (well, at least mostly) the sound guy's fault. Everyone was yelling at the sound booth the entire time.
  • Ween. These guys, haha. I can't help but smile the entire time they're playing. So weird, so awesome.
  • Lykke Li also sounded really good. I definitely need to get more of her stuff. I think this person was a bit of a surprise for Kari… who should also get more of her stuff.
  • Atmosphere. We've seen him already so we didn't try too hard to get close at this one, but He definitely puts on a solid hip hop show. So intimate, so into the crowd, so awesome.
  • Eminem. "Chicago! Are you still with us?! I said, are you still with us?!" … gets pretty old when you do it between every single song. Especially when all you're playing is your super pop radio hits. The first 20 minutes of Eminem's set were so strong. Some of his real, hateful, rap… but then it just turned into another one of them emo, sing-a-long Coldplay shows.
  • Pretty Lights got me amped to go out. These guys were playing bangers.
  • The Cool Kids were playing a lot of stuff I didn't know. I think we got there too late to hear all the hits I know - plus they got cut off early. Either way, they are good live.
  • The Cars are just some old rockers. They sounded good but had no stage presence or showmanship at all, ha. Not really sure what I was expecting, but either way, I'm glad I can say I've seen them.
  • Flogging Molly sounded great and were having a blast on stage. I love when you can tell bands are still having fun and not just putting on a show. Plus, I had no idea the lead singer's wife was the violin/irish flute person.
  • Cage The Elephant Wow. This was probably my favorite show of the year - at least it will be the most memorable. A few shows in, it started down pouring. Like, serious, serious, down pouring… and Kari and I had decided to leave our ponchos in the room that day, so we just got absolutely drenched. It was a bummer for about half a minute, but then they started playing, "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" (my favorite Cage the Elephant song) and everyone just went bonkers. It made the show such a blast. I really wish I could've gotten photos. It was insanely fun to rock out in the rain with these dudes.
  • Foo Fighters aren't one of my favorite bands, but they sounded ridiculously good and rocked hard. Grohl is amazing.
  • Deadmau5 was just some good, trancy techno. I enjoyed it... though I still have a hard time believing he's doing anything aside from changing his giant mouse mask on stage.
So there you have it. I sorta feel like Lollapalooza should've gone bigger than they did for their 20th anniversary, but whatever. Another one in the books.


  • you forgot about deadmau5... which was surprisingly a real good time!

    kari posted

  • I felt like a lot of shows I saw this year had someone on stage screaming "Chicago!", "How you doing Chicago?" and many other random Chicago shout-outs. It got pretty annoying.

    Nicole posted

  • I don't think thats just a Lolla thing. Friday night John Legend and Sade gave a lot of Chicago shout-outs, except Sade's were all quiet and sweet and in an accent! Also, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals kicked major ass, City and Colour sounded so good, and Damien Marley made us fist pump A LOT! Kid Cudi was pretty good too, minus the three couples making out in front of us, who were 15, and who Jamie gave a lecture to!

    Drea posted