Day 2 of Lollapalooza started out pretty good, considering that I didn’t make it down to the park until around 5pm, since there wasn’t really any bands I wanted to see but I do regret missing Harlem, Warpaint, The xx, and Gogol Bordello. Guess I’ll have to catch each of them when they hit Boston. I wanted to get a little sightseeing of Chicago in, plus I was given some VIP lounge passes at the hotel so I chilled out there for a while because, hey, free drinks! Who am I to turn that down? There were a few bands hanging around, although none of which I recognized but it was interesting to be around that kind of thing. I managed to wander down the hallway into some area that was strictly for bands only, and even had conversations with people at the various tables, but nobody said anything about me not being allowed there. Oops!
I tried to get to Grant Park in time to see AFI but figured it might be easier to try to catch Metric instead. There was a much larger crowd for them than I anticipated. Caught a few songs, then made my way back to the other side of the park to see Social Distortion, who sounded great, but then again, they have been doing this for a long time.
At this point, I really wanted to see Spoon, so it was back to the other end of the park. They started with “Me and the Bean” and I stuck around for “The Underdog” and “Dont You Evah”. At this point, I headed to the Bloggie stage to catch Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros since I had heard good things about their Newport Folk Festival show the week before, but it was near impossible to actually see them other than the occasional glimpse when band members would lean forward, due to the large crowd, trees, and stage setup. I can say that they at least sounded really good and I will definitely make an effort to see them when they come around here.
On my way back to the Parkways stage, I was semi-forced to sit through Slightly Stoopid’s sort of ska, sort of stoner music (sorry, but Cypress Hill pull this off much much better) while waiting for Green Day. This was definitely the worst band I heard all weekend.
A lot of people started making their way over to the Parkways stage for Green Day. The area filled up pretty fast, although it didn’t feel as crowded as the night before when Lady Gaga was on this same stage, but it was pretty close. The band played a very long, almost non-stop set (they were given the longest set time out of anyone playing this year) covering their early stuff all the way up to American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown. They started off with “Song of the Century” and played just about every hit from their 20+ year career. There were also some covers including “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”, “Hey Jude” and “Highway to Hell” which had the whole crowd singing.
Green Day seemed to be all about the fans, including pulling someone out of the crowd to sing “Longview” in its entirety and he was pretty good at it. Once onstage, the teenager gave singer, Billie Jo Armstrong a kiss on the lips, which seemed to daze him for a second. At the end of the song, Armstrong gave him one of his guitars to take home, which caused massive applause and cheers. During another song, fans were invited onto the stage and dance while the band played.
The band had as much energy by the end of the show as they did at the beginning. You could tell they were having a great time playing to the 80 thousand+ people that came for an amazing show.
The main set ended with “Minority” and fireworks, which also went off during several songs, scaring several people around me and causing much laughter. There were 2 encores after, finally ending with (what else) “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life).
Heading out of the park, there was an enormous amount of people still amped up, flooding Michigan Avenue.
Traffic was pretty much stopped and I fought my way through the people in a quest to get some late dinner somewhere (which ended up being my first real Chicago hot dogs ever and damn they were good!), then some sleep to take on day 3.