Ahh what a weekend! I'm so glad I flew in a day early to get to see Chicago, what a beautiful place! I can understand why they chose Grant Park as well. It's so large and has everything from water fountains, to shaded areas, to pretty flowers. Before you read on, let me just state that first and foremost I'm a photographer and so I spent my time running to the different stages snapping photos. I went from shooting 2 festivals back to back and then flying out to Chicago for Lollapalooza, so lack of sleep is going to affect my review…
This was definitely the show of the year for me. Between all the cool people I met, amazing bands I got to see, the perfect execution and timing of everything and meeting a band or two, it was awesome. I also couldn't believe how many freebies were handed out as well. From itunes gift cards, to souvenir program books, to AT&T fans, and that's what was being given out to the public. My press passes also got me more, and that brings me to how great the media and press were treated at this event.
On day one I got to see so many amazing bands, bands I've been wanting to see for a long time and I still can't believe I saw them all! Bands like the eels, Violent Femmes and Ween. What an experience to see Jeremy Enigk and The Raconteurs as well. Those were some of my highlights but make sure to check out all the photos!
Don't forget the miscellaneous shots from each day to see random people, famous people, the beautiful Grant Park and a lot more!
I also got to meet the ice cream man and what a generous dude he is! Make sure to check out his site as well: www.theicecreamman.com
On day 2 my day was made when I ran into Mike Patton backstage and we proceeded to have a conversation in Italian. The fact that I somehow came down with a bad cold meant nothing to me. (Probably due to lack of sleep and shooting a lot of shows the previous days). As soon as I told him I was Italian he started talking to me in Italian. I couldn't believe how down to earth and nice he was! The day actually started with a press conference where we got to meet and have a Q & A with the festival founder, Mr Perry Farrell himself and the organizers. When Rolling Stone asked whether the festival would go back to being a traveling show, Farrell replied that he wanted to perfect the fest first and wanted to focus on Chicago. Perfect it? It was pretty darn close to perfect if you ask me! I've been to a lot of festivals and this one impressed me the most. I got to see more amazing and old school acts on day 2, bands like Sonic Youth and the Flaming Lips. You HAVE to see the Flaming Lips photos! They stole the show for me on day 2. Female aliens, Santa Clauses, giant blue balloons and…well..just click on the photos to see more…
On day 3 I focused on the kids! There was a Kidzapalooza stage afterall and Farrell took the time to discuss it at the press conference too! Students from the School of Rock played first. They brought out their cream of the crop to play. They covered some Led Zeppelin songs and what an amazing job they did! Not one of them was over 18 years old either…wow, I was impressed! Perry Farrell and former Porno for Pyros guitarist Peter DiStefano did an acoustic set and encouraged the kids to come up front and they did! Some even made it on on stage to watch. DiStefano also brought up random kids who strummed his guitar. If that wasn't enough, Patti Smith flew in just for the show and also played an acoustic set. She did make me giggle and horrified a parent or two when she said "I'm proof any asshole can play guitar." Hey, at least she didn't drop an F bomb. I also finally got to see Wilco and the Red Hot Chili Peppers! A perfect end to a perfect weekend! You NEED to come see the show next year!