Lollapalooza: An Introduction And A Collaboration

My brother E doesn’t seem to put much stock into calendars. I usually have to tell him when a family birthday, anniversary, or holiday is coming up. Nevertheless, he doesn’t forget if he’s missed an important milestone, and when he acts on it a month or two later, he gives the best gifts. This year, his birthday gift to me was late again, but it didn’t disappoint: two tickets to Lollapalooza–the annual music festival held in Chicago’s Grant Park–for me and my girlfriend T.

Since Lollapalooza launched as a Chicago-based festival in 2005, I’d never been, mostly because I couldn’t afford tickets, but also because it seemed daunting in comparison to the Pitchfork Music Festival, which I was lucky enough to attend in 2009 and 2010. In contrast, before this year, my interaction with Lolla consisted principally of two things: complaining about the teeny-bopper attendees who inundated the Loop and the CTA, and envying those who could afford tickets when the lineup was particularly salivating.

In addition to the teeny-boppers, I was apprehensive about the massive crowds (there were over 270,000 attendees this year, all in less than one square mile) and about the price of food and drink once inside. Finally, while I eagerly anticipated many acts, I worried that the size of the park and concerts would make some of the shows feel distant or stale.

Thankfully, these worries turned out to be unfounded. The point of the festival (other than for its organizers to make mountains of cash), after all, is the music, and much of the music was fantastic.

So E, thank you again. I don’t care that your gift was late; I had an amazing time.

Lollapalooza 2011 has come to a close, and T and I will be writing our impressions, reviews, and reflections of each of the festival’s three days. Since we attended the festival for the first time together and are both huge music fans, we thought it’d be fun and interesting to collaborate.

Here’s the format: T will independently write a review of Friday over on her excellent blog Tea & Celluloid; we will cross-post a joint piece about Saturday on both blogs; and I will post an independently written review of Sunday on this blog.

Stay tuned.

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