We want to hear from you — share your best Lolla story below!Share your story
Five guys crammed in the back of a beat up, white Chevy Cavalier - bound Milan, MI. It was a brutally hot day. The raceway where Lollapalooza 93 took place had almost no shade, but that didn't bring down our spirits any. I was a 14 year old kid, rocking a Pearl Jam t-shirt, in awe of my first concert without my parents. Luckily for me, my older brother and his friends were allowed to watch over me and let me tag along. I was pumped. On our way into the concert, we got our heads right and were ready for a full day of awesome music, hot chicks, and cool vendors. My brother's friend Eric was the music aficionado of the group. He would constantly rattle off facts about bands we had never heard of or cared about, but we respected his opinion. We were just wandering around when his head perked up. "Come with me. NOW." he said. "Uh, ok man.......what's up?" I said, Eric seemingly oblivious to the question. We arrived at the second stage, Eric was visibly pumped about what was happening. "Who is this???? They kick ass bro!" "Dude. This is TOOL." I was amazed. The band was completely tight. I had never heard the CD, but on the way home Eric put it in and I couldn't believe how close it sounded to what I had heard earlier that day. I saw TOOL on the second stage seventeen years ago. They have since become one of my top 5 favorite bands, and I was introduced to them at Lollapalooza and was close enough to give Maynard a high-five! But the fun was just beginning. Not too long after that, we made our way to the first band that I was already a fan of - Rage Against the Machine. Man, did they rock the place. I remember moshing in the middle of the crowd, I probably weighed 130 pounds soak and wet but I didn't care. The place was pumped! Zach de la Rocha's energy was contagious. Their set was bad-ass. After this I remember a lull in the acts for a bit, and I wandered the area, a young man always on the hunt for a pretty girl. I met a cute blond, who had similar tastes in music (and recreation) and we hit it off instantly. We walked and talked, flirted and joked, smiled and laughed. She was a little beauty. I remember kissing her many times throughout the next hour or two. Dinosaur Jr's set was ending, and I knew Alice in Chains were coming on next. To me, this was the main event. We exchanged numbers, inside knowing we would never speak again due to the distance apart (and I was saddened by this, she was a hottie! I Still remember her name - Camille). I remember making my way through the crowd, looking for my friends. We had agreed to a general area, but it was still like looking for a needle in a haystack. The clouds had began rolling in, and the wind was picking up. There were massive tarps that came loose, and were flapping violently in the wind. These had ropes on them that would occasionally reach the crowd. That's when I saw my friend lifted off the ground. He had grabbed on to the rope, and held on for dear life. He musta been lifted about 15 feet, I remember the yells of the security guards for him to "get his stupid ass off there!" He was eventually lowered to the ground, and I had found my friends again. A light rain began to fall. I was worried they were going to cancel the show. Ba-da-ba-da-bum......bum bum bumm. Ba-da-ba-da-bum......bum bum bumm. Ba-da-ba-da-bum......bum bum bumm. Ba-da-ba-da-bum......bum bum bumm. The bass thumped, as Jerry Cantrell's wicked lead began kicked into the song - "Rain When I Die". I thought I'd died and went to heaven. To this day, when I hear that bass line I was always be brought back to Lollapalooza 93. The old Chevy Cavalier. The blistering heat. Of Tool on the 2nd stage, and Camille the cute blond. Of Rage And Alice in Chains. The greatest concert of my life.
