Live Fix Radio Episode 39: Bon Iver Tattoos, Crowd Surfing Coachella and A Sublime Shakedown At Lolla

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bon_iver_tattoo

 

On this episode of Live Fix Radio we’re continuing our exploration of Bon Iver and the power of the little things and chatting with fellow concert fan Isabel about how this picture of Justin Vernon’s “that was then” tattoo inspired Isabel to get her own tattoo. Isabel’s also tells us why she’ll never forget crowdsurfing during Bon Iver at Coachella and soaking in Cage The Elephant with her dad during a sublime downpour at Lollapalooza. Rock on and thanks for listening!

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Show Notes

News and other cool stuff we talked about:

 

Music featured during the show:

  • Bon Iver  –  “Holocene” and “Skinny Love” (iTunes)

 

Got a thought on this show or an awesome idea for a future episode of Live Fix Radio? Drop a comment below or share your feedback and concert stories with us on Twitter @livefixmediaFacebook , Google Plus, or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341.

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Lolla Fan Punched In Stomach For Beach Ball

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This kind of concert fan story is just crazy. And completely disturbing. But we shall begin to explore it to see what we can learn and discover about the concert fan species.

As the Tribune reports:

Michelle Fiore was enjoying an evening out with her 11-year-old daughter after Lollapalooza when a man confronted them, demanded the girl’s souvenir beach ball and punched the child as he tried to grab it, police and the woman say.

“It’s ridiculous,’’ Fiore said in an interview. “We were attacked for a beach ball.’’

Yep, you read that right. The girl was punched for a beach ball.

And according to the Tirbune, the attacking was done by Conrad Slimak, 19, who ” was taken into custody at 66 E. Jackson Blvd. and charged with misdemeanor battery and assault, police said. Slimak, of the 1200 block of North Lake Shore Drive, also was cited with being intoxicated while underage.”

Couple things come to mind when I read this story, because, as we know, concert fans are complex emotional creatures.

First, I wondered what the hell was Conrad and his partner in crime thinking? Why do such a thing just to get a beach ball? Sure, there was alcohol involved, but I wonder…are we witnessing a devolution of the concert fan species? Are concert fans stooping to new levels of nastiness? Did Conrad have such a bad Lollapalooza experience that he needed to take it out on poor Michelle?

And what about Michelle? I know moments like these can really traumatize a person. And besides getting punched in the stomach, the incident happened right after the show so it was a terrible thing to have happen after such an amazing experience like Lolla.

I sure hope that this wasn’t Michelle’s first concert experience because that would be a shame to have such a terrible moment associated with what was probably a great live music experience for her.

This story also got me thinking about a few of our previous live music experiments that focused on several of the topics that are swirling underneath the surface of this tragically ridiculous beach ball event.

Check ’em out and let us know what you think and we’ll include your thoughts and feedback as we continue our exploration on a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

Photo credit via Chicago Tribune.

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Concert Contest: Win Lollapalooza 2012 VIP Tickets From Sweet Leaf Tea

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sweet leaf tea lollapalooza facebook contest

 

Our concert contest experiment continues with this refreshing news via Sweet Leaf® Tea.

This week, and throughout the summer, they’re giving live music fans the opportunity to attend Lollapalooza for FREE through a simple Facebook promo when you enter based on trivia posted on the Sweet Leaf® Tea Facebook page.

Here’s the content details:

Two winners will receive VIP tickets, flights, hotel and airport transportation accommodation. One prize will be awarded each week and the contest starts June 4th and goes through July 6th.

Enter the contest on the Sweet Leaf Tea Facebook page.

And be sure to check out our previous Live Fix experiments about the 5 senses, brands and live music, concert fan stories and Lollapalooza.

Good luck and stay tuned for more as we talk with Danny from Sweet Leaf on a upcoming episode of Live Fix Radio.

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What If We Created Remixed Pop-Up Concerts And Live Fan Jam Sessions?

Intel ultrabook pop-up theater jam session
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Continuing our exploration in to brands and live music, a couple thoughts popped into my head after watching these videos from Intel’s new Ultrabook campaign called “Pop-Up Theater”.

As noted in the email I got from the folks behind the campaign, these Intel videos are from a series of “fun and lighthearted stunts shot in Los Angeles featuring the new laptops.”

The videos are fun to watch and they’ve got me thinking about our street musician and Tiesto experiments.

These videos also remind me of one of my favorite post-concert moments during Lollapalooza 2011 which I experienced while walking back to the train on the streets of Chicago after the festival.

I will always remember how much I loved hearing fans teaming up with street musicians to sing and swoon the extremely melodic and catchy “uh uh uh, oh oh ohhh” chorus of Britney Spears “Till the End of the World”.

