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Words cannot describe how excited I was to be going to Lollapalooza last year. Chicago in the summertime with my very best friend, Viktoria, dancing and swaying to the sound of strums on the guitar by our favorite bands--doesn't get much better, in my opinion. I've always been an avid music fan, but my experience at Lollapalooza in 2010 reached deep into my heart and pulled out every feeling I had for music. We were only able to attend one day of Lolla last year--Friday--due to low funds. It must have been fate, though, because it was that very day my obsession with The Black Keys began. I have never felt so much soul and love in every song. I was amidst pure bliss as Dan Auerbach belted every song with whole emotion and Patrick Carney wailed on the drums like there was no tomorrow. To this day, no matter how many times I have heard their songs, chills take over my whole body. I feel their music with my entire body. Following the final headliner, The Strokes (who were unspeakably amazing, of course), we were bound and determined to go to an afterparty. To our INCREDIBLE surprise, Viktoria was put on a list for MGMT's after-show at the House of Blues! I could not believe we were this lucky! Needless to say, we rushed to House of Blues and danced our asses off until about 2 AM. Finally being able shake it--IN PERSON--to "Kids" and "Electric Feel", two songs that roar through our speakers nearly every night at after-bars in college, was without a doubt the perfect way to end my 2010 Lollapalooza experience. Since Lollapalooza last year, I have been on a constant search for new music that makes me feel the way The Black Keys do. With diligent effort, I have found several artists who fill my heart with absolute happiness using their voices and keen sense of putting sounds together. To name a few who will be at Lolla this year: Local Natives, Ellie Goulding, Explosions in the Sky, Muse, My Morning Jacket, Pretty Lights, Manchester Orchestra, Foster the People, Grace Potter, Afrojack... I could go on with my list of must-sees for Lolla this year, but those are just my highlights. As a broke college student working three jobs during my last "free" summer, I would be EVER so grateful and ecstatic to win these tickets! Lollapalooza has opened my eyes to a world of music and I cannot express in words my gratitude towards you, Perry, for making a festival like this happen for so many years!
The crazyness started when Lady Gaga announced the dates for her epic Monster Ball Tour. At this point she had not announced yet she was performing at Lollapalooza. I wanted to see her in Vegas so once pre-sale tickets came out I was on ticketmaster.com exactly at 10am when pre-sale tickets were released. I guess I wasn't so fast cause that shit sold out in like 5 minutes. I didn't get tickets. So I waited 3 days for the regular public sale to start and I was there as well with my credit card ready and BOOM!..... sold out in 7 minutes and I didn't catch tickets. I was so bummed out. Lady Gaga is my idol and my dream to see her live had been crushed. Until a few weeks later when it was announced that Gaga and Green Day were headlining Lollapalooza. I was in awe. This was perfect. The perfect summer getaway! At first I was skeptical about it since I needed to save up money for my tuition for the fall of 2010. Until one night I went to a concert in my hometown in Albuquerque, NM. I was so drunk that when I got home I was still drunker than an Irish person with an open bar. Because of my incapability to judge I bought my plane tickets and Lollapalooza ticket while I was drunk. Im surprised I put in my credit card number correct. I just remember waking up the next morning with my printed out plane itinerary and Lollapalloza tickets next to me and ecstatic yet shocked that I did that. There was no going back and I will have the of my life. I have attended musical festivals before but not of this magnitude. It was just like the massive festivals that I had seen in those youtube videos when you look at the people from a bird's eye view and see everyone jumping and looks like a massive wave at sea. It was incredible! I invited my cousin as her birthday present. The first day of the festival we had arrived super early and roamed the entire park. And at about 5 o clock we made our way to the main stage and wait for Gaga to come out. At this time Hot Chip was performing. They kept us dancing their whole set. Now I heard that Perry invested like $100,000 on Gaga's custom stage and that showed quite well. The time time had come for her to sing before her little monsters. Once she came out this joy inside me came out and started screaming as if I were a 13 year old girl screaming for Justin Bieber. I sang every single song from she performed. It was so epic. At the end we were so tired we took our time to walk back to the Metra station and FML....we had to wait 2 hours for the next train just cause we took our time. Day 2 was when the epicness started. This time me and my cousin had left a bit later than on Friday. We stopped at Walgreen's downtown and bought a bottle of rum. I know you're going to hate me but I sneaked in that bottle into the festival. Security didnt even check my bag. Once me and cousin got lost in the crowd of the main stage we started taking sips of our Rum. People kept