I'll start off by saying that the weirdest part about lollapalooza this year was the line-up. I wasn't really stoked about ANY of the headliners and kinda "meh" about most of the other shows. This has never really happened to me on any other year. However, I'm living in Chicago right now and couldn't pass up the ease of going to the festival.
Here's how things went...
I obviously had to work on getting that President re-elected, but was able to sneak out and catch some music in my downtime. Actually, The Head and The Heart came to perform IN our office, but I missed most of their performance for a meeting, which was a bummer.
The other shows I saw were...
- Anamanguchi - I took a lunch break to check out this 8-bit rock group with Kari and my buddy, Kolak. They played some fun, 80s video game music... which got a bit stale after a while, but it'd probably be awesome to chill out and listen to while working. These dudes were also hilariously awkward on the mic.
- Metric was fun to listen to while waiting for Die Antwoord to go on. I wish I would've had time to come earlier and hang out for more of this set. I'd kind of forgotten how many songs of theirs that I liked.
- Die Antwoord was definitely the show I was most excited about... and it definitely lived up to the hype. These dudes are crazy.
- Passion Pit was pretty decent, but it turns out that I like their songs a lot more when they're remixed into dance tunes.
- Nero - dance tunes! This show was fun but started getting old pretty quickly once the dub step hit. The highlight of checking out this set was really just seeing perry's stage for the first time. It was absolutely massive and had crazy lights and panels... I love that the dance stage gets more insane every year.
- M83 - I was really excited to see these guys but the show was a total let down. I mean, it looked like they were rocking really hard and having a great time on stage, but the sound was totally whack. I could hear the 75 people around me chatting louder than I could hear the band. At least they still sound great in my headphones at work.
- Black Sabbath - Ozzy Osbourne? at 63 years old? How could you possibly pass this up? hahaha. Seeing these guys was awesome (and also hilarious). You could barely understand Ozzy while he was talking between tracks, and the only thing he really said to try to get the crowd hyped was, "icantfockinhearyouuuu!" ...but once he started singing, he actually sounded pretty solid. Sabbath can definitely still rock.
So, Kari and I left the park a bit early to get a snack and cocktail together as a sort of birthday dinner. Then we met up with some friends to dance and get late night tacos while Kari tripped over a tree stump in the middle of the sidewalk. I never really see her biff it like that. It was awkward.
I woke up, pushed some codes for work, got brunch with friends, and then worked some more.
After all that, we started walking to Lollapalooza to catch B.o.B. but just before getting on the train we heard that they evacuated the entire festival for a crazy thunderstorm... so we ducked into Banger's and Lace for a drink then headed downtown to grab another drink on the wit rooftop while waiting for the fest to open back up.
The whole rain delay thing made everything weird. Some shows were canceled, but most were just cut 15 minutes short, which made it hard to walk between sets and actually catch the bands. Here's who we saw...
- The Weekend - I stayed for a few songs, but I barely caught any of this set. I can't quite figure this dude out. He's like all R&B, but some of his stuff is super dark. I love the dark stuff he's going for but his music is just too pretty for that. It destroys my brain.
- Calvin Harris had a pretty rockin dance set, which was made better since we finally got a chance to meet up with some of our Des Moines peeps.
- Bloc Party - For some unknown reason I was really surprised that the lead singer was a black dude. I have no idea why, I just always pictured him much whiter and much nerdier. Either way, these dudes were obviously super fun.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers sounded great, of course. They're not really my favorite group, but seeing these guys live is never a bummer. Flea is hilarious and rocks super hard, which is always fun to watch
After the show we went out to celebrate my birthday and party with lots of new and old friends at the Rainbo Club, Debonair, and Exit. It was a blast as always.
- Sigur Ros was really ambient and sounded really nice... they're just not really a day time festival kind of group, so it was hard to get into.
- Amadou & Mariam - I was pretty stoked to see these guys but found myself getting bored a lot. I couldn't stop focusing on Mariam not really seeming into the music. However, Amadou was rocking and they sounded great.
- Miike Snow completely rocked it! I was not expecting this show to be so good. I was seriously blown away. I really wish their albums sounded more like this show did (though maybe I should get the new one before making that call)
- Justice rivaled Daft Punk's show from the Alive tour in 07. It wasn't quite as mind blowing, but it was still super good and the stage lights were pretty rad. They also had this one bit where the kids singing from the D.A.N.C.E. samples transitioned into Jay-Z's "On to the next one" sample. I had no idea Jay-Z sampled this track. It floored me the way they mixed it in. So rad!
After Justice, I escorted Kari over to the Megabus stop where she boarded the bus at midnight and got back to Des Moines at 7:20am - 20 minutes before work. Hahaha. Have I mentioned that my wife is a bad ass?
So yea, that was our 6th Lollapalooza. The highlights were definitely Die Antwoord, Black Sabbath, Bloc Party, Miike Snow, and Justice... then of course partying and hanging out with friends in between.
I love celebrating my birthday with this festival.
Photos coming... sometime in the next year.