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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



My first Lollapalooza
by Vern Hester

This article shared 3212 times since Wed Aug 18, 2010
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Being that Lollapalooza has evolved into one of the world's biggest music festivals it's only fitting to liken it to an all-you-can-eat buffet at an endless global dining hall. Though it's impossible to taste every single dish the best to be had was through sampling as much as you humanly could a little at a time.

Here's what stuck in my brain during the Aug. 6-8 ( Friday-Sunday ) festival...

—Lotsa shirtless, barefoot, shorts wearing guys wandering around made me forget that I was missing that other festival up on Halsted.

—Foxy Shazam ( Friday ) : It was free-for-all of strutting, hip-thrusting, stage-diving and non-stop clowning fronted by Sean Nally, who gave the term "sexy muthafucka" a whole new meaning.

—Mavis Staples ( Friday ) : Chicago's own gravel-voiced diva sang about respecting the Lord and yourself with a cameo from Jeff Tweedy. Surprisingly the teen to early-20s audience ate it up. It was the fest's first religious experience.

—Devo ( Friday ) : Oddly refreshing, endearing, and punchy. On vinyl back in the '80s they got monotonous and their one joke ( de-evolution ) got old but quick. But now that they're all leaving middle age and let loose on stage. "Peek-A-Boo,""Uncontrollable Urge" and, yeah, "Whip It" were loads of fun—the fest's first freakout.

—The Dirty Projectors ( Friday ) : Throbbing bass lines that pointed to the dance floor shanghaied by scrappy noodling guitar shrieks and vocalist Dave Longstreth's awkward barking reminded me of very early Talking Heads. Hearing the D.P.'s was a new one on me but they were worth the hype.

—Chromeo ( Friday ) . The fragrance of cheese ( the trio of back-up vocalists being the spitting image of Robert Palmer's army of video vixens from the '80s ) didn't dim David Marklovitch's sexy playfulness or P-Thug's cool beats, and I hated that I had to leave early.

—Green Day ( Saturday ) : The word is that Billie Joe Armstrong and Co. should be dissed for turning punk into pop, what with gazillions of albums sold and a hit Broadway show. Au contraire: Punk or pop, Green Day entertained with jolly abandon by blowing up the stage—not once, not twice but three times in the first 15 minutes—inviting members of the audience on stage for fun and frolics, and B.J.'s snarly wit. ( While prowling the audience for his next participant he cooed, "I want someone young, someone fresh, someone TAS-TEEEE..." )

—AFI ( Saturday ) : Described by my friend Mike T. as goth-punk-pseudo intellectuals, AFI and front man Davey Havok proved to be anything but with a brutal set of theatrical hard rock that came on like a napalm blast. Somebody tell Havok that it takes guts to wear black sequins in that heat.

—Cypress Hill ( Sunday ) : Two weeks ago in a review of a Kid Sister show I mentioned that I didn't get rap. After seeing these old-schoolers rip through there classics "Get 'Em Up" and "Hand On the Pump" live at this reunion show I have to say that now I entirely get rap.

—Gogol Bordello ( Saturday ) : These were gypsy-fied Ukrainian punk rockers who stomped with a vengeance—which made it hard to figure if they were for real or if it was shtick. With front man Eugene Hutz singing with non-stop eye bulging fury and the rest of the band dancing their asses off it didn't really matter. This one was a freak-out of another sort.

—Empire of the Sun ( Saturday ) : My happily straight friends Mike T., Brendan and Roger insisted that, as a gay man, I needed to experience this—and they weren't kidding. Sun-god headpieces, dancers in skintight day-glo spandex with fake fur accents, walls of searing white light, billowing capes on everyone onstage and front man Luke Steele's constant battle to keep his mascara from sweating into his eyes made EOTS a religious experience far different from Mavis Staples.

—Erykah Badu ( Sunday ) : Just in the nick of time Ms. Badu showed up to funkify the fest with her genuine old-school scat-soul ( hard to call it "neo" anymore ) , her ( seemingly ) oddball personality and shovels of attitude. After blowing a whistle like a crossing guard to chill out her over passionate crowd ( "Lolla...BEHAVE!!!" ) she tore into a particularly gritty "Bump It" and "Annie ( Don't Wear No Panties ) ," and then challenged them by asking, "Don't tell me you didn't feel that?!???!!!!?"

—Mr. Perry Farrell benignly wafting through all the festivities and the crowds while warmly saying hello to everyone and asking if we were all having a good time. He was the perfect host...

—Lady GaGa ( Saturday ) . Oh yeah—her, too.

E-mail at .

—Mr. Perry Farrell benignly wafting through all the festivities and the crowds while warmly saying hello to everyone and asking if we were all having a good time. He was the perfect host...

This article shared 3212 times since Wed Aug 18, 2010
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