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I was 16 (about to turn 17) and this was the first festival I had ever been to. It definitely lived up to all the hype and is probably one of the most memorable shows i've ever experienced. The entire day was unbelieveable...from getting to Randall's Island with my crew of friends, to finding out there's a bus to get to the island (hi. we're 16. we have little to no money)...to walking across the bridge and hopping the fence...it was an adventure the likes of which I had not yet known. Walking around the grounds we were in the midst of thousands of people like us (yea. we were the weird kids back in Jersey City...this was before it was "hip" to have blue hair and piercings). It was kind of refreshing...like one of those "take the kids out of the ghetto," summer retreats. I remember running around like a mad person to make sure I didn't miss any of the artists I adored, and there were many. Tool probably had the most amazing performance of the day. Nobody does it like Tool. Maynard sauntered out onto the stage in women's underwear and I knew I was in for a show I'd never forget (somewhere I still have a clipping w/a photo of Maynard from the next day's paper). Korn's performance was insane as well. From the moment Head triked out onto the stage, the vibe in the crowd became like that of a runner at the starting line - ready to move. I distinctly remember crowd surfing and someone trying to steal my wallet (it's on a chain you fool) and 1 of my sneakers (hmm.) For someone who wasn't into hip-hop, Snoop was a nice surprise. All in all it was a ridiculously good time for my young, impressionable, teenage mind to wrap itself around. I haven't been to a Lollapalooza since - being on the verge of my 30th birthday, perhaps it's time...
Some day during the summer, weekend or weekday, it didn't matter. Substitute high school with a delivery job, and I still felt the same, like a kid. The sun was out and we were wandering around at a music festival away from home. It was summertime. I'd attended Lollapalooza before at the horse track in West Virginia. Next it was at a pavilion, and I remember sitting on the concrete floor under the mouth of the stage. It had cleared out between acts, people were mostly somewhere else. A security guy patted me on the shoulder, said smoking wasn't allowed there. Outside? Unheard of! I put the butt out on the concrete with the scattered cups. Too young to buy beer, I sat there in the shade, in the breeze, forgetting I was a few feet in front of a giant rock stage. Yep, shortly thereafter a mutant landscape touched down. Sound unleashed into the air, it flooded the empty floor up to my ears and revealed a kind of mysterious beauty, which glowed in contrast to the summer sun. Whispering, ranting voices. Thick drums and bass. Dark vamps. And this little guy, elbows out and both hands on the mic stand, sustaining the most enticing mood I had ever heard. Pre-Millennium Tension. Never had I heard life sound like that before. And in the daytime! You don't always capture images in memory, but the mood isn't ever lost. Listening to those Tricky songs today, I can find that same mood, I can still go to that place I was introduced to at Lollapalooza when I was 19 years old. At 33, I listen to Tricky all the time, and that same aura continues to come out from the speakers. I still feel it. Nissan Pavilion, GainesvilleVA, 1997.
On my Birthday in 1997, I was super bored at home and decided to walk downtown..I was just getting to the gas station when my Best friend Ted pulled over and said that he had a extra ticket to lollapalooza, and if i wanted to go I had to" get in now they where leaving in 10 minutes". I asked if we had time to swing by my house so i could grab clothes and he said no.....so i dissappeared on my 15th birthday for 3 days in my same clothes, and only a birthday check from my grandma in my pocket(which i couldnt cash)....and starved all weekend in my same grubby clothes all for the chance to see Korn...my favorite band at the time. When we got there Korn had cancelled the show, I was devistated, but as soon as we seen the rest of the lineup.....tool, devo, and snoop dogg. It made the whole trip worth while, knowing that my mom was going to kill me as soon as i got home. I had the best bithday of my life!
I was 15 years old and, My best friend had just broke it off with his dame at the time. He had asked me just a couple of days before the fest came though Val Du Lakes, which just reopened by the way. My mom was hesitant at first, but, ended up letting me go. Main reason being my aunt, uncle, and cousin were all going. We got dropped off at the entrance and were let loose upon the grounds. First thing we see is that Korn will not be playing! Fuck! Then we head to the gate where this red haired, bearded man was preaching about Jesus and said we're all going to hell, crazy shit for a 15 year old, never really got drunk, or smoked herb. We had GA tix, I remember seeing this japanese rock band called pugg or puggs they were nuts!! & seeing Snoop for the first time, and how he was blazin up on stage, again small town 15yr old, crazy shit to see!! He was incredible!! Then we finally ran into my family members as I see my aunt waiting in line for the portajohns my uncle emerges from one of them arms held up to the sky, peace signs on both hands and screams " FUCK NIXON!!!" They had Pit tickets so they went in and quickly gave them to us before the pit security seen, the people after us got caught and tried outing my friend but, we still got in and thought we were the shit!! But, it was just in time Tool, to blow my mind away & I never understood why my uncle kept yelling PRISON SEX!! Until I found out it was a song title!! After that was Devo, and a long walk home. The best part was the people my mom expected to watch over me, did but, most likely not the way she intended.
Lollapalooza coming to Corpus Christi, TX was a huge deal since we never got great alternative shows. I was 17 years old and thought of myself as a Lolla veteran since had been to two previous festivals. My dad dropped me and three friends off at the door and said, " meet me back at the gate when the shows over". Looking back I can say my parents totally rock and they let me experience music as every kid should. I have two memorable moments of that day. The first was when Snoop Dog took down a fat hooter on stage and the second was Maynard's boobs. My husband was at that same show and was living in Louisiana at the time. We never met that day but both got to experience an amazing show that today we can now reminisce about. Our paths crossed again 9 years later after Lolla '97 and I'm so grateful they did.
Conscious of fans' changing tastes and the exploding popularity of electronica, Lollapalooza 1997 featured an assembly of cutting-edge and popular artists to spotlight the exciting new styles. Festival organizers booked ambient techno pioneers Orbital, Britain’s big beat superstars Prodigy (who’s hit “Smack My Bitch Up” was enjoying trans-Atlantic chart success), and trip-hop pioneer Tricky, among others, to headline beside rock bands like Tool and rap sensation Snoop Doggy Dogg.
The last year before the festival went on hiatus, festival founder Perry Farrell joined forces once again with the William Morris Agency to provide direction in the face of uncertain days ahead for both Lollapalooza and the music industry as a whole. With critics in the press starting to mount and fan attention splintering, Lolla would lay low for the next five years. Temporarily down, but definitely not out.
Due to the brutal murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. and East Coast-West Coast tensions, Snoop Dogg cancelled his 1997 tour. Instead, he joined the Lollapalooza tour – traveling between all festival stops in a bulletproof van.