August 6, 2012

Lollapa OH YEAH!

Wow. Just wow.

This past weekend has been something I've been simultaneously in over my head excited for with that tinge of anxiety to top it off. I had never been to Lollapalooza before. I've been enamored with previous line-ups but just never made it happen. Then this year unveiled itself and revealed dozens of marvelous bands that would make their way into Grant Park for the weekend. Florence + The Machine was the real motivation behind the ticket purchase. That, and I was dying to see The Black Keys perform El Camino. There was a slew of other bands that I was extremely stoked to see; Chairlift, Alabama Shakes, Tune-Yards, Polica, Of Monsters & Men, Metric, Passion Pit, RHCP, Little Dragon, etc. I had no idea how this all would unfold as I had never been and also did not seem to have a solid plan in place. As previously stated, I had sprained my foot just two weeks before this weekend. I was so nervous that I would not be able to move on it the way my heart desired- I'm constantly moving, constantly dancing at concerts, I needed my foot to be better and just wasn't sure how it was going to heal up. Luckily, day by day, my foot got a lot better and I knew it would be tolerable for Lolla. However, "tolerable" may be a drastic understatement when I review back to how hard I was dancing on it and how I absolutely threw caution to the wind and would likely have danced on it whether or not it was "tolerable" or not.

When the choice came down to be made, I decided to skip out on Friday night. Why? Because, I have already seen all the bands I was going to see. I had seen Metric twice, The Black Keys twice, and Passion Pit once. Also, I was not going to be going with someone. I would have likely relied on the idea of finding someone, which would really result in my texts getting bounced into "Too many people here! No texts for you!" territory. I just needed one more day, a day where my foot knew the work that laid ahead. Needless to say, this little five-toed marvel healed up quickly and was ready for mild dancing on Saturday. TO THE FESTIVAL WE WENT!


Starting the festival day right. We went to Orange and I got these
beyond phenomenal Rosemary-Orange French toast that was very
worthy of ordering all day, every day. This held me over for a good while.

Me dancing by Perry's before the rest of the day unleashed.  I was revved about being
there once I got in. It was great.

of COURSE we took the photo op! My Lolla companion and a great one at that!
I was so anxious, man! Normally I don't enjoy outdoor shows/festivals because I like the idea of the sound and stage being set up exactly for that band, but mostly the fans. It's always nice when everyone goes to that show because they want to see her or are a fan, not because they got trickled into the crowd. I don't know. So we got in, got a feel for the food that was being offered there as well as the stage layout and tried to muster up a plan. We sat down and enjoyed some music over by Perry's as well as Lobster Corndogs, which was a two-fer all in itself and is exactly what it sounds like. Alabama Shakes & Chairlift were two of the artists that I primarily came for on Saturday. So we move on over and settle in for Chairlift that was supposed to start around 3:30. All of a sudden, someone appears on stage and process to make an announcement that the NWS has predicted a serious storm and they have decided to evacuate the park. Of course, my stubborn ass stayed sat right in the lawn until evacuating became more so something that wasn't a lingering choice anymore. So off we went. 70,000+ of us, under all sorts of magical mind-altering substances down the streets of Chicago, trying to find shelter from this "storm" that none of us could see or look up on radar due to the mass flood of people. Somehow, this irritating factor of missing two of your favourite bands became like this adventure, all of us, united through not just surviving Lolla together, but now weathering this beast of a storm and now roaming the city streets. The energy was electric. As we headed more West, we could see that the threat was rather eminent. It was really, REALLY neat to see this roll through. This was the storm of the summer and it was great to see it progress.

It was light...until it became exceedingly dark...and deadly looking.
Luckily we found this nifty little shelter and hung out here for awhile.
When this was all over we got mocha and cookies.
So obviously everything was okay from then on after.

So then it was time to make our way back after the rain tapered off. So here we are
at the gates hoping re-entry would be sooner than later. Some silly stuff went on here,
a few chants "LET US IN!' erupted. All in all, the energy here was something you could
ball up in your hands and throw around. Very cool for sure. Gates opened about two
hours after they evacuated us. It could have been worse.
It happens now that they let us back in and we head right back over to the stage to see Chairlift, hoping that it would pick up right where it left off. After shuffling around in the crowd, we found out that Chairlift AND Alabama Shakes had been cancelled for the day. Luckily, I've been wanting to see TuNe-YaRdS for quite some time now and they were playing across the way. She was awesome and did all of my favourite tunes. I felt lucky for SURE. Then after that we had no real plan. We ended up catching Skream & Benga & Calvin Harris over on Perry's before we headed out. I was just hoping that the weather was going to hold up for Sunday. It was initially supposed to be nice weather for the weekend.

TuNe-YaRdS performing on Saturday at 5:00pm.