That moment put a big smile on my face as the live fan jam session was sent flowing beautifully down Michigan Avenue.

Let’s Have More Festival Moments Like That

Thinking about that post-Lolla moment and watching these videos also has me wondering if Intel has plans to be at any of the summer music festivals like LollapaloozaBonnaroo or Coachella this year to make the brand experiences more interactive and memorable for fans like this, or will Intel miss an opportunity like this?

If Intel is planning on creating an interactive experience for fans at festivals, they might want to think about letting fans use the Ultrabooks to experiment with their personal live music stories in one of the sponsored brand tents on the festival grounds.

Now, If Intel Did This…

For example, they could let fans use the Ultrabook to record videos documenting their festival memories and then allow fans to merge those stories with remixed versions of the live performances of their favorite artists during the festival, and then let fans share the final versions with friends instantly on their social networks.

Allowing fans to have an emotionally engaged and highly social experience directly on the Ultrabook would be very powerful, and it would be a creative and crafty extension of this current Pop-up Theater campaign.

Even better, fans could mash-up their remixes and combine their stories in to one big interactive and never-ending collage of concert fan stories.

And what if we took elements of what Keys N Krates does and applied it to the fan experience? How cool would that be?! Very.

How would you remix your concert story?

How would you remix memories of your favorite concert experiences? How can brands, like Intel, make the music festival experience more interactive and memorable for fans?

Tell us what you these Intel videos and share your concert experiences and thoughts in the comments below, on Twitter @livefixmedia, on Facebook , Google Plus, or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

Pop-Up Theater Orchestra

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Berklee College of Music Announces Lollapalooza Scholarship World Tour

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During our chat with 14 year-old singer-songwriter Kate Diaz she told us how her time at the Berklee College of Music, which included playing Lollapalooza for the first time, was an inspiring moment in her young musical career.

And now until March, the Berklee College of Music will be hosting auditions for 2012’s scholarship contest in Chicago and in other cities as part of their world tour. Here’s more info on the Lollapalooza scholarship:

The college hopes the Berklee Lollapalooza Scholarship – a four-year, full tuition award – will attract a caliber of artist who might one day play the festival. A student who is not only a talented musician, but also a complete artist with a unique sound, charisma, and energy.

The application deadline for Fall 2012 is January 15. The first recipient will be chosen in March and announced at Lollapalooza 2012. As part of the partnership, a Berklee student artist will also be selected to perform at next year’s festival.

Good luck to everyone who’s auditions and let us know how your experience goes and we’ll share your story on a future episode of Live Fix Radio!

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To All The Fans: Thank You For Defining My Summer Music Festival Experiences

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applause sign at Lollapalooza 2011

Besides the music there’s nothing more I love about going to concerts than discovering the entertaining, inspiring and creative behaviors of fans as we all get lost in the rush of the live music experience.

And as the summer season wraps up this weekend, it’s obvious what made my summer festival experiences so much fun this year.

You.

Yes, when the music left me wanting more it was you, my fellow concert fan, that came to the rescue.

It was you that carried me through Eminem’s disappointing showing at Lollapalooza.

And when Cee-Lo fizzled out too, it was you who put a smile on my face and got me thinking about what I love about concerts, and the emotions we feel.

When it was all said and done, it was the unexpected conversations, gatecrasher stories, concert fan tribe experiments and funny mud-dancing moments that made the losses worth it this summer.

And it was even better when I got the chance to talk with fans after the show, and learn even more about the story behind your experiences.

All this considered, it just goes to show that without the fans, live music is pretty much a meaningless and emotionally void experience.

To put it simply –  you rock!

Thanks again to all the fans featured in this post. You’ve all shown why we have a great group of fans to add to our ongoing Best Concert Fans of the Year Experiment that we’ll wrap later this year.

So without further ado, here’s our special collection of fan photos, memorable muddy moments and short stories chronicling our adventures and fan highlights at summer music festivals in 2011.

Good, bad, strange or funny, go ahead tell us what your favorite festival moments were. Post your thoughts, photos, and videos in the comments below and we’ll share them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio!

 

Serendipity at The Pitchfork Press Tent?

While I was hanging out and re-charging my cell phone in the Press Tent at Pitchfork Festival, Andrea frantically came up to me and politely asked if she could borrow my cell-phone charger to charge her phone.

I gladly said “yes.”

And while she waited, she told me how she had unfortunately gotten separated from her friends for the last two hours and couldn’t re-connect with them because her cellphone had died. Andrea was pretty upset to find out that her friends had actually moved on without her to go find a spot front row for Animal Collective.

