Chicago. What a great town. Just in general, always a good time to be had in the windy city, you just have to find it. Not hard to spot the location where surely fun can be had this weekend. Inside the beautiful greenness of Grant Park, nestled on the banks of Lake Michigan, one can find a cornucopia of fun that calls itself Lollapalooza. My wife and I made the pilgrimage again this year, joined up here by Shae, Annie and another player to be named later.
It all began on Friday. Actually, nope. Let's rewind that. It all began on Thursday, for us at least.
Thursday. We took the train from the Lou up, which is always something to behold. Always an interesting mix of folks on the train and always something that makes for good stories (maybe next time). Once we made it to Chi-town, we checked into our deluxe accomodations and found some food and made our way to the first of shows to be seen, a secret-prepalooza show for Butch Walker (formerly of the Marvelous Three and Southgang), known on the bill as Chalky Jesus. This was a cool show for many reasons, one being the fact I have been trying to see Chalky for almost the last 5 years, but due to schedule conflicts and canceling shows due to sickness (his not mine) he has evaded my grasp. But more to the point, this show was for industry folks (who didn't seem to know much about him), and a handful of fans who caught his blog and bought tix. The venue held only 130 people so it was quite intimate, and he played solo on acoustic guitar, rhodes and assorted percussion. Great show. Worth the wait.
Yeah, lots of cool bands on the bill for Friday; Butch playing with his band the Let's Go Out Tonites, The Go! Team, Jeff Tweedy on the Kidapalooza stage, Gogol Bordello, The Kills, and so many more. But the reason most people were there was the amazing mysticism that is Radiohead. Yeah, they rocked. And so did their crew. Sounds like such an odd statement, but seriously. The lighting and sound were so good. At times I asked myself if they were even playing because it sounded so good. The tones were amazing and their performance was amazing. And the lights. Don't even get me started. Also amazing was the band we saw right before Radiohead, the Raconteurs. Brendan Benson, Jack White and the boys smoked the other side of the park with a blistering set of energetic rockers. This was the second time I caught them in the past month and they delivered an even more powerful mix of jams this go around. At one point White says to the multi-thousand numbered crowd, "I broke two strings, Patrick (the drummer) has broken two bass drum pedals, Brendan blew a tube in his amp, and Jack Lawrence (the bass player) is just blowin' my mind!" Yup, that is a good sum up.
Today should prove to be interesting, lots more good rock to be had. Check later for more not so useful descriptions from me!