Truth be told, I can't be sure it was Lolla '93 or even which venue I attended! I do know that sometime between the years 1991 & 1993 I had my most memorable concert experience ever at Lollapalooza. Maybe we were at Waterloo Village,NJ -- go figure? Anyway, I am 100% certain the show was a road trip away from where I was attending college in CT. I attended with some friends and my boyfriend at the time. It was seriously fucking hot out and I was an aspiring singer, actress, and all around wild child. You get the picture... My friends and I were partying like crazy. We smoked our camels, wandered around aimlessly & laughed with strangers covered head to toe in thick dust. Everyone was in a daze -- it was painfully amazing. Not sure which bands we saw but the air was filled with music. I remember when it was time for Fishbone, a couple friends and I made our way to the middle of the pit and waited in the dense, sweaty mob for them to start playing. The security guards were clearly concerned. We'd heard stupid kids were fainting left and right from not staying hydrated. Staff started giving out water bottles and finally turned some hoses on the crowd. It was like Caligula! Everyone was alternately deliriously happy or frantically mad, trying to get themselves into the streams of water. I just stood and watched people go nuts around me. In one of the rushes to catch the water, I wound up standing in a clearing almost alone and apparently caught the eye of one of the guards. Before I knew it, he turned the hose directly on me, and me alone. I didn't understand what was happening at first. I just felt cool and happy. Then I heard someone say "It's her - he's trying to get her!" And he was. I knew exactly what was happening. I was getting publicly hosed down by a libidinous muscle man!!! There was no arguing with the sexiness of it. That guard and I were reenacting some kind of '80s soft porn scene & I wasn't moving! Did I mention it was hot out? Fishbone started moments later, I think the whole Flash Dance thing lasted five minutes, if that. My girlfriend and I stayed in the pit a little longer but people were cranky because they weren't as comfortable as I was having just been soaked to the soul! We made our way to the front to climb the fence & exit. I coyly thanked the security guard and made my way back to my boyfriend who was not happy at all. It seems his snarky friend made it a point to tell him what a bad girl I was being! I apologized but really, it was all in the name of fun, it was hot as hadies, and the fact is, I wouldn't change a thing about that decadent, freer than free, moment. I wasn't the damn Maharishi disappointing John Lennon for G-ds sakes!!! Now, almost 20 years later, at almost 41 years old, I've been lucky enough to attend a number of Lollapaloozas. I spent years living in & around Chicago and would still be there if my family wasn't on the east coast. My husband and I were married on August 10th, 2003 right at the Navy Pier Crystal Gardens. The fact that the festival takes place right at the beginning of August has made it an anniversary destination vacation we work towards every year -- sometimes more successfully than others. This year, if we don't win tickets, we won't make it back. I've got some health stuff, we're saving to buy a house, we're saving to adopt some kids we can take to kidapalooza, etc... BUT, I'm still hoping I can win a trip to revel in the beats & the possibility of being hosed down once again like the naughty little girl I was (and still am at heart).
I was supposed to go to Lollapalooza 1992. I had my ticket and was stoked. My ride backed out last minute. Too young to drive myself and stay out of town, I was stuck. 1993 was the year I graduated from Highschool. My boyfriend bought us tickets for Lollapalooza at Buckeye Lake Music Center in Ohio. Living in West Virginia at the time, almost no bands came around, we had to drive to Ohio. My parents agreed to let me go out of town with him and his friends for the show. At the time I was working a shitty summer job at a local grocery store. According to the union we had to have two days a week off. I told my manager, who hated me, I was going out of town and needed two days. It was perfect, just schedule my two days off for the days I would be gone. The week before the concert I was all excited to go get my schedule, assuming I would be off. To my horror she did not give me those days off. Tensions had been building with her. This wasn't the first time we went head to head. So, I worked the morning. Lunch came and my anger built. By this time I was so angry, I took off my apron, walked out the door and never came back. Knowing that my parents would never let me go to Lolla if they found out. I spent the next week at my boyfriends house during my work shifts. The morning came to leave for Ohio. I was more excited than I had ever been. It was an awesome show! I had such a blast! I was stoked to see Dinosaur Jr., Tool, Fishbone, Front 242, Primus, Rage Against the Machine, Alice in Chains and Arrested Development. I even got backstage. During Alice in Chains one of our friends came over and had a back stage pass on. I asked if I could borrow it. He gave it to me. I went back and got another pass to give to my boyfriend. We met Angelo Moore and Les Claypool! It was amazing. To this day I still have the ticket and the autographs in a scrapbook. When I got home I had to confess to my parents. My mom didn't care, but my dad made me call to ask for my job back. The head manger said no. My dad was so pissed at me. It was totally worth it! It was the only time I have ever walked off a job and I don't regret a thing.
