A lively Lolla wrap up from our roving festival blogger Ashley!

Categories: Titos Rocks
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Day 2
Shortly after entering the elevator, on my way to brunch – the doors opened to reveal Mr. Vodka himself. “Tito!” I exclaimed. Surprised and taken aback, Mr. Beveridge looked at me intently in an effort to recognize my face. Aware of this, I re-introduced myself as the Tito’s roving festival blogger. He smiled and asked how experience was treating me so far. We exchanged short festival related stories, before I took the opportunity to express my gratitude.

3:30 PM Evacuation
After a spending most of the day in the hotel room writing, I began to ready myself for day two of Lollapalooza. Upon walking out the room, a text message from my friend Happy (who was onsite) alerted me that the park was being evacuated due to the severe weather that was rolling in. “If you are not on site yet, they’re evacuating the entire park until the storm passes.” He followed up with “Fiesta in the lobby.” At this point, my travel buddy Christine had decided to go outside and witness the energetic pre-storm rush, promising photos.

Photo by Christine Chun.

Party in the Lobby
At around 4PM, I found myself at the lobby bar with an exuberant amount of Lolla wristband clad folks. Unhopeful about getting a drink, I roamed about in search of familiar faces. Almost effortlessly, I spotted the Tito’s crew to the far left side of the lobby. “Find a cup and we’ll pour you a drink,” said Crystal, my new friend and employee of the company. With the chance of procuring one from the bar looking dire, I slipped into the dining room and grabbed a clean tall glass off one of the tables. Goals set, success met – Tito’s acquired and suddenly Christine appeared, drenched – but enthused. “It is frickin’ awesome outside. The rain was super crazy but a lot of fun – I’m going up stairs to change,” she said. I finished my drink and soon followed her up to the room, where I caught up with updates via Twitter. “ATTENTION: Serious weather is about to hit Grant Park. ALL festival goers must evacuate IMMEDIATELY. Head to our 3 evacuation locations NOW.”

Photo by Christine Chun.

Photo by Christine Chun.

7:30PM: Back to the Park
The clouds had gone, but the muddy ground remained. Despite the torrential downpour, many of the rained out bands were given later slots including Franz Ferdinand. A fan since their debut in 2004, I had seen them only once before. They began with “Dark of the Matinee,” and continued with “Walk Away” followed by “Do You Want To,” inciting a mass dance party. “We’re from Glasgow, where it pisses down, but never like that Chicago!” interjected lead singer Alex Kapranos before playing “Michael,” fourth single from their self-titled debut. Mid set, I puddle hopped my way to the Tito’s Airstream in the Lolla Lounge where I found crew ladies Crystal, Hanna, Jenelle and bossman Tito. Following some chit-chat and double fisting (on my end) we hitched a golf cart ride to the Red Bull Stage for the Red Hot Chili Peppers with Tito and his friend Steve in tow.

The freshly-minted Rock and Roll Hall of Famers played a number of crowd pleasers including “Otherside,” “Suck My Kiss,” “Under the Bridge,” and “Californication,” wrapping up the energetic set with “Give it Away,” off the group’s fifth studio album “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”.

Photo by Christine Chun.

Day 3
Beginning their 4:00 PM set, Icelandic band Sigur Rós commenced with “Svefn-g-englar,” a hazy atmospheric track which Google Translates to “Sleep-g-Angels.” Wearing a long sleeve maroon shirt with fringed feathers and donning a bowed guitar, frontman Jónsi Birgisson’s heavenly voice took my mind to the most ethereal corners of my mind. The celestial showcase made me wish the band was playing after dark several times, but I remained grateful for being able to see them live.

“If anyone knows what a chancla is, let it be known,” asserted Cedric Bixler-Zavala, lead singer of El Paso border town born At the Drive-In. Prompted by a shoe being thrown on stage, Cedric’s banter continued with “Any Latinos in the crowd? We need to show them what a chancla is.” His ongoing playful jeering incited many laughs and applause from a devoted crowd. Recently reunited after 11 years of disbanding, the tore through an arsenal of personal favorites including “One Armed Scissor,” “Arcarsenal,” and “SleepWalk Capsules.”

Do the D-A-N-C-E.
Sitting on the Sky Deck of the Lolla Lounge, Christine and I bared witness to the beginning of french electro duo Justice’s closing performance. Intro-ing with the star spangled banner while removing a black sheet from their iconic cross – the set blew into “Genesis,” the first track from their † ‘Cross’ album. Entertained by the idea of getting down and a little dirty (from the mud), we made our way to the field and set up shop on the far right of the stage. The three-amp-high Marshall stacks boomed electronic beats which made even the tired and weary dance. Two distinguished moments of the show was when Xavier de Rosnay stood silent short with his open fingered hand extended to the audience before abruptly breaking into “We Are Your Friends” and when Gaspard Auge left his DJ setup to perform the intro to “D.A.N.C.E.” on keyboard alongside the prerecorded hook. Indeed a magical and memorable way to end the a weekend of ‘festing.’