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My boyfriend, his two best friends, and my best friend all went to Lollapalooza 2009 with wide eyes and open minds. We decided we would take these 3 days to get, well very drunk, and just have the experience of a lifetime. Unfortunately for some of us, my boyfriend Nick took this a little too far. The first day of Lollapalooza started out with Manchester Orchestra in the morning. A few beers in, we were having the time of our lives. We had never heard the band before and instantly fell in love. As the day went on, all Nick could talk about was how he loved them so much. He even was telling people on the buses and on our walk down Michigan Avenue how they should download their music. Well later on in the night, during the Kings of Leon concert, we all left Nick for probably 5 minutes and when we came back, he was wasted. Apparently from having drank some vodka his new "friends" had given him. He started playing air guitar to himself, running around trying to start mosh pits, and eventually starting screaming that he wanted to hear...Manchester United. Yes, the soccer team. A few guys heard him and ran toward him screaming "Manchester United is here!?!?" with such excitement. I had to try and explain to them that no he meant Manchester Orchestra..but these guys were drunk as well and started screaming at all of us. While this whole thing is going on, Nick starts projectile vomiting all over anyone near us. He fell to the ground, could not walk, and all 4'11" of me had to pick him up over my back and attempt to carry him out of the crowd. Finally getting him out of the some thousand people crowd, with no help, was horrible. He had thrown up on probably 100 people, who them would throw cans at me because I could not control him... Once I finally got him out of the park and onto Michigan Avenue, I found his friends and they helped me carry him to the bus. I found a plastic bag rolling down in the wind on the street and held it outside of his mouth for an hour while he puked. Then when he finally said he was okay to get on the bus, I throw out the bag and he sits down and pukes all over my legs. At this point, I am just trying to stay calm, but then he starts vomiting all over the seats in front of us, the floor, the windows. We make it to our friends apartment, a 30 minute bus ride away, drag him upstairs and to bed. The next morning: no recollection. No idea why I might be the slightest bit mad, and to be honest, I really wasn't. This is what we had come to Lollapalooza for. A chance to be something that we normally aren't and to experience things we never have (even if we may have never wanted to...). It was a night we will all never forget. If I could win a chance to bring myself and Nick back to Lollapalooza, it would give us a chance to try and top this night and to create an even more hilarious memory. The picture I have attached is of Nick's two best friends, Garrett and Jeff, carrying him down Michigan Avenue after I got him out of the park.
After a nine hour drive from southwest Missouri, the last couple hours of which were in the rain, I found myself in Chicago. Antsy enough to get to Grant Park, I ended up waiting another hour for my friends who found it necessary to take a post-drive shower before heading out...despite the fact that it was pouring rain outside. We ended up at the gates right as STS9 opened their set, and ran through the park so we didn't miss a thing. My Lollapalooza experience started with Sound Tribe in the rain, and ended three days later with a crowdsurf to Deadmau5. The whole thing was fantastic! The music was great, the people were super cool, and even though it was way scorching hot all weekend, the atmosphere was fantastic. Every little memory I have brings a smile to my face, from dancing like a madman covered in glowsticks to Bassnectar's set or singing loudly with my friends during the Arctic Monkeys set; to eating ice cream on a hill watching the sun go down. The adventures didn't quit when the park did, either. Thousands of people walking down the street in a huge mob, screaming nonsense and disturbing the city. The train cars, restaurants, and coffee shops filled with strangers in Lolla' wrist bands chatting about who they saw, the whole weekend is full of spectacular memories. I still talk about the weekend with the friends I attended with, and those that weren't there. I still decide to watch one video of one song there, and end up spending way too long staring at shaky video after shaky video on the internet trying to find myself in the crowds I was in. It was one of the greatest weekends of my life, a cliche but true, and I can't wait to one-up it this year and double my stories!