Despite unfortunate separation situation, we ended up having a great serendipitous chat about her favorite concert experiences. She also filled me in on the details behind the new cassette tapes she has just bought at the Pitchfork record store just a few minutes ago.

And I wonder if everytime she listens to those tapes will she have good memories of Pitchfork, or we she only remember getting ditched by her friends?

I haven’t had a chance to talk to Andrea since but I do hope she was able to re-connect with her friends and enjoy Animal Collective and the rest of the festival.

What’s Your Special Concert Spot?

While waiting for Das Rasist to start I had the pleasure of briefly chatting with the couple below ( the girl smiling and the guy with the goofy smile) about their Pitchfork experiences.

And I was amazed when they told me that this was their second time at Pitchfork. And this very spot, front and center at the Blue Stage, holds a special significance for them because it’s the same spot where they camped out last year to enjoy other Pitchfork bands.

I asked them if they had planned on romantically carving their names into the metal stage barrier guard rail, and they had they hadn’t yet. But they did say that they would think about doing that at the end of the festival this year.

Fans Lovin’ It Up and Getting Creative on the Lawn

These two photos capture the beauty of fans showing how live music can conjure deep emotions that make us want to get lovey-dovey and form an intimate human love pretzel. Or if the music moves us, we can even express ourselves with a crafty live concert sketch.

What Concert Fan Tribe Do You Belong To?

I had the pleasure of seeing these “Applause Sign” fans (above) on the way home from Day One of Lollapalooza. And then on Saturday I saw their Applause sign in full action during Atmosphere.

Then on Sunday I stopped to grab a shot of Kyle, a fan who expressed his love for Deadmou5.

These fans, like the thousands of others are great example of how micro fan-tribes spring up during festivals.

And the beauty of it is that you never know what will inspire fans to make their strange and unique creations to represent and celebrate their individuality and personal expression.

Concert fan tribes and the funny sticks to represent their tribes are two topics that have always fascinated me. And we’ll be taking a deeper look this creative anthropological phenomenon. So if you have done something like this before, drop a comment below.

“I Need A Ticket”

As we headed into the festival on Saturday, I stopped to talk with Steven who had flown from Oklahoma in hopes of scoring a Lolla ticket. But he wasn’t able to score a ticket, so he told me how he had embarked on a gate-crashing adventure with other eager and ticketless fans.

Steven’s story was part of record setting year of gate-crashing at Lollapalooza. And stay tuned as we follow-up with Steven to see how things turned out.

 

Do You Snap-Judge The Use of Mobile Phones During Concerts?

I saw this young fan entranced by his mobile phone and it made me think of our mobile experiment.  I don’t think it took anything away from his experience because at this point mobile devices play such a crucial role in how we remember and experience concerts in real-time.

Who are we to judge how others use their mobile phones to enjoy a show. With some many apps, like the Layar AR app, a fellow fan could be getting more out of a show that a fan who doesn’t use their mobile phone during a show. What do you think?

The Effects of Plastic Mouth Whistles

This is what can happen when Crissy Murderbot and MC Zulu throw plastic lip whistles in to the crowd and then proceed to lead us all in a crazy hip-shaking and chest-rattling parade of of jungle, dubstep and dancehall beats at 1:00 in the afternoon.  It put a huge smile on all our faces, even when one of the whistles hit me in the eye as Zulu tossed them from the stage. Were you in the crowd too? Do you still have your whistle? Yes, I still have the whistle and all I have to do bring me back to this glorious moment is put my lips together…and blow.

Is Mud-Dancing Therapeutic For Concert Fans?

As I mentioned at the beginning, for me, half of the fun of Lollapalooza 2011 was defined by observing and celebrating how the fans responded to the torrential downpours as we all splashed, sloshed and slipped around in the Lolla’s chain of mini-mud lakes on Sunday.

And seeing mud-dancing at music festivals never ceases to amaze me. It’s so fascinating to watch how we all interact with the mud and how it changes the concert experience for us.

From Glastonbury to the classic Woodstock scenes, or even the Westland Michigan Mud Festival, there has to be some reason why thousands of fans want to get dirty.

On the surface I could clearly see that fan were letting go of stress, anxiety and lots of tension. So there has to be some type of psychological benefits that draws us in to the mud-playing.

That said, I’ve been reading research studies that talk about the mental health benefits of playing in the mud. And one report says that the soil bacteria in mud is actually good for children and helps increase serotonin levels in the brain, which reduces anxiety.

Was some of this beneficial mud-playing going on at Lollapalooza? Did you have a dancing-in-mud therapy session and not even know it?

Where do you stand on the mud-people continuum? Do you dive in, or sit back and watch and wonder why?

