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This was so incredibly awesome to be at my second Lallapooza, but in my home state of Wisconsin. Some of my favorite bands were playing at this one--Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Jesus & Mary Chain, Ministry, all who I have had the pleasure of seeing before. The most exciting thing, however, happened during Pearl Jam's set. Just as it was the last time I saw them perform in Milwaukee, Eddie Vedder decided to climb up into the rafters above. Only this time, instead of up into the balconies and basketball hoops of an old venue, it was up the huge shell-shaped roof of Alpine music theatre. I was on pins & needles fearing that I was about to witness a bloody, horrific death of a rising star. Thankfully, we all know that did not happen.
So, on the 4th of Sept 1992 I worked one day for the Metallica/Guns n' Roses tour that was at the Astrodome. The next morning, I woke up bright and early then travelled with my two friends Alex & Xina down to the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds so we could spend the day (and night) at Lollapalooza. We got there about 30 minutes after the gates opened, and I immediately went to get my nose pierced (the first time I got a non-ear piercing!)... lo and behold, there were two piercing chairs working. I got in one as someone else was leaving, and then... out of nowhere, my cousin James magically appeared in the other chair! So, we got pierced at the same time, completely unexpectedly on both of our parts! Then, it was on to check out the shows - during the day, I saw just a bit on the side stage (like part of the Jim Rose show), but mostly was about 3 or 4 rows back in front of the main stage. While taking an afternoon break at one point, I went and spent time inside an air-conditioned building there and ran into an old boyfriend of mine who I hadn't seen in a couple of years. Got to catch up a bit with him, so that was cool. Then, the music... Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Pearl Jam are the only ones I definitely remember (I was smoking pot and hash both that day, and *may* have smoked a little opium at one point, too, since I had run into my friends Tom & Mo)... my GOD, what an AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING show that was. It helped me cement some lifelong friendships, and has the distinction of being the very first music festival I'd ever been to. If I don't win these tickets, then bummer... I would LOVE to get up to Lollapalooza with a friend or two, but trips like this are hard to plan if you're me and have friends that aren't nearly as into music as you are. Anyhow, yeah, having seen and partied a bit with Faith No More, Metallica, and Guns n'Roses the night before (they had a backstage area at the Astrodome up on a higher level where there were video games, a bar, and they hung out when they weren't onstage), THEN following it up with a wonderful day in the sun with Xina & Alex was just great. Yeah, it was sweatty and hot being September in the Houston area, but it changed my life. Nowadays, I do all I can to support music and see shows all the time - I'd LOVE to add Lollapalooza 2011 to the list of shows I'm doing this year... especially since later that month, I get to see the acts at the ACL Festival here in Austin.
Dammn, hot wow! My first lolla, Mom wouldn't let me see a cop killa' in '91, but '92, I was of age for teen rock and take over of Buckeye Lake. The festival was packed, I had my first "smart" drink, I was totally clean and sober, and the weather was so friggin hot, my lolla bootlegged T-shirt, was made of cheap cotton and sticking to me like fried eggs on cast iron skillet. Sizzle. My friends of choice at the time were only excited to see Arrested D and I was to lame or cool, and I wanted to see Tool on the side stage with all 6 of their fans back then. I was waiting on the blanket with a bunch of high schoolers who were more concerned about sunblock and finding Buckeye football players and I wanted to rock and make mom proud by causing some anarchy I walked by the massive wood structure that the ground crew had rigged with garden hoses to be some sort of mist spray for the crowd, but so many people had hung and climbed all over the monkey bar like structure, that water drizzled rather than spray the audience, so lame. This was my chance to cause trouble, being a small kid, I was able to weasle through the masses quickly and climb to the top and rip off off the hoses and reattach the hoses and become a mighty savior. Not only did I turn the crowd into a roar, but I fixed a broken mashed water noozle and was able to get the pressure to build and spray water 20 some friggin feet in the air! Cooling everyone, I shouted, "Bless you all my children! Bless you all. Come with me and watch Tool my children." I was a God for 5 minutes until I saw the security guy and was able to dart over and dodge him, and head to the side stage and witness a giant massive monkey wrench from behind the curtain, Tool was about to save me. From then on, I 'd be at every lolla, I could, blessing the crowd.
I was at the Alpine Valley show, taking a break, standing at the top of the hill, eating a plate of fried rice and veggies. To my right was a small tent awning, with a stage about 6 inches off the ground. A long haired guy set down his small amp, and another guy walked over with a microphone. To my surprise, it was Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell. No one else nearby noticed them. I stood there and waited. They launched into a Temple of the Dog song, just the two of them, playing to no one but me! It was only a matter of minutes before the crowd gathered, pushing me out of the way. For two minutes, I had a private impromptu concert, all to myself.
