The storm that swept through Chicago last Thursday left me without power until Sunday afternoon. Luckily, I had somewhere else to stay but it was still extremely frustrating and limiting. I happened to be at my house Sunday morning when the power company arrived to remove a downed tree and restore power to my building. And who do you think was there to save the day again? Of course, Mexicans. Ok, I don’t know if they were Mexican but they were brown and spoke Spanish. Good enough for me.
If it’s not hot and humid or bitterly cold, then the weather in Chicago can’t be that bad, right? Wrong! Last night Chicago endured a wicked storm that toppled large trees and even uplifted some roofs. If you think rain is pain in the NW check this out.
I used my camera phone to snap a picture of a bus stop shelter, by my house, that was the victim of a falling tree. It’s poor quality but the shelter is on the left and the roof is caved in and the glass is shattered. You can see a pic of an intact bus shelter here.
For anyone that doesn’t know, I tore my ACL in college. I’d like to say the injury resulted from some heroic or courageous act but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It was the result of a wrestling match, in the Sigma Pi annex, with Nate Pine after a night of drinking at El Prez. I tried to throw Nate but he was too heavy and I was too drunk and wearing boots. As I twisted to toss him onto his back my ankle buckled and only my upper body turned as my foot stayed firmly planted. I heard a pop and thought for sure when I looked down that my right foot would be pointed backwards.
I’m not a big music festival fan. I think the last outdoor concert I went to was at the Oregon State Fair when I saw Tony Toni Tone. But when I found out Daft Punk was making a stateside stop in my backyard, I knew I would be purchasing an overpriced ticket just to see one performance.
Stacy and I got single day tickets for Friday, the first day of the Lolla. We got to Grant Park around 1:30pm and didn’t have to wait too long to get in. Because it was 90+ and humid, I made a bee line to the beer tent to get a refreshment because I’m pretty sure my doctor told me that cold beer is the best way to avoid dehydration.
The first performance we caught was Jack’s Mannequin. This is a solo project from the lead singer of Something Corporate, which was the only reason I had even heard of this guy. We weren’t near the stage and I spent most of the performance sitting on the grass and sweating profusely. After some quick eats and another beer we headed to the opposite end of the festival, which took a while to navigate to, and watched M.I.A. This was probably the most boring show we saw all day. M.I.A. is hip-hop artist from the UK and her style of rap didn’t seem to translate well with the Midwest crowd. We watched half the set then searched for more beer.
My master plan was to secure a good, close standing spot for Daft Punk, who was performing last on the AT&T stage. I figured we would watch whatever band was peforming before Daft Punk, which happened to be Perry Ferrell’s current band Satellite Party, then as the crowd left to see other artists we would stay and be rewarded with front row spots. Unfortunately, others had a master plan similiar to mine because after Satellite Party finished the crowd collectively shrunk towards the center of the stage. It was now more crowded than before and Daft Punk wouldn’t be performing for another hour.
After an hour of standing, sweating, getting bumped into, smelling pot, and more sweating, I was seriously thinking about giving up our prime real estate in return for my personal space and a cold beer. But that would have been the worst mistake of my life. I opted to stay, and when the tones from Close Encounters of the Third Kind echoed into the crowd, I instantly forgot about how uncomfortable and tired I was.
It’s difficult to describe a great concert experience so I won’t try to here. But I will say that this Daft Punk set was easily the most amazing music and lightshow I’ve ever seen. The amount of “crowd energy” that they created was incredible. I felt like the whole audience was on a trampoline, collectively bouncing to the thunderous beats.
Below are some of the better YouTube clips from Lollapalooza but these clips still don’t come close to capturing the live atmosphere.
A couple weeks ago I experienced my first Lollapalooza. Apparently, I dress so uniquely that someone felt the need to document my coolness (top row, second from right, I’m wearing the Cobra Commander shirt).
Although I’m amazed that someone randomly photographed my t-shirt amongst a sea of concert goers, I’m even more amazed that a coworker found this pic and recognized it was me. This proves the Internet is either really cool or really scary.
I used to host this blog on a ”server” at my house (which explains the random outages). I’ve been trying to motivate myself to migrate this site to a new platform but have found that, after 8 hours of fixing computers at work, I lack the motivation to continue fixing them at home. I decided I need to find a new “host.”
Here’s the new set up:
- I’m using WordPress.com for the blog portion. WordPress is similiar to blogspot.com but includes better functionality and is more customizable. Best of all it’s free.
- I’m using PicasaWeb from Google to share photos which is also free.
Hopefully the new set up will allow me to concentrate on content as opposed to maintenance and I’m sure there will be much less downtime.