Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Lolla Part 2 / Late Night Ramblings

Day 1.

Saturday morning. Up at 8:00 AM. Had a nice sized breakfast, did not drink coffee, went to the store for water and other important items, showered, and left the apartment by 10:15 to meet Amy at the train. Made it to Grant Park around 11:00 to stand in line for our wristbands. Lines were long but moved quickly and we were inside in no time. Got our beer wristbands, took a look around the concession area and then crossed the street to the Planet Stage, which was located across the street from the location of the other 4 stages. The band we checked out was Hard- Fi from west London. They were pretty fun and had folks dancing outside at noon. Pretty impressive. They had a bit of a Clash feel and did a pretty cool version of Seven Nation Army. Not as cool as The Flaming Lips version, but still pretty cool.

Next it was off to the heart of the festival where the other 4 stages were. The bands playing were The Warlocks and M83. I knew nothing about either of them. Watched a little of The Warlocks but kept moving towards the stage M83 was playing on. From far away I heard some very Pink Floyd/Radiohead kind of sounds which sparked my interest. They sounded pretty cool but became less interesting as they went on.

A little after 1:00. Time for the first beer. And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead was up next. Probably one of the best sets I saw that day. Their very energetic usually performed in a club set went over really well with the big festival audience. Jason was even more amped up than usual, slurring over his words during in between song stage banter, jumping around like a madman, and running off stage into the audience. I loved it! Also of note, we had other folks to meet at this point and made our meeting place the right side of the sound board during this set and it turned out to be a great spot. As there were lots of different groups of friends wanting to meet up at different points, but obviously not everybody wanting to see the same bands through out the day, we made the right side of the sound board the designated meeting place for every stage. It worked well through out the weekend.

Next it was off to Kaiser Chiefs. I like Liz Phair, who was playing at the same time, but had seen her before and had not seen Kaiser Chiefs. From what I hear I made the right choice. This was another high energy set from a band I've just recently started to listen to. I was impressed. The singer's voice was almost gone and he announced that he had left it in Washington DC the night before. He still gave it his all and probably killed it completely by the end. Other highlights were a guy and girl being pulled from the audience to sing Oh My God, the lead singer asking who was playing across the way and if "someone could tell her to be quiet; we're trying to work here", and I personally wanted to the steal the bass player's look. Ha ha!!

Next was Brian Jonestown Massacre. I know there were a lot of people wondering if Anton Newcombe was going to keep it together or if there would be a freak out or fight with the audience or with his band and probably were disappointed that he kept it together. Although the outburst towards Dashboard Confessional, who were playing across the way, was hilarious. He called them Bon Jovi and "You're gonna be my new form of birth control. I'm gonna put a picture of you guys next my bed. Don't quit your day jobs mother fuckers!" I think I quoted that correctly. Close enough. Seeing ex-guitarist Matt Hollywood on stage playing tamborine was unexpected. No Joel though.

I did not watch Cake or The Bravery. It was time for a break and a snack at this point.

Next was Blonde Redhead and Billy Idol. Blonde Redhead were REALLY good. We watched half of their set and it was very hard to pull myself away, but I had to walk over to catch some of the nostalgic Billy Idol set. After all, this is a festival about seeing as much music as you can and want to, right? It was fun. A very much enjoyed rain started right when White Wedding started which seemed perfect.

Did not see much of the Black Keys. Caught some of Primus while trying to get a good spot for Pixies and then some of us decided we didn't like that spot and moved to the right of the sound board.

What can I say about Pixies? It was the first time I'd seen them and they did not disappoint. Another one of my favorites of the day even if nostagic. They went from song to song with no breaks except for a small one before encoring with a great version of Where Is My Mind?

Weezer closed out the day and played a fan friendly set. It was a nice way to finish the day. Drunk and singing along with thousands of others.

Day 2.

Well, I should have probably gone home after the show Saturday, but I was drunk and fired up and stayed out until 3:30 in the morning. Woke up hours later sitting up on my couch, lots of lights and the tv on, a half eaten burrito on my lap, and napkins and hot sauce on the floor. Huh..wha.. oh.. It gets better. I started eating the burrito again. Not by picking it up though or using a fork, because the fork was on the floor too. No, I started taking bites with a knife! Eventually I grabbed one of the pussies, tucked him under my arm and went to crash in bed for 2 or 3 more hours.

Got going a little later Sunday but still made it down to catch most of The Ponys set. They were good, but I was still pretty out of it and it was hot. Besides the hangover though I was mentally and for the most part physically prepared(lots of water) for the heat and tried not to complain or announce the obvious, but got a kick out of it every time someone else did and kept thinking of this part from Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

"One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continuously stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you all right?"

Kasabian was next. They were good and I like their songs a lot but felt kind of bad for them. It's really hard to get people dancing in that kind of heat at 2:00 in the afternoon. Still, good stuff.

For Dinosaur Jr. we got up as close as we could. They were fantastic! Lou Barlow seemed to be having a good time. J. Mascis had really long grey hair and looked like he'd been stored in an attic. He looked dusty and cobwebbed and used the very minimal amount of energy between songs and only spoke to say "hello" in the beginning and "thank you" at the end. But the energy screamed out of his guitar as he blasted through a set of songs with a fury of brutal, beautiful, blasting guitar assault. Their set was between 2:30 and 3:30. This was probably the hottest point of the day. People started passing out around us. It was pretty scary. There were secrurity people with a hose filling up water bottles and cups for as many people as they could. Between seeing and hearing some heroes reunite, the incredible heat, and people passing out all around and all the excitement involved, this was a very emotional part of the day. It was weird and uncontrolled and behind sunglasses.

As I drink beer and type I realise this is getting very long, isn't it?

Took a much needed break in the shade, watched a little of Satellite Party featuring Perry Farrell and Nuno Bettencourt which was sort of interesting but not very memorable, took another break for food and to sit in an air conditioned bus and then headed over to where the Arcade Fire would be playing .

The Arcade Fire. Ok, I could have gushed and gushed about this band before seeing them live. Well, I have done that. They were hands down the best performance I saw all weekend. Fucking amazing! Perry Farrell intruduced them as he did with a lot of the better acts. He called them the "hottest band in the country right now and the reason they were was because they proved that they were not afraid to be unique." Believe every bit of hype you're heard about this band. They are the real deal.

I checked out Spoon next but nothing was going to top what I had just experienced. I like them but would have preferred seeing them in a club.

I watched the first few songs of the Dandy Warhols. It was a bit too slow for me at that moment so I walked over to check out the Killers for a bit. Although I like Hot Fuss, they didn't quite do it for me live so I walked back over to the Dandy's after a couple of songs and was glad I did. Right when I walked up Anton and Matt Hollywood(BJM) had just walked on stage to jam with them. It was pretty damn cool. Anton was up for one long song and recieved a huge applause when he left the stage as they continued on and flowed into the next song while Matt played on through that one as well. The rest of the set was really awesome. Amy, who is a superfan, said they always start out really slow and trippy. I guess I'll know for next time.

Deathcab For Cutie. Pretty much everyone I knew who had been at the festival had left by this point. I tried to tough it out a little longer, but Deathcab are not the kind of band to give you that 2nd, or better yet, 9nth wind, so I left after a few songs.

So all and all Lolla was a success. Very well organized. Not a ton of ground breaking music but a lot of good stuff still. Great weekend. Long post. Thank you.


Post a Comment

<< Home