Review Day 2
In many ways Lollapalooza just got bigger, better, and, yes, more festive on the second of three days. The crowd estimate was 60,000, just 10,000 more than Friday, but those in attendance will tell you the crowd felt much much larger than Friday. Although it was larger, the crowd continued to be friendly and, often, seemed in awe at just being part of such an event. Beyond the music, the various nooks and crannies filled with art, information on social causes, fantastic festival food, and, yes, shopping, insures a lack of boredom.
As for the music, I kicked my day off in the very early afternoon with an energetic performance from Britain's the Go! Team, and the day rarely let up from there. Australia's Wolfmother (top right) brought back the spirt of the 70's heyday of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. Gnarls Barkley (top left), dressed in tennis whites, brought their "craziness" to the Grant Park crowd. The hip hop with a reggae injection style of Blackalicious caused crowds to stop on their way to something else and stream in to catch a few minutes with Tim Parker and Xavier Mosley.
The north end of the festival saw a glorious early evening of performances as Sonic Youth's still fierce independence gave way to the edgy punk cabaret of Dresden Dolls immediately followed by the grand chaos that is a Flaming Lips performance (bottom right). 4 12-foot tall inflated characters (Santa Claus, an alien, and 2 astronauts) joined superheroes, dancing Santa Clauses, space girls with alien masks, dozens of giant blue balls floating through the crowd, confetti, streamers, and Flaming Lips leader Wayne Coyne rolling through the crowd inside an inflated ball as part of the joyful chaos. When the Flaming Lips performance wound down, much of the crowd migrated en masse to the south end of the festival to catch the tight final few songs from the New Pornographers and then close out the night with a celebratory performance from hometown favorite Kanye West (bottom left).
One day remains for Lollapalooza 2006. It promises to be just as big as the previous two as long as the small threat of thundershowers holds off. I hope to start off my day in the Kidzapalooza area to see Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell and punk legend Patti Smith entertain the young festival fans. By the time things wind down tonight with Red Hot Chili Peppers, I expect to be exhausted but filled with a tremendous set of memories of phenomenal musical performances while eagerly looking forward to Lollapalooza 2007.