Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A minute by minute Lollapalooza experience

Okay, maybe not minute by minute, but kind of like live-blogging after the fact.

11:00 - make it to the train station, get tickets, train is only 4 min. late. Yippee. Oh wait, track construction, we arrive in Chicago 25 min. late. At least I had a book and a gorgeous black guy on the other side of the train to distract me. Like model gorgeous.

1:30 - we finally get to the festival and pass through with no lines to get in. Pick up our program and whoo hoo, two $40 itunes gifts cards. That helps off-set the cost of tickets.

1:40 - the great dilemma over which t-shirt the kid will get. HUNDRED of shirts, from the festival and every band there. Finally decided on this one.

1:50 - I'm starving. We find the food area and end up hearing the last song of  An Horse.

2:00 - Go and find drinks (you can't buy drinks in the food area, only from the bar tent) and head over to the stage where we want to catch the 2:30 concert. Find our space on the grass and sit thanks to garbage bags supplied by my friend Tracy since it rained and the ground is wet/muddy. Catch the last couple of songs of Typhoon.

2:30 - have moved to the hillside for Skylar Gray concert. Kid goes and stands up near stage, I remain sitting on the hillside.

3:30 - we walk through the Farmer's Market and get Wisconsin fried cheese and a smoothie. Then go to check out the band Dom.

4:00 - I'm bored, they are okay but we go and check out the market area. Didn't buy anything but then work our way to the other end of the park  - wait, where did all the shady trees go because the clouds and rain are gone and it's sunny - find a spot in the middle of a HUGE field and listen to the end of Mayer Hawthorne and the County.

4:30 - after buying a beer and iced-tea, we spin around to face the other direction and watch Big Audio Dynamite.

5:00 - I'm whining I'm too hot, so we go and find a shady spot by the Dell lounge (whatever that is). I pull out Lord of the White Hell and the kid lays there. All of a sudden she shoots up and takes off into the Dell lounge. Okay, whatever. Someone clears a picnic table so I move there and continue to enjoy my book. Kid comes back 45 min. later shaking. She got to meet the YouTubers she follow and actually had her picture taken with them and got to chat with them. She's now floating on cloud nine. 

5:45 - I'm starving, she has to go to the bathroom. She goes to get in line, I go and buy some food, a Scotch egg (shortest line). I go back to the picnic table and wait and wait and read and eat and FINALLY she comes back. After telling me the horror that is the port-a-potties, I decide I'm not thirsty after all. Dehydration is my friend.

6:15 - we get a spot pretty close to the front (as in 75 yards) for Cee Lo Green. Interesting costume consisting of a long dress with spiked shoulder pads and an all-girl band.

7:30 - we decide to stay put because if we leave we'll never get back near the spot for Eminem at 8:30. Kid has not eaten since a giant burrito at 1:45 but claims if she doesn't think about it she's not hungry.

7:30 - 8:30 - If my child has never smoked drugs she now has a contact high and I have a wicked headache. Also lots of cigarettes, cigars, booze and idiots trying to push through the crowd. We chatted a bit with a couple of young women and some shirtless guy. It is soooooo hot, but thankfully the sun is now behind buildings, but there is no breeze I think because of so many people blocking it off. 

8:30 - Eminem starts right on time and the crowd suddenly rushes about 10 yards forward. Kind of weird and freaky and I had visions of being trampled as people behind push forward. However we settle down, squished in like sardines. I've not been pressed up against that much semi-naked flesh in ... ever. However everyone is sweaty and gross feeling, although thankfully everyone used their deodorant so it wasn't smelly, just hot and sticky.

8:30 - 9:50 - Everyone is rocking out to Eminem except me and the guy beside me. LOL It was okay, but I'm hot, sticky, my feet hurt and I don't even care for his music that much. However he did bring out Bruno Mars which was a nice treat. The kid was very considerate and kept asking me if I was doing okay. Also Skylar Gray showed up for her duet she recorded with Eminem. I have no idea what it's called.