To wrap up this massive Concert Fan Thank You Letter Experiment, here’s an experimental video that I took showing what happened at the mud-hill behind the Perry Stage while Kid Cudi wrapped up his set on Sunday night. Note: Besides the dirty mud, the video also has some filthy language in it, so do proceed with caution. If you’re impatient, the real fun begins at the 1:30 minute mark. 

 

 

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Sugarland Fan Trauma, Gate Crashers, Best & Worst of Lollapalooza 2011

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During this episode of Live Fix Radio, we explore how fans cope with the emotional trauma caused by the Sugarland stage collapse tragedy, the evolution of gate-crashing and the best and worst moments of Lollapalooza 2011.

Subscribe via iTunes.

Show Notes:

Music from the podcast (all tracks live at Lollapalooza 2011 except Sugarland)

  • Atmosphere – “Should’ve Known”
  • Sugarland – Live Tribute To Fans and Victims of Indiana State Fair Stage
  • Eminem – “Cleaning Out My Closet/Whatever You Say I Am”
  • Lissie – “Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare)” (a splendid cover of Kid Cudi’s original track)

News and other Stuff we talked about:

Were You There?

Were you at the Sugarland concert or Lollapalooza 2011? Have any gate-crashing tips? Spread the love and let us know what you think, and we’ll share your feedback during a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Concert Review: An Open Letter To Lollapalooza 2011

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Editorial Note: Well, you know that we love to embark on new and exciting concert experiments here at Live Fix. And now we’re going to share with you a most curious experiment that I tested out in my coverage of Lollapalooza 2011 for Blogcritics. As you’ll read below, I wanted try out a new way to explore and write about my concert experience and I hope you enjoy reading this personal letter to Lolla about how Eminem, Atmosphere, Cee-Lo and the crazy mud-people rocked our world at Grant Park.

And stay tuned for more fan stories and gate-crasher interviews and other adventures had at Lollapalooza!

 

Lollapalooza 2011 has come and gone but I won’t soon forget what happened as the festival celebrated its 20th birthday along Chicago’s lakefront in Grant Park in true spectacle and ultimate glory.

Like it always is, my Lolla experience was a complete and utter mind-blower. Once again I was sucked in by the sheer magnitude of it all and forever changed, whether I wanted to be or not.

And this year, the massive party was bigger than it’s ever been with a record-setting 275,000 fans (90,000 per day) who all got their rock on to the tune of 130 bands over three days.

But before I tell you about the music, I’ll be completely honest and tell you that as a fan and a concert reviewer my relationship with Lollapalooza is very complicated and super complex. It’s a love/hate sort of thing. Part of me loves going to the festival to immerse myself in the endless river of intoxicating sonic pleasure.

And I love the fact that so many people have gathered to embark on a life-altering and communal adventure like no other. But another part of me feels that the whole thing is just too damn big, and way too overwhelming at times. Because of this, much of the intimacy, uniqueness and sacredness of the live music experience is compromised and forsaken.

And as I struggled to make sense of my relationship with Lollapalooza, I decided to go back to Lolla’s etymological roots in hopes of writing you a different kind of concert review.

My curiosity led me to Webster’s dictionary, where I was reminded that “lollapalooza” is defined as “…an extraordinary or unusual thing, a person, or event, an exceptional example or instance.”
So instead of writing about Lollapalooza as just an event or just “an unusual thing” – which it certainly is – I’m going to share with you a concert review experiment in the form of an open letter/review to Lollapalooza as “a person.”

Dear Lollapalooza 2011,

There’s no easy way to say what I’m about to tell you, so I’ll just be completely honest and tell you that you make me crazy. Crazy good and crazy bad. You have a special way of making me want to cry, laugh, smile and go nuts all at the same time when I go to your festival.

I don’t know how you do it, but somehow you know how to manipulate all my emotional buttons, and still I come back to you each year acting as if nothing happened. Am I addicted to you? Or do I just love being psychologically abused and manipulated by you because I love the way it feels?

As you know, we’ve been close friends for the last five years and I have to say that you really put one hell of a show on this year in Chicago. Like the other 274,999 fans, I especially enjoyed the two torrential downpours on Sunday. Those heavenly showers from above really added something special to the festival.

When I saw dark clouds rolling in across the Chicago skyline and as the rain started to fall and soak us all, I knew deep down that no rainstorm could put out the candles on your birthday celebration.

And I was right because when things got sloppy, wet and super swampy, fans took full advantage of the situation and transformed a possibly depressing scene into a scene where hilarious mud-people ruled and ran wild across the grounds. And the funny thing is that most fans didn’t even bat an eye but continued to rock their brains out in the pouring rain.

I just hope that the injury report wasn’t too bad because I saw a steady stream of battered and bruised fans going in and out of the medical tents hobbling about, lying unconscious on tables and being carried out on stretchers as ambulances hurried them to local hospitals.

