Lollapalooza Day 3 (and overall) Recap

Let’s start off with a quick recap of our Sunday:

8:00 am – I wake up. I don’t know why, since it’s still early. But, I’m up.

10:30 am – Check out of the hotel. Didn’t get charged for the two days of in-room internet usage. Combine that with the extra bottle of water from the vending machine last night, and we just got an unexpected $22 discount at the Doubletree! We’re on our way to Evanston for brunch with Kelley’s friend Margaret and her husband Andy.

11:00 – 12:45 – Brunch at the Lucky Platter. Wow, this was SOOOO much better than our breakfast at Panera on Saturday. Margaret and Andy are super nice — here’s hoping they sell that house in Northbrook and move to SE Wisconsin soon.

1:00 – 2:00: Train to downtown. The train is packed with festival-goers, so it unexpectedly turns into an Express train. Sweet!

2:15 – 3:15: Brazilian Girls
This was a Kelley pick and a band that is definitely more electronic-ey than I typically go for, but they were a great kickoff to the day. It’s hot again, but still not as bad as Friday. I’m tired, so I spend about 15 minutes of this set laying down, resting my eyes, and chillin’ to the beat.

3:30 – 3:50: Black Kids
I was really looking forward to this new band after hearing their catchy “I’m not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance with you” tune all year. However, I left disappointed. Not sure if it’s the outdoor setting, or just an un-readiness for the festival scene, but they didn’t sound like anything special. So, we decided to head north to the Iron & Wine show. On the way, we walked by the Kidz stage where Perry Farrell was singin’ some Jane’s Addiction tunes (I found out later that he was up there with Slash — that explains the capacity crowd there). On the way, we make a stop at the merchandise tent so I can pick up my 2008 official Lolla shirt. It’s a long sleeve number, so it might be a few weeks before I wear it to work.

4:15 – 5:00: Iron & Wine
This was simply a pleasant show. Perfect sound for all of Sam Beam’s mellow tunes. This is turning into a pretty mellow day. And honestly, I think the crowd might have a little Lolla-hangover. We head off to the food stand for a little dinner.

5:15 – 6:15: Flogging Molly
After dinner, we walk back to see Flogging Molly. Whoa, capacity crowd over here, at least on the walkways. Despite the slow-moving walk to find an open grass spot though, the crowd is incredibly friendly. This would not be nearly as pleasant an experience at Summerfest. Flogging Molly put on a raucous, rockin’ set. They had the crowd jumping and clapping throughout. Not to mention the mosh pit that appeared to take form up near the stage. Great show.

6:30 – We decide to say goodbye to Lolla ’08. Tough decision to leave early, but we’ve already seen The National and Gnarls Barkley, Mark Ronson, Kanye West and NIN were simply not attractive enough to us to outweight the opportunity to return to MKE at a reasonable hour. So, we hit the road. On the train, we are entertained by the drunk kid. From the Howard stop, we head to the highway, and wow, did we make great time. There were no delays whatsoever on our ride out of Chicago or into Wisconsin. Heck, we even discovered a newly opened ramp connecting northbound 94 to westbound 94. This has truly been a weekend of painless commuting.

So, Lollapalooza 2008 has come to an end. A few quick overall thoughts:

Top 5 Bands (in no particular order)

  • Gogol Bordello
  • The Ting Tings
  • Wilco
  • Broken Social Scene
  • Yeasayer

(yep, my faves were all on Friday and Saturday)

3 Most Disappointing shows (that we saw, again, no particular order)

  • The Kills
  • MGMT
  • Black Kids

(one per day — not bad, not bad at all)

5 Bands that Warrant Further Inspection

  • The Enemy UK
  • Dr. Dog
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • Serena Ryder
  • Amadou & Miriam

5 non-Music Highlights from the weekend

  • The weather. Especially Saturday, but all weekend long, it was awesome.
  • The crowd. The fest was sold out all three days, and while there were certainly a lot of people, it never felt unsafe or unruly. Seriously, it’s night-and-day from Summerfest.
  • The prices. I never felt like I was getting raked over the coals at any point. Nice work Lolla.
  • Getting offered weed. I didn’t accept, but it makes me feel like I look cool because I had it offered to me not once, but twice.
  • Our logistics. Staying in Skokie was way cheaper than staying downtown. Training in and back each day was painless. Our drive home was smooth.

3 Non-Music Lowlights

  • The sound bleed from the side stages to the main stages. This was a big complaint from the 2007 Lolla-goers, and it doesn’t appear to have been resolved very well. Hopefully they can think about this a little more before next year.
  • The lack of fruit availability. Sure, there were $3 watermelon slices, but where was the fruit cup? Or apples? Anything to complement the meat and fried food.
  • The lack of a quality signal from AT&T at a festival that they are a lead sponsor of. How they were OK with no 3G signal throughout the park is beyond me.

As for what others are saying, here we go with a bunch of links:

The Chicago Tribune recaps Day 3
Only 14 arrests at the fest in 3 days — not bad, not bad at all
Snapshots from Lolla

Setlists from some of the main stage bands

From Pitchfork: Saturday reports from Amy, Matthew and Joshua. Sunday reports from Scott, Amy, Matthew and Joshua

Brooklyn Vegan has photos from the Nine Inch Nails, Cat Power, CSS, Kanye West, Bloc Party, Rage Against the Machine

Stereogum has photos from Saturday and Sunday

That’s all for now — can’t wait for Lolla 2009!!!

One thought on “Lollapalooza Day 3 (and overall) Recap

  1. One of the best recaps I have seen for the festival. Great job Paul. Looks like you just missed the deluge there. Wow what a storm. Of course, I bet the show would have continued even in the muck!

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