Lollapalooza: Day 2

What’s up?! Day 2! I’ve got even more hilarious and entertaining stuff to talk about!

We got there a little later today because the first set we wanted to see didn’t start until 2:45. So we showed up around 1 PM knowing exactly what to expect now. There was the same old security, same old inefficiency in terms of blocking prohibited items. We browsed the VH1 station and made a gif of ourselves. It’s pretty dope. Then we talked to this VH1 rep that gave us wallet armbands just for tweeting, but found out she knew Charles Bradley, the first artist we were seeing today. In her words, “He puts on a great show and you can just really feel him when he does it.” We were excited to get more information about him because we had never heard of him before the lineup was announced. We’d soon find out.

We grabbed lunch and got a Garlic Parmesan Stuffed Italian Sausage Sandwich from Tuscany on Taylor and some Triple Truffle Fries from Franks ‘n’ Dawgs. Delicious. The restaurants were 3/3.

We listened to a group called Reignwolf while we ate and they weren’t bad. It was good rock music.

We headed over to see Charles Bradley at 2:45. We got decent spots toward the front and prepared to enjoy the show. Charles Bradley is a funk/soul singer from Florida.  His set started off with a song performed by his band, all instruments. His band knew how to get down. It consisted of two guitarists, a bassist, a saxophonist and trumpeter equipped with tambourines, a pianist, and a drummer. The pianist was a very enthusiastic dude with a knack for introductions and he was the one to introduce Charles. They were real funky and then Charles Bradley came out and turned up the funk even more. He came out in an all blue outfit with a medium sized afro and as soon as he started singing, I thought of James Brown. They are similar in musical style and fashion. Charles Bradley was very strong vocally and very passionate. He was very energetic and did a lot of dancing; it was hard to believe he was 65 years old. You could feel the emotion emanating from every song. They were intensely soulful and his band backed him up perfectly. Out of all the instruments, the saxophone and trumpet were the standout pieces of this band. They were sharp and played a large part in the funky sound. Charles left the stage and his band continued to get down. The enthusiastic pianist came back out and re-introduced Charles. He came out in a completely new outfit that was so much more fly. The standout moment in the show was when Charles bust out some funky dance moves, asked us if we knew what confusion was, danced some more, did some pelvic thrusts, put his finger to his lips, crawled to the front of the stage, and said, “That’s what confusion is.” Yep. All of that happened lol. Charles put on a great show, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever be in the mood to listen to recordings of his music. I was born in ‘91 and this just wasn’t my generation of music. I love old school R&B and even this style of music stretches farther than that. I’m gonna see what his recordings sound like, but no one can take away from the fact that he is an amazing live performer.

So here’s where the “fun” began. The concert ended at 3:45 and Kendrick Lamar was starting at the same stage at 6:45. Seeing as how Kendrick was one of the main reasons why we did Lollapalooza, we decided it’d be best if we just stayed at the stage for Kendrick. So the plan was wait an hour for Ellie Goulding to start, see her hour long set, and then wait another hour for Kendrick. The catch? We were out of water. The wait was decent though. We met two people named Jasmine and Brandon that we thought were a couple, but found out later they were brother and sister. They were from California and came to see Ellie and Kendrick. They talked to us about their festival experience and told us about how they saw the Tupac hologram at Coachella last year. They were cool people and we chopped it up with them for a while. The wait consisted of talking to them, getting sprayed with water by the event staff, and drinking the water they were nice enough to pass to us.

Ellie Goulding started at 4:45. My only experience with her was the excessive playing of her song “Lights” on the radio and her terrible vocal performance at an awards show a year or so ago. Well, she started her performance and she was energetic right off the bat. The crowd went crazy for almost every song she played. She danced for every song and she wasn’t bad at it. I didn’t know any of the songs but two since I was there for Kendrick haha but I could definitely still appreciate her set. Her beats were enchanting and she even played the guitar and drums. Vocally, she was alright. She has a whispery voice and she sang too softly for most of her songs. It didn’t help that the music was so much louder than her. There were many notes she didn’t hit, but I’m not trippin’. I wouldn’t see her again or even listen to her music, but she wasn’t a bad filler set for us.

It was time for Kendrick. The anticipation was at a maximum level. He’s one of my favorite artists and this was my first time seeing him in concert so I was stoked. He started the set with “Good Kid” and he had the crowd rocking from the moment he came out. He had an amazing stage presence and it was easy for him to get the crowd hype. He played many tracks from his latest album, good kid, m.A.A.d city. As Kendrick said, “This concert is no normal concert, it’s an experience.” It really was. Songs didn’t just end like they normally do; they transitioned into wonderful melodic breakdowns and Kendrick performed passionately. The standout moment? Further back, the fans lifted a guy in a wheelchair in the air and Kendrick acknowledged him. About 5 minutes later, another guy in a wheelchair was lifted into the air and they crowd surfed him to the front. Security was upset, but Kendrick loved it. He told the guy, “This is your moment.”

Kendrick engaged the crowd well and seemed very humble. He ended the set with “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and left everyone wanting more. That was everything I wanted out of a Kendrick concert and I will definitely be making plans to see him in concert again.

Oh! I found $5 on the ground while waiting for Kendrick and Karyn found $60 on the way out. Haha gotta love music festivals. Keep your eyes on your stuff people! And keep your eyes to the ground lol you never know what you might find.

Well, we needed to eat and Mumford & Sons started in 30 minutes, so we knew we wouldn’t get good spots for their set, especially since they were headlining. So for dinner, Karyn got a BBQ pulled chicken sandwich from Porkchop, while I got a fried chicken sandwich with spicy slaw, pickles, and bacon aioli from Goose Island Brewpub. Then we got a lemonade and strawberry limeade from Fresh Squeezed Best Lemonade. The limeade wasn’t worth $7, (not much flavor), but I haven’t been disappointed by anything I’ve eaten at Lollapalooza thus far. Well done.

We headed over to the Mumford & Sons stage and it was packed. We were a bit disappointed we wouldn’t get to see them up close, but there was nothing we could do due to the set times. We ate our food in the grass, listened to a few Mumford songs, and then packed up our stuff, about 45 minutes into their 105 minute set, to go walk around the festival. I don’t have much to say about Mumford since I didn’t really see them, but they sounded as good as they do on their albums.

The Navy Pier summer fireworks started and it was a sight to see, especially with the stage in front of it. We watched them and then strolled around for a bit before going home.

Day 2 was full of more action and good music! I’m having a great time and it’s sad that it’ll be coming to an end tomorrow, but I’m excited. Until tomorrow. Enjoy.

-HB