Sure, your festival is one of the most unique festivals around with a legendary and inspiring backstory. But the truth is that us concert fans can pay a hefty price for the rush and pleasure.

And I’m not just talking about the $215 three-day pass it costs to attend your Big Party.

I’m talking about the physical price: the bumps, bruises, busted ankles, puss-filled calluses on our feet, and the exhaustion of walking back and forth across your 115 acres to see our favorite bands that played on opposite sides of the park at the same time.

Yes, I know you and your hired security folks didn’t like them. But I did have fun watching the swarms of Gate Jumpers trying to crash your birthday party. Fan culture sure has evolved since your first festival in 1991.

And I have to say witnessing the sociological evolution of The Gate Jumpers and how they used Twitter to assemble their overpowering flash mobs to crash the gates was one of the most interesting non-musical parts of the festival.

I’ll never forget watching a throng of crashers trolling back and forth along the gate while I interviewed an artist. I felt like I was watching a scene from Jurassic Park where the velociraptors systematically tested the perimeter gate searching for weak points to plan their attack.

And when you think about it, this behavioral and technological development in Gate Jumpers shows that a new breed of concert fans is evolving.

Does this mean that our love for live music contributed to the molecular evolution of our species? I remember seeing the type of Lolla fans or “weirdoes,” as Perry Farrell affectionately called them, attend in 1991.

So who knows what the next 20 years will look like?

Okay, now it’s time to talk about the music you served up this year. I was pulled in so many different directions that it was yet again so hard to tell myself that I’m not going to see it all. But for you, I imagine it’s gotta be pretty hard to curate a festival for fans who’s iPods span the entire gamut of music genres.

And you have to figure out a way to get as many people there so you can make the most money possible while simultaneously satisfying the masses. But still, I always think it’s sort of sneaky how you scheme and schedule the sets with just enough time to walk from end to end, tempting fans to see if they can really see and hear it all.

No, I’m not trying to be a drag. I’m just having a little fun with you. Yes, most of the music I heard this year did move me and I’ve told my friends all about you.

No, not all the bands were as great as you made them out to be; some were actually pretty bad and quite disappointing actually. For starters, Eminem and Cee-Lo left me wanting more (more on those two dudes in a bit). I wanted a bit more rock on Friday night but Chris Martin and his buddies just weren’t doing it for me and Muse lost my interest after the first song and my favorite track “Uprising.”

But thank God for Ratatat!

They were fantastic and won the award for Best Use of Video Screen during Lollapalooza 2011. I’ll always remember how they synced up their electronic blips and unfurled their hypnotic instrumental melee of edgy guitars and synthy riffs with a trippy video screen backdrop that flashed exploding scenes from classic ’80s action movies. Arnold Schwarzenegger never looked so psychedelic, reanimated and re-contextualized as he was running through the jungle getting chased by an angry alien predator.

But what the heck was Cee-Lo thinking on Saturday?

What convinced him that coming out in a metal-clad and outrageously spiked football shoulder pad costume would make up for playing a set of half-assed and scattered songs? Did he really think such a sorry performance was good enough for Lolla fans? I would expect a lot more from the host of The Voice. I think he would have voted himself of if he showed up in that costume and played like he did.

Yes, Cee-Lo did eventually get to the song we all were waiting to hear in the flippant love-pop ballad “F#ck You.” But come on! Why did he waste our time and not unleash the golden voice and let us enjoy his golden croon and gift for great showmanship that we all know he has.

And what about Eminem’s set?

I had high expectations for this show. I’ve seen many amazing shows on that same Lollapalooza stage over the years. Kanye West was off the charts with his brilliant emotionally moving show before the hometown crowd in 2008. Then in 2010, I went in a skeptic and came out a newly converted Little Monster after Lady Gaga won me over with her dazzling and intimate spectacle of a performance.

But it kills me to say that Mr. Mathers’ performance was too rushed, contrived, and distant to get anywhere near inspiring. I don’t think it was a wise move to fill the set with a litany of hooks and snippets of his hits like “Without Me” or “Cleaning Out My Closet.”

Those are great songs and I would have liked to see him reinvent them more with fresh takes or freestyles. But that didn’t happen. Sure, it was a nice surprise to see Bruno Mars and Skylar Gray join the show for “Love the Way You Lie” and “Lighters.”

But again, it was too much medley and not enough of what Eminem is best at: being the freestyle master and battle-rapping hero that won us over in 8 Mile. The new recently recovered and reborn Slim Shady I was hoping for surely did not stand up.

