When Lollapalooza settled in Grant Park in 2005, it was only 2 days. We had a contest where listeners were supposed to join me in the Lolla Lounge. We didn’t even know what the Lolla Lounge was. We were mostly excited about The Pixies reunion. I’ve managed to attend most of the gatherings since then. This year it was a Friday, Saturday and Sunday affair for me.
After a morning broadcast with Mary Dixon at Wrigley Field,
I managed to get to Grant Park in time to catch The Lemon Twigs. Brian D’Addario looks a little like the young Pete Townshend. Shirtless he tore through the set. Enjoyed a startling cover of “Fish and Whistle,” the John Prine classic.
Retreated to the wondrous Lolla Lounge, only to find the one and only Ryan Arnold taking in some of the Phantogram set.
I needed to head north to prepare myself for one of the guaranteed highlights of the weekend. Ryan Adams. Arrived early enough to catch some of twin sisters Tegan and Sara. Sara jumped into the crowd and Tegan said of her sister on the jumbo tron shaking hands, “Sara, you’re looking good today.” And it occurred to me that if a twin is complimenting her sister’s good looks she’s kind of complimenting her own.
Ryan Adams was on my worry list. He had played a two-hour Lolla aftershow Thursday night with the flu. I wondered if he would be able to sing.
His voice was fine. His set was rockin.’ And he thanked the Chicago crowd profusely for their support. Love this guy’s music so much.
The Killers’ new song “The Man” reminded me of how much the groove sounds like Parliament/Funkadelic’s “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker” and managed to get half a dozen people singing “We Got the Funk” in time with the rhythm section.
Worried that the Cubs might not win unless I was in attendance, I started Saturday at Wrigley.
Saturday was about The Head and the Heart and Alt-J. And my first chance to see Chance the Rapper live who drew the biggest crowd of the weekend.
But I needed to depart to catch the Redline to Metro for an Arcade Fire Aftershow. Club was at capacity or maybe, possibly, a little beyond. Yes. It was amazing. The band barely fit on the stage. I’ve been going to Metro since it opened and I believe that was the loudest audience I’ve ever heard at the club. And that’s saying something. Arcade Fire opened with their new single and they ended with John Lennon’s Mind Games.
Because I’m not very smart, I closed the G-man Tavern by having a nightcap and then another strenuously resisting overtures to “do shots of Malort.”
I’ll be honest. Sunday was hard. But I managed to catch Lolla faves The Shins and then a short walk to watch Grouplove. For a band I don’t know all that well, their live set was impressive and they made the high school/college kids jump up and down. Hannah Hooper also sported one of the more memorable outfits of the weekend.
And I ended my weekend with the band that blew me away Saturday, Arcade Fire.
This morning I live to tell the tale.