Monday, August 10, 2009

Lolla Review 2009

Wet, loud, and awesome sum up my experience. While I was a little damp for the first 5 hours of Lolla on Friday, I have to say that it was preferable to the 90+ degrees days of Saturday and Sunday (I was happy to spend those in the AC). Grant Park is quite large so making it from the South End to the North End or vice versa between shows is tough. After my first show, I kept exclusively to the North End.

A quick run down and review of the bands I made it to...

2pm - The Gaslight Anthem: a punk rock/emo band from New Jersey. They put on a good show and the crowd was into it despite the rain; however, I was concerned about making it back to the North End for a 3pm show so I only stayed for about 35 minutes.

3pm - Bon Iver: a indie-folk band from Wisconsin. I was surprised to see the crowd that they were able to draw and they sounded a lot better than I thought they would playing such a large space.

4pm - Ben Folds: does anyone know what happened to the Five? Anyway, Ben drew a large crowd and sounded like... well... Ben Folds. This was purely a function of me being lazy; plus, I had never seen him before. I would not pay to see him again.

5pm - Fleet Foxes: an indie-folk band from Seattle. I aready knew that I liked these guys and they sounded great. BUT I suspect that the large crowd they drew was a function of The Decmeberists playing on the stage kiddie corner from them at 6pm.

6pm - The Decemberists: a rock band from Portland, Oregon. They performed the entire The Hazards of Love album and it rocked. The crowd went bonkers. I was impressed when they had 5 people playing drums during the "The Rake's Song". Great perfomers... I highly suggest you see them if you have not already.

7pm - I ate some pizza and peed in a bush.

8pm - Kings of Leon: a fucking rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. The North End late show was packed. I suspect that the organizers may have underestimated the draw KOL would have... I really believe they should have played the larger Chicago 2016 stage on the South End but Depeche Mode won that battle. Anyway, KOL rocked out and the crowd loved it.

Having attended Day 1 of Lollapalooza, I'd like to make two comments/suggestions that might help Perry Farrell improve the event...

Beer - only one spot serving draft imports and shitty one's at that?! I don't like Stella or Beck's. Otherwise, my options were Bud, Bud Light, or Bud Light Lime... like a homeless person, I drank several 24oz cans of Bud-diesel. Which I guess was fitting since I was wet and dirty. This is Chicago! Where was the Goose Island or Old Style?

Stages - I was really close for both The Decemberists and Fleet Foxes but I struggled to see. I know you want the bands to be close to the crowd but since Grant Park is flat, you need to elevate the bands a little bit so people like me who don't wait in front of a stage for hours watching crappy bands we don't want to see just so we can be in the first 5 rows of people and see the band whose t-shirt we wore (Note: I did not wear the t-shirt of any band to Lolla) can actually see them.

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