So, as I figured, I didn't end up going to Lollapalooza at all this past weekend. My husband, however, had a great time over the course of the three-day event and thankfully did not end up getting trampled. When he arrived home each night and showed me the videos he captured, I was confident that I had made the right decision to NOT attend. Yes, I'm old. A picture and short (and I do mean SHORT) video he shot during Rage Against the Machine's performance the second night (Saturday) prove my point.
Here's the picture:
So that doesn't look THAT bad, right? Crowded, yes... but everyone at least seems to be coordinated in their efforts to rock out and/or take digital pictures.
But now check out the video, taken from that same spot minutes later. I will let you watch it first (it's safe for work, but you NEED the sound on) and then I will give my comments below. Unfortunately it's not as crisp of a picture as it is when I play it on QuickTime from my laptop, but you'll get the idea.
OK... so I watched this video about 50 times in a row after he came home Saturday night and laughed my head off every single time. Then I woke up in the middle of the night giggling about it. I keep re-watching it and keep laughing. Something about it just kills me. He said that he literally could not move, that's how packed it was, even fairly far back from the stage (the stuff being thrown in the sky was just water, by the way). As he attempted to hold up the camera, someone slammed into him from behind (people were moshing even that far back in the crowd!) and down came his arms as he struggled to not lose his footing or our camera.
I wish I knew if that weird scream noise at the end was him or someone else, but I guess it will remain a mystery (he has no memory of screaming, but I don't think he'd admit it if he did...). Anyway, he kept his camera in his pocket from that point on.
Shortly after the video above was taken, Rage actually had to stop their show because people were getting crushed up against the barricades near the stage. The lead singer asked everyone to "take ten steps back" and to not let their aggression out at the festival, but rather to "take it to the streets." What?!?! Was he instructing people to riot after the show? Who knows. Regardless, that didn't happen. But they did have to stop the show two more times to plead again with the crowd to move back.
Anyway, even though I got a kick out of his short clip, it reinforced my initial hunch that I would've absolutely hated dealing with that sort of crazy crowd.
His pictures and videos from the Radiohead set on the first night, however, did make me wish I could've watched their show from a bubble floating over the masses.
Here's just a partial clip of their performance of "The Bends," one of my favorites. The initial seconds of the video show the entire stage before zooming in.
He also recorded songs from Wilco, Battles and hyper DJ Girl Talk (a few lyrics near the beginning are not safe for work), for those of you who many be interested. The best part of the Girl Talk video is about 1 minute 40 seconds in, where a guy starts crowd-surfing right in front of my husband... two feet appear in front of the lens all of a sudden. Since Girl Talk (Gregg Gillis) is a DJ, he basically just let his laptop play and it looked like an all-out dance party. My husband reports that it was by far the craziest crowd (in a good way) of the weekend. If, like me, you already felt old before watching that video, you will feel absolutely ancient afterward.
My friend Adam Graham, who writes for The Detroit News, posted a recap of his Lollapalooza experience here, so be sure to check that out for more pictures and video clips, including one of the bizarre Girl Talk finale where he rode in an inflatable raft over the crowd while part of the chorus from Journey's "Faithfully" played on loop in the background. !?!?!
For those of you who mourn the loss of The O.C. as much as I do, I end this post with a video of the surprise appearance by Phantom Planet, singing "California" during Mark Ronson's performance. I cannot stop myself from wailing "Californiaaaaa, Californ-yaaaaaaaaaaa, here we coooooommmmmeeeee!" every time I hear this song.
Seth Cohen, I miss you.