Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ten things I learned at Lollapalooza

After three sold out days, the most hyped and crowded Lollapalooza since the festival moved into Chicago in 2005 is over. With a whole year to wait until the next one, it's a bit too early to begin speculating about what's in store for '09. In the meantime, here are 10 things I learned at Lolla '08:

1. As it turns out, the Universe doesn't require every second during Lollapalooza's run to be mind-numbingly hot. Sure, it had its sweltering moments, but for at least part of the fest the weather couldn't have been more beautiful. It had to happen eventually.

2. There's no shortage of idiotic behavior in the world, and a good portion of it was present during Rage Against the Machine's set. See here for more details.

3. You never know who's going to take the leap into the wacky world of children's music. This was evidenced by The Get Up Kids frontman Matt Pryor performing at Kidzapalooa with his kid-friendly band The Terrible Twos. Material covered important issues affecting today's young'uns, such as only wanting to eat food that's bad for your tummy ("Pizza & Chocolate Milk").

4. Lupe Fiasco is pretty awesome, even if you're not into hip-hop.

5. Lolla's bringin' the twang. As I walked through the park Saturday afternoon and heard the sounds of country music I momentarily thought I was hallucinating. Then I realized that unlike usual, it wasn't nearly hot enough for that. It was actually country artist Dierks Bentley playing. Did I miss it in past years, or was this the first time the fest has been countrified (if only for an hour)?

6. More people are smoking pot, or at least bringing it to music festivals. I think I still have a second hand high.

7. Some performers don't know when to end a song. Jamie Lidell, for example. Although the British soul singer has an excellent voice, some of his electro-tinged tunes lasted so long that I could have walked to the opposite end of the park and back before they were over.

8. The Flaming Lips put out a movie. It's called "Christmas on Mars" and - surprise, surprise - it's about space. It was being screened in a spaceship-like apparatus. I halfway expected Perry Farrell to emerge and ask to be taken to my leader.

9. The fest is still plagued by the problem of sound from one stage bleeding into another's. With so much music in one area it's an understandable issue, but must be nerve-racking for the bands. Listening to Booka Shade meshed with MGMT seemed like the soundtrack to some bizarre nightmare.

10. If you put up a store that boldly says "Obama" and sells various Obama-themed merchandise in a huge festival, people will flock to it. But it still won't make Obama appear to introduce a headliner.

1 comment:

  1. Lollapalooza is always a great time! Lupe must have put on a great performance.