So, forgive me, but I am driven to rant a little bit here about our friendly Chicago music-fest. Not Pitchfork, but the big one. Lollapalooza. I can't go this year due to a wedding, and that's OK. There are a lot of bands I want to see (Radiohead, NIN, Rage, Malkmus, Wilco all top the list), but I am old now, and the entire Lollapalooza experience is kind of daunting. It was a lot to deal with when I went in 95 and it was one day, I was 17, and we were out in the country. Between the heat, the sea of people, and the cost of everything it's a lot more to deal with now. Still, I've not been in any way against the festival.
Today I ventured over to pitchfork and there is a little blurb saying Malkmus is going out on tour. Good deal I say, I haven't seen him since a Pavement show in 99. I click, and the Chicago date is his Lollapalooza appearance. Same thing for Radiohead's tour. And Wilco. And Nine Inch Nails. All bands I want to see, all bands that are touring, all bands that won't play here as part of their tour outside of the festival. This is, to a large part, Lolla's fault, as they require bands to sign a contract stating they will not play in the greater Chicagoland area for 60 days prior and 30 days after Lolla. The end result is that instead of helping the summer music scene here, Lolla is screwing it.
Now, my frustration stems not just from the fact that I can't go, but also from the fact that for the vast majority of these bands, their Lolla experience is a poor substitute for an actual show. We've all been to festivals, and we know that bands tend to play shorter sets, have less of a show, and in general seem to put on more subdued shows. Do I want to see Malkmus play for 45 minutes in the middle of the day in the heat in a ginat field or do I want to see him play for 2 hours at the Riviera? To me, the choice is easy. Of course there's nothing to be done about this except be mad. And mad I am.
So there you have it. One cranky Chicagoan's view of Lollapalooza. Check back next week for a slightly less cranky rant about why I'm bored with 3 minute pop songs.