Tuesday, August 6, 2013


This weekend, I spent three days in Grant Park at the Lollapalooza music festival. I would have to say it was definitely one of the best weekends of my life. My original plans fell through, but after meeting up with a good friend of mine, I ended up having a blast. This would be a long and boring blog post if I went on and on, so I decided to review each of the bands I saw as well as post some pictures from the highlights. I've never written a music review before, so please go easy on me. 

Day One
The Neighborhood: The lead singer failed at being "gangster" and the bass was way too loud. I knew one song and the vulgar language just turned me off. I was glad for it to be over and to get out of the sweltering heat and beating sun that Petrillo stage offered no relief from. Not the best start to the weekend, but trust me, it got way better.
Crystal Castles: The show began with Alice Glass staggering onto the stage with a bottle of wine in one hand and a cigarette in the other. She began to scream and moan into the microphone while Ethan Kath's more subtle self drummed along to the electronic beat. After the show started, I couldn't keep my eyes off of Alice. She was strangling herself with the microphone cord and jumping into the crowd and falling to the ground. She was crazy cool. The overcast midday sky, however, did not fit the feeling of the show.
Smith Westerns: Despite ten minutes of technical delay, the quartet's retro sound seemed to get the crowd's attention back. I had never listened to the band, but the 70s feel got me hooked, and I really enjoyed the set. 
Lana Del Rey: My ethereal queen rose to the stage in a gorgeous, flowing dress and a [very expected] flower crown. Her voice filled the crowd [who were packed like sardines]. She was absolutely perfect. The crowd, however, was not. I witnessed one asthma attack, two fainters, and a ton of little kids who couldn't breathe because they were too short to get air in the crowd. The teeny-bopping girls in crop tops [aka everyone] sang along and it was truly beautiful. I would pay a ton of money to see her in the flesh again. Her speaking voice was as angelic as her lyrics were genius. 

Day Two
Shovels and Rope: Cary Ann Hearst asks us if we believe in love. A man kneels to the ground and pops the question to his unknowing girlfriend. I cry a little. The show was elevated, and I felt so warm and fuzzy inside. The duo [adorable husband and wife Carrie Ann and Michael Tandem] effortlessly switch from harmonica to guitar to drums to keyboard to tambourines and I was more appreciative of music than I ever had been before.They played as if the had nothing to lose and everything to prove. 
Wild Cub: The Nashville quintet sounded like every other indie-gritty band but a little bit worse. The loud drums and soft singing was really annoying. We left two songs in. 
Ellie Goulding: Ellie's late afternoon set was incredibly crowded, but was fun nevertheless. Her soul/electronica sounding voice loops made me realize how her music could possibly be performed live. Even though the very electronic sound and strangely computerized-sounding drums, Ellie made her music feel human. Especially during "Anything Could Happen," when she belted it out. Ellie can't dance for her life, but it was fun to see her in that element. Setting the Molly-popping, drunk, frat boys aside, we enjoyed her show quite a bit.
Mumford and Sons: After waiting for an hour and befriending the friendly drunks around us, my friend and I had finally gotten pretty close to the stage at Hutchinson Park. They didn't seem like a headlining band, but it was regardless an amazing show. The acapella harmonies and gimmick-free performance made the British folk band seem so incredibly real. I ended up on this guy's shoulders, and seeing Marcus Mumford jamming out from above the crowd was one of the coolest things I've ever done. The two hour show went by quickly, and i was sad it was over. Aside from the noise leak from Perry's DJ, the show was very, very well done.

Day Three
Guards: The New York quintet opened the show with an energizing guitar start that woke everyone up. We were second row, jammed out the whole time. Richie Follin told us about his first concert experience at the 1996 Lollapalooza, and how we were making his dream a reality. At the end of the show, he handed out giant balloons and we discovered what it sounds like when a guitar is rubbed against cymbal. [the result was pretty awesome] 
Jake Bugg:The folky teen started his set the same the way he ended it: with a blank stare and a strong voice. His raw sound rang about, and he seemed to truly play from his soul. He didn't stop his stream of song unless he was switching a guitar, and he seemed to milk every second he had on the Petrillo stage. I only knew a handful of his songs, but I am glad I got a chance to see him. He's one of those performers that I can imagine still sounding the same 20 years from now. 
The Mowgli's: The California band played the smallest stage with the biggest crowd. The eight members sounded like a bunch of cool kids sitting around a campfire as opposed to clashing harmonies, as I expected from a big band. We only stayed for a couple songs [the crowd was ridiculous] but later that night, I called the 800 number listed on their poster. "Are you a Mowgli?" its said. I called, and after a bit of waiting, they answered!!! They asked me if I was at their show, if I played music, and if I had a good time. What an unforgettable experience.
The Vaccines: After waiting for an hour or so, my friend and I were front row to see Justin Young and the Vaccines, our favorite band. We screamed every lyric as they opened with "Blow it Up" and a personal favorite "Teenage Icon." Being so close felt almost unreal, and [almost] making eye contact with Justin Young was a highlight of the weekend. I wish I could see them again and again and again. 
Vampire Weekend: We missed the beginning of the show due to our amazing time at The Vaccines, but when we finally got there, we had the time of our lives. We screamed every word to the lyrics that were dotted with references to the band's posh past [even though they were wearing jeans. jeans.] Donning our super-cute Vampire Weekend tees, we became popular with the crowd, which is always a good time. The band turned the park into a beautiful blue-skied dream with the gorgeous new songs like "Everlasting Arms." 
2 Chainz: We were not present for most of the concert, but we walked into the park as the rapper was playing the wildly inappropriate song "R.I.P." Me and Emma twerked, impressed some other white girls, and left. We had a good time seeing 2 Chainz in the flesh. 

My cute bandeau top turned into a sunburn nightmare. Way. To. Go. 

This end of the park had such an amazing view of the Museum Campus and the city itself. 

Lana Del Rey, walking out onto the stage for the first time. She is the most angelic woman I have ever seen in the flesh. 

Emma and I got Original Rainbow Cone twice. It was layered with chocolate, strawberry, pistachio, cherry, almond, and orange ice cream. I think could eat soley that for the rest of my life.

Mumford and Sons totally rocked it. 

Our giant sunglasses turned us into cute little Lolla bugs. 

The water sold at Lolla was too trendy for me. 

We were thrilled to be at Vampire Weekend. Smiles were had by all in attendance. 

The Vaccines were absolutely incredible. What a fun show.  
Emma and I are cuties. [or self obsessed. One of those two] 

Peace out Lolla, it's been real. 

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