Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It’s that Time of year in Chicago: Lollapalooza Weekend

Chicago has hosted its fair share of concerts and festivals this summer, not unlike summers past. Hailing from a small, but near suburb, I have traveled the slow Metra ride a number of times, seeking the excitement of the city that just can’t be found in smaller towns around mine. This is the first year that I am actually living in the city, blocks away from the concert series at Millennium Park, special events such as the Taste of Chicago, and upcoming Lollapalooza in Grant Park. With all of the hype going around about this year’s bigger and better Lollapalooza music festival, I could not be more excited. Concerts and festivals seem to slow down quite a bit during the month of August, as summer season is more than half way over and many young people like me are returning to school. This just means there is no chance of Lollapalooza being over shadowed, especially when it includes performances by Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, Phoenix, MGMT, and The Black Keys. I am also just as excited to see smaller names such as Flosstradamus, the DJ duo who’s native to Chicago, and I’ve been following for a couple years, along with other artists that have taken over my iPod this summer like Wavves, B.o.B., Rusko, and Chiddy Bang.

Lollapalooza seems to evolve every year, further from the typical multi day festival that I picture my parents going to in their “cool” days, with limited greasy food choices, and less than cleanly conditions. Past years, I’ve snuck in granola bars and fruit snacks to keep me going to avoid ending up eating the food there or have left and had to waste time by finding a place to eat outside the park. But this year, the new Chow Town offers 15 different restaurants! Lollapalooza has also consistently emphasized their Green initiative and this year I am going fill a trash bag with recyclables in exchange for a free Lollapalooza T-shirt as incentive. After some deep consideration of the menu, I will definitely be opting for the Portobello Wrap from Crescent Foods, the White Bean Hummus with Pita and Veggies from Rockit Bar and Grill, and a frozen pomegranate kefir with granola and fresh blueberries from Starfruit. More importantly than food, the beer and wine selection ranges considerably from Stellas to Pinot Grigio. I highly doubt my parents’ festivals had anything comparable. Fittingly, my custom line-up allows me a perfect gap for lunch from 1 – 3 PM in between seeing Wavves, and The Big Pink on Friday.

If there is a talked about celebrity at the moment, it’s Lady Gaga. She is notorious for her bizarre outfits and behavior on stage and off. Having never witnessed a Gaga concert yet, I cannot wait for what crazy antics she has in store for this Friday. No doubt she will be hanging around the city for the remainder of the weekend too, so maybe if I am lucky enough, I will spot her watching another performance or at an after party. She is not likely to blend into any crowd whether it’s on Earth or on Mars. This weekend is sure to be filled with wicked tunes, energetic performances, good eats (and drinks), and memories to take back to school at the end of August.

- By HIC Intern Amber O’Leary

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