Okay, at long last, I’m going to sit down with my hot chips and my liter of Diet Pepsi, and I’m going to bang out a blog. I’m very bent about the promotion for free ring tones being over on the cap of this Diet Pepsi. Alas, I had to pay for Everything She Wants by Wham! to chime in when someone buzzes me. Don’t ask me why I picked that song. So, on to the topic at hand . . .
Lollapalooza, holy crap, that didn’t come up on spell check, was in town over the weekend. Have you seen the line-up? Despite the fact that almost all of my favorite bands were at this thing, for a myriad of reasons, I still couldn’t bring myself to buy tickets.
While working at Navy Pier I could hear the show faintly. I distinctly heard The Violent Femmes as well as Gnarles Barkley. After work I pedaled over to the show and watched what I could see of The Flaming Lips through the back entrance. They were the perfect band for peeping in on because I could see the fuzzy, animal suit people jumping around and the enormous inflatable Santa bouncing to the music. As I was rocking to the set on my bike, a girl handed me an Adidas sweatband, which I promptly put on my head. Where I was positioned turned out to be ideal for people watching. These guys on all terrain golf carts were driving V.I.P.’s around the enclosed area from one end of the stage to the other. I saw the singer from Gnarles Barkley and Matt Pinfield from MTV get rides, and they are both tiny, little, gnomes. I would never want to live in L.A. because I think it would be disheartening to spot all these famous people and see that they are no taller than Emanuel Lewis from Webster. Two different professional photographers took photos of me; I guess to document that there was a weirdo with a headband, sitting on his bike, trying to get something for free.
On Sunday my friend Brendan called me up and offered me two, free V.I.P. passes, which, for a very high fee, allow you to eat and drink all you like, all day. I got off work at 6 and Queens of the Stone Age went on at 6:30, so I had to run my ass around the lake, and over the river to the entrance, which turned out to be the wrong entrance, since my buddy with the passes was at the OTHER entrance. So I RAN my ass all the way around the stadium in my Chuck Taylor’s, and I have to go on record now and say those shoes, while they are very stylish, offer ZERO support. When we got into the stadium, my buddy went off to see Wilco, and me and my swollen feat made our way to the other stage to see Queens. I got myself a fruity, frozen drink for free and settled in for some rock. A beer is a far more manly libation to enjoy when you’re ‘raising the goblet of rock,’ but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t a refreshing cocktail on a balmy, Chicago night. The band was great, but I was hating on the moshing and crowd surfing. The latter ends with an idiot surfing to the stage, getting escorted around the side, then this asshole thinks he can barrel his way past me back to his friends. Mosh pits I don’t like because I can’t watch the band while keeping my eyes peeled for stray elbows. One idiot did fall down and hit me in the shin, which I was not happy about. I think my disdain for the pit was evident, and they eventually stayed clear of me.
My cohort and I opted to meet up, stay in the V.I.P. lounge, and drink our way through the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was pretty far away from the stage, but the free booze was too tempting. The other option was watching staple surgery poster boy John Popper and Blues Traveler, but I’ll hold out for next summer when they split a Ribfest bill with Eddy Money.
On our way into the V.I.P. lounge entrance, we saw a guy dressed in all white with black eye makeup trying to reason with the staff to let him in. It was bazaar because he looked at me like he knew me, and I looked back at him since I was pretty sure I knew him. I thought maybe I went to high school with him, but then it occurred to me that it was Jared Leto, who I WATCHED go to high school on My So Called Life. As it happens, his shitty band played a no doubt shitty set at Lollapalooza. Ladies, I’m sorry to break this to you, but while he does have captivating eyes, he too is a gnome, hobbit, or some other form of hafling. I remember thinking, “Hey Jared, you keep trying to argue with these folks. I’m going to go inside and have myself a couple of girly drinks, because I’m a V.I.P. and you’re not. And, oh yeah, your acting career is floundering, your band is getting horrible reviews, and you’re short.”