10 Aug

DAY 1:
After a 14-hour car ride, which included stops at numerous rest stops and coffee at all hours of the night, my brother, our friend and I arrived in the city of Chicago. After the nice British lady that was trapped inside the GPS told us what seemed to be 1,000 times to keep left on US 33 East, we found our way to the general vicinity of our hotel. Apparently “The Windy City” is undergoing extensive reconstructive surgery (My rational was it was the damage The Batman did to it in “The Dark Knight”, but apparently that was not a valid reason). We turned into the parking garage attached to the hotel and waited 15 minutes to be spoke to by the attendant. When he finally spoke to us he told us “Be sure to take everything you may possibly need to use with you, because it could take up to 3 hours to get your car out”, which given the amount of people checking in to the hotel and attending the festival, this seems like a logical reason, but I think he’s just an asshole and doesn’t want anyone to come back and bother him.

After we check into the hotel, (the line was very long and the lobby consisted of people attempting to follow the strict directions provided by the Lolla festival runners for applying your wristband (to be honest, I’ve never been more nervous about putting on a bracelet in my life) we check into the room and my brother and our friend decide to find something to eat, as I decide to go to the gym before heading over to the festival.

The “Exercise Room” is located in the basement of the hotel, right next to what appears to be the security office (By the way: great place to have your security office, in the catacombs of your hotel, where all the crime definitely goes down) Outside of the exercise room is about -20°, inside the exercise room is a good 100° hotter. I go for a quick 1.25-mile run and then shower and head over to the festival.

Getting into the festival is a lot smoother and quicker than I had imagined. I had my wristband mailed to me, so I didn’t have to wait to exchange a paper ticket for a 3-day wristband, or wait in a separate line. All I had to do was wait in a short line, be fondled by a middle-aged man with grey hair to assure that I didn’t have any illicit substances or weapons on me, and scan my wristband. I hear the chirp of the scanner that verifies that yes, I spent $215 for a glorified friendship bracelet, and I am granted access to Grant Park.

The first thing I do is walk towards the large fountain located in the center of the park, around which you can find the staples of any festival, BEER, MERCH, and more BEER. I head over to the merchandise tent like a moth to a flame, because I am a sucker for memorabilia to prove that I was in fact at a place that I visited. I buy a commemorative Lolla 2011 Trucker hat, where the logo looks like the front of a Pabst Blue Ribbon can, which I then wear backwards for the rest of the day (mainly because I look terrible when I wear a trucker hat forward, and secondly to keep my hair out of my face) I head over to the Music Unlimited stage located on the south end of the park to check out The Vaccines, they play the one song I know “Post Break up Sex” and I am satisfied.

AT&T and Grant Park must have had a major falling out in the past because I can only get service on my iPhone within a 10X10 space in the dead center of the park, not even remotely close to any of the stages. I finally contact my brother and see where he is. He in the hotel laying down, he’ll be over soon.

I head to the Bud Light Stage on the North end of the see “Grace Potter and the Nocturnals” as soon as she walks out on stage, I am utterly entranced by Grace Potter. She puts on a tremendous hour and fifteen minute set, where the highlight was when she changed the words of “Paris Oh La La” from “I say oh la la la la la la la” to “ I say Oh la la lollapalooza”

The next act I want to see is Foster the People who will be playing on one of the smaller stages, so I make my way over to the Sony Stage, where evidently I am not the only person who enjoys the musical styling’s of Foster the People. I can’t even make it down the steps to get remotely close to the stage, so I listen from a distance for a while, hear them play “Pump up Kicks” which is the most gleeful song about killing recorded since “Pop Goes the Weasel”, and then head off.

I head back to the hotel to rest before I am faced with one of the toughest decisions of my life; “Which celebrity significant other of the front man for a British rock band do I like more?” sSome people may think that this is a dumb way to decide between which headliner to see at a festival but I say as Conan (The Barbarian) would, “To Hell with them” this is the most logical method I can come up with, so I go with it.

I weigh the options of both candidates, we start with:
Gwyneth Paltrow (Representing Coldplay)
• I find her very attractive (Especially as Pepper Potts) +10
• She was in Se7en (Spoiler Alert: Her head was what was in the box) +10
• She dated Brad Pitt +10
• She named her daughter Apple, and I thoroughly enjoy apples +10
o Total = 40

We then head to
Kate Hudson (representing Muse)
• I find her attractive +10
• Her mother is dating Captain Ron +20
• She has baby from two rock front men +10 (PS watch out Dave Grohl, unless of course you want a baby)
• She was in Almost Famous +100000000000000000
o Total: 100000000000000040

The clear champion is Penny Lane, which means I will be going to see MUSE

My friend Rob and I head over to get our places for MUSE as the set by A Perfect Circle is coming to a close. They finish and we make our way close to the stage and decide to post up in front of the sound stage.

We finally reach my brother on the phone and he claims to have made his way near the stage, we tell him where we are and he meets us there. Upon his arrival he is enraged “I WAS CLOSER TO THE STAGE, WHY DID YOU GUYS MAKE ME COME BACK HERE, IW AS LITERALLY 3 PEOPLE FROM THE STAGE!!!!!!!” This is all being screamed at the top of his lungs and the only thing people can hear around us. Rob and I look at each other and laugh and brush him off. Rob turns to the people to our left “We aren’t together”, to our right “Do you know who this guy is?”

MUSE goes on stage and puts on an amazing show, as night 1 of Lollapalooza come to a resounding end.


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