Day 3 in Chicago started out overcast, but I took a chance on trying to get to the Navy Pier nice and early but it was not meant to be. I got halfway down Michigan Avenue in search of some late breakfast and it started to rain. I ducked into a weird 7 floor little mall and had some Wow Bao (which by the way, was amazing, especially the steamed custard bun! They seriously need to put one of these in Boston!). At this point, it was pouring, so thinking Lollapalooza was going to be a huge muddy mess, I took my time getting back. I stopped by Intelligentsia for my first coffee of the weekend since I was having major withdrawals. Unlike the Hard Rock, they had free wifi. Hooray for catching up on a ton of email!
There really wasn’t anyone playing that interested me early in the day, so I held off until around 2:30 or so before making my way down to Grant Park. It cleared up and ended up being a pretty nice afternoon. I pretty much stayed around the south stages for most of the day.
I made sure to get to the Adidas stage so that I could finally see Minus the Bear.
This is another one of those bands that I really like but never saw live. A decent sized crowd had gathered for their set. The band sounded really tight and it was one of the best sounding sets, although they didn’t play “Let’s Play Guitar In a Five Guitar Band” which is my favorite Minus the Bear song. Maybe next time.
I stuck around for X Japan who were playing the Parkways stage and were a band I knew nothing about other than they were around in the 80’s. It turns out that this was their first show in over 10 years, and one of their first U.S. shows ever.
X Japan were definitely my surprise band of the weekend and I really got into it. With a devoted but relatively small crowd, compared to some of the other bands that played, hanging on every word and move by singer Toshi, there seemed to be much love for the band. I was blown away by their set as well as the devotion that their fans have for them (still wish I could score one of those really cool t-shirts that some of them were wearing, apparently not sold at the show).
From there, I went over to the Playstation stage to see Mutemath. A much larger crowd than I expected was there to see them. I left after they played “Typical” to find some much needed food in the Farmers Market area. I ended up getting this really awesome rum soaked piece of cooked cheese on a stick from Brunkow Cheese of Wisconsin, that can’t even be described as to how good it was! After refueling, I wandered to Perry’s Stage, an area I had mostly avoided all weekend for no reason at all other than there were bands I wanted to see elsewhere.
I made an attempt to get to the Budweiser stage for MGMT, but there were just way too many people, which made it near impossible to move around, so I decided to go to the other end of the park and see Wolfmother, but not without a stop at the Toyota Prius tent (only because the line was really short) to try to spin and win a prize. I could hear MGMT pretty clear from there, but I still feel as though I didn’t really miss anything special. I ended up winning some light up dogtag…uhh yay? Also, I checked off “do not send me more information” on the form they make you fill out, yet I got an email from Toyota thanking me for joining something or other. Yeah, thanks for that…guess what my next car wont be?
So, off to the Parkways stage where Wolfmother was playing. I don’t know much of their stuff other than the two songs that were popular a couple of years ago, “Woman” and “Joker and the Thief”, but they were pretty good to listen to while I waited around.
Across the field, Cypress Hill was on next. I saw them at Lollapalooza in 1995 and not much had changed. I had the feeling that I’ve already seen this before. While I realize that their whole act is based on the 420 thing, it’s a bit played out, but damn if they don’t have some catchy songs!
A very short walk across the field back to the Parkways stage, where I, along with thousands of others, eagerly waited for Soundgarden to go on. They started with “Searching With My Good Eye Closed”. I noticed that Chris Cornell has let his hair grow out again. Is this the beginning of grunge part 2?
Most of the radio hits were played, including “Spoonman”, “Fell On Black Days”, and “Black Hole Sun”. For a band that had been broken up up for 13 years, they sounded pretty tight, although there seemed to be a little animosity between the members (maybe it just came off that way from where I was standing).
It was great to finally seem them live though and I really hope that a full on tour is in the works. I left right after “4th of July” and missed the encore, although it could be heard on our way out of the park and then some.
All in all, Lollapalooza 2010 was fun and I wish that I had seen a lot more of the bands that I wanted to. I will have a better plan, as well as an earlier flight for sure next year, which should be epic considering that it will be Lollapalooza’s 20th year! The dates have already been announced for August 5-7 2011. See you there!!