Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lollapalooza weekend 2011 : Thoughts, aftershows, and too much standing...

Oh, Lollapalooza weekend. You bring thousands of people from all the around the world to herd around our fine city, our smaller venues, restaurants, and aleys. Truly staggering in scope, Lollapalooza is a bastard behemoth of a festival.

We lined up with some swell folks (like lost in concert) to film interviews all weekend. Reptar, Fitz and the Tantrums, Naked and Famous, Slug from Atmosphere, a last minute interview with the wonderful Grace Potter. I snagged the wonderfully nice Joy Formidable by myself last minute on Sunday. It was a weird-lovers festival.

The rain, the mud-pits, beer, unknown fluids, ridiculous amounts of degenerates. Somehow, between interview shoots, I saw great sets by Phantogram, DFA1979. Girl Talk brought some heat to the Perry's tent, but I dared not get up front in such a shit-show. Met a slew of very wonderful people. Walked way too much . Drank way too much. Caught a good Black Lips set at the tiny Empty Bottle, a better set from Titus Andronicus at Reggie's, and probably the best (and surprising) aftershow was the Joy Formidable. I was unfamiliar with their songs, but shot the show for an Indiegogo perk for Micha Ward. Sheer energy! One of the best performances I've seen lately. It made it that much more fun to grab 'em for an interview a few days later.

Let it be known that the front-woman of Joy Formidable was the only one to do a gonzo-style off schedule interview. They were really swell. Did we mention how amazing that Double Door show was? No? Well, we have photos. I'll get to this in a little bit.

Fitz and the Tantrums were great storytellers, saying that George Lopez has the best green room. Conan supposedly has a massage chair that everyone fights over. Chain Gang of 1974's Kamtin Mohager was ridiculously generous with his time. I saw him often, and then finally, on day three when he was in the middle of the herd, frustrated by his cellphone performance. The boys in J. Roddy were hilarious. You will like this footage. The press area was well ran, relaxed and flowed well over the weekend. That fried chicken was the jam. Sunday was a little squishy, but a classic end to the weekend, really.

All in all, on it's 20th anniversary, in what some say was a very mediocre lineup...it was a better Lollapalooza weekend than I can ever remember. Maybe it was the beer, or the fact that i left with two pairs of jeans that are better than anything I will ever purchase anytime soon (thanks Lucky Jean co). Any time you walk two miles, over and over again for three days, you're going to be exhausted. This was a surprisingly relaxed, cool (in comparison), and (mostly) dry weekend in the park, and Chicago's smaller spaces.

Stick around.

Photos :


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