Watching the set I wondered: Is Eminem still getting his bearings back? Is he still not comfortable in his own skin as he gets used to playing live without the crutch of drugs or alcohol? Without a doubt I applaud him doing what he’s done so far in his recovery. And I’m glad he didn’t’ suffer the fate of his peers that couldn’t overcome their addictions.

But why didn’t Eminem give us a great show? He had us all in the palm of his hand and I feel like he sold us all short. Since he’s not touring a whole lot these days, I expected him to go deeper and truly make it a special moment at least for a couple minutes. I wanted him to go beyond the expected jesterish and wrote humor.

I wanted him to take us to a new place that we haven’t been before, again, if only for a moment. Instead he made a few corny jokes about being sober. And those cheesy and awkward jokes climaxed and fizzled when he faked like he was going to guzzle down a bottle of vodka and throw his sobriety away.

And his punch line was a ridiculous trick jacket he had on that squirted out spouts of water like a water-filled cartoon character shot through with bullet holes. It was a pretty lame move that still confuses and frustrates me when I think about it.

But ya know what Lollapalooza?

The bad parts of your birthday party did not trump the best moments.

For starters, Atmosphere’s righteous mix of beats and rhymes was magical and off the charts. I still can’t wipe the smile off my face after witnessing emcee Sean Daley (aka Slug) riling up fans — new converts and faithful followers — into a feverish frenzy as he yelled “Let me see you bang your fists like you’re trying to build something.”

Those words and the way the crowd was so beautifully synchronized in their fist-pumping during the seismic “Should’ve Known” was one of the most memorable Lollapalooza moments I’ve ever had. I swear if it would have gone on for much longer I think the ground would’ve split beneath our feet.

Lollapalooza, my dear friend, it kills me to say this, but in the end Atmosphere’s show turned out to be far more significant and evocative than Eminem’s. I didn’t want it to be that way but that’s the way it turned out after Saturday night was over.

Sunday was all about the bands and fans either battling or embracing the rain. I don’t know what it is about the psycho-molecular combination of rain, dirt, grass and live music that turns fans into crazy and possessed mud-people.

But nonetheless I loved watching fans joyously stomp around in the giant muddle puddles at the Google + Stage while Georgia-based rockers Manchester Orchestra provided the perfect raw, grinding and gloriously emotive anthemic soundtrack to your righteous mudfest.
The day went by so fast and by the time Foo Fighters roared its way towards the festival’s finale on one side of the Grant Park while Deadmou5 entranced fans with his electronic DJ wizardy on the other, I was caught in smack dab between at the Perry Stage watching Kid Cudi woo his way into the hearts of Lollalites with a fan-led version of “Pursuit Of Happiness,” a fitting anthem to the close out the festivities.

I’ll wrap up this letter by saying…

that I do fear that you might’ve invited too many people this year, and I’m still not convinced that bigger is better. But I know that we won’t always agree on this, so I’m cool to agree to disagree with you.

I wanted to tell you that I’m not crazy about that prohibitive radius clause that you’ve asked bands to sign off on in order to play at your Big Party.

It seems kind of selfish to have bands agree to such a deal because it takes away from the local music scene and forces Chicago and Midwest fans to see their favorite bands under the hot sun when most of the bands that play your party are better suited for a smaller venue with a more intimate crowd.

Speaking of contracts, I saw how trashed Grant Park got and I hope that the possible $80,000 bill for cleaning up Grant Park doesn’t break your bank – I don’ t think it will considering how much you’ll end up making when you’re done counting your ticket sales.

And it’s good to know that the cleanup bill won’t be costing Chicago taxpayers a dime, and that your promise to make Grant Park look better than it did before your party. I just hope you and your fellow concert promoters C3 Presents do keep your promises to make this cleanup a reality.

There’s a lot more I could say to you Lollapalooza but I’ll save that for another letter.

In the end, your 2011 Birthday Party was certainly an “extraordinary and unusual” experience that I’ll continue to think about for a long, long time. And I’m excited to see what 2012 in Chicago will bring and how things will go for you next year during your big debut in Brazil.

Sincerely Addicted and Loyal Concert Fan,

Chris

Were You There?

Were you at the Lollapalooza festival? Did you like this open letter? What would you write to Lollapalooza? We invite you to share your Lolla concert experiences in the comments below, so they can be included in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Concert Preview: Top Picks for Lollapalooza 2011 and Perry Farrell’s Artistic Vision

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Here we go again my fellow emotional concert fans… It’s that time of the summer when Lollapalooza takes over Chicago and here’s a festival preview for you to enjoy that I wrote for my friends at Blogcritics. Plus a few extra bonuses and live music follow-ups for the Live Fix faithful.

