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.