Festival Review: CoS at Lollapalooza 2011

    What a strange idea: Let’s create a world within a metropolis.

    Whether or not that was the methodology behind Perry Farrell’s Lollapalooza in Chicago, IL, remains to be confirmed. However, that’s what he’s done. Stepping into the gates at Congress and Michigan, one can’t help but feel they’re about to enter another plane of existence. Yeah, yeah, what a cliché, simplistic statement, but let me ask you this…

    Over the weekend, did you see:

    • Hall & Oates look-alikes, complete with the leisure suits, dancing in 85-degree heat
    • A “lobster corn dog”
    • Chic Euro-looking women–or, those who look “primed for the runway”–rocking out next to a slew of Jim Belushi look-alikes
    • Sweaty, exhausted teenagers, crying their eyes out at a colossal rave; it’s also only noon
    • Thousands of people singing about the Cubs winning
    • Fireworks behind an award-winning rock act
    • Drunken fortysomethings asleep atop Connie’s Pizza slices
    • ?uestlove chatting food with Graham Elliot
    • Skateboarding youths, rolling away to their next favorite band
    • Lasers washed over the Chicago skyline
    • Mud-covered fans, diving in for more… mud
    • Ironic shirts next to sports shirts next to a pair of male nipples
    • War-torn Converses and sod-stained high heels tapping to the beats
    • People stumbling out of Port-o-Potties shoeless
    • A fairly short line to eat a burger from Kuma’s
    • Shoes tossed at fans by a frantic lead singer
    • Perry Farrell

    Odds are if you weren’t in Grant Park this past weekend, you didn’t catch any of this… let’s call it… chaos? Hmm, that’s not fair. Chaos is such a frowned-upon term; it’s usually linked to things like “riots” or “fires” or “talking to yourself alone in the car.” With Lolla, this sort of orchestrated chaos tastes nothing short of delicious. It’s the sort of madness that builds character… or just crosses things off on those proverbial bucket lists. C’mon, lobster corn dog.


    This year, the festival celebrated its 20th birthday–you could say, in style. Perry’s Stage received a face-lift (or, a temporary warehouse). Festivalgoers had the choice of four headliners per night. After-parties continued to thrive. One can’t dismiss Farrell’s electronic extravaganza, either. Over three long days, the new installment never witnessed a dull moment. As a result, it bred countless “believe it or not” tales of folklore, contributing a great chunk to the laundry list above.

    While not the best Lollapalooza, it did produce some of the greatest memories in the festival’s history. That’s what matters, right? Also, think of it this way: Who ever remembers their 20th birthday, anyhow? It’s the following year that glues to the mind.

    Until then…

    -Michael Roffman


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