In 2009 My oldest Daughter attended her first Lolla, it was also the first time she would see our favorite band Depeche Mode. We had always promised each other we would see DM together for the first time. The previous May I gave birth to a Daughter with Downs Syndrome. A huge hole was found in her heart and at 3 months old surgery was scheduled for August 14th, 2009. There was no way I could keep my promise and attend the show. I recieved a call from Meghan right before Depeche Mode went on stage. She told me she was keeping her promise, that we WOULD be together for her first show. We stayed connected during the whole set and sang every song to each other over the phone. I held her sister on my lap so she could share it with us too. In that brief moment I WAS there with her in heart and mind. So even though I wasn't physically there, I experienced it. This may disqualify my entry but If it doesn't I nominate my daughter to win for keeping her promise.
My girlfriend of almost two years and I met on the last night of Lollapalooza 2009. Just as the Killers kicked into "Human" to open their set, Lizzie ran into me as she and her friend were looking for a good spot for the show. She apologized, we shared a laugh and some Cherry Coke, watched most of the show together and then realized we were both staying at the Congress Hotel across the street. After the festival was over, we spent hours talking back at the hotel. I was attending college in Colorado at the time and she was finishing up her degree in Minnesota, so we kept in touch long-distance and only saw each other once every month or so. Last June, we moved into a Minneapolis apartment together and have been living in harmony ever since. It's all thanks to Lollapalooza!
I met my very best friend in the world, my cousin Dawn, the summer I turned 10 at a family reunion in Placerville, CA. We spent about 4 days together and then went to Disneyland to celebrate her 9th birthday (us pictured below, ain't we cute). Dawn is English, born and raised, and after one week of discovering my childhood soulmate, she had to return home. We kept in touch for a little while through letters but, as children do, we lost track of time and lost touch. Around the very beginning of Myspace's demise, I found her on the shoddy website and added her. We were excited to see who one another had grown into, but nothing really came of it. Fast forward almost exactly 12 years from the time she and I first met at ages 9 & 10, here is Bon Iver performing at Lollapalooza 2009. I got to the show later than I had hoped and didn't secure the spot I wanted. I had come on my own to watch them, my group had interest elsewhere, and I'm a major people watcher. Lo and behold, not five feet away from me I see a familiar face. I cannot believe my eyes, there is NO WAY that Dawn could be HERE in Chicago at the same time as me, at the same show. No possible way. But then I hear that familiar quick-tongued, matter-of-fact English accent commenting on not being able to see a damn thing (Dawn stands only 5'5) and all doubt was removed. I pushed my way the short distance over to her and stood before her with my smile practically ripping off my face and I think we nearly squeezed one another to death. It turns out, Dawn had chosen to celebrate her 20th birthday in Chicago at Lollapalooza. We spent the remainder of our time in Chicago together and have never lost touch since. This past January, she moved to Saint Louis and I see her everyday. Thank you Lollapalooza, with your help I will never have to be without my best friend ever again.
Following the triumph of 2008’s festival, Lollapalooza further extended its deal with the Chicago Park District through 2018. Selling out for a second year in a row, Lollapalooza 2009’s lineup consisted of an audacious stable of college rockers and indie acts such as Animal Collective, Bon Iver and Band of Horses, as well as seasoned headliners like Depeche Mode, Tool, and The Killers.
A spate of poor weather couldn’t dampen fans spirits, and the festival won hearts and minds left and right in the press. Jane’s Addiction’s performed with their original lineup for the first time since 1991, marking their third headlining appearance at Lollapalooza - a first for the festival. In a moment of tribute, Vampire Weekend singer Ezra Koenig dedicated the band’s performance of “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” to the recently deceased film director and 80s tastemaker, John Hughes.
The Beastie Boys were initially scheduled to headline, but had to pull out from the festival after member Adam Yauch discovered he had a cancerous tumor. The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s jumped in as a last minute replacement and delivered a rousing glammy disco-punk set that was one for the history books.