(Note: This review was written shortly after attending Lollapalooza 2011 but never posted due to frustrations with images and WordPress. I have decided to revisit and post this review).
My flight from Boston arrived in Chicago way too early and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to check in or at least leave my luggage at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, but they were really nice and held my bags until the room was ready. I soo love that place! So, it was off to breakfast at one of my favorites when I’m in Chicago, the Corner Bakery Cafe (the baked french toast is highly recommended).
The line to get into Lollapalooza
There was still a long line to get into the park because everyone had to stop and scan the RFID chip enabled wristbands. Scan in and scan out everytime you leave. I guess this was to keep people from taking the wristbands off and selling them to other people. The decision to have my wristband sent with the ticket was a good call and saved some time.
Young the Giant
After finally getting through the gate, the first band I came across was Young the Giant on the Bud Light stage. I stayed for a couple of songs, which sounded good, but wanted to make sure I saw Tennis over at the Google+ stage, who were already playing.
After Tennis were done, I moved on over the Sony Stage to see The Naked and Famous. I was kind of surprised at how good they sounded live and other than “Young Blood“, they didn’t sound like Passion Pit at all!
From there, I took a swing through Perry’s Tent and saw Collie Buddz, where it was like a huge party! Then I started the 1 mile trek back to the Playstation Stage to catch the Smith Westerns, but got a bit distracted as I passed the BMI Stage and heard some weird pop music. According to the schedule, it was an adorable looking girl named Kerli.
Let me start out by saying that I had no idea who Kerli was and had to look her up when I got back. Apparently she makes what is called “bubblegoth“, although it sounded more like pop music to me. I stayed for most her set and was rather impressed. This was probably my biggest surprise artist all weekend (last year’s being X-Japan). That’s the great thing about festivals like this, you can always find something new and surprising.
I finally got over to see the Smith Westerns, who went on about 5 minutes late. People around me were starting to chant and wonder if the band was going to come out at all. They did eventually come out and rocked a pretty great set.
At this point, I decided head back to the Hard Rock to charge my phone and dump the images from my camera, since it had filled up. I was kind of bummed to miss Cults though.
A Perfect Circle
I got back to the park around 6:30 and saw a little bit of Bright Eyes set. I don’t know what happened with them, because they were awesome when I saw them a few years ago, but every song started sounding the same, so I tried to get to the other side of the park to see A Perfect Circle. I managed to catch the last 4 or 5 songs, then watched Crystal Castles on the opposing stage for a bit.
I decided to wander around randomly and ended up at Perry’s again, where Afrojack was doing a killer show! People were going nuts and it was definitely one of those things that you had to experience in person. After that, it was time to just wander around until the headliners went on. I made my way back to the Music Unlimited stage for a good portion of Muse‘s set. I haven’t really been into them since that song “Muscle Museum” came out way back when (the newer stuff just doesn’t do it for me), but I was actually enjoying it. Fireworks were going off in the distance, which went really well with the music.
I wanted to see some of Coldplay‘s set, so it was back to the other end of the park. There was a massive crowd and it was really hard to get through. At one point huge balls were dropped on the audience and everyone around me was having a blast with them! A lot of people wanted to pose for pictures with them as well. Although I’m not really a Coldplay fan, they sounded pretty good, although a bit more mellow than what was happening at the other stages in the park.
At this point, I wanted to get back, shower, and get into the Filter Magazine after party that I had RSVP’d for, which featured Elijah Wood, Cults, and Maps and Atlases at the Hard Rock. This was an extreme test of ones patience as the line was around the corner and barely moved. 2 1/2 hours later and only 8 people away from getting through the front door, the doorman said that they were at capacity and no one else would be let in. Of course, if you were in the opposite line with a VIP badge, you got right in. In fact, it seemed the VIP’s outnumbered us “normies” and there was nearly a revolt. If it weren’t for some of the very entertaining people in line around me, I have probably would have lost it as well. So, the after party was a bust, but it was time to get a little sleep before day 2 of Lollapalooza.