Lollopalooza 2014 was a doozy. Over the course of three days, about 140 performers played on eight stages that were spread out between one mile of Chicago’s Grant Park. Once the king of “alternative rock” fests, 2014’s Lollapalooza heavily focused on pop and hip-hop with a little bit of that alt-rock stuff in between.
There was Iggy Azalea, who forcefully bounced her way all over the stage to some brutally loud and heavy beats that almost caused the complimentary White Castle Sliders that I consumed to forcefully slide their way outta my guts. She’s no joke. There were tons of hip-hop and EDM artists so naturally everybody was told to put their “muthafukkin hands in the air” a lot. I think that Lorde has a lyric in a song that says something about being sick of being told to put her hands in the air. Lorde is very wise for a teenager, and I’m mostly with her on that one, but it’s alright when Flosstradamus says to do it because those dudes have spunk as well as some pretty great stage props.
This was the first time I’d heard Benjamin Booker. He and his band played some real catchy, blown-out garage tunes that went real well with standing around a park on a Saturday afternoon. Parquet Courts seemed pretty out of place on a giant stage at a 100,000 person festival. They played some pretty interesting and sometimes droney punkish songs that slightly reminded me of a few other bands that I love dearly, one of them being the legendary Michigan band, Tyvek.
Heavy rains fell throughout Sunday afternoon, turning much of Grant Park into a mud pit, just like Woodstock and Woodstock II or whatever they called the one in the ’90s. Some people rolled around in the mud like human animals. Just after night fell, Skrillex appeared in some sort of alien craft that emitted all kinds of fog, blinking lights, laser beams and the loudest music I’ve ever heard.
So the sheer amount of music was fun-numbing, the crowd became the show, and all was well in summer fest-ville. Dude. Bro. Lollapalooza!
Photos and words by Robert Karlic