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The seven of us purchased our tickets the day that the Lollapalooza line up was announced. Although avid concert goers, none of us had ever experienced a full on Festival. There were many acts we were looking forward to, but none as much as Daft Punk. We left Detroit at about 7 AM, hoping to get to Chicago without missing too many acts... little did we know, traffic and a "not quite ready yet" hotel room kept us from entering Grant Park until after 4PM. Just enough time to catch a killer set from "The Black Keys" and then to travel to the other end of the park to get a good spot and get in the right frame of mind for Daft. Dusk was just beginning to set on us when the iconic theme to "Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind" started up and the crowds collective tingling in anticipation became a tangible electricity you could feel among the tens of thousands of us waiting for the first beat to drop. The crowd went nuts as Daft took the stage in full Robot garb and positioned themselves in the command center of the "Laser Pyramid". The show was amazing. The lights and lasers and the video, and the lattice matrix provided visuals I had never seen at any of the hundreds of previous concerts I had attended. Everyone in the crowd seemed to be dancing as one while Daft flawlessly mixed 2, 3, and even 4 of their songs at the same time, each one accompanied by its own coordinated visual show. The peak of the show was while "Around the World" was mixed into "Harder Better Faster Stronger." By now, the sky had grown dark. Behind and to the right of us, Chicago's picturesque skyline, to the left, Lake Michigan. In front, one of the greatest musical duos of all time with thousands of fans singing along to every word. At that moment, the 7 of us (now slightly separated from the dance party) all looked at each other grinning ear to ear and nodded our approval. Just then, an attractive young lady in front of me turned around, screamed "I love Daft Punk", grabbed me, and tried making out. I kissed back for about 3 seconds, then pushed her away. She was interrupting Daft! The show ended with the crowd in a daze. We grabbed an interesting looking fellow in a Top Hat and asked him to take our picture. All seven of us still have the picture, and all seven of us agree, that was the Best Day of Our Lives.
I met my husband Jonah at Lollapalooza 2007. We were both walking on air after Iggy Pop's unbelievable and incredibly energetic performance –possibly the best live concert either of us have seen. We were dancing toward the Roots reggae sounds, just steps away. In a million years, we couldn’t have imagined that we had just been standing a few feet from our future spouse. Make no mistake: Jonah and I had been serious Lollapalooza fans for years. But this particular weekend, we’d both been on the fence about going. Thanks to some crafty tactics by our friends, however, we were convinced last minute to attend Lolla that Sunday afternoon. How lucky for us! I first saw Jonah standing in the crowd, partying “Rasta style” to the familiar songs of The Whalers. I had been drinking wine all afternoon and I was feeling rather feisty myself. So, I approached him about the 'grass-y' 's-pot' he was 'holding.' Jonah shared 'kind-ly' with me. We 'hit it' off right off the 'bat.' I 'dug' him because I thought he was cute, but mostly because he clearly dug me. I got a kick out of him and thought he was adorable, with a little edge. Jonah admits that I was adorable too, but what really attracted him to me was my lack of inhibition……. Suddenly my friends realized they hadn’t seen me in awhile. They looked everywhere. Half an hour later, they found me lip-locked (or close to it) with my soon-to-be husband. For the rest of the night, he and I were inseparable. At the Lolla after-party, my friends and I were treated to cocktails, makeovers, glimpse of Pete Wendt, Ashlee Simpson and the oh-so-fine dancers of Amy Winehouse, plus a Plain White T’s concert not twenty feet in front of us. It felt like a Hollywood insider party. You could sense, before the night was over, that this had been a special experience for all of us. Nine months later, Jonah asked me to marry him in exactly the same location where we met. Our lives are forever changed because of Lollapalooza. Jonah and I have been married for close to three years now. We’ve shared our lives together –buying a home, raising two dogs full-time and a six year old son part-time, while spending quality time enjoying life, love and family. We have had a standing 3-day date for all Lollapaloozas since we met, each time easily convincing more and more friends to join us. We plan to build Lolla into a lifelong family/friend tradition as we grow old together. All our fabulous past and future memories wouldn't be possible if it hadn't been for our fateful encounter after that awesome Iggy Pop performance while we were enjoying The Wailers at Lollapalooza, 2007!!!! Stephanie Mullins-Wine & Jonah Wine Chicago, IL Met at Lollapalooza, 2007! Married in October, 2008!
