It all seems like a beautiful blur. Lollapalooza 2010 started in fine fashion with Perez Hilton’s pre-bash festivities. And what followed was a three-day tidal wave of rock, pop and hip hop that rushed and surged its way over and through the hearts and minds of 255,000 fans along Chicago’s lakefront in Grant Park.
Over 120 bands played, and of that massive amalgamation of live music, I think I saw about 1/3 of it. And of my daily serving of the Lollapalooza musical buffet, I walked away filled up on memories of Lady Gaga, Green Day, Phoenix, Arcade Fire, MGMT and a few other surprises.
This year was the largest attendance ever with around 85,000 per day compared to last year’s 75,000. And though Lollapalooza might have increased the festival grounds to account for the increased attendance, that didn’t help create any extra room overall as fans crammed together, even more than last year, at the main stage areas to see the headliners. That said, we’ll take a look at why Lollapalooza needs to address their “getting too big” problem and why they need to offer better, more controversial sponsors, services and interactive experiences for the sake of the fans.
But right now, let me tell you what I will never forget about Lollapalooza 2010. The festival’s highlights began when I became an honorary “Little Monster” on Friday night and ended on Sunday night with the sheer force and rapturous brilliance of the Arcade Fire.
I haven’t had a chance to do any genealogical research to see if it’s actually true, but, after seeing her live for the first time, I’m now convinced that Lady Gaga is Madonna’s daughter in some way or another.
And as I see it now, there are two sides of Lady Gaga live. One side makes me have an unquestionable respect for her as a gifted and extremely talented performer. And the other side of her performance creates within me a looming doubt about the genuineness and originality of her art and inspiring “Little Monster” message.
Without any doubt Lady Gaga is a stunning performer. As we all witnessed during her ninety minute set, she has unlimited stamina and knows how to put on a show packed with pulsing provocativeness and inspiring spectacle. Like her current Monster Ball tour, her Lollapalooza performance was full-on theatrics, storytelling and operatic rock and pop drama at its finest. And when she wasn’t strutting around the stage in her flamboyant costumes (I counted at least 10 costume changes), and showing off her chops on the piano, she played the role of pop-rock motivational speaker with a nasty chip on her shoulder and a fire in her belly that fueled by her show a few years back on the smaller BMI stage at Lollapalooza when she performed to a crowd who didn’t care about her “train wreck of a set.”