9:50 - he's finished - I know there'll be an encore - but we start moving towards the exit, or what we hope is the exit. We stop for the last song then join the masses hoping they know where the exit is. Some young guy latches on to me and we're weaving through trees and OMG, we're going THROUGH a hedge. LOL We get out and then head across the park to the main exit and ... people funneled down on a mostly blocked bridge. It was going soooooo slowly. FINALLY get out on the street and are racing to the train station. Everyone is chatty and at  light some young guy tells us he lost the girl he was with but he needs the 10:40 train too. Let's run. Excuse me? Run? So I run a block and then say fuck-it. I'll take a cab if we miss it because I'm going to be dead if I keep running.

10:39 - we race down the stairs of the train station, find our train and get on and it pulls out before we find a seat. OH. MY. GOD. I'm thirsty, have to go to the bathroom, can't breath, hot, sweaty, gross. And the car is not air conditioned.

10:45 - we listen to the drunk girl accuse some guy of having teleportation skills. The conductor then tells us the car two cars back is air conditioned. Drunk girls leaves, stops by another young guy and goes "I know you. Shape shifter." Then moves on. LOL

10:50 - we can't take the heat so move back to the air conditioned car, sitting in the seat across from drunk girl (whom I later learned was Britney). She is now having an in depth conversation with some guy about the chances of the Brewers going to the World Series. He's doubting her but she's pulling out statistics drunk though she is.

10:55 - discussion turns to her wanting to get sexy texts on her phone, when cute bearded guy sits behind her I suggest she get him to send her some which starts her deciding she needs to start a website called dickpics.com and he should be her first star. He's not convinced. However I just happen to have a picture on my phone of a naked guy (okay, sometimes when I click Tumblr links on my phone it downloads the pics - honest) so I show her and that's when I learn her name since we now appear to be best friends.

11:30 - a couple on the upper level decide they don't like all the fun we are having in the lower caboose (as we now call it) and start calling her names. I'm thinking "oh shit, fight on the train", but we all just kind of ignore them.

1:40 - I tell Britney it's been a pleasure and we get up to leave. Oh wait, seems she's leaving too and as the conductor comes to unlock the doors she tells him the people were mean to her and before long she's in his personal space with her leg wrapped around him. I think he was quite relieved when the train came to a stop and he could open the doors.

11:45 - 20 min. walk back to my friend's house. We crash, Kristen finally eats something, I drink two huge glasses of water in about one minute, we get on-line for a bit, I wash off the sweat of 200,000 people and go to bed.

So was it worth $90? The kid thinks so. Me? Eh. None of the bands were really my faves. I think the Friday line-up was better. However we went for her and she had a blast and was so excited to meet those YouTubers I think it was worth the $90 to see her so thrilled. I did like the smaller stages with trees and shade, I don't care for being jammed in the middle of a crowd of several hundred thousand people and concerts where the performers insist "put your hands up" are annoying because you can't see for shit then. LOL The food and drink inside the park were not that expensive compared to say our hockey arena and was pretty good. It was an experience. However as we were limping around the house on sore feet she said "I don't think I could go for all three days. I'd die." Yep. I can't imagine doing it again and again. Ugh.

The train ride home was a blast, in general most people were polite and respectful during he crush of the concert (save for a few who believed they need to push through and be closer), I didn't see anyone so drunk they were sick or obnoxious (at one point while waiting for Cee Lo, this young guy drops to his knees beside us, pulls out a can of coke and a baggie of something. Oh, he's got alcohol. He opens the coke, pours some out and opens his baggies. Another guy going by says "Ooooh, double baggie, smart." to which I reply watching him try to pour whiskey into a coke can from a baggie "He's got it down to a science." Guy on his knees looks up and slurs "I've been doing it for 10 years." Guess he learned double baggie works better.) So on the whole and interesting event and worth it just to say we were there I suppose.

Guess I better get up and get ready if we're going to catch the 12:00 train to the aquarium today. Hopefully I can still walk. It will be a shorter day.


Chris said...

Those iTunes cards really helped balance out the cost, though - was it worth it then?!

