What the hell are you still doing here?
Apparently, I can't even be bothered to upload my pictures from Lollapalooza, much less finish recapping it. Will I go in 2009? THE ANSWER IS AW HELL NO!!@@!
I'll put up any ATP pics over where I'm creating my new web identity, http://rockaction.tumblr.com/. With apologies to Mogwai. Update your bookmarks or blogrolls, or start your own tumblelog and follow me.
Saturday morning at Lollapalooza started off unexpectedly great - Bob was gone when I woke up, and we arranged to meet for The Ting Tings at 12:45. Rob had no interest in going until DeVotchKa at 3:30, so I set off to get coffee and wander around a bit. Due to time zones or my own built in confusion, I wound up at the gates about an hour earlier than I had planned - 11:15, and there was NO line (!?!!???) so I walked right in again.
There were rumors about Obama being there all weekend, and one look at the event security and anyone could tell he wasn't setting foot near that place.
With no plans, I wound up at Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, which I had no desire to sit through AT ALL, but OH MY GOD - HOW did I miss them? I heard a few tracks during the initial blog buzz wave and didn't care, but they were enthralling live. What if Belle and Sebastian were just a little less twee? Just a little?
Margot and the Nuclear So and So's
I wasn't sure what to expect out of The Ting Tings - My original plan was to check out Does It Offend You, Yeah, but it was 50/50 either was so I found Bob by the soundboard, barely. The Ting Tings turned out to be awesome. They played Great Scott in Allston, a tiny bar, a few months ago and I didn't go - now they were easily playing to 5000 people, each one jumping up and down all happy.
The Ting Tings
Can I tell you how awesome Saturday already was compared to Friday? The weather was awesome, the crowds manageable, I was 2 for 2 with awesome bands, and took my favorite picture of the day:
Katie White, The Ting Tings
Of the screen, I know, but I love it.
I took some shade for a bit during Dr. Dog (it was pretty horrid, from a distance at least) and was able to make my way pretty close up for The Gutter Twins.
I need to make a brief disclaimer here - Greg Dulli? He could totally be my alcoholic boyfriend. Ever since the opening strains of The Afghan Whigs' "Gentlemen", he's owned me. I'd let him hit me, no question, just like those ladies on the talk shows. Rob seemed a little upset by that, and I told him he should be.
30 seconds into The Station, I just started crying, and didn't stop for the next 30 minutes. Each new song brought a new wave of tears, mostly sad, but there was a little bit of teen idolatry going on too. Mark Lanegan stood like a wax statue never moving. Greg Dulli, bloated, ill fitting suit, possibly a bad hairpiece, wandered around stage a bit more.
Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan, The Gutter Twins
My only complaint was that they only played for 45 minutes instead of their scheduled hour. Critics seemed divided, saying it didn't work in the daylight, or that they were able to bring 3AM to a sunny field. All I know is I don't think I could handle it emotionally when they return to Boston this fall for a show at the Paradise, and probably won't go. Because I might be inappropriate.
After The Go! Team, Rob went back to the condo and I made the trek back south for Gogol Bordello. Did I mention it was hot? The high temperature for the day was 87F, which doesn't seem that hot, but there was no breeze and it was really humid. And crowded. Freaking crowded. Last year peaked on Sunday with 60K people for Pearl Jam. Radiohead had sold out this first day, with 75K people, which was way too many for the venue. Already at 3:30, crossing the park was miserable.
I don't know much about Gogol Bordello - I remember seeing them on The Henry Rollins Show one week and they were pretty good. Definitely better than Duffy, who I had originally planned on seeing, but the more I listened to in the weeks leading up to Lollapalooza, the more I got real tired of her. Gypsy punks for the win! Sort of.
That's me hiding from the sun. I stood and watched Gogol Bordello, and it was good, but four days later, I can't remember a thing about their set. All I remember is that around 5PM the sun went behind a cloud for the first time all day, for about 15 seconds, and people cheered that.
The plan from there was to meet up with Bob for Grizzly Bear, but there was some mis-communication and he wound up at Bloc Party. I had chicken on a stick (the food was excellent again this year - I know, excellent festival food?) and made it to Grizzly Bear and had the same experience as Gogol Bordello. I was there, I know I enjoyed it, but couldn't tell you why.
Grizzly Bear (nice shorts, Ed!)
Bloc Party bled through for most of the set, and that sounded good too. Unfortunately, there was a LOT of sound bleed between stages this year, more than I remember from last year.
Rob and I had arranged to meet for CSS, and while the sun had finally started to fall behind the skyline, I was still wiped out from the day. CSS are a party band and I couldn't move. After 4 or 5 songs we decided to just sit down in the shade. What I saw was pretty good, it's too bad the circumstances were so awful.
Off to the big event, Radiohead. My first regret of the weekend was that I missed Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. I caught the last 10 minutes and it sounded great.
Rob and I were able to get, well, not very close at all for Radiohead (Scott's review is pretty dead on - I love his account of the kids across the street from the festival). For the past 9 hours people had been pouring into the field, staking out their claim.
The show was pretty much exactly what you would expect. There were fancy, arts lights, they played In Rainbows and some other songs, and a good time was had by all. About the only thing that surprised me was as The Bends came to a close, fireworks began off to the left, over the Art Institute of Chicago. Through Everything In It's Right Place, and damn near choreographed through Fake Plastic Trees.
Radiohead (the bright green light off in the distance)
I had to pee, so we pretty much left to beat the crowds and go have real food during Dollars and Cents, missing the last four songs, including Optimistic, but that's OK. Before Radiohead went on I went to put contact lens re-wetting drops in my eyes, and it burned because I had actually packed ear medicine by mistake and dropped that in instead. 11 hours without running water and a contact lens in desperate need of a rinsing meant that missing some of an average Radiohead performance from a mile away wasn't that awful, actually.
SO how was Lollapalooza 2008? It more like something to endure instead of something to enjoy.
We arrived at the gates about 10:45 to find the line was already stretched for blocks. It was already hot and humid, and apparently sold out for Friday.
We scarily breezed through security (seriously, I totally could have brought my knives out) and headed over to Bang Camaro.
Bang Camaro are kind of like The Polyphonic Spree. Only heavy metal. And from Boston. Bang Camaro were something to do while waiting for Holy Fuck.
Holy Fuck were a last minute addition when Noah and the Whale canceled, and an A++ addition at that! I enjoyed their set very much. Sadly, it was so hot the umbrella I had brought for the possibility of thunderstorms turned into a parasol - it actually helped and worked really well. We looked stupid, but weren't alone in the idea either. I mostly felt like the goth girl at the Menses Fair in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
We took our time walking in the shade the 10 blocks across the park to The Go! Team. One of my favorite pictures in the world that I've taken is of Ninja from their 2006 Coachella performance. I feel like this year I actually fucking equalled that:
The Go! Team
It's a shot of the video screen, I know. I was not front and center because I was melting. Rob didn't make it through the set, he went off for shade after 30 minutes. As awesome as they were, I just couldn't muster the energy to move.
Last year I broke up these posts after every three bands to keep them from getting too massive. So far we've covered the heat, the complete lack of security, that I need to buy some Holy Fuck records and that I still love The Go! Team.
Lollapalooza is over and you know what? I'm not too sure I'll be back. As awesome as last year was, this year was - well, it had some pretty awful moments.
I think next year the headliners should be Morrissey, Belle and Sebastian and Bright Eyes. No 75,000 people Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box. No Raging against the Machine.
More this week.