on asking how in the world I had sneaked that in. My cousin, who never drinks got tipsy pretty fast. The funny thing is that she kept on pushing her way more and more towards the front. I knew that wasn't a good idea because I had experienced a Green Day concert in the pit before and it is NOT PRETTY! Both our drunk asses waited for Green Day with anticipation. Once they came out the pushing and shoving started. We felt like a can of sardines with an extra 9 sardines inside of the can. I didn't care, though....because of the alcohol. At one point i struggled to put my hand in my pocket to check the time on my phone. Never in my life ( AND I MEAN THIS) have I sweated so much! It was as if I had taken a shower with my clothes on. My hair was flat. You wanna know how much i sweated? well in my backpack I took an extra shirt so I could change after the concert. Once the concert ended that shirt was drenched in sweat. IT WAS FUCKING GROSS. Wanna know what was worse? the humidity and the sweat broke my phone. It would not turn on (I had a full battery). It was horrible. The tragedy doesnt stop there.... at one point when Green Day was performing, Billie Joe Armstrong launched a tshirt in the crowd. I weirdly caught it with ly left hand and clenched it in between my arm and stomach. Uh oh! then dozens of hands hurled at me trying to grab the shirt. With all this crazyness, someone grabbed all my fingers all pulled them. I heard a pop. And suddenly I was in pain. I couldnt feel my fingers on my left hand. It was so difficult to keep them intact from touching something else or getting hurt. I dealt with the pain all night. Slowly, but surely I started feeling my fingers again except my ring finger. That finger started to swell like a tick on a dog. i said fuck it. I lost my voice, i lot my sunglasses, lost my cellphone, and almost lost my fingers... but I wouldnt change that moment ever. It was the best night of my life, believe it or not. I don't know any bands that play for 3 hours straight except for Green Day. After Green Day ended we ran towards the train. we had 12 minutes to catch it. We were exhausted. We had to pause a couple of times cause we couldnt bare the pain of our legs and my fingers. We ran and made it to the station with one minute to spare.... ON THE WRONG SIDE!!!! d'oh! once we ran to the other side the train had left. Leaving us again waiting two hours with an ice bag on my finger for the next train. I still had like 1/3rd of the rum bottle in my backpack and I knew Metra had made restrictions on prohibiting alcohol that weekend. Once the train came we walked in and one of the security guards stopped me (ONLY ME, though) and asked me if I had any alcohol in my backpack. I denied I had any. He asked if he could check inside my backpack. This time I was like "FUCK!". It is so weird. They actually searched in my bag and did not find my bottle. my backpack wasnt even big...but oh well. It's ironic that the Metra security suspected of my backpack but not the Lollapalooza security. The very next day I woke up with my finger extremely swollen. It was gree, purple, blue and read all over. I just wore a finger brace all sunday and could not make it to Lollapalooza that day. It was sad to miss some of the bands like MGMT. I was dying to see them Overall I guess the alcohol just made more vulnerable and clumsy as to the decisions I made at Lollapalooza and I know for a fact that I will never (if I ever attend Lollapalooza again) sneak in bottle of liquor. And I ask for your forgiveness for doing it that one time. This fan of Lollapalooza will want to return again this year, but I am broke, so hopefully this will be my chance to go again....but there's always next year...and this year's line up excels the one from last year's by a long shot.
With no prior knowledge of Semi Precious Weapons, and no particular desire to get into glam rock, we attended this show because it was in the shade at the BMG stage, and there was nothing else major we wanted to see then. That's what Lolla's about for me - discovering new music. I call myself a closeted glam rock fan now, because their show was so incredibly fun - way better than I expected. Everyone was dancing along and enjoying the music - and then I noticed people down the row from me, with a slightly different view of the stage (we were on the left side and couldn't see very far back onto the far left side of the stange) starting to scream and freak out. The band had mentioned that they toured with Gaga, so I instantly knew what was happening. Gaga came out, and everyone lost their minds. She didn't add much musically to the show, she sang a little and hit a drum, but she brought this energy to the show that was different from what it had already been. I'm not a huge Gaga fan, but there was this sense that at this huge festival, the few of us that were there had an intimate experience with this band, and one of the main headliners - something that would be talked about in Lolla history - and we were in the right place at the right time and got to see it. Also, she was hilariously throwing herself into the crowd, as security would roll their eyes and pull her back out... and she'd just jump back into the crowd. It cracked me up. So while it wasn't the *best* music we saw the whole festival, it was definitely the coolest, most random experience we had that year.
