Lollapalooza 2011

This was my 3rd trip to Chicago for Lollapalooza in the last 4 years, and by far the best. My brother-in-law and I decided to take the Megabus from Mpls to Chicago this time around. For $26 round trip, it was hard not to pass up. However, 8 hours each way on the bus was not fun, but we managed to keep sane by watching hours of TV on my laptop. We stayed with another brother-in-law which helped make the trip even more inexpensive. So not only was this the most fun Lollapalooza I've attended, but it was also the cheapest!

Friday morning we got up and met everyone downtown for lunch before heading off to Grant Park to meet up with the BIL's friends. Our first stop was The Naked and Famous followed by Delta Spirit. Conveniently all the bands I saw Friday were all on the south end of the park, which saved me a ton of walking and maximized my viewing time. From here, I took a detour from my normal music festival routine.  I sat in the middle of the baseball fields, drank, and listened to Foster the People and then White Lies, until we finished a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of rum. With large beers being $7, this ended up saving me a ton of money. So that was awesome. From here, I/we pretty much camped out at Perry's stage the rest of the night. We caught the end of Feed Me, then saw The Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77 set. Or at least the beginning of it. We managed to work our way a little closer, but the closer you got, the hotter, sweatier and crazier it got. After awhile, we ended up bailing to take a break. We rejoined the tent for Skrillex, which was pretty amazing, although it was now even hotter. During Skrillex's set, I lost the rest of the group, as I tried to make my way as close to the front as I could. I think I made it about 3/4's the way through the set before I decided to bail. Emerging from Perry's completely drenched in sweat, (it looked like I got caught in a downpour) into the daylight, among people that were dry and not dancing, was quiet a shock to the senses. At this point my phone had also died, so there was no way to easily meet up with everyone. Luckily I ran into one of the guys and we headed over to Crystal Castles. Working our way to the front of the crowd I rubbed up against a girl and could hear her say "eeewwwwwww, nasty" or something like that. You do look a little out of place when you're the only one in a crowd that's wet and there isn't a cloud in the sky. I'm not a huge Crystal Castles fan, but they put on one hell of a show. They are probably better suited to play when it's dark, but it was an awesome set nonetheless. Afterwards, the guys and I all headed to the opposite side of the park for Coldplay. But as we arrived at the Bud Light stage, I started to realize, I had no desire to see Coldplay. Even if I'd already seen Girl Talk four times before, a fifth time would be better than Coldplay. So I left the guys and jogged all the way back to the south end, and caught the whole Girl Talk set. I was really glad I did, because it was a typical fun, sweaty, dance-the-whole-time, Girl Talk show. If anything I was wearing was dry, it certainly wasn't now. Easily one of the best times I've had at Lollapalooza. Surprisingly, I found the blue line without getting too lost, and made it home safely that night. I guess when you're BIL tells you that you used the word "awesome" 17 times to describe your day, you must have had a good time. ;)

Saturday started off just as well as Friday. We took the train in, grabbed some lunch and headed into the park. First stop, Phantogram at the Sony stage. I'd never heard these guys before, but I'am glad I saw them. Great set, great music, and will definitely pick up some of their stuff to add to my music library. Plus the lead singer is hot, so they were easy to watch. Pretty much anything that's electronic and up tempo, will easily win me over. :) From here, we headed to Perry's to catch Super Mash Bros. At this point is where I make a terrible decision to join the boys with their money saving drinking. I did enjoy the SMB set, but you can definitely tell they aren't as refined as Girl Talk in the whole mashup game. But I guess that's why they're playing at 2:45 and Girl Talk played at 8:45. We make it through the SMB set, and head off to some shaded grass near the BMI stage to listen to The Chain Gang of 1974 and to finish off the smuggled-in bottles. That little voice in the back of my head is telling me I need to be a little more careful than yesterday, but unfortunately I didn't listen and I went from sober to smashed in no time. The only smart thing I did do, was head straight home to sleep it off. Unfortunately, that meant I missed 6 hours of Saturdays better sets, which was a bit disappointing. I missed Atmosphere, Chuckie, The Glitch Mob, and Pretty Lights. I'm an idiot. Not only that, but I also missed out on a party that night. Again, idiot.

You'd think sleeping from 4PM Saturday until 10:30AM on Sunday, a person would be fine and avoid any possible hangover, but you'd be wrong. I still felt like crap, and ever more like a dumbass. Long story short, I stay home for a little while longer, as everyone else heads off to the park. I finally pull my shit together and get to the park around 4. Just in time for the rain of course. I'm probably there no more than 30 minutes before it starts raining and it proceeds to rain for the next half an hour. From here on out, it really isn't fun. Everything is muddy, and what's not muddy is either wet, or an actual pond. People get stupid and think because they're covered in muck, everyone else should be too. It sucked. We caught a bit of the Arctic Monkeys, and we probably would have seen more, but our choice spot on the hill was ruined because it was right in front of a 50 yard long lake. This drew people to use it as a slip in slide, or a pool, or a way to piss off everyone on the hill. So we headed over to Perry's to watch Modeselektor for a bit. It was at least a little more tame there, people were dancing in the mud, but we're able to restrain themselves from splashing everyone in their wake. We all kind of went our separate ways, me to Deadma5 and everyone else to Foo Fighters. But before we could see our headliners, we first had to rescue a couple of VIPs from getting booted from the park. A small detour later, and back to our respective main stages. Just as I get to the main stage and after inhaling a lobster roll on the way, it starts pouring. I really don't care if I get wet, but I get really paranoid about my iPhone. Those things will die if you sneeze on them wrong. Once the rain passed, I had to hold my iPhone the rest of the night because my shorts were so wet, it would have surely screwed my phone being in my pocket. Deadmau5 put on a pretty awesome show. He played his huge songs, Raise Your Weapon, Ghosts-n-Stuff and Sofi Needs a Ladder. His set was pretty amazing, with the lights and video better than most shows I've seen. Again, the only downside was the mud. Protecting my iPhone from the mud getting splashed and kicked on me, felt like I was saving a kid from a burning building. Once the show ended, I headed out and collected my party and headed home.

Aside from the blackout from Saturday through Sunday and the rain and mud on Sunday, the weekend was pretty awesome. I really can't wait until next year...but first Coachella!

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Girl Talk @ First Ave

Girl Talk was awesome, no surprise.  This was the 4th time I saw Girl Talk live and it was the 2nd of 2 sold-out shows at First Ave.  Again, Eric was my date for the night and we both had a blast.  I have to say this was probably the best show I'd seen of Girl Talk.  The energy and the setting were perfect.  I think he ended up playing at least an hour and a half or more, but we could have stayed a lot longer.  What an awesome show!

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