Since the age of nine, Billy has been in love with music. His hip parents would take him to some of the coolest concerts in the Twin Cities. Kiss and Judas Priest were Billy’s first concert, then a few years later is was the Go Go’s and Flock of Seagulls. Madonna to Metallica, Billy liked it all. Unfortunately, growing up you had to like and identify with one or the other, and Billy didn’t. One day, he found himself getting punched for wearing a Cure T-shirt, and then admired the next when wearing Led Zepplin. Billy never seemed to fit in. Not letting it upset him Billy focused on the things he loved, music and photography! Years passed and soon it was 1991. Billy has now seen many shows on his own without the assistance of his mother. He tries to sneak his camera into every concert he attends but finds more often than not, it’s a hassle, and getting 86’d was no fun for Billy. First Avenue was a regular hangout for him, living a rock n roll lifestyle and learning from his mistakes one drink at a time. (Typical behavior for someone who just turned 21.) And more mischief was to be had as the first Lollapalooza was announced and headed for Harriet Island in St. Paul. Billy couldn’t wait! His favorite band “Janes Addiction” was headlining a day of music, art and festivities for the masses. Before he knew it, Billy was standing in the middle of Lollapalooza - tattooed, pierced, bleached dreadlocks, and barefoot. Billy found his home, his tribe! He was about to experience a day that would change him forever. Lollapalooza was everything! Music from all genres; art; culture; comedy; people; food; and new (sometimes questionable) experiences. Billy wanted to capture a piece, take it home and share it with everyone. T-shirts and souvenirs were not enough, Billy must have photos! The next few Lolla’s were just as fun and unique as the first. Billy overcame many obstacles to photograph his experiences, often being harassed by security and having his cameras confiscated. 1994 started to look bleak for Billy. Lolla was moved indoors and unbeknownst at the time, would be the last stop for Lolla in the Twin Cities. EVER! Janes Addiction was broken up and Billy was losing his "music mojo" The Rock gods were listening and WOODSTOCK 94 was announced! Billy couldn’t believe it! Porno For Pyros was playing and he had to go! And the best part, cameras were allowed! So Billy packed his best camera, 13 rolls of film (yes, film), and headed to New York to have yet another life changing experience. Returning from Woodstock, Billy now had a solid start for his portfolio and a new outlook on life. He focused on his career in graphic arts and photographed in his free time, as well as exploring many jobs throughout the music and entertainment industry. Before he knew it, Billy was working for a Fortune 500 Company and promoting good music for a LA based music publication. But something was missing, where were the music festivals? Instead of waiting around, Billy starting searching for a festival he could travel to. Again, a moment of disbelief! It was 2001 and Janes Addiction was slated to headline a festival called Coachella in Southern California. Billy found a new home. He attended each year, and each year he applied for an official photo pass but unfortunately had no luck. Always the optimist, Billy enjoyed each Coachella, armed with his point-and-shoot and genuine good luck, Billy got his photos. His portfolio was growing and he had the perfect alias to coincide with his new venture - BBGunBilly was born. (Side Note: BBGunBilly was a nickname given to him from a Dakota County Judge after a four-hour bb gun shootout at the tender age of 13. Without going into too much detail, no living things were harmed in this bb gun adventure. The gun was taken away soon to be replaced with a camera to “shoot” with. Billy paid his dues with restitution and followed a better path with a nickname that would stick forever. BBGunBilly!) Simultaneous to Coachella came the re-birth of Lollapalooza in Chicago. 2005 was going to be a great year for Billy, he was approved for a photo pass! Billy found himself photographing the next three Lollapalooza’s for LA and New York Publications, along with photographing a few Coachella’s. Billy was living his dream, shooting the artists that inspired him, including the man himself, Perry Farrell. It was 2007 and Satellite Party was playing the main stage, Daft Punk was scheduled to go on next… Billy wanted to get a closer look and “magically” ended up on stage with the Daft Punk crew. While trying to blend into the background, he snapped an amazing photo of Perry posing as a human fountain, spewing wine from his spout/mouth. Billy’s Lollapalooza aspirations had come full-circle. Billy’s luck ran out and he never got to share his prized photo. As quick as the success came, it ended. The economy tanked, full-time employment became a thing of the past, and a near-fatal car crash left Billy clinging to memories of Lolla’s past. Billy continues to photograph live events in his hometown and is living the life of a struggling artist. When questioned about the photo of Perry, Billy recounts the nostalgia “That photo is the defining moment of my career. Persistence, hard work, networking and big dreams got me there.” Billy had no idea the influence Lollapalooza would have on him; he discovered his passion and his true calling. Billy remains positive and is currently awaiting his next big break.. Could it be Lollapalooza 2011? Stay tuned…
My favorite moment of Lollapalooza ever was watching LCD Soundsystem play All My Friends with the Chicago skyline in the background and the entire crowd singing along screaming, "Where are you friends tonight!" at the end! Immediately followed by Daft Punk is Playing at My House as we walked over to see the epic Daft Punk show! Where will anyone ever again be able to see LCD Soundsystem sing about Daft Punk and then walk a few short steps away and see Daft Punk! Doesn't get any better then that!
In 2007, my wife and I were meeting a friend at Lollapalooza who had driven all the way from NY – we'll call him MC. MC had come to the festival to see Daft Punk, and was very excited when they finally played. Afterwards, he and his friends were trying to get back to his car - parked by Soldier Field - and decided that the quickest way to get there would be to jump the fence to Lakeshore Blvd. Unfortunately for him there were two of Chicago's finest standing on the other side of the fence. MC and his friends were detained and their ID's taken while they tried to explain that they were only trying to get back to their car. Eventually the police decided to let them off with a warning (and a long walk around the park), and handed ID's back to the group. As MC pulled his wallet out to replace his ID, a joint came out of his wallet and fell right in front of the officer. Needless to say, MC did not get his ID back (or the joint), instead he recieved a ticket from the officer and had to delay entry into the Peace Corp until his record cleared up. He's in Ghana now, but I'm sure he'll never forget that Lollapalooza.
In 2007, the Chicago Park District and C3 Presents locked in Lollapalooza at Grant Park for the foreseeable future. Coincidentally, this year’s festivities proved to be an unqualified success, with Lollapalooza’s appearance outperforming even The Police’s most successful tour date from their highly acclaimed reunion that year. With genre heavyweights like electronica megastars Daft Punk, indie-rock innovators Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and grunge godfathers Pearl Jam atop a bill that included sought-after artists from all over the musical spectrum, the festival catered to its broadest audience ever.
As always, there were some unexpected delights. A then virtually unknown act from Brooklyn, keyboard-and-drum duo Matt and Kim were bumped to one of the main stages after Brazilian dance-pop act CSS pulled out at the last minute - catapulting the pair into the spotlight. Meanwhile, little known Lady Gaga, who would go on to achieve tremendous future success of her own, was featured on a sparsely attended side stage with her then sidekick Lady Starlight. Just another instance of forward-thinking for Lollapalooza.
Punk “godfather” Iggy Pop and the Stooges whipped fans into a frenzy during their set, going so far as to bring fans on stage, revisiting the raucous, fabled shows from their early days.