It’s hard to remember a time when Lollapalooza, the festival, was not part of American pop culture, and since the last time it landed stateside, it’s expanded to include stops in Santiago, Chile and Sao Paolo, Brazil. Perry Farrell’s ’90s tour-baby turned Grant Park-engulfing massive brodown is a global institution, and though at this point you might expect his presence in name only, over the weekend he was spotted gawking up from the photo pit at the first-ever Lolla performance by goth-punk legends the Cure. Icon, meet icon.
An estimated 150,000 people attend Lollapalooza Chicago, and while it’s overwhelming, for the most part the festival grounds are gigantic enough to accommodate a slew of giant acts. Friday was a little calmer than the weekend, hosting awesome day sets like party-cheerleaders Icona Pop and ebullient British belter Emeli Sande on the big stages; by nighttime Nine Inch Nails and Lana Del Rey were so packed the only option was to go hear Steve Aoki play actual Jock Jams. (Yet is anyone really ever mad at hearing 2 Unlimited’s “Get Ready For This,” aka the NBA JUMBOTRON SONG?) Crowd-wowing Saturday acts included Angel Haze, Wavves, Tegan & Sara, and Alt-J, plus the much gently-teared-about last show by the Postal Service (or one of them, anyway) with Jenny Lewis in the line-up, the dream pop of the Haim sisters and, of course, your boys MUMFORD. The final night, Sunday, was an indie fan’s dream-slash-nightmare, with sets by Grizzly Bear, Vampire Weekend, DIIV, Major Lazer, and Beach House all overlapping, all wildly packed. (Also, 2 Chainz.) The closing slots offered no relief, when late-Lolla revelers had to choose between watching Phoenix, Cat Power, Knife Party, or the Cure. What Would Yr Fave Musician Do? If you were Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste or Chris Taylor, or Beach House’s Victoria LeGrand, you’d be in The Cure audience for at least part of the time (we ran into them after the last song). It was so much fun, and impossible to take in everything, but here were 10 best things that happened, Lollapalooza 2013.
The countdown starts here