Whole lotta Lolla going on

I’m not sure anything can top Lollapalooza 2006, the perfect combination of friends, music, drama and deep-dish pizza, but the 2007 version is determined to try.

Happy balloons and The Flaming Lips

The concert, held at Chicago’s Grant Park, will be Aug. 3-5, and I’ll be heading up Thursday to galavant throughout the city and hit a fat steak.

This year, the music pales in comparison to the 2006 version, but it’s doubtful anything will ever compare to a lineup featuring Kanye West, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wilco, Ryan Adams, The Flaming Lips, The Violent Femmes, Wolfmother, The Subways, Nada Surf, The Go! Team, Common, The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkley, Queens of the Stone Age, Eels, My Morning Jacket, Death Cab for Cutie, The Shins, Iron & Wine, Feist, Calexico, Blues Traveler, The Hold Steady, 30 Seconds to Mars and, dare we forget, Manu Chao.

Apparently, in parts of the world, Manu Chao is quite popular, so well known that he was one of the top headlines listed at last year’s Lolla. Granted, he was placed opposite Kanye West’s triumphant hometown performance, but still, playing the final Saturday night show on any stage is quite a feat. The running joke among us last year was that so many people would be at Kanye’s show that the few people in attendance for Manu Chao would probably be invited up on the stage.

Actually, Manu Chao has continued as a punchline, at least between Cory and me, and we often note how popular bands, like say The Beatles, could only one day dream of being as big as Manu Chao.

Note: For those of you who care, I’ll be reposting my Lolla 2006 recap on Wednesday, complete with never-before-seen photos from the trip. Well, at least they’ve never appeared on this blog.

I should point out that I didn’t see all the bands listed above, not knowing at the time how great Wolfmother really is and being unable to coax anyone to seeing The Raconteurs. I explained (or more likely whined) that it was a Jack White project, something they all knew, yet they didn’t care. Instead, it was decided to stand in line to get a better view of The Violent Femmes.

Watching The Violent Femmes

I also missed performances by Iron & Wine, who, if memory serves, was opposite Ryan Adams, which proved to be the biggest mistake of the festival. That’s not to mean Iron & Wine’s set was amazing, which I’m sure it was, but instead, it’s an indictment of how truly shitty Ryan Adams performed. He played, at most, two recognizable songs, foregoing most of his catalog to play obscure selections from people like Gram Parsons. Plus, and this was really baffling, Adams also chose to deliver strange rants from the stage, including a rambling 10-minute story about eggs. Yes, eggs.

And he claims to have been sober at the time. Riiiiiight. When’s the last time you had a conversation about eggs, sober or otherwise?

One other thing that I will always remember about the trip is the World’s Angriest Clown showing up next to us at The Subways’ show, which was the festival opener. Here we are in this giant field, completely rocking out to this young British band, when I notice the aforementioned clown standing next to Derek.

Derek, who is being stalked by the World’s Angriest Clown

I need to point out that on the drive up, Derek had started reading Stephen King’s It, which, as you probably know, includes an extremely frightening clown. It was too perfect for this clown to pick Derek, of all people, to stand next to.

And not once did the clown smile, so I’m not sure if he was actually a clown or just someone who thought it would be cool to wear some outlandish makeup to a concert.

One other highlight was the legendary Beatle Bob, a DJ who apparently does nothing but attend various concerts, all while dancing like a madman on stage with the bands he deems worthy.

At first, we thought he was just some random crazy guy getting down to the music, but after learning more about him, we realized he was a crazy guy with a cult following getting down to the music. He graciously posed for some pictures with us and chatted us up about the festival, music, life in general and his overall Beatle Bobness.

Meet the Beatle!

He was great. I hope to see him again this year.

Here’s who else I plan on seeing at Lollapalooza 2007:

Friday (the ones listed in bold are the ones I’m most excited about seeing)
The Fratellis
Ghostland Observatory
Son Volt (I’ve been a fan for 11 years and will now finally get to see them)
Jack’s Mannequin
G. Love & Special Sauce
The Black Keys
LCD Soundsystem
Ben Harper

Matt & Kim
Tokyo Police Club
Ryan Shaw
Pete Yorn
Silverchair or Stephen Marley (I haven’t quite decided on this one. Silverchair’s new album is said to be fantastic, but when else will I get to see a Marley?)
Cold War Kids
The Roots

The Hold Steady
Snow Patrol
Patti Smith

Juliette and the Licks
Dax Riggs
Heartless Bastards
Amy Winehouse (assuming she’s sober enough to peform; otherwise I’m just there for the train wreck that’s bound to happen)
Iggy and the Stooges (not quite excited enough for this to be in bold, but almost. This should be a fun show, and if nothing else, there’s historical perspectives to look at)
Peter Bjorn and John
My Morning Jacket (they’re performing with a children’s orchestra, so this has potential to be amazing)
TV on the Radio
Pearl Jam

I’m curious to see if anyone has any suggestions on who else to see or even what shows to switch out because I’ve made terribly crappy selections. Go to lollapalooza.com for the complete lineup, and let me know what you think.

It should be a great festival and a wonderful weekend.

Now, if only Manu Chao and a militant clown could be there …


2 thoughts on “Whole lotta Lolla going on

  1. I can’t possibly stress this enough… you are making a HUGE mistake by missing the Daft Punk show. If you feel compelled to watch Ben Harper, may I suggest watching half of each… I’m half tempted to fly to Chicago JUST to see the Daft Punk show. Of course, since my Visa Check Card has vanished, I’m fortunate to even have electricity with which to post this… nevermind a plane ticket.

    I’ll be catching Matt & Kim and The Hold Steady on Sunday, so it should be fun to compare notes on the shows.

    Finally, the group photo from last year (with Beatle Bob) always makes me think of some strange unit in Vietnam. I know that it’s largely fueled by a shirtless Derek wearing dog tags at the bottom of the picture, but once I see that I just can’t help but think of it. Maybe that’s the answer to our modern military woes… an elite team of hipsters, fresh from The Go! Team show are dispatched to rid the world of evil.

    Like the A-Team… but with more whining

    … and Beatle Bob.

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