So I saw the show in 1992 at World Music Theatre in Tinley Park. I don't remember it. Later that summer, some friends decided to cruise up to Alpine Valley Wi to catch it again up there. This was a show I would never forget. I had just turned 21 that Spring, so safe to say I was enjoying adult beverages on the way up. I got a ride from this smoking blonde that went to my high school. I was totally trying to put the moves on her. She lifted her skirt to show me the Pearl Jam Alive guy tattooed on her upper thigh, I thought I was in for sure. First things first. The show. On the way up we got into a little argument about whether Pearl Jam was better than Soundgarden. She was mad crazy about getting to the venue to catch Pearl Jam who was the first act. She had a cooler full of these Jack Daniels wine coolers, we were slamming them on the way up to WI. I was feeling good when I got there. We caught some of Pearl Jam and my girl was crying as Eddie climbed all the way on top of the amphitheatre during Once. That was an amazing feat of daring-do. The rest of the show is kind of a blur. I remember Soundgarden. I think Ministry played before RHCP and they were amazing. I do remember getting like 3 beers each during RHCP because they were closing the beer stands. I didn't need one, let alone 3. Things are really getting blurry at this point. The show ended and I just followed my peeps out of the theatre. I was basically stumbling along behind them like a zombie. It was a madhouse in the parking lot. My peeps kept getting ahead of me and I couldn't keep up. Eventually I looked up after walking for a while and realized that I wasn't following my friends. I had no idea where they were. Alpine Valley is in the Middle of effing nowheresville. I was inebriated, so I wasn't thinking. I just thought that I needed to find another ride home. All the cars were bailing out of the parking lot and I thought there was no way my friends would be able to get back in once they left (I was loaded). I felt like I was going to be left in the middle of Wisconsin with no way home. I had to take action. I started knocking on car windows saying my friends left me. Most people were not sympathetic. ONe guy gave me a can of PBR which was helpful. Finally I came upon an Olds Bonneville, paint peeling, smoke billowing from the tailpipe and the open windows. Three large latin-american women were in the car chain smoking. I said, "If you can get me back to Illinois, I'll pay you $60." They said ok. We started driving, they were like "We are staying at a hotel in Delavan." I'm like, "That's not in Illinois." "We're going home to Illinois tomorrow." They were like "You can get a room." I said " I don't have any money, you have to run me to a cash machine tomorrow." After much begging, they let me sleep on the floor of their room. The next day they dropped me off at the bus station in Rockford. I didn't have enough for the bus to O'hare airport, so I had to stiff them on the $60 I promised them. I hopped on the bus. It was $24. I had $20. They were gonna kick me off the bus. I had a white t-shirt on that was all dusty dirty. I had sweat through my shorts. I smelled like a brewery. The other people on the bus took pity on me and paid for the rest of my ticket. My bro picked me up at the airport and when I got home I took a shower and slept for 2 days.
Lollapalooza ’92 doubled down on the winning formula of its debut, with shows selling out within minutes of tickets going on sale. Due to this high demand, additional dates were added – all of which immediately sold out – bringing the total dates on the tour up to 35.
For its second year, the lineup was expanded, featuring a wide array of buzzworthy second-stage artists along with high-powered headliners like grunge megastars Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, as well as the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the height of their Blood Sugar Sex Magik popularity.
There was more than just music. Fans could browse hand-made jewelry and third-world textiles, and ethnic foods. Piercing booths provided quick pinpricks for more daring fest-goers (ears and nostrils only). Retaining the previous year’s openness to raising awareness on important issues, there were representatives from Refuse and Resist, the Interfaith Nutrition Network, Greenpeace and others at the festival. With the 1992 United States presidential election looming that fall, members of Rock the Vote helped audience members fill out voter-registration forms.
There was no shortage of standout moments on the road. This tour featured one of the few performances by Temple of the Dog, the grunge supergroup featuring Soundgarden's Chris Cornell and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder. With hip hop breaking boundaries and beginning to win fans outside of the underground, gangsta rapper Ice Cube was booked as a headliner – a gutsy move by promoters – exposing audiences to new, raw sounds coming out of the cities.
Providing some of the strangest spectacles in Lolla’s history, the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow came to prominence as a second stage show in 1992, garnering rave reviews from publications like Rolling Stone. Its acts included The Enigma, whose body is almost entirely covered in tattoos (among other modifications) and The Amazing Lifto, who lifted cinder blocks and kegs of beer with his nipples and nether regions. Nifty trick.