After three days of music, madness, heat, sweat, hurricanes, hail and hot dogs without ketchup, I’m proud to say that I survived Lollapalooza 2012. This year’s Lollapalooza was truly one for the record books. There was an estimate of 100,000 people that came from all over the world to cover Chicago’s Grant Park for each day of the festival.
Friday, August 3, 2012:
The first day of the festival was a major scorcher as the temperature reached up to a high of 95 degrees. Despite all the heat and sweat, the festival started off beautifully. The first act I saw was Barsuk Records’s Yellow Ostrich. During the set, Yellow Osterich’s friend Nate came out on stage to propose to his girlfriend, Stefani, and she said yes! At this point it really hit me that I was in the right industry to help bring this beautiful moment.
Later on as the temperature kept on rising, I was able to catch Dr. Dog, Metric, SBTRKT, Passion Pit, M83, and finally BLACK SABBATH. This was one of the bands that I was especially excited about because they were such a big influence on my youth. When Black Sabbath’s curtain dropped, you could see the Satan-loving, bat-head eating lead singer Ozzy Osbourne standing on stage in his trademark black top and glittering cross screaming “F***in’ A, man! Let me hear you!” Clearly age and all the drugs have not affected his ability to rock a festival.
Saturday, August 4, 2012 (aka Storm-apalooza):
After the first day of heat, music, marriage proposals and the triumphant reunion of Black Sabbath, it was time to take on Day Two of Lollapalooza. I arrived on time to catch Aloe Blacc, who is mostly famous for his single “I Need a Dollar.” After his set at the Red Bull Stage, I went to check out Neon Indian. In the middle of their set, lead singer Alan Palomo informed the audience that they had to cut their set short because the park was being evacuated.
At first, very few people took the evacuation seriously, but when security and police informed the crowd that lightning, thunder and hail were coming, everyone flooded the streets and hotel lobbies of Chicago. I must say that I was very impressed with how well Lollapalooza handled the evacuation of Grant Park. Once the storm passed, everyone was informed that the festival would begin again through the Lollapalooza app and their social media outlets. Thank you technology.
When I arrived back to the festival, I was able to catch Fun., The Weeknd, Red Hot Chili Peppers and our very own Bloc Party, who received a ton of love from the crowd despite the audio problems from the rain. Throw crazy storms and mud dancing at me as much as you like Lollapalooza! Saturday had to be my favorite day of the festival.
Sunday, August 5, 2012:
Unfortunately, all good things must end and Sunday was the last day of Lollapalooza… I arrived on time to catch Sigur Ros at the Red Bull stage. Sigur Ros is an Icelandic band known for their ethereal sound and a frontman who sings with amazing falsetto vocals while playing his guitar with a bow. Their set had to be one of the most anticipated of the weekend and they delivered haunting and mellow tunes that left fans mesmerized and stunned. Make sure to check out their new album, Valtari.
Next, I made my way over to the Bud Light stage all the way at the other end of the park to see Florence + the Machine. Getting anywhere near the stage was nearly impossible as it was overtaken by little girls camped in the front row hoping to receive a look from Ms. Florence Welch. Also in the audience was the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, who was visible from the VIP section. Florence’s voice, immense red dress and band, “The Machine,” completely owned the large outdoor space of Grant Park. Her fans were enchanted and hypnotized by every note and move. At times, she would run on and off stage into the crowd. She was running so fast that her body guard had a hard time just keeping up with her.
As I reluctantly left that amazing performance, I just happened to run into The Orchard’s graphic designer, James Carter. Before I go on, it’s important to say that James was voted Best Dressed at The Orchard’s Holiday party last year. Now that you know that, check this out:
Guess who’s got the most swag now?
I ended the night jumping around to Jack White’s set then a little bit of Kaskade, Childish Gambino (a.k.a. “30 Rock” writer and “Community” star Donald Glover) and closed out with the French electronic duo, Justice. Jack White mixed tunes from his latest solo album, Blunderness, and classics from his other bands, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather. On the other two stages, Justice and Kaskade brought down the house with their dance and house music magic. Gambino and his band ended the festival with an energetic and engaging performance.
Goodbye Lolla… See ya next year! Maybe I’ll fly out to Israel and check out the international scene…