The Lolla Story Continues…

This weekend Lollapalooza will once again rumble and rule Grant Park in Chicago. But it wasn’t always a three-day, sold-out mainstream celebration to boot. It’s nothing short of amazing to think of the festival’s roots and remember that Lollapalooza first started as a traveling farewell oddity tour for Perry Farrell and Jane’s Addiction in 1991.

And things have certainly changed since then. Because 20 years later, in 2011, the festival has a more corporate-flavor with sponsored stages and three-day ticket prices topping out at $215. This year, the fan count has swelled to an expected record number of 90,000 fans a day who will come ready to rock to the tune of 130 bands on eight stages.

One of the ways I’ve put the whole experience in perspective over the years is by re-reading one of my favorite interviews with Perry Farrell. The intriguing chat is from Dimitri Ehrlich’s Inside the Music, an excellent collection of conversations with artists and performers.

One of the reasons I love reading this interview is because it was written around the time of Woodstock 1994, and it never ceases to amaze and challenge me to think differently about Farrell. And each time I read it, I always notice something new about Farrell’s artistic vision.

I can’t help but struggle with deciding whether or not his perspective on performance and entertainment has changed over the years. And each time I read deeper into what he says, I often wonder if the Farrell of today would put on the Lollapalooza of 1991, or vice versa.

So before I tell you which bands I’m looking forward to seeing this weekend, I’d like to get you ready for this year’s show by sharing a section of this interview that takes us back to Farrell’s provocative “self-love” mindset in 1994 and that properly celebrates Lollapalooza’s 20th birthday.

Ehrlich writes, “As the founder of Lollapalooza, Farrell gave a generation it’s own version of Woodstock, an alternative rock tour de force, which became so big, so powerful, and so popular that Farrell had to jump off … Farrell is playing to smaller crowds but he’s adamant about creating art on his own terms. Operating with that sense of freedom, he’s finding not only artistic rejuvenation but a kind of spiritual one as well.”

Farrell says, “Whether it’s about being a catalyst or being another cell in a total living organism, I’m finding that in the ’90s, this is what I’m shooting for, this is what I believe. I believe that the next step for entertainers is to teach people self-love.

“Those people who separate themselves, those who look down, those who condescend, they are going to be wiped out. I think that people are just going to wipe them of the slate. The performers who will be valued are those who come to a town and practice and exhibit self-love. Because I think that’s what we want now is to learn how to love ourselves ….”

“What I’m trying to do in my life right now is learn how to love the position that I’m in …. I welcome the fact that I entertain people. I don’t separate myself from them, I don’t look down at the crowd. I like being the emcee at the party, I like putting people in a good mood, and I work hard to do it.”

Farrell’s thoughts are certainly an interesting thing to think about as the music begins to rock this weekend.

Top Picks and Those Extra Goodies

Now, here are few extra goodies and my top picks that I’ve already marked off as “must-see” on this year’s Lollapalooza mobile app. I’d love to hear what you think of Farrell’s thoughts and what bands you’re looking forward to seeing this year too.

If you’re heading out to the festival be sure to take a break from the music and check out all the new Lolla activities and fan-centric side shows going on this year.  We hope to see you there as we see if Lollapalooza has made any of our suggested improvements.

For those of you not able to see the action live, the whole festival will be streamed live on YouTube, and you can watch it here.

Friday

Kate Diaz, 2:30 p.m. @ Kidz Stage:  This 13 year-old singer-songwriter has come a long way in a short period of time. We’ve shared her inspiring story with you before, and we’re looking forward to checking out her Lollapalooza debut.

Kids These Days, 4:15 p.m. @ BMI Stage: Don’t be fooled by their lack of years. This Chicago-based eight-piece is quickly winning fans with each passing show. Get caught up in their raw, re-energizing and refreshing mix of Roots-style jazz, rock and hip hop.

Bright Eyes, 6:30 p.m. @ Bud Light Stage: One of the best singer-songwriters today, Conor Oberst will certainly leave no personal story untold and no emotion unfelt.

Girl Talk, 8:45 p.m. @ Perry’s Stage: Knowing what we discovered during our previous Girl Talk explorations, it’s always a joyous free-for-all when Greg Gillis is behind the laptop. And fans are never able to resist the thumping and surging mashup of party beats and Top 40 hits when he hits full throttle.

Muse, 8:15 p.m. @ Bud Light Stage: A fitting end to day one is Muse. It’s British anti-establishment anthem rock at it’s finest. Fans’ fists will be raised high in pleasureful protesting salute.

Saturday

Atmosphere, 7:30 p.m. @ Music Unlimited Stage: We’ve talked with these guys before. And as one of the pioneers of indie-rap, this Minnesota-based duo never disappoint live with the beats and rhymes. And with their latest offering Family Sign, the superb storytelling combo of emcee Slug and producer/DJ Ant has only gotten better with age.

