LOLLAPALOOZA DIARY: DAY 3 – SWAGURDAY

12 Aug

The third day at Lollapalooza begins the same way the second one did, with the cleaning lady asking us if we would like to have our room cleaned around us. We again respectfully decline. I get up and go to the gym again and then go to meet Rob and Christopher at the diner that is located around the corner.

As I exit the hotel I am greeted by what appear to be a homeless men selling bootleg T-shirts, I see one that I like, and ask if they have a medium to bring home to my brother (When he asks me where I got it, I will be completely honest and tell him “From a homeless guy on the street”, when he rebuttals “Why?” I will say, “ Because you can’t get a more exclusive Lollapalooza shirt than that, all the ones that they have at the festival you can buy online, what good is that, then someone in Fargo who hasn’t left their house in 3 years can claim that they too were at Lollapalooza, but if you get your shirt from the homeless guy on the corner, then people know that you were really in Chicago, and had the balls to talk to a strange homeless man on the street and give him money”)

The very kind homeless man has a medium and I put it in my recently acquired camelback. (I asked one question while purchasing my camelback (A backpack with a built-in hydration device) “What is the protocol for putting beer in the camelback?” to which I was told emphatically “ITS DEFENITELY ALLOWED”)

All three of us for the first time make our way to enter the festival together. We cross though the gates; I get groped by the same man who has so gently caressed me for the past 2 days and it is as delightful as ever.

I have deemed this day SWAGURDAY. SWAG as I use it, is an acronym for SHIT WE ALL GET, not the general air of confidence given off by an individual, as some people have come to adopt it as.

Today I have two goals:

1)    To see Manchester Orchestra

2)    To get all the free shit I can from the festival

The first stop is Green Street. Green street is the environmentalist section of the park, which features local groups and programs who are looking to branch out to the public. Luckily for us, these booths are giving away free stuff. I head over to the Chicago Cinema and Music Convention booth and given them my name and email and I’m rewarded with a free T-shirt.  Next is the Bamboo5 tent. There I spin a wheel and I am asked a question, it is a very tough political question about the issues of the world: “Who gives the best high fives” I respond “This guy right here” ,and point to the man posing the question, and I am given a bracelet. Then its off to the Toyota Yaris tent, where I can do a number of things; I can punch a random hole in a wall and claim a prize, I can make a shrinky  dink (Which is a plastic sheet that when heated shrinks down and becomes a pendent) or I can dress up and take a photo inside the Yaris. I choose to do two out of the three, because as much as I usually enjoy dressing up in weird outfits (Yes I have been dressed as Pocahontas before, but I have a solid explanation…….. The Mulan costume was taken) I don’t feel like doing it here. I make my way up to the wall and punch a random hole, and as a I remove my hand I reveal the coolest wrist purse I have ever seen in my life. That is of course an oxymoron because there is no such thing as a cool wrist purse. It is then off to the shrinky dink table to design my own shrinky dink. You are able to choose from 3 designs, one is a cat with a thought bubble above its head, the second is a cassette tape, and the third is something I can’t remember. I choose to design the cassette tape; I color it green red and yellow and put LOLLA 2011 on the title card. As I am creating my amazing shrinky dink, I take a quick survey of those being made to my left and right, and all the people are making the ones with the cat. I take a closer look and, yes, just as I have suspected, all of these extremely mature people are making the cat say something to the effect of, I ❤ Pussy, because of course that is what a cat would say, right? I submit my shrink dink and a wait about 2 minutes and get it returned. I am now finished with the Toyota Yaris tent, but not before I grab a yo-yo to go-go. I take a yo-yo and make my way back towards the stage area.

On my way to the Sony tent to get my free sunglasses, Rob and I are walking down the main street in grant park,  and I am playing with my yo-yo. I am stopped abruptly by a young man who says “Can I see your yo-yo?”  I fight the urge to fake being offended by him asking to see me genitalia and I oblige him. He tells me he wants to have a “yo-yo throw down”, his words not mine. He takes my yo-yo and tried to prove that he is awesome,which he fails to do. He is just throwing the yo-yo down and then swinging it up in the air. Rob must have said “Please don’t hit me in the face” at least 5 times before I finally took the yo-yo back from the kid and just left. I make it to the Sony tent to claim my free Sony sunglasses, and then my work there is done.

It’s about this time that I get hungry, so I leave Rob and head to the food tents. I have heard about a mythical lobster corn dog that is said to be available somewhere, so I set out to find said crustaceans corn dog. I find it, devour it, and it is delightful.

Manchester Orchestra is having an autograph signing at 4:30 at the FYE tent by the Bud Light stage, so I decide to head over there to meet them. I buy their vinyl at the FYE satellite store that is there and get in line. I meet the band, get them to sign the vinyl, and tell them that their show I saw at Terminal 5 was phenomenal. While on line I meet a guy who apparently only has foreign friends, he has a girlfriend from Swtizerland and then 2 French friends. He is from Atlanta

I take their signed record back to the hotel and then head over to find my spot for Manchester Orchestra at the Google+ stage. As I arrive an artist named Lissie’s set is coming to an end, and for her lat song she performs an amazing cover of “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Kudi. The next act on stage is Best Coast. I make my way about 8 feet from the stage for them so I can move up for Manchester who are coming on after.  As Best Coast is setting up their equipment the sky begins to turn black. Now granted it is beginning to get late, but not late enough for a sky this color already. What is upon us is not going to be good.

Best coat begins to perform, and the lead singer talks a lot about her cat, yes that’s right, her cat. She even tells a guy in the front row to go fuck himself because he doesn’t like her cat. How she knows that he doesn’t like her feline companion, I am not aware, but she does. Their songs are very cheerful and beachy, which is appropriate, because about 2 songs in, it begins to pour. The slightly muddy space that I had been standing in, is now a river of sludge. The shirt of one of the girls I am standing next to has apparently become to wet to wear, so she removes it and watches the rest of the show in her bra.

I do not object.

My phone is in my pocket this entire time but I know for a fact that there will be some issue with it later on because I’m sure it’s soaked.

Towards the end of their set the skies clear, and I am now only a half an hour away from seeing the only band I really wanted to see at the festival.

The Best Coast fans clear out and all that remain at the fans of Manchester Orchestra. I make my way 5 feet from the stage. The band comes on and they begin to play. They are just as good as when I saw them in NY. Everyone is having a good time and nobody is getting crazy, there was no moshing, or unnecessary crowd surfing.

They end their set with “Shake It Out” and a dedication to a fan who has recently passed a way, and I am satisfied.

My phone is now dead and Foo Fighters have just started. I know if I attempt to call my brother, he will not answer, because he won’t be able to hear his phone, so I decide to just head over to the Foo show.  As I make my way over to the Music Unlimited Stage it begins to pour again, and not just little drops, huge god damn drops. I weigh my options in my head. I can either get soaked in the mud and watch Foo while being nowhere near the stage, or go see one song and then head back to the hotel to clean off all the mud and get ready for the drive home at 3Am.

I choose the latter, and see Foo perform “Famous Last Words” and head to the hotel in the pouring rain.

This is not my ideal way to end Lolla but it is how it happened, and other than the rain, it was an amazing festival.

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