Tuesday, September 22, 2009

On Pause At a Million Miles Per Hour

Still no baby...

Life goes on three days after the due date. Work is crazy. The kids are crazy. Daphney is crazy. Our activities are crazy. October's calendar is filling up. I keep waiting for the "you need to come home right now" call in the middle of the day...

Did I mention that Daphney woke me up last night because a skunk was in our yard? Watching the skunk dance a defensive circle dance with its tail sticking straight up in the half-light of our yard was disturbing. I'm glad Daphney kept her distance.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lollapalooza 2009 - Day Three

Because Saturday wasn't hot enough, Nick and Grace headed home, and Chelsea and I prepared to battle the heat again. We prepared by eating a large, heavy Mexican brunch, complete with made-at-your-table guacamole. Who could say "no" to that? Who should have said "no" to that?

After Chelsea misled us to the entrance for the third day in a row, we just missed the end of the Kaiser Chiefs. However, that put us in a great spot to enjoy the Raveonettes. They were good, but a little mellow for a hot Sunday afternoon. As a drummer, I found their drummer using a weird setup - snare, floor tom, and a cymbal. He stood up the whole time and wore DJ head phones -- Not a rocker.

After watching most of that set, we headed to the other end to see Vampire Weekend. First, we stopped at the t-shirt tent to learn that they'd sold out of all of the cool t-shirts, including the kids shirts. Ethan had to live with an adult small. Vampire Weekend was a lot of fun with their get-up-and-dance style.

Near the end of their set, we went to see Passion Pit and meet Chelsea's new male friend. Passion Pit was on one of the side stages and was packed. I read one review that later said the stage area was one of the wildest of the entire weekend. After getting walked on too much, we wandered back to see the Cold War Kids. They were good, but no so different from their recordings. As we were leaving Passion Pit, a cold front moved through, and the temperature dropped 10-15 degrees in about 10 seconds. It felt like someone just turned on the air conditioner. It was quite welcome.

So, while still listening, we moved into position for Snoop Dog. I'm definitely no fan of rap. However, Snoop really knows how to get the crowd "jumpin'." He did several popular covers, and said a couple of bad words (per minute). I think his one hour performance seemed to go quicker than any other.

After yet another beer stop, we switched stages to see the Silversun Pickups. Like the Cold War Kids, they were a good band, just a little short of energy, especially after watching Snoop.

Finally, we switched stages for the last time of the weekend to close things out with The Killers. This was one of my favorite shows, probably because I know more of their songs than any other bands of the weekend. Even after a long, hot weekend, the crowd was still easily energized and made for a spectacular show.

Overall, I had a great time. It was amazing to see live performances by so many of the bands I enjoy. Every time I looked at the schedule, I would say "Oh, I forgot they are here." It was a big change from my only other music festival experience: the 2008 Pygmalion Music Festival in Champaign-Urbana. Speaking of this year's Pygmalion, I don't think we'll be seeing much, given Kimberly's current "bursting" state. Maybe I can sneak away to see the Headlights.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lollapalooza 2009 - Day Two

For your enjoyment today, I've included a few pictures that my brother took.

On Saturday, Nick and his girlfriend, Grace, joined us for a day-long steam fest in the mid-90s heat. After a late lunch at Potbelly, we headed downtown again (did I mention that we used CTA all weekend?).

We started off the day with an amusing, but explicit Welsh band, Los Compesinos! The lead singer would have fit in quite well in down-state Illinois, with his jean shorts and sleeveless t-shirt.

Next, we trudged back to the other end of Grant Park to watch Gomez. They were enjoyable, but the stench by that stage was so awful we didn't watch the whole show. That was the muddiest area on Friday, and they put down some moisture-absorbing granules that caused the whole area to smell like BO (worse than the smell of 1000s of sweaty bodies).

Nick and I then took a break in the shade (on Chelsea's emergency rain ponchos) and watched a few minutes of the mellow Blind Pilot before heading back to the heat to watch the Arctic Monkeys. It seemed like all of the UK's bands were in Chicago for the weekend.

As the Arctic Monkeys wound up their set, we headed to the neighboring stage and staked out a spot to watch Santigold, who none of us had heard prior to our morning iTunes preview. I went to load up on beer, and got stuck for 10 minutes in a mass of non-moving people. It was rather disturbing, and very stinky. Men should not have been taking their shirts off! Although Santigold is not really my type of music, the live show was great with good dancing and lots of audience participation, including an on-stage dance.

We passed on seeing Rage Against so that we could get a good spot to see Ben Harper and the Relentless 7. Their show was also great. Although, maybe he shouldn't have been wearing a long-sleeve shirt in the 90-degree heat under bright stage lights. On par with Ben Harper's performance was that of the dancing pot-head a couple of rows in front of us. He danced for the entire show.

At this point, we were starting to feel rather beat. We weren't very excited about Tool, and I was the only one who'd heard of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I think we were all a little bitter that we wouldn't be seeing the Beastie Boys (see below), which should have been the weekend's highlight. So, after a port-a-potty and beer break, we decided to head over to the DJ area for a little Bassnectar. That was a lot of fun that sapped the rest of our energy.