Last year I was lucky enough to win a trip to Lollapalooza sponsored by Spin, and was able to watch The Strokes (my all time favorite band) perform for the first time in America in almost 4 years from the stage. This was without a doubt the greatest moment of my life, and the whole weekend was filled with amazing experiences. After watching the black keys kill it, I got on stage ready to see the strokes. While waiting I noticed that one of my rock heroes, Pat Carney of the black keys was standing right behind me! He was very nice, and it was so cool being able to tell him it was one of his songs that I first learned to play when I got my drum kit. The strokes absolutely took control of the massive crowd, and really left me amazed. The next day was great as well. Seeing and meeting the morning benders and phoenix was insane, and green day also blew my mind (there's a reason why they are tattooed on my shoulder!) Day 3 was also great, seeing some of my favorites like mgmt, and the godlike soundgarden. One of the best moments of the festival came at the very end of the weekend though. Late Sunday night I roamed the streets of Chicago until I made my way to the House of Blues for the Phoenix aftershow. That show was hands down the most fun I have ever had at at concert. The intimacy was great, and the energy in the small venue was contagious! All I can say is thank you so much Perry for allowing me to have this experience last summer, and thanks for saving me a few bucks! I'm a poor college student and I would love to come to this great city again, so I ask you PLEASE send me to LOLLAPALOOZA '11!!!
If I remember correctly, I will try to express it, but forgive me if some of my details are off from this great 2010 Lollapalooza memory. Looking back, all three days were a blur, but this memory was crystal clear. This story goes out to the Lollapaloozians who attend all 3 days from open to close. Usually, at about 5 or 6 o'clock of each day, you will start running into a mental funk. You have seen so many different types of shows that you had spent all summer looking forward to seeing, your mind is naturally starting to slow down. You might find yourself starting to yawn, or you notice how tired your feet are from standing and dancing all day to your favorite music. Ofcourse, there are pick-me-ups you can use to keep yourself going. This could be another cigerette, another tall beer, maybe some delicous food, or maybe other means. Well when this came for me, all I needed was Mutemath. They woke me the F*** up. I had been a fan, I had their albums, but I had yet seem them live. I danced my ass off the whole entire show. All I can remember was their energy, I felt like they were playing their last show they would ever play. I can tell they try to perform that way everytime, but it still amazes me--I wish more bands had that mentality. Paul Meany was screaming into that mic so loud, but yet, he never sounded off key. After every song I turned around to notice how much larger the crowd got, it was as if Meany was calling all Lollapaloozians to come see a real rock show. Darren King's drums, and Roy's bass and the overal unique unique sounds of Mutemath could have done this by itself. Then they got to this finale song which I will never forget, where they broke off into this drum beat. At that point, I don't know what the hell happened, all I know is the band members were switching instruments and at one later point, they all were playing some part of the drum kit in unison. If I remember correctly, King is up ontop of speaker with the bass drum, beating the S*** out of it until he couldn't take it anymore, and kicks the drum off stage like he hates it. At this point, I pull my flask out, look at everyone around me give them the cheers eyes and swig a good one. They finished with one last lil jam and walked off the stage. I was left in absolute happiness, awoken for the remainder of the night, but speechless, or you could say muted.
Lollapalooza showed its willingness to take big risks to please fans in 2010. The consequent decision to include both Green Day (who also performed in the 1994 tour) and pop sensation Lady Gaga – a 2007 Lolla veteran – as headliners was deemed a controversial choice by many at the time. But the festival’s gamble paid off, as her performance ultimately won a mountain of praise and a boatload of buzz.
With a lineup that also showcased rockers The Strokes, indie-ensemble – and 2005 Lolla veterans – Arcade Fire, critical darlings The National, and rappers Cypress Hill, 2010’s Lollapalooza was an smoldering supernova of pop, hip-hop and rock acts. Following in the footsteps of fellow 90s rockers Jane’s Addiction, grunge pioneers Soundgarden became the second band to headline three Lollapaloozas (reprising appearances from 1992 and 1996). Perry’s came into its own, garnering attention for its killer lineup and huge crowds that came to catch bleeding-edge beats from artists like Empire of the Sun, Digitalism, and Kidz in the Hall.
Providing energy for hungry fest-goers, Lollapalooza’s food court, christened ChowTown, was tastefully curated by renowned Chicago chef Graham Elliott, putting affordable, local, and deliciously unique flavors of several of the city’s favorite restaurants in fans’ hands.
Just three years after her performance on one of Lolla’s side stages with her then sidekick Lady Starlight, Lady Gaga rode into Lollapalooza 2010 during the height of her Monster Ball tour as one of the festival’s headliners. She’s come a long way, baby.