Lollapalooza 2010 Pre-Day One: Choose your battles

One of the things about Lollapalooza’s marketing angle was that we’ve always found amusing is the idea that the consumer was getting well over 100 bands for about $200, so they’re paying about two bucks per band. The problem with that logic, of course, is that most of the time there are five bands playing at once, meaning that you couldn’t possibly see every band that you’re supposedly paying two bucks to see. And that’s all right – we get that they’re trying to provide as much entertainment for as many different musical cliques as possible, and that’s how it should be. Yes, it may create the occasional conflict – last year’s biggie for us was when they pitted the Kaiser Chiefs against the Airborne Toxic Event – but for the most part, the worst thing you’ll have to deal with is missing the beginning or end of a band’s set as you’re trekking from the northern stages to the southern stages, or vice versa.

This year, however, boasts some scheduling conflicts that frankly have us scratching our heads. Why, for example, book Mavis Staples and Raphael Saadiq, presumably here to add some color to a largely lily-white music festival, and then have them play at the same time? Odds are, anyone who’s interested in seeing one of those two would like to see the other; why make that impossible? If crowd control is the issue, it couldn’t have been too much trouble to have them play one after the other on opposite ends of Grant Park, would it? Or even better, have them play back to back on the north side or south side. We know that they all have other touring commitments that complicate things, but really, we see no reason why Saadiq and Staples couldn’t play against artists that, you know, they have nothing in common with.

But alas, there are a lot of bands that we’d love to see this year but can’t, due to some conflict or other. In order to see Devo, Green Day, 2Many DJs and Wolfmother, we’ll have to miss the New Pornographers, Cut Copy, Phoenix, the Strokes, and MGMT. On a heavily front-loaded lineup (Friday is easily the most star-studded lineup this year), missing out on five bands is big. We suspect that we’ll be killing much time at the DJ tent this year, and that’s all right: we had a great time there last year (thanks to our friend Leyla at Sunday Morning Soliloquy for showing us the light), and with the inclusion of Ancient Astronauts and 2ManyDJs, a.k.a. Soulwax (they’re huge in Belgium, because they were born and raised there), Perry Farrell clearly understands the importance of taking the DJ tent seriously. We still haven’t forgiven Beastie Boys DJ Mixmaster Mike, though, for making us late for the Go! Team in 2006 when he blew off his appearance at a Hard Rock function. No one’s late at Lolla, period. Well, except Amy Winehouse, and you all saw what happened after that. (much drinking and drugs…)

Still, scheduling conflicts aside, we’re looking forward to a fun – and if the current forecast is to be believed, not terribly hot – weekend of music, and though we’re missing the New Pornographers, we’re interviewing one of them next week. Wonder how she’ll react when we tell her we decided to see Devo instead…

Along with a giant, comprehensive recap of the festival highlights, there will be nightly recaps of each day’s events, so make sure to check back here each day to find out what went down.


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