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Lollapalooza 2013: Alison's Final Reflection

I could just see the headline “Lolla attendee’s head explodes at taxi driver’s reckless incompetence.”

I’m fidgeting with irritation upon noticing the short cab ride from my friend’s house to Grant Park is taking much longer than usual. After screeching around the corner through a red light we come to a jarring halt on the north end of Millennium Park. The parks are right next to each other, but it’s a bit of a walk  and I’m already missing some of the acts on my list because of the driver’s little “detour.”

Up ahead is a another red light and a mass of pedestrians crossing the street. Instead of stopping the driver lays on his horn and blasts, at what I swear is at least 25 miles per hour, through a crowd. I start uncontrollably shouting expletives as people literally jump out of the way to avoid getting hit. (This is not an exaggeration). As soon as there’s a chance I make him pull over, only to find out that he isn’t comping the extra seven blocks he took us, but I’m assuming a refund is in order. It is the one and only time I’m unhappy during the weekend so I don’t let it get me down for too long. The rest is smooth sailing.

I meet up with Josh for the Question of the Day. I now have some great insight on the wild things that went on during the fest.

We spend a good deal of time trying to hunt down police, assuming they will have a few stories to share. During the process we:

A. stumble upon a man dressed as Jesus leading a group of what I can only assume resembled his “disciples.” Naturally we stop and talk to them.
B. Pass the Angel Haze show at Perry’s. I start grooving and Josh informs me this is Azealia’s lesser known rival with more street cred--my kind of gal. From what I can hear on the street the two sound pretty similar, but I dig it and plan give this lady a listen.    

I finally spot some cops outside of Perry’s, so we approach them with our 88Nine smiles. They are unnecessarily stoic. We try again with a group resting under the trees. They are much more responsive but ultimately useless, saying this has been a relatively calm festival. I have to agree, but I think it’s partially a result of staying along the outskirts during performances to dodge the “excuse me, sorry, excuse me” bit. Little wallflower.

We talk to a few more people, including a raver named Mercy Peppers with a crazy Perry’s story. Go figure.

We wrap up around 3 p.m. My friend/host Corbin and I are off to enjoy the last sets in the dwindling hours of the weekend.

The Mowgli’s: I couldn’t quite figure this band out. Some shout-singing triggered a pop punk sound with a Band of Horses tinge.

Alt J: An incredibly calm and quiet start had the crowd barely head bobbing. The couple in front of me popped a bottle of champagne, and right around the fourth song things picked up. A great sound through and through.

Half Moon Run: I’m so happy I chose to see this band. They had smallest audience I have ever seen at Lollapalooza. I thoroughly enjoyed their smooth, harmonious, Radiohead-y set, so I’m just going to assume their listeners were swallowed whole by the overflow of the Vampire Weekend crowd.

2 Chainz: Yep. I did it and I had fun. I’m sorry, I’m different.

Stopped to observed then participate in an RVSB dance party.

(Watch the middle of the screen)


Phoenix, Cat Power, The Cure: I didn’t stay at any of these closers long enough to get really get into it, but two or three songs each assured me that the closing acts of Lollapalooza 2013 rocked Chicago pretty hard.

Breaking Bad on Corbin’s couch and one (or two) more slices of pizza before I swear it off forever.

I have to say, there is something about the endorphins, serotonin, juju--whatever you want to call it-- that makes it hard to hate a performance during a festival. I find myself at least satisfied with most of the acts.Good mood, good music, good vibes man.

Of the performances I saw, I would rank my top three as Kendrick Lamar, Little Green Cars and Father John Misty. The best part is, I also discovered a few new artists: Half Moon Run, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Angel Haze.

I can’t stress enough how grateful I am to be a part of this experience. I loved representing such an amazing organization, especially when running into listeners. A HUGE thank you to Radio Milwaukee for including me!


Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee