Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lollapalooza Day 3

By Day 3, I was exhausted. After seeing the Room the night before (of course, days and nights don't end with Lollapalooza! Night 1 I went to my friend Jenny's Hotel Hilton party, and Night 2 was a midnight screening of the campy cult classic The Room), I was pretty beat and began the day at the ripe hour of 3:15 PM, when I finally arrived at Grant Park to wait for Yeasayer to start their 4 PM set. Unfortunately, it seems that the bulk of kids at the front for Yeasayer-- one of my favorite bands of the year--were only there for MGMT, playing a bit later in the afternoon. Although Yeasayer played wonderfully, the crowd was only mildly enthusiastic.

Regardless, Yeasayer played a pretty good show. ESPECIALLY in comparison to MGMT, who, although playing all of their best songs, are permanently BANNED from my music library now (well, not really, but practically banned). Now every time I listen to "Kids" or "It's Working," I think of what is definitely the DOUCHIEST CROWD I have EVER seen, encountered, or heard of at a show. And when I capitalize my letters, you know I mean business. Talk to me about it in person... I have a pretty ridiculous story about telling off an incredibly sexist jerk standing right next to me. Ugh.

After MGMT, I was in a foul mood. The adrenaline rush that I got from yelling at the aforementioned MGMT fanboy, coupled with crowd surfers continuously falling directly onto my head (concussion?), and the bizarrely oven-like overcast weather, was... troubling. It was a balmy 89 degrees, but with the humidity it felt much higher. I felt myself fading in and out of consciousness, and my eyes glazing over and occasionally being unable to focus. Slowly I began to realize that I was getting heat exhaustion. I made my way out of the crowd before "Kids" came on as their second-to-last song.

After a half-hour or hour or so of sitting quietly on the grass and shoving food into my mouth (since technically standing up is exercising, and since exercising keeps one from wanting to eat, nobody ever wants to eat at music festivals because their bodies trick them into thinking they don't need it, when really their blood sugar is falling to near-dangerous levels), I felt a tiny bit better and wandered over to the National. I couldn't quite brave walking into the intimidating crowd, so I stayed behind the sidelines. It was then that I realized how much I love the National, and how depressed and angsty their songs make me. I resolved then and there never to see the National live again, regardless of how much I love them.

It's too bad I felt ill, because apparently this was actually a great show; the lead signer walked into the crowd at the end, and reappeared to sing the last song! And threw wine all over the audience! Silly heat stroke, or heat exhaustion, or whatever it was.


Unfortunately I couldn't get a good enough picture of the headliner of Day 3- Arcade Fire. By that point, I had mostly recovered my senses, but I was still relatively exhausted. Had I been at full capacity I might have wormed my way to the nearish front, but decided to stay closer to the middle. It surprised me how many people love the Arcade Fire, and all types of people-- bros, hipsters, old men, old women... but especially bros. Not that there's anything wrong with bros.

Arcade Fire began the set with my favorite song off the new album, the Suburbs (#1 album in America, weirdly enough!), entitled "Ready to Start" (how appropriate!) and then went into my favorite Arcade Fire song EVER-- "Neighborhood #2 (Laika)". They played every great song that they had, and of COURSE ended the set with "Wake Up," the song from the album Funeral which was used in the Where the Wild Things Are trailer, which probably got them unprecedented popularity.

Lolla ended with the crowd ambling out of the park at 10 PM, singing the chorus to "Wake Up" on Columbus Drive, Monroe Street, and Michigan Avenue... a fitting ending to a jam-packed, ridiculously dirty, smelly, painful, but exhilarating Lollapalooza.

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