Cee-Lo, 6:30 p.m. @ Music Unlimited Stage: Yes, Lollapalooza wouldn’t be complete without Cee-Lo putting a mile-wide smile on the masses. Expect one of the biggest sing-a-longs in the festival’s 20-year history to erupt during uber hit (and hopefully uncensored) “F*ck You.”

Eminem, 8:30 p.m @ Music Unlimited Stage: Mr. Mathers isn’t touring a lot, so this Saturday closer will be one to remember and is not to be missed. And we’ll be thinking a lot about what he told Anderson Cooper recently about why his fan are no longer a blue during the show.

Sunday

Cool Kids, 3:00 p.m. @ Perry’s Stage: This crafty hip hop duo have honed their release of their latest album When Fish Ride Bicycles. And the hometown crowd is ready to put it to the test live.

Manchester Orchestra, 7:00 p.m. @ Google + Stage: Courageous, intimate and epic storytelling doesn’t get any better than on their latest gem, Simple Math; it’s simply one of the best, most personal and inspiring rock albums of 2011.

Kud Cudi, 9:00 p.m. @ Perry’s Stage: Escape in the cold dark world of Cleveland native Scott Mescudi as he raps deftly with a slow and melodic flow about his life’s drug-hazed trials and lonesome tribulations.

Foo Fighters, 8:30 p.m. @ Music Unlimited Stage: When he’s not kicking fans out for fighting during their shows, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl shows why he is the master of arena rock.

What’s Your Lollapalooza Story?

Were you at the first Lollapalooza festival to witness it’s begining? Have you been to the Chicago incarnation before? We invite you to share your Lolla concert experiences in the comments below, so they can be included in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Have You Told Your Lollapalooza Story Yet?

relive lollaplooza 2011 fan stories
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relive lollaplooza 2011 fan stories

 

Lollapalooza is celebrating 20 years by asking fans to submit their concert stories to win a free trip to Lollapalooza 2011 in Chicago in August.

And judging by the fan stories that have already been submitted, this contest is a very special experience filled with thousands of great memories and millions of concert fans emotions.

As I cruise through the stories that have been posted thus far, one of my favorite stories was posted by Jennifer Duron. She shares a great tale of traveling with 15 friends as a teenager to see Lolla ’92 just outside of Houston, Texas.

And there’s more stories, a whole lot more — all the way up to last year’s 2011. It’s great to read these stories knowing that thousands of fans are going back in time to celebrate how the Lollapalooza experience has impacted their lives.

Reading all these stories definitely made me think of our favorite Lolla experiences over the years seeing Kanye West, Radiohead, Arcade Fire and Lady Gaga.

And it makes me wonder if we’re heading towards a better Lollapalooza experience or not.

It makes me wonder if Perry Farrell and company are really pushing the boundaries of the fan experience, or just raising the ticket prices and adding more bands to the bill? Is the festival just getting bigger and not better?

Does an crowd-sourced mobile experience like HackLolla, make for an improved fan experience?

And as I dive deeper in the fan stories and the cool interactive time capsule, I’ve also been wondering…

How has the Lolla fan changed over the years?

Do fans expect less or more during the experience?

Will fans ever push back and demand more from the festival?

Is the Lolla experience in 2011 giving us a glimpse into the future of the concert experience?

If it is, then what is the biggest difference between the first Lolla and last year’s festival?

If you want to win your way to Lolla, you still have time. The deadline to submit your Lollapalooza story is next Tuesday June 21 and you can enter here.

Go ahead and tell us what you think of Lolla’s 20 year history. And share with us your favorite Lollapalooza concert story in the comment below.

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Introducing Live Fix Radio: The Official Podcast For Concert Fans

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Live Fix Radio Podcast

Yes, my friends, the time has come to launch Live Fix Radio! And we’re starting this new and unique podcast with a live music memory experiment and celebration focusing on The Arcade Fire, Lady Gaga, Grinderman, LCD Sound System and more bands that rocked live in 2010 and are currently blazing a tour trail in 2011. Continue reading

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Best Concert Moments of 2010: How Live Music Changed Our Lives

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B.O.B. at Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago

Before we dive into a new year of concert adventures, let’s see what live music moments mattered the most. Let’s discover how the live concert experience changed our lives in 2010.
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Will 3D TV Change Your Live Concert Experiences?

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Last year, we started to explore 3D concerts. And you learned how AEG Live was redefining the 3D concert experience in 2010.

And now with the advent of 3D TV, it’s time to dream about the possibilities as Lady Gaga and other artists begin to unveil their live show on 3D Blu-ray, so you can experience their concerts like never before at home.

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