Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Lollapalooza: Random notes [Updated Sat. 12:50 p.m. with more photos]

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Annie Norris (from left), Amanda Rose, Megan Davis and Hannah Vandeventer, all 17-year-olds
from Phoenix, are dressed in their Lady Ga Ga finest.
(Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times)



Some random observances from the first day of Lollapalooza...

GA GA FOR GAGA: Lady Gaga's diehards were out in force early, in costume and holding down their spots in the front rows at the big stage in Hutchinson Field even before noon -- more than eight hours ahead of show time. (Word is Gaga popped up near a side stage late afternoon with Semi-Precious Weapons.) ...

SCHEDULING SNAFU: Raspberries to the Lolla bookers who put two simpatico soul acts, Mavis Staples and Raphael Saadiq, head-to-head at 2 p.m. at opposite ends of the park today. It's not like the weekend offers a wealth of similar sounds, and you can bet lots more folks than me weren't happy to have to miss one of the two. ...

SECURITY, SO FAR: It would stand to reason that security should be improved on the park's west side by pushing the perimeter away from the main stages, all the way to Michigan Avenue in some cases. After all, The worst security breach of past years here came when hundreds of concertgoers rushed a gate during Rage Against the Machine, but that circumstance seems unlikely given the current setup. (Even so, it's hard not to be mindful of the July tragedy at the Love Parade festival in Germany, where 19 people died and hundreds were injured by trampling in a panicked crowd.) ...

BUSTED! Even so, security personnel and Chicago police have had their hands full with fence-jumpers on the east side, along Lake Shore Drive. Around 1 p.m. a group of more than a dozen jumpers was quickly run down, rounded up and marched out, handcuffed together in pairs. Another jumper nabbed after 6 p.m. was heard to complain that security staff had dirtied his "$150 shoes." ...

POOR PLACEMENT: A quibble with the reconfigured main stage in the northeast corner of Butler Field: The fans now face away from the iconic skyline, while the artists get blistered full-on by the afternoon sun. ...

TSK TSK: The takes-one-to-know-one award goes to stoopid '70s rawkers Foxy Shazam, who harangued the crowd for being "dumb white people." ...

KUMA KARMA: Want a big, tasty hamburger from Kuma's Corner without the horrendous lines that plague the Belmont Avenue metal bar? Just hit their Lolla booth, offering the Kuma, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden burgers. ...

MLB BINGO: As in the past, I'm amusing myself between bands by looking for hats or T-shirts representing all the pro baseball teams. About halfway there already, with bonus points for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Montreal Expos caps spied in the crowd.

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All the folks dressed up for Gaga were a treat throughout the day. Let's just say it was a very fabulous Friday.

The Raphael Saadiq v. Mavis Staples situation was terrible. There have been situations in the past where there have been conflicts, especially when they used to pull in more World groups. The choice today was unjustifiable. Choose between two great R&B legends. That's really unfair, especially in a festival with few R&B acts. Raphael Saadiq was fantastic today, I couldn't have been more pleased with his performance. Friends of mine loved Mavis Staples (with Jeff Tweedy). When it comes to R&B and Hip Hop acts is Lollapalooza engaging in tokenism?

Amen about the new position of the main stage on the north end. I think it's probably due to crowd flow issues last year (between Arctic Monkeys and Santigold shows), but I still don't like it.

What I like even less... the way they fenced off every square inch of shade on the north end. Especially since most of it now belongs to the VIP section. Apparently I paid several hundred dollars too little this year to enjoy the shade on the north end. That's just evil.

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This page contains a single entry by Teresa Budasi published on August 6, 2010 10:15 PM.

Lollapalooza: The north end was the previous entry in this blog.

Lollapalooza: The north end, part 2 is the next entry in this blog.

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