Saturday sent me daydreaming in the afternoon, pondering the response to the rage in the evening and questioning the hype of celeb worship into the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Picking up where he left off last year, home- town rapper Lupe Fiasco blended hip hop, soul and gospel, having church a day early and upping the ante for Kayne West on Sunday night. And at the end of the night it was Rage and Against the Machine dropping massive bombs of (nostalgic) fury to start, but unfortunately the set was tainted as frontman Zach De La Rocha was forced by security to stop the set three times trying to calm down the surging crowd.
I didn’t see the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times reported rush of fans who tried to jump the fence on Columbus to get in because after the second stoppage I left and hiked across Grant Park to wrap up Lolla proper with alt-country sextet Wilco, a beautiful end to a great day of music with near perfect weather.
Sonically, it felt like I was a human needle on a old school radio dial as we walked from north to south with each stage a different stationof melodic expectation and discovery and with the occasional sound bleeding that still seems to be an issue but less so this year.
The surprise artist I was hoping for came when we passed the BMI stage as blues-folk singer-songwriter Serena Ryder pulled us in from our southward stroll for the end of her set I wished we’d heard more of her gritty croon and jamming backing band.
After Wilco finished it was time to indulge in my first taste of Lolla after partying. Over at the Hard Rock Hotel, Grammy-winning (Amy Winehouse “Back in Black”) producer Mark Ronson was scheduled to work the DJ decks with his sister Samantha, and girlfriend of Lindsay Lohan, opening. I hoped for solid show of DJing and dancing as Samantha is a resident DJ at a Chicago club and her brother has worked with another Grammy winning Chicago rapper Rhymefest, but instead I was treated to the red-eye-inducing flashbulb popping of dozens of handheld cameras and “oh my god that’s her” hushed whispers as all eyes were on Lindsay Lohan who was huddled stage-side supporting Samantha Ronson.
Now Live Exhaust, is by no means a hype or celebrity blog but I wanted to say at least something about what it was like to be in the environment last night. It’s hard for me to watch people stare at movie stars in vicarious wonderment and mindless worship and it’s even harder to watch as live music get upstaged by celebrity hype. I expected to take in an exciting DJ set but instead ended up leaving early when I realized I would have to sit through Spank Rock in order to get to headliner Ronson who would be playing on Sunday anyway.
With aches of pleasure and pain in various parts of my body, I decided to call it a night and get some rest for Sunday; Kayne West, Nine Inch Nails, Saul Williams, Girl Talk, Blues Traveler, and according to some reports a possible visit by a certain Illinois senator who’s running for President.