It was the summer of 1993 and I told my brother I was going to Lollapalooza. The first question he asked was “Is Rage Against the Machine Playing?” I told him yes. He said “bring a bandana,” I asked why and he said that I’ll understand when they start playing. Well, I was a pretty big burnout back then and plum forgot his suggestion. Sure enough on a beautiful summer day in Waterloo N.J. Rage tore shit up. The first note sent up the biggest dust storm I’ve ever witnessed, and I was in the middle, blinded by the natural occurrence. The ground actually shock. They had boycotted the previous show at RFK in Philly, so they came out swing!! Best festival show ever…Epic!!!! Tool on the second stage…. I mean that’s the shit dreams are made of! My buddy blow out his knee in that second stage pit during Tool’s set. He just throws some dirt on it and we carried him back to the main stage. Alice in chains didn’t even close the show! That’s how amazing the line-up was. Primus ended it and we drove home injured, exhausted, and forever graced by the essence of Lollapalooza.
Ahhh, '93 Lollapalooza. My first. The setting: two college age couples attending Boise State arranged time off from the various restaurants/bars we worked at, began our trek to Mt. View, CA. A tiny 4-door COMPACT car loaded to the gills. After a brief hotel stay about half way, and the couple with us , uh, "celebrating the trip" so vigorously the bed mattress slipped over my current gf then and I sleeping on the floor! With said renewed vigor, we set out driving thought the redwoods and as they began to clear we had reached "mecca." Shoreline Amphetheater, Baby. Lollapalooza. The vast chasm of alternative music and the Seattle sound, Grunge, having us drawn to this Lolla as the news of the fabled '92 Concert was more than enough to convince us their was NO missing the next show.(my heart still weeps at said loss) After the long line in, and some fantastic mashmallow and cookie TREATS the rainbow family provided, Rage ' took the stage. With such a solid intro, How the hell were we going to hold out? Have to admit, being Tool fans, we were quite upset Babes in Toyland kicked Tool of the main stage, untill we "smelled the garden for the roses- I stood just in front of Maynard, eye to eye on the grass in the coolest, tiny little gathering of fans. Not much of a stage, just the guys jamming in a damn near intimate setting. Bitchen'. The technical accumen of Fishbone. Lane Staley in the day. And, oh, yes- my budding Primus fandom had just begun...........Anyone else getting bothered! A timeless trek immortalized to the four of us, "memories.......!"
Three years old and already a full-blown musical phenomenon, Lollapalooza ’93 was the festival’s first year to feature two co-headliners: Alice in Chains and Primus. Festival founder Perry Farrell’s promotion of Primus to the festival’s closing slot was widely regarded as an unorthodox decision, but he stuck to his guns and stood by the oddball prog-funkers, who didn’t fail to deliver the goods when they hit the stage. Tool – which would go on to become one of the biggest alternative acts of the late 90s – began as a second stage draw, but was moved to the main stage, a place they’d be seeing again in the coming years.
With the term “alternative” expanding to include a growing range of music, including hip-hop and roots rock, Lollapalooza kept pace, recruiting the festival’s most diverse stable of artists up to that point, including the multi-talented hip-hoppers Arrested Development, indie-folk darlings Sebadoh, and Sonic Youth’s legendary lead man, Thurston Moore.
Main stage opener Rage Against The Machine stole the show as the festival’s “breakout" act, both for their energetic, politically charged performances and some full frontal controversy. Faced with criticism by the Parents Music Resource Center over what the group deemed “objectionable” content, the band took the stage in their birthday suits at Lolla’s Philly date to protest. Tipper Gore was not amused.