Monday, August 6, 2007

The Oldies Still Rock It Out

Our good friend Kegz’s wife and son were out of town for a long weekend, so Kegz has been busy doing whatever he feels like doing and one of the things he really wanted to do was go to Lollapalooza.

Now when you reach a certain age, the appeal of an outdoor concert in the sweltering heat starts to wane. I have been to exactly one Lollapalooza *quavery voice* back in the day. It was the third one I believe and all I can remember about it was that by the time the headliners came on I had a splitting headache and killer sunburn. It was Primus and all that bass pretty much pushed me out into the parking lot.

Since Lolla has come to Chicago to stay, every single year the lineup has gotten more enticing and all those signs on the train stops have been getting in my head man! I have to give it up to Husband, he really encouraged me to go (read: spend money on myself for something fun) and I am so super glad I did!

After a lengthy el ride kegz and I got down there around 4:30pm. I have never been one to show up on game day and buy from a scalper, but luckily I was with a practiced professional and within 20 mins we had 2 3-day passes for $55 apiece. A one day-ticket was $80 at the gate so it was a sweet deal anyway- and even better for Kegz who went back on Sunday.

The whole thing was pretty durn well organized. We had no problems quickly getting beers, food or into the potties at any time. While there were obviously thousands of people there, it never got scary or felt that you couldn’t move and the crowds were generally respectful. Plenty of kids there too, giving us a glimpse of our future…?

All the bands we wanted to see were conveniently located on 2 stages at the Field Museum end of the park (where the Radiohead concert was for those of you for whom that means anything). We got in in the middle of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s set so we decided to just get some beers and a good spot for the Hold Steady. It turned out to be the closest we got to the stage all night. Kegz is a big fan of the Hold Steady and I was glad he shared them with me, they were very inspiring. Definitely a band you look at and think- “How the hell did they get popular?” They are older (maybe older than us even!) and the music is a cross between springsteen, with some AC/DC guitar licks and a front man who talks through the songs and comes off as sort of a rockinelvis Costello. They were obviously having the most awesome time and they were great fun to watch

Then we bounced over to the other stage to stand way back in the pack of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s crowd. I’ve been wanting to see Karen O live ever since Danimal told me about their show at the Metro after the first album came out. I’m sure they’re much more powerful a presence in an intimate venue but between the huge screens and what little I could make out of her prancing around the stage she was still incredible. Whew! Fearless. That’s what I’d say.

Kegz is a Spoon fan, but as he has seen them live many times and he was hungry, we decided to take a dining break during their set. We sat on a hill and watched much of it on the big screen before we headed down to the giant crowd gathering for Muse.

Yes, the big reason I wanted to go was to see MMMMMMMUUUUUUUSE! Live. I had a feeling they would put on a great live show. We still weren’t able to get all that close to the stage which was a bit of a bummer. The music was great, pretty much sounded exactly like it does on the albums : / and I was familiar with the majority of the songs. I was a little disappointed with how “produced” the show was. All the other acts we had seen had cameramen on stage and what you saw on the screens was exactly what was happening live. Muse had the live video footage with all sorts of amazing visual effects on it (Very reminiscent of the Radiohead show as Kegz pointed out). It was cool, but I would have liked to see them stripped down without all the effects. Just to see what kind of energy they put out without all the gimmicks. I imagine if you’re used to playing big arenas that’s the sort of thing you travel around with though…..

If I hadn’t had my Dad in from out of town on Sunday, I probably would have begged to go back and see PB&J (Although I heard they skipped out after 3 songs? Does anyone know what happened?), Yo La Tengo, Modest Mouse, Lupe Fiasco, Kings of Leon etc….but c’est la vie. It was a really great experience and I would definitely consider going back next year. Provided the weather is similar..;)


Pulisha said...

How awesome! It's nice to go do something for yourself every so often. I'm afraid my musical experiences have been limited to Sesame Street Sing Along videos and Kidz Bop 9 as of late *sigh* Hubs actually went to see Ziggy Marley last week. I was supposed to go too, but I was so exhausted I couldn't bear the 1 1/2 hour drive to the OC Fair. :(

Tim said...

Right on Stef, good for you!! Lisa and I would like to head out to Palm Springs next year for brain already hurts!!

alexis said...

sounds like a good weekend

kegz said...

That was a really great time...I enjoyed reading the writeup. I'm really glad you enjoyed The Hold Steady too.

I heard PB&J's sound system broke after 3 songs, hence the abbreviated set. The best parts for me on Sunday were My Morning Jacket and TV on the Radio. Pearl Jam had WAY too many people, and I was so far away it was like watching a video about Pearl Jam on my TV from across the street. I left during "Daughter" but I'm glad I went back on Sunday.

Thanks again for going! (and to John for nudging you to go)