Tuesday, August 11, 2009

LoLLaPaLooZa: Trying to be Original... Just Like Everybody Else

::: LoLLaPaLooZa :::
130 Bands
3 days

Depeche Mode * Tool * The Killers * Jane's Addiction * Kings of Leon * Yeah Yeah Yeahs * Lou Reed * Ben Harper * Thievery Corporation * Snoop Dogg * Rise Against * Andrew Bird * TV on the Radio * Vampire Weekend * The Decemberists * Neko Case * STS9 * Animal Collective * Band of Horses * Of Montreal * Artick Monkeys * Coheed and Cambria * Ben Folds * Fleet Foxes * Silversun Pickups * Kaiser Chiefs * Crystal Castles * Bon Iver * Santigold * Atmosphere * Dan Auerbach * Cold War Kids * Deerhunter * Lykke Li * Robert Earl Keen * Peter Bjorn and John * Heartless Bastards * Gomez *Glasvegas * Frederico Aubele * Dan Deacon * Passion Pit * Zap Mama * The Raveonettes * The Gaslight Anthem * The Airborne Toxic Event * White Lies * Ra Ra Riot * No Age * Asher Rother * Los Campesinos! * Bat For Lashes * Chairlift * Gan Gang Dance * Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybees * The Virgins * Amazing Baby * Portugal. The Man * The Knux * Ida Maria * Delta Spirit * Friendly Fires * Manchester Orchestra * Constantines * Ezra Furman & The Harpoons * Hockey * Mike Snow * Alberta Cross * Hey Champs * Sam Roberts Band * The Henry Clay People * Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam * Cage the Elephant * Living Things * The Low Anthem * Blind Pilot * Langhorne Slim * Other Lives * The Builders and the Butchers * Eric Church * Joe Pug * Kevin Devine * The Greencards * Carney * Thenewno2 * Gringo Star * Ke$ha * Esser * Priscilla Renea * Dirty Sweet * Mike's Pawn Shop * April Smith * Band of Skulls * Ralph's World * Paul Green's School of Rick * Secret Agent 23 Skidoo * Zach Gill * Lunch Money * Frances England * Peter DiStefano & Tor * Q Brothers * Car Bears of Fire * Yuto Miyazawa * Last Band Standing Remix

This year's LoLLa lineup read like a who's who of up and comings rather than the powerhouse of glory bands it seems to have been in years past, and I couldn't have been more ecstatic. On the whole, it contained more pasty UK dudes than a British soccer match. The North Field corralled the Bearded Masses with Love-in session acts like Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, The Decemberists and Andrew Bird. The Citi Stage was a Pitchfork Addicts wet dream all weekend with acts including The Knux and Amazing Baby on Friday; Chairlift, No Age & Lykki Li on Saturday; and Gang Gang Dance and Deerhunter on Sunday. Can you say hipster heaven? And the South end of Grant Park housed the we're-too-cool-to-admit-we-like-them anti-establishment groups: Depeche Mode, Tool, Ra Ra Riot, Vampire Weekend (admittedly one of my favorites!) Snoop and The Killers (damn, Sunday would have been a good day to go...)

Despite being soaked to the bone 10 minutes after arrival, there are definite benefits to having attended the Friday Festivities:
1) It wasn't 100+ degrees in the shade
2) You don't need a more legitimate reason to skip out of work on a Friday than this
3) The Bands (as a whole) were better Friday than any other day of the weekend
4)Port-a-potties were not yet filled to the brim with three days of urban-hipster poo

We were all cold, soaked and overpaying for cheap, crappy beer. But $2 can koozies made it all seem okay. I learned (among other things) the correct lyrics to every Ben Folds song played. I won bets in line for the port-o-lets, and I bore witness to two of the most awesome trades in human history: (1) Bartering swaths of TP for line jumping priveleges at the port-o-lets. *note The only thing that trumps a swath of bartered TP is the girl at the front of the line who brought her own baby wipes. It was a showdown at high noon, I tell ya. (2) Trading one Werther's Original (noted a fine, fine candy indeed by all parties involved) and two lifesavers mints (pocket lint intact) for a quick pull on a fellow concert-goer's smuggle whiskey.

And now, for your general edification, some Do's and Dont's of LoLLa...
DO: Knee-high Rain Boots, Multi-Colored Chucks, Retro 1980's Shades (preferably the slatted kind), White White Wedding Dresses (if you're a member of The Decemberists otherwise you'd just look silly), Sporting this year's Lolla shirt (apparantly this is one of the few venues where this is generally acceptable practice. Usually you'd receive a beat down, or at least scathing, haughty looks for doing this), Sued Buckskins. Seriously. Or dressing like Pocahontis.

DONT'S: Sundresses, Hemp Sandals, Gladiator Laceups, White T, no Bra (ew. just. ew.), Plaid camp shirts (In this girl's opinion, this look was cool for about 30 seconds, but when you're trying to be original, just like everybody else, it's suddenly trite and overdone), Rompers (Really? REALLY?!! How do you expect to navigate a port-a-potty in that overgrown onsie with a 24oz. beer in one hand and your park map in the other?)

I tease. I kid. But secretly I was in heaven.
I'm already plotting to go all three days next year.
I've started my paper chain countdown, have you?


  1. It was Chicago LoLLa 2008 that provided my good friend KB with her opportunity to hang on with Flea and Anthony Kiedis for soundcheck. She was supposed to be getting the beer tent ready, but pish posh...what's more important? I think I had another comment...guess I'll have to come back as it has escaped from my brain.

  2. I remember now. I was just going to say that I don't even want to think about Sunday port-o-let smells after a day or two of 90+ degrees....gagging just thinking about it.


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