Lollapalooza Day 1 > was insanity to the max. Unbelievably brilliant. I might still be on the festival high but I'm pretty much never going to miss this event as long as it's around. The past 3 days were surreal. Please allow me to break down what I can recall while it's still fresh in my hungover dome piece along with some pics [a limited amount and no video yet; I'm way too exhausted for the task of that kind of editing - more photo and footage to follow later. Pinky swear].
The walk from Marriott to Grant Park was enhanced with 2 liters of home made Mimosas. We walked in with just a few minutes to spare before The Naked and Famous started their set [we were tardy, blame the beer tent]. They were superb. They closed it out with 'Young Blood' and people started fainting. Okay maybe just one person...who happened to be about 15 and wearing skinny jeans on one of the hottest days of summer here and was, according to his by-standing friends, dehydrated and 'just way too high'. Sorry, just trying to add a little dramatic effect but they really did kick it off nicely for us.
We opted out of a beer refill to get better position for Foster the People who played on the same Sony stage 45 minutes later. The sound was great and the energy was too. I was sweating like I'd been 10 minutes deep into Bikram Yoga class but I didn't care. Foster the Peeps frontman Mark Foster didn't either. The white button-up he was donning was soaked early on as if he came from a wet t-shirt contest he entered in Mexico. But he rocked it hard the whole time. 'Hustling' and the obvious crowd fav 'Pumped Up Kicks' did it for me. I like this band 10 times more now.
Beer/potty break time. Pretty reasonable lines on Friday averaging about 2 and 4 heads long, respectively. Not that there weren't a lot of people [this was a massive crowd] but the event was planned proper and concert etiquette seemed to be highly regarded [I'm working on a post dedicated to concert etiquette that I plan on prioritizing after encountering some cardinal sins this weekend so please be on the lookout].
We made our way to the Bud Light stage for The Kills. For the front half of the set I hung back at the lawn where most people were sitting so I could eat a Ron Jeremy sized bratwurst and encourage my legs to be strong. There would be no more sitting as the aggressive festival maneuvering would begin shortly. I moved up front for the back half of The Kills. They killed it. Indie garage noise triumphed.
Next up was A Perfect Circle at the Music Unlimited stage on the opposite end of the park literally a mile away. We got there just in time to hear Maynard covering 'Imagine' by John Lennon. A nice opener. In pretty good position stage left and 50 feet back I noticed a familiar face on guitar. It was James Iha from Smashing Pumpkins. I never knew he was in the band too. Obviously I don't follow this supergroup that closely. Maynard is a weird dude. I've never seen a frontman sing from the back of the stage and on the side. His strange body movements and crazy facial expressions really tripped me out. I had to leave. The band is really talented but I just wasn't feeling that type of music at that point in time. I needed to move. I needed to dance.
A mad dash to the Perry's tent for the last 20 minutes of Skrillex and first 20 of Afrojack. Great decision. Nailed it. They did too. They were electric. Most of the Lollapalooza's electronic acts went down in the Perry's tent. Lots of BPM and booming bass were pretty standard in the Perry's tent. Lots of sweaty adolescents with dilated pupils were also standard.
Back over to the Sony stage for Crystal Castles, one of the bands I was most eager to see this weekend. They didn't disappoint. The duo mixed a ton of the old stuff with the new and had us spectators dancing our asses off. I might love Alice Glass, even more than before. Experiencing her synthetically manipulated and emotional charged vocals firsthand brought my fascination to an entirely new level. I loved it when Ethan hit the kill switch and left 'Celestica' up to her. She was all over the place dancing, convulsing and even making her way into the crowd. I used to like the Robert Smith version of 'Not in Love' better than the album version but now I think I'm back to Alice. I really cannot wait to see Crystal Castles again. It might warrant a road trip.
Muse started right on time immediately after back at the Music Unlimited stage. I've never seen such a crazily engaged army of rockers like the one I enlisted in during their performance of 'Uprising'. They had the lyrics dancing on each screen during the hook and the crowd chanted them in unison at surreal decibels. The graphics and lighting were the most superb I've ever seen at a live show. Some of the best live performance DVD's I've seen even rival what I saw in real time so kudos to the man behind that. I jetted after the first 45 minutes to check back into Perry's so I think I missed one of my favorite tracks from The Resistance, 'Undisclosed Desires' [I'm pretty sure they got to that one].
I didn't want to leave but I knew Girl Talk had to be going off back at the tent and he was in a major way. Standard Girl Talk. The Perry's tent was bouncing at it's hardest all day. He spun it out of control with some old school with some new illness. When we made our way inside he dropped Three 6 Mafia 'Stay Fly' over Daft Punk 'Around the World' then followed with D-12 'Purple Pills' vs. Katy Perry 'Last Friday Night'. He really has a way of reviving tracks that seemingly head toward the vault and in such intricate fashion. It's a tough call but this set was better than the last time I saw him live. He did set it off at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe but he used an extraordinary energy and fed himself phat off of it.
When Girl Talk wrapped up there were still about 15 minutes left of Muse so we moseyed back yonder to the main stage. We only made it as far as the back of the crowd's thickness before we decided that muscling through the resistance again would be too tall an order. It was a spectacular sight though. Seeing the crowd we were in just an hour earlier from just outside it made me realize just what an event it was. Everyone immersed in what was ensuing had been brought together for a shared passion for music. Live music. Real music. Performed art that is unique to that point in time and to each ear of the beholder. It was a great end to a day at arguably the best festival in the country and it was only the end of day 1.
To be continued...