Greetings from Chicago! I am coming to you live from dirty hotel room outside of O'Hare Airport at 7:37 mid-west time, only a few short hours away from the once proud festival that roamed the country calling out to the privileged-yet-disenfranchised suburban youth of America. Now, neutered and confined to the limits of beautiful Grant Park on the banks of Lake Michigan, Lollapalooza is much less a celebration (bitches) of community spirit and belonging, and much more a chance to see a bunch of bands that normally wouldn't play together in a million years.
The reasons for the decline in the once great Lollapalooza are numerous. Some people claim that the festival lost its true spirit of independent and underground thinking when festival big- wig and Jane's Addiction front man Perry Ferrell decided to bring Metallica in to headline the festival in 1996, which is the equivalent to inviting the stereotypical teen movie football star to the stereotypical high school anime club dance. Purists maintain that the flooding of alpha males into a temporary society of passive dudes was crippling to the idea of Lollapalooza.
Still, others say the decline of the traveling rock circus comes from the economy. People just don't have the money or the inclination to shell out 260 dollars for a one day show in their town regardless how many bands are playing. Others blames the shunning of Ozzy Osborne in 97 and his subsequent Ozzfest, a metal festival created out of spite for Lolla higher-ups saying that Ozzy was uncool, for the decline and crippling of the show. Still, it's probably just due to the fact that Lollapalooza was always a grunge festival at heart, and after 1997 grunge just doesn't sell anymore.
Still, I can't be totally right, seeing as the big draw for this year's festival is none other than grunge pioneers Pearl Jam. And don't let my above paragraphs fool you, I am significantly geeked out over this festival. Who cares if I had to drive 12 hours from Philadelphia to get here, the line up alone is worth the caffeine overdose, the flat, lifeless planes of Indiana, and having my butt fall asleep from sitting in one spot too long.
All weekend, the LOTD crew (including contributors Joe Gilson and James Keough) will be updating you good people on the goings on and happenings at this once proud, still awesome mega-concert. Here's a look at what we'll be (tentatively) checking out today:
Chin Up Chin Up
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
The Polyphonic Spree
Daft Punk (!!!)
Be sure to check back periodically, as we will be updating as often as we can.
Well, I'm off to go watch some rock music and drink pricey beer with thousands of my closest friends. Until later!
- Mr. Dogg