This year I was unable to attend all three days of Lollapalooza but fortunately or unfortunately I did attend Saturday and was able to experience the first ever evacuation of Lollapalooza. I didn’t arrive until late afternoon, and headed straight for Google Play stage where I saw Givers. Givers put on an excellent show, and their music seemed like the perfect high-energy soundtrack for not only a festival but for the summer as well.
Next up I was planning on seeing Chairlift, and was waiting for their set when the staff announced from the stage that they were evacuating the park. The staff opened up gates to allow festivalgoer’s to exit, and the evacuation itself seemed very well planned. It was recommended that we take shelter and thus, I along with others headed to a bar a few miles from Grant Park. We expected that the bar would not be crowded because it was a local small establishment. However, we underestimated how many people from Lolla needed a place to relax until the park re-opened. Below is picture of the bar.
(Note: This picture does not do justice to how crowded this bar actually became.) Here people closely followed many of the social networking sites, and around 5:30 we found out the park was going to re-open.
I once again walked through the gates of Lollapalooza, only this time I didn’t need to scan my wristband, which is probably the only way Lolla could have allowed people to re-enter in a timely fashion. Once in the park I walked over to the Google Play stage to find a massive crowd waiting for FUN. I was only able to hear a few songs of their set but what I did hear was excellent. Nate Ruess, Jack Antonoff, and Andrew Dost always work off of the energy of the crowd, and this show was no different. However, from the size of the crowd FUN. should have been at a main stage to accommodate their expanding fan base. (Note: This explains the lack of good photos from their set.)
After Fun. I headed to the PlayStation stage, and caught the last three songs of The Tallest Man on Earth. I found that although he was playing solo, and while his songs are quite mellow he knows how to command a stage.
After The Tallest Man on Earth I made the short trek over to the Budweiser stage where I was able to listen to Franz Ferdinand’s set. In addition, it was here where I really got enjoy seeing festival fashion.
Halfway through the set I took a break, and went to get some food. During my break I listened to a bit of Washed Out’s set, which proved to just as chill as one would expect it to be.
I then headed to Calvin Harris’s set over at Perry’s stage, which was full of muddy dancers enjoying both the lights and electro-pop of Calvin Harris.
It was then time for the headliners of the night the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Hutchinson field where RHCP were playing was insanely crowded, I suspect because multiple people snuck in after the evacuation.
After staying for a few songs of the RHCP I headed back to Perry’s to see Santigold, which can only be described as incredibly entertaining. Santigold sounded great, had backup dancers, men dressed as horses, and multiple costume changes, I would highly recommend seeing Santigold live. While I wish I could have seen more, I wanted to see some of Frank Ocean’s set.
To top off the night I headed to the Google Play stage to listen to a few songs of Frank Ocean. While I was only able to hear a few songs, what I did hear was beautifully honest music, and I was pleased that I was able to catch the last few songs of his set. I now know why he has been garnering so much praise for his new album, Channel ORANGE. Frank Oceans set was an excellent way to end my Lollapalooza 2012 experience.
With the roads surrounding Grant Park re-opened and only a hint of exhaustion and soreness remaining, it’s time to reflect on the glorified chaos that was Lollapalooza 2011. The line-up for the 20th anniversary of the festival was impressive, unfortunately however, it was impossible to see all of the bands who rolled into Chicago. Fortunately, the bands I was able to see made up for the disappointment of having to make such difficult decisions when mapping out a daily schedule. I’ve included some highlights after the jump.