I’m not sure when I got so old that a weekend of loud music and Bud Light tall boys at Lollapalooza turned into needing days – as in more than one, preferably three – of rest just to recover and regain my productivity, but here we are at Tuesday and I’m still not feeling my normal self.
OK, so you guys. This year’s Lollapalooza was a whole bunch of wonderful, despite a more annoying than usual EDM crowd and pouring rain that made tight stage schedules tricky and turned the entire fest into one giant free-for-all mud pit, but instead of giving you a play-by-play, here are six Lolla superlatives that will (fortunately or unfortunately) make you feel like you were right there in the thick of it, mud-wrestling and all.
(If you want to read crazy stories and hear the gross shit Lolla-goers encountered in the pits, check out this pretty nasty Reddit thread.)
1. Best reason to get into the park early: Free Samsung Galaxy tent wristbands
We all know festival sponsors have sweet giveaways and freebies, but Samsung killed it this year with a limited number of VIP-like tent wristbands that afforded lucky wristbanded folks free food, daily prizes (I won a Visa giftcard and a rainbow cone, guys!), free drink tickets, and a covered vantage point next to the Samsung Galaxy stage, which was OH SO HEAVENLY during the pouring rain and subsequent sun-storm that fittingly materialized during the Avett Brothers’ set.
James snapped this picture of a couple slow-dancing in mud to “I and Love and You,” which is such romance.
It should also be noted that I was introduced to my new favorite summertime cocktail in the Sumsung Galaxy tent, which is basically the easiest and most delicious thing you could ever consume and should be shared with a group of friends immediately:
2. Worst place to be, rain or shine: At or around Perry’s stage
High-waisted denim diapers everywhere. Teenyboppers with braces barfing in the streets by early afternoon. Sound quality that did sorta-tolerable ladyrappers zero justice. People rudely peeing in the mud because Port-a-Potty lines were too long for their liking. Welcome to Perry’s, boys and girls, which is the most gorgeous stage set up with the most depraved, too-young-to-drink-but-holy-shit-where-did-they-get-those-hardcore-drugs crowd.
James and I scoped out Iggy Azalea’s set on Friday, only to be so turned off by the wickedness of today’s youth (and that awful bass-heavy sound quality) that we vowed to never return. Except I did try again in hopes to get a glimpse of Flosstradamus’ set, and oh boy, do I have all the regrets.
3. Steamiest Lolla aftershow (interpret that how you will): Run the Jewels at Double Door
Despite the fact that I can’t write a music review to save my life, I love hip-hop and I absolutely love yammering on about it, which is probably why – if you’ve ever met me – I’ve likely talked your ear off about Run the Jewels. In fact, you should stop reading now and click here to download their first EP for FREE.
I was lucky (and determined) enough to get in the front row of their set at Lolla, and while it was an excellent throwdown, it didn’t compare to their more intimate, fan-heavy show at Double Door in Wicker Park the night before.
Killer Mike looked at me and smiled when I scream-sang words to him. It was a billion degrees in the venue and I accidentally spilled an entire PBR tall boy all over myself and everyone around me because I was so excited AND NOBODY EVEN CARED. I had to chug four huge glasses of water the second I got home because the hot venue and crazy show left me dehydrated and exhausted, and I could barely walk the next day.
4. Best local vendor I discovered and screamed about all weekend: Laine Too Temporary Body Art
OK, so Laine Too was another Samsung-sponsored freebie, but I learned that the temporary glitter tattoo company is local and owner Melanie Rubin is an incredibly busy gal. She and her team designed and applied temporary body art on hundreds of people at Lolla, and our tattoos were guaranteed to outlast the mosh pits and inclement weather for up to two weeks.
I’ve got to say, mine looks just as good – and just as glittery, which is kind of crazypants – as it was when I got it. Waiting in line for almost an hour and missing out on my preferred opener was worth it.
5. Best investment, hands down: Portable phone charger. Seriously, you guys, GET ONE.
I know I went into great detail about why everybody needs to get a fanny pack – and I stand by that sentiment – but you need to add a portable phone charger to that list, too. James has this exact myCharge model that works for both his Android and my iPhone, fits perfectly in my belt satchel all weekend, and saved my booty after I drained my battery taking crappy pictures and trying (unsuccessfully) to get texts to go through.
Huge lifesaver, you guys. Only downside is that you must remember to charge it in addition to your phone at the end of the night, which, after drinking those Bud Light tall boys and sitting in the sun for 12 hours, is easier said than done.
6. Coolest Lolla outcome: We made it in Monday’s Chicago Tribune!
Not only did James get approached by someone asking if he’s the lead singer of Manchester Orchestra (he’s not), he also got approached by a reporter because he looked older and wiser and more music-minded than the typical Lolla attendee, which we learned is just 24 years old.
OK, so we were both misquoted, the photo is taken from the devil’s angle, and I was dressed like a Claudia Kishi wannabe (I went straight to the fest from work on Friday, so I felt like a an over-sized vintage men’s shirt and those elastic-waist floral shorts were apropos), but we had a nice little chat with the reporter as we listened to Blood Orange, and the article clipping will be a nice addition to the gallery wall in our dining room.
All in all, a pretty kick-ass weekend. Here’s to a month of rest before we do it all over again at Riot Fest (with a friend’s wedding thrown in the middle of it for good measure).
Anybody out there go to Lollapalooza this year, and did you wear a fanny pack? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
And just in case you’re interested, here’s the list of artists I saw (or made a point to sincerely listen to as I rushed along the one-mile festival stretch) this weekend. My favorites are bolded, despite the reviews that Greg Kot and the gang may have given them.
J. Roddy Walston & The Business
The Temper Trap
Rich Homie Quan
Foster the People
The Head and the Heart
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Run the Jewels
The Avett Brothers
Young the Giant
Kings of Leon
Chance the Rapper