I got to the AT&T stage at the south end of Grant Park early and had an excellent spot to see The Ting Tings. The singer reminds me a bit of Debbie Harry in her blond coolness and odd fashion sense. She plays guitar and works the foot pedal and the guy in the band drums and also plays guitar (could have been a bass... I wasn't THAT close). The two of them can sure make a lot of noise! Their songs were all very catchy and I found myself singing along to songs I'd never heard. They played pretty much their whole catalog I'm guessing... every song I knew anyway.
Next up I caught the Foals. This was a completely unplanned visit and they freakin' blew my mind. They were so tight and had some interesting twists and turns throughout their music. They are officially labeled "math rock" whatever the hell that means. I'm buying their album.
MGMT was one show I was very excited to see. I got their early and the crowd was dense. Everywhere around me were kids smoking dope. Seriously, 360°. There were kids next to me with a butter tub full of pot. A butter tub, no joke! The same kids brought in those Sunny D mini-bottles filled with whisky and were chugging it. Man, I felt old all of a sudden.
Let me say, there is always a lot of pot at Lollapalooza but I've never seen this much. I saw lots of clever secret dope smoking contraptions too. There was no security inside Grant Park whatsoever arresting people for marijuana. I easily saw more joints than cigarettes. Also, smuggled liquor... so many people with water bottles filled with vodka. I wonder about those parents who bring their 10 year old kids to the show... what do they tell their kids?
MGMT sounded absolutely fantastic. I couldn't see a thing even though I was 50 feet from the stage. Their performance is not what I will remember about their set unfortunately.
About halfway through the show all that pot and liquor must have kicked in because I've never experienced a wilder crowd. They were throwing crap all over the place and crowd surfing non-stop.
Time to Pretend came on and the crowd went absolutely insane. The whole crowd was pushed so tight together at one point I dropped my water bottle and bent over to pick it up, just as the crowd surged. I totally thought I was going to die for a split second - like the Who concert where 13 people died in the 80s. Some girl behind me picked me up. Thank you, Random Girl!
Of course, this is a brilliant time for two golf carts carrying big trailers full of ice to pull through the crowd. Not sure what genius couldn't wait 10 more minutes for the set to finish but they literally went right in front of me, squishing the crowd on each side. It felt kind of good to rub my hands on the ice bags, but the little drunkards somehow got a hold of some of the ice and were whipping it through the crowd and splashing water from bottles all over. It literally felt like a cold rain.
After the show, the band was hanging out on the side of the stage and waving at everyone. I snapped a pic on my cellie but it could be any guy on that stage.
After MGMT I was ravenous (probably the munchies from the contact buzz at MGMT). I grabbed a burrito with black beans and sweet potato that was only $6 and so delicious. I was surprised that the food was really good and not all that expensive this year.
I ate the burrito and walked through the "Green booths" area where they had a thing you can buy to offset your carbon emissions to the show. Hey, I took the train and stayed at a friends place. I think my carbon emissions had to be pretty low. Whole Foods was there and were giving out bananas, cheese sticks and some organic lotion. I love free crap.
I caught some of the DJ sets next. I first caught some of Does it Offend You, Yeah?'s DJ set and it was awesome. DJ AM came on a bit later. I'm only familiar with DJ AM because of his hookups with D-List celebrity tramps, but he really is a freakin' good DJ.
I caught a few songs of Okkervil River's set. hey sounded great but I was a long way back. It was packed with people and my legs were starting to get a bit stiff and I just wasn't in the mood to snake through the crowd after the MGMT show. The Okkervil singer's voice has a David Byrne quality to it. They are fantastic and I totally need to buy their album... I just wish I could've seen better.
So the headliner of the night was either Rage Against the Machine or Wilco. I've seen Rage before and there was also a rumor that Barack Obama would introduce Wilco, so Wilco won.
I snaked to stage left, right in front of a speaker. Before the show I started talking to this guy standing next to me named Jeff and he was really cool.
I've never really listened to Wilco. They've always sort of bored me. Their live show, though, was FANTASTIC. They came out on stage with bedazzled
I had a great view of the show, nice and close and my new friend Jeff kept switching spots so I could see better. Thanks, Jeff!
Wilco jammed a lot and played some mindblowing guitar solos. I was seriously impressed with the skills of everyone in the band. The musicianship in Wilco is top-notch. If you ever get the chance to catch them live, by all means, do it!
I hear the Rage show wasn't all that great. We could actually hear the Rage show from Wilco's end. It's a mile away! I read they had some problems with a couple hundred people outside the show who bum-rushed the fence and got into the show. They said 14 people were hurt with broken bones. Scary.
After the show, I was a knackered and just went back to my friend Mary's place and actually got some sleep!