I got this shirt last summer on her Lungs tour and I decided to get a little
fancy with it. It was part of my Sunday Lolla outfit. You best believe that I
wrote 'Florence Forever' on the back of it!
Breakfast. My amazing Chai Tea Latte, my tattoo I drew on
with Sharpies and my 3 Day wristband. Aces.
So I guess I couldn't stray from the whole French toast idea
this whole weekend. It was just the perfect start to the day.
Sugar, carbs, fat, deliciousness...
These are always the best days. AND IT WAS!
So Sunday had a line-up that I thought might be a little slower for me, but it ended up being action-packed. We arrived at 1:00pm to see Poliça, which was set to start around 1:30. I was really stoked to see them after Marc Alghini told me about them some time in May, I believe. Just before Poliça had started, it was beyond lucky when we got the alert that Chairlift would be playing later that day to make up for their cancellation the day before. HOW AMAZING! What great news to get before the start of the show.
We caught their set and decided to head on over to hang out for Little Dragon. There was a real nice patch of shaded area that still gives off a groovy little view. We camped it there until I decided that just sitting there was not an option with that those kind of tunes going down. So up I went and danced in the lawn like a fool while Dan kept it cool in the shade.

Poliça being beyond rad. Love these guys- totally grooved out during this set, too.

You see, the whole day, for me anyway, was based around Florence. So after we saw Little Dragon, we grabbed some grub, hit the baños, and found a spot for Flo once J. Cole's crowd cleared out. Ah, then came the true excitement about Lolla. Once we had a seat in the lawn within 200 ft feet of the stage for Florence, my excitement and just took off. This was my fifth time seeing her. She was the reason I was there. She is my religious experience; I give my mind, body, and soul to her music when it's performed live in front of me and it's the only way I'll take it.

Was so happy to see her Ceremonials stage all set up!

Dan & I waiting for Florence to appear and cast her spell on the crowd.
Okay, I guess I was just waiting for her to do that...

So of course, as usual, Florence owned my soul. She played an amazing set, that I've seen three times, of course, with small variances and no show is ever really the same with Florence Welch and her fantastic machines [oh, how I love them]. The last time I saw her was in Milwaukee at the end of April. I was really anxious for Lolla because I knew that it was going to have a totally different feel to it. I know that she loves festivals and I wanted to see her exude that energy. SHE DID. She did this phenomenal 'Shake It Out' remix that was dance-y and extraordinary and, um 'BREATH OF LIFE'. OMFG. She was just absolutely amazing. SHE BLEW THAT CROWD AWAY. I'm real thankful that Dan decided to skip ATDI to see Florence with me. I think that she made it very worthy of everyone's time. She was so personal with the crowd and seemed so happy. I think that's so beyond. The reviews for her sum it up so perfectly that that is that she "played a head-lining set during the daytime." She really should have been a head-liner. Apparently she had record-breaking attendance, the other person who beat it was RHCP that played the night before. As the crowd was clearing out for Florence, I heard a boy who had just seen her claim that her show may have actually been "better than the Chili Peppers." I think I went up to him and told him I loved him for saying that. It wasn't creepy at all.

So then of course, Florence Day Gods made it work out that all we had to do for Chairlift was turn around and walk another x amount of feet to hear the amazing sounds that fluttered from the stage. I danced like a fool in the lawn until 'I Belong In Your Arms' came on. I could not resist running into the crowd to dance when it came on. Luckily, there were large gaps in the crowd where I had so much room to dance. I danced through every song and loved every second. I was so glad they played Something and then a few oldies. 'Planet Health' was also unexpectedly slipped in. Last time I saw Chairlift was when they opened for Phoenix back at the Aragon. They were great then, but they have really launched to a new level. I always say a [Blondie/Florence] vibe with them when I describe this latest album. Then, since the crowd was rather thin (really) I decided to try my luck on a setlist, because I knew that'd be notch radsticks. MY ATTEMPT WAS GOOD TO ME! Lookie here!

I was so lucky to get this!
So then it was awesome, because as soon as Chairlift was done launching their awesome, we just had to turn around to the same location where Florence had gotten done just an hour before in order to see Justice. I was real interested in seeing that even though I'm not super familiar with his stuff, but I knew I wanted to end my night with bright lights, a lot of bass, dancing, and great company. ACHIEVED! I ran into one of my friends, Rachel which had low odds but great result!

The crowd at Justice on Sunday night at 8:30.
What an awesome picture to close out the weekend with. I had such an amazing
time here and I can't wait to do it again next year. Rachel took this shot :)

All in all, this was who we checked out/saw: TuNe-YaRdS, Skream & Benga, Calvin Harris, Poliça, Little Dragon, J. Cole, Florence + The Machine, Chairlift, Justice. I am absolutely heartbroken that Alabama Shakes wasn't able to re-appear on the bill for Sunday. It is what it is. Here's to next year! Who was your favourite?!


1 comment:

bollykecks said...

This is all really cute. I love the Florence tshirt and what you did with it <3