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We drove from Chicago for what seemed like forever, passing the locals watching from their front porches. We parked in a mowed-down field, and there it was-- The Winnebago County Fairgrounds. We came to see Metallica, but were treated to Soundgarden, The Ramones, Cheap Trick, and many others. I was crowd surfing during Rancid when I was either dropped or kicked by a fellow surfer. It was terribly hot, but the memory of the best Lollapalooza ever is priceless!
Some friends and I traveled to Des Moines Iowa from Wisconsin to see Lollapalooza in the summer of 1996. It was the summer after we graduated high school and it was the last time I really hung out with these friends. What I remember most is barely sleeping the night before and how hot it was out. I was so tired and hot that I somehow fell asleep in a cool down tent while Rancid was playing. I remember I was still able to get up close to see Soundgarden and Metallica. Back then it seemed like it was alot easier to get close to the stage even if you got there late. I remember alot of people throwing pizza cardboard things around during the Soundgarden set and they ended up cutting their set short. I didn't think they sounded very good either. By the time Metallica came on everyone was so tired after being in the heat all day so the crowd wasn't that into it, but it was still a great show. It was a great time being there, I wish I could do it again but it is well out of my budget now I have a family.
The year before, I met a guy 10 years younger than I. He was 21 and I was 31, and I had 3 kids. I was entering a new chapter in my life. I was getting divorced and had just re-entered the club scene. I went to Lollapalooza in Rockingham, NC and it was so much bigger than the club concerts I went to! When Rage Against the Machine were performing, the crowd became WILD! I'm only 4 ' 11 " tall and didn't weigh much then, and my boyfriend was afraid I'd get squished! He lifted me up and all of a sudden, hundreds of hands went up and moved me to the front of the crowd by the fence in front of the stage. There, the security guards helped me over the fence and showed me the way to a safer area! I will never forget the "floating" feeling I had as hundreds of fellow, unknown fans steered me towards the stage! Oh...and that fella and I are still together!!!
My two best friend along with my boyfriend and I were stoked to be going to Lolapalooza in Knoxville Tn the summer of 96! My boyfriend and I rode separately from James & his buddy & of course never managed to locate them in the massive crowd, as this was before everyone had a cell phone at all times. So after an amazing day of killer jams the show ended with Soundgarden followed by Metallica. We were making our way through the crowded grounds still high from the amazing show & polishing off whats left of our sodas when we spot a randy couple beside a concession booth, on the ground going at it like rabbits! The girl was on top of him & all we could see of the guy was his feet. Feeling mischievous, if not down right wicked, we pitched our ice on the couple, shouting, "Get a room!" We couldn't imagine anyone missing one second of the show to make it on the ground!! The next day James & I are eager to discuss our experiences & bitch that we never seen each other. James starts telling me about the girl he hooked up with on the ground during the last show, Metallica, by a booth. I said, "Dude, were you wearing your Chuckys?" "Yeah, why?" James asked. " I tossed ice on you on the way out!" I replied. "THAT WAS YOU?" he exclaimed. We didn't know we had even crossed paths that night but ended up sharing a funny story of unlikely odds and one compromising position!!
I was 17 and bought tickets for four friends. We went with my sister who also brought three friends after winning tickets from 92.3 KROCK NY. This was an event like no other and many a concert has never compared to the festival experience we enjoyed that day and evening. The headliners were Wu Tang Clan and Metallica and I have to say that the crowd was rowdy in anticipation of both. As Wu Tang was on stage, my girlfriend and a buddy of mine were moshing near the front when the crowd started throwing bottles at Wu Tang and screaming for Metallica to get on stage. It was getting intense and next thing you knew, Redman was hit with a bottle. He jumped off the stage and kicked my friend in the arm and during the chaos someone kicked my girlfriends tooth out. They both staggered back to where I and the rest were seated with giant grins on there face. My buddy had a huge boot print on his arm from Method Man and the first thing he said was “Dude, take a picture of this! This is awesome!” . My girl was equally stoked and barely noticed her missing tooth due to the powerful energy of the crowd and the music. That was an amazing night to remember. We saw some of the best bands of the times as well as important acts like the Ramones. This was the peak of the 90’s musical revolution and it appropriately ended with lighters in the air for Metallica. A cross of two musical genres and the end of an amazing revolution. It was a night that all eight of us will never forget.
Once again fearlessly courting controversy, Lollapalooza 96’s positioning of Metallica in the tour’s headlining slot marked a ballsy break from the festival’s “alternative” roots. Due in part to difficulties locating venues (some communities feared the face-melting rock of Lolla’s heavy-metal headliner), the traveling festival mounted its shorter tour, playing only 22 dates. Alt-rockers still represented, though, with several artists from past years reprising their appearances including Soundgarden, the Violent Femmes and Rage Against The Machine.
With the Metallica booking grabbing headlines, it went largely unnoticed that a third “Indie” stage had been added, featuring under-the-radar acts like Korn, who would go on to shake up the world of modern metal. Beside the kickboxing Shaolin Monks on the main stage, Lollapalooza 1996 actually featured one of the most varied lineups in the festival’s history, putting artists as different as Devo, Soul Coughing, Cornershop, and even country legend Waylon Jennings on the bill.
Playing host to the end of an era, punk rock legends The Ramones blitzkrieged their second-to-last bop at the festival’s August 4th date in Irvine, California.