Picking up from where I left off on the first day of Lolla '12, I set off for Saturday in Grant Park preparing for another full day of festivities. I expected navigating through the usual intense heat and debauchery that goes hand-in-hand with the music at the fest, but I didn't anticipate Lollapocalypse.
And by that I mean having to evacuate the grounds, which actually didn't turn out to be that big of a deal. But that's what happened mid-way through day two. As everyone knows by now, the threat of a major storm forced the fest's organizers to temporarily shut things down and make everyone leave, leading to a ton of people milling around aimlessly on and around Michigan Ave. for a while before things got going again after a couple hours.
|Lolla Farmers Market, home of grilled cheese on a stick|
Below is a recap of the music I did decide to experience on Saturday and Sunday.
Delta Spirit, though, offered plenty to get excited about. The San Diego-based band's sweeping, spirited, soulful rock was about as perfectly-suited for a music festival as music can be, and the band were clearly giving it their all. The set fell during probably the most intense, sweat-inducing heat of the entire weekend--which may have stifled some enthusiasm from the crowd--but it didn't seem to restrain lead singer Matthew Vasquez, who belted his vocals like there was no tomorrow and even ran down among the crowd to drench fans with buckets of water.
A bit later, while waiting for Chairlift to begin, I noticed the sky getting dark. I also noticed equipment being cleared from the stage. Uh oh. Not a good sign. Of course, then came the evacuation and the Brooklyn duo's set never got to happen on Saturday, but they didn't fortunately get to make it up on Sunday. The fest opened back up after a couple of hours, but since I wasn't really interested in any of the day's headliners, I took the storm and evacuation as a sign to call it a day.
|Point to Infinity|
A bit later over at the Red Bull Soundstag, it was time to take advantage of some open space on the hill while taking in the sounds of London's Bombay Bicycle Club. The music was a nice-enough soundtrack for relaxing in the sun, but I couldn't help but think I might get a bit bored with it in most other situations; with a couple exceptions, all of the songs were sort of blending together into one pleasant-yet-samey sound.
White Rabbits' songs also mostly blended together into one pleasant-yet-samey sound, although in their case the pleasant was a bit less sweet and a bit more jagged, bringing to mind Spoon's style of indie rock. I actually called them "Spoon without the hooks" at one point, and didn't necessarily mean that as a bad thing--just that the set had a more hypnotic effect than a rousing one.
|Dum Dum Girls|
Over at the Red Bull Soundstage, Iceland's experimental dreamweavers Sigur Rós were doing their best to cancel out the horrible post-rain stench plaguing that muddy area of the grounds. That unpleasantness combined with the hot, bright sun and many audience members more interested in carrying on loud conversations than listening to music, created an entirely inappropriate setting for the band's fragile, complex sound, but still they managed to entrance.
The Gaslight Anthem's revved-up rock was apparently enough to attract throngs of people to the Google Play Stage, or maybe it was simply the fact that the evening was approaching and the masses were flooding into the fest. Either way, it made it almost impossible to move, and while I couldn't make it anywhere close enough to see the band, the few songs that I was able to hear definitely delivered the call-to-arms sound the band excels at.
My personal Lolla '12 experience came to an end soon after that, and now we've all got a year's wait for more, but I'm sure visions of Perry Farrell and his festival of madness will be dancing through our heads again before we know it.
What did you think of this year's fest? Best parts? Worst parts?