Yasi Tries: Lollapalooza 2010
I have not been to Lollapalooza since it was still a travelling circus. In ye olden days, when MTV favored grunge over guidos, Ice T was more about killing cops than playing one on TV, and floral dresses and combat boots were totally in (oh, wait), Sir Perry Farrell (I knighted him) started a little thing called Lollapalooza. I’m somewhere around 58 years old so when I last visited the land of Lolla, Sonic Youth and Hole headlined, Coolio played the sidestage (yep) and I wore a babydoll dress (I believe it was X-Girl). Fast foward a not small number of years later, and I’m back where I started. Except now I’m in Chicago, my braces are off, and the whole place looks like a gigantic mall. Here’s my recap:Festivals In General
People. PEOPLE. I get it. You paid $300 for the privelege to wear your flowiest skirt with your bikini top or your cargo shorts and Birkenstocks outside where you can listen to music, smoke weed from your frog shaped pipe, and play hackey sack/spin your frisbee around to your heart’s desire. But MUST you be barefoot? Your sandals are bad enough (especially you DUDES IN MANDALS) but shoe-less? Your dirty blood splattered legs make my insides corrode. Do you know what’s in that mud? Have you noticed its direct relationship to the 450 porta-potties nearby? And is it ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for you to drink no less than twenty two $5 beers in the 101 degree heat so that you inevitably puke and pass out right in the middle of your coveted Slightly Stoopid jam session and must be carted out of the show like a over-worked horse being taken to be shot out in the pasture? Get it together.
In short, I don’t particularly enjoy festivals.The Line-Up
Is it a little weird to anyone else that Green Day headlined this year…and in 1994 (Soundgarden did this year and ’96). Is it safe to say that for the most part we just don’t produce big time bands like we used to? Sure Arcade Fire is pretty current and her royal highness Lady Gaga drew a mere 80,000 people to her set, but otherwise it seemed like many of the biggest acts at this year’s festival were recycled. Billy Joe even joked about Smashing Pumpkins coming on after them. In general I’m pretty ok with this since I still live in 1995 in my brain. That being said, here are the bands I truly enjoyed and those that baffle my mind (see: Slightly Stoopid)Warpaint
Warpaint is one of my favorite bands that hasn’t been around since Rikki Rachtman hosted Headbanger’s Ball. The foursome of Theresa Wayman, Jenny Lee Lindberg, Emily Kokal, and newcomer Stella Mozgawa make music that is part ethereal, part punk, and all good. You can see more photos of Warpaint’s performance HERE.The XX
Even though the festival decided that this massively adored and awesome band should be a) on a smaller stage and b) on during the scorching daylight afternoon hours, I still enjoyed the set by The XX. Their music is soft and haunting, like nostalgia mixed with good whiskey. They are not lively, they do not banter, and they wear all black. And guess what? I like them that way. Although I like them better at night and when I don’t have to suffer from panic attacks about being trapped in a sea of Abercrombie clad midwesterners.
See more photos of The XX’s performance HERE.Lady Gaga
Many people experienced anguish over choosing which headliner to see on Friday, The Strokes or Lady Gaga. Now I love The Strokes as much as any other red-blooded American hipster but come on. COME ON. This woman is the greatest living performer of our generation. She changed outfits like seven times. Her clothes changed clothes. She had a 20 foot mechanical monster on stage with her and she defeated it. As cute as I’m sure Fab and Julian and co. looked being messy haired and lovelorn, channeling some mixture of The Replacements/Modern Lovers/Iggy and the Stooges, Lady Gaga blew me away. By the time she brought the crowd of 80,000 to their knees with “Bad Romance,” I was a card-carrying little monster. So she makes fairly generic pop music. She makes it with style, and I for one am glad that the one thing that hasn’t remained since the nineties is the hyper-sexualized, virginal little school girl pop star (see Britney, Mandy, Christina etc). Long live Gaga.
Other acts that were awesome:DEVO
(cell phone picture courtsey of my Blackberry)The Black Keys
(Photo: XRT)Erykah Badu
(Photo: Idolator)Gogol Bordello
In conclusion, see you at Matador 21 (where my favoritest throwback, Pavement, will be headlining). Please don’t puke on me.