I've never seen the appeal of huge shows like that, esp since I'd end up curled in a little whimpering ball somewhere. :)

K. Z. Snow said...

Oh, man, your account reminds me of Summerfest! Except Sf lasts eleven days (late June through early July), is right on the lakefront (making it fairly cool), and has a gazillion stages with every imaginable kind of music. Food and beer and "street" performers everywhere, and plenty of shade.

I used to go every year, sometimes two and three times. Never got tired of it.

Polt said...

I am WAY too old to be able to do something like that. Course, I think even 20 years ago, I woulda been too old. Big crowds just pis me off and I avoid them whenever possible.

But I'm glad YOU had a great time! :)


Kris said...

I like Britney. :)

My stand out memory of the last music festival that I went to were the toilets. I still have nightmares. Going for dehydration was definitely the better option.

Glad the kidlet had an awesome time and that you survived. :)

Tam said...

Yeah, I'm looking forward to finding some interesting music on itunes Chris. It says only Lollapalooza artists but that includes Cold Play and Muse and others I wouldn't mind trying. Definitely helps off-set the price.

Tam said...

I don't mind the big festivals KZ. That sounds like fun and except for the big field, Grant Park is really very nice. Today it poured rain at 6:00 as we were leaving the aquarium (right behind the main stage) so I imagine tonight it will be a total mudpit, so I'm glad we went yesterday.

Tam said...

I though of you when I was pressed up against all those young shirtless guys and hanging on to them as we all weaved past one another. I was thinking "Polt would love this". Well, the grasping of the young nakedness. LOL Not the crowds I suppose. I don't love it, but I can live with it for once every now and then.

Tam said...

You and Britney would have been bestest friends Kris. She was HILARIOUS and at least the cute bearded guy (definitely hot) was having fun with us too.

Kristen said the toilets were filled with spilled beer and toilet paper everywhere and there was no water to wash with. Ugh. Holding it didn't seem that bad.

Ryan said...

I caught Arctic Monkeys live on YouTube tonight.

Tam said...

Did they show the audience covered in mud Ryan? :-) Kristen said they were on the main stage and I think that must have been soup tonight. I think the line-up was better tonight though, but I'm glad I wasn't there in the rain and mud.

K. Z. Snow said...

"Kristen said the toilets were filled with spilled beer and toilet paper everywhere and there was no water to wash with."

You guys need to get out more. :-D

Michelle M. said...

You get my award for mother of the year. I think I would go with the dehydration option over port-a-potties, too!

We went to the horse races the other day and Weezer was playing afterwards. We know we're officially old now because were too tired after a day in the sun to wait around an hour for the concert to start. Oh well.

Tam said...

We generally try to avoid events where portable toilets are de rigeur KZ. LOL

Thanks Michelle. I'm not sure I would wait around for Weezer either. LOL

Average Reader said...

What a very cool description of the whole thing! Believe it or not, Tam, I was actually in Chicago at roughly the same time you were (but I was all around the Loop, staying outside of the whole Lollapalloza thing). But I was curious about how it was going in there for everybody. I think it got totally rained out on Saturday! Anyway, I'm glad the kid had a great time and that you got through it, too, and collected some great material for your blog! :D

Tracy said...

Omg what a great play by play! You just cracked me up with
After telling me the horror that is the port-a-potties, I decide I'm not thirsty after all. Dehydration is my friend.

Too funny. I wouldn't have had anything to drink either.

Your train ride home sounds like the most interesting part but I'm glad that your daughter had a great time. :)

Tam said...

Wow Val, so close and yet so far. :-) The big rain was Sunday so we had a bit of rain on Saturday with a few small mud puddles but in general it wasn't bad at all. THIS was Sunday. Yuck. LOL

Tam said...

The train ride was a riot Tracy. I seem to be not drinking enough I think because I rarely go to the bathroom anywhere here. Not that they are all gross. :-)

Lily said...

I took my daughter to one of these and OMG I was completely exhausted by the time I got home. It was a fun thing to share with her though.

The train ride sounds like the best part of the experience. :)

Tam said...

I've been exhausted everyday. LOL The night before last she was stunned that it was only 6:45 because she was afraid she wouldn't be able to stay up until her show was over in 15 min. LOL We have definitely been getting our walk on. One more day of walking/shopping tomorrow.