The best thing about Lollapalooza this year is that we were staying at a friend’s condo on N. Harbor, maybe a block away from Grant Park. Yup, no cabs, no public transportation, no driving — no parking fees, either, since my friend hooked us up with a spot after the first day. (Thanks Meredith!)
So on Saturday we got to Grant Park early enough to see Matt & Kim, the drum and keys duo from Brooklyn who seemed really grateful to be there. It was the only overcast day as well — which was perfect because I was tired of sweating buckets.
Then I finally caught Tokyo Police Club, who played the main stage (!) at 1-ish. I missed the underage Canadians when they opened for Cold War Kids last winter, and their performance was … underwhelming. I mean, maybe milky white skin does it for other people, I dunno. But I think underwhelming is something I’m going to use to describe a lot of bands.
We watched Pete Yorn, then Stephen Marley (mostly because I’ve always wanted to see a Marley — any Marley!– perform). And while he wasn’t underwhelming at all (it was a good show, with good vibes all around), it wasn’t what I was waiting for.
I then headed over to what was supposed to be the stage du jour: the Citi stage, where Cold War Kids and CSS were performing in succession. It was both the highlight and biggest disappointment of the day. Cold War Kids’ sound had matured to a highly cohesive sophisticated show (I used to watch them at our neighborhood bar in Orange County), and it was amazing to see that side tent so crowded. But CSS, the main reason I was even at Lollapalooza, cancelled.
One thing about Lollapalooza that was a bit of a turn-off were the sponsored stages: there was the Bud Light stage, the Adidas stage, the AT&T stage–kind of like at Summerfest. The only difference (which ideologically didn’t make any sense except it may have made the organizers feel better) was that these companies’ logos were incorporated into the Lollapalooza design.
I heard that Eddie Vedder was supposed to play at the Kidsapalooza tent, but at the last minute there were too many people around, so the dude from My Morning Jacket played. He did, however, play with Ben Harper on Friday.
So basically because I had nothing else to look forward to other than the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I hung out at the media tent for a while, where I saw Patti Smith, Daniel Kessler and Carlos D. from Interpol, and not the Roots MC as I previously thought, but Rhymefest (thanks, Dwellephant!).
I lined up for about 45 minutes to take photos of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the main stage.
Karen O is still ridiculously amazing and hot, but with all my camera gear I couldn’t mosh in the pit like I used to at previous YYYs shows. (Note: YYYs mosh pits are the safest I’ve ever been in — especially for girls!) They played a bunch of new songs but still did crowd faves like “Pin” and “Maps” and “Y Control.”
I’m not a Muse fan, and I just saw Interpol this week. And by then, it was already drizzling. So while I could’ve stayed in a tent in the press area, I ventured forth in the name of journalistic integrity to photograph Muse.
Incidentally, I never got into Muse because all the Radiohead comparisons turn me off. How can any band in the world compare to my beloved Radiohead? But three songs into their set I started thinking of how similar their light show was to Radiohead’s. And that Matt Bellamy really channeled that Thom Yorke spirit onstage. And that, whoa, I couldnt’ bear to listen to another minute of thier set.
So we ran all the way to the other end of the park to watch Interpol and sing along to every single song they played in the rain. And that was still the best way to end the day.
— Text and photos by Lilledeshan Bose