An Ode to Chicago & Lolla 2012

This past weekend, I was in Chicago for Lollapalooza, one of my favorite weekends of the year besides Christmas & any or all birthdays. Lolla weekend is three days of non-stop live music, dancing, booze, way too expensive street food & in my case, a chance to hang out with my favorite people in my favorite city. Tickets are insanely expensive and this year, I totally splurged. In retrospect, I absolutely couldn’t afford tickets for lollapalooza but I said “screw it” & bought them anyways. I justified the weekend in many different ways and I can say it was absolutely worth it …. even if I have to eat scrambled eggs for the next month and say CYA NEVAAAAA  to my social life.

I’m sure I’ve already made this very clear, but I really love going home. That itch or ache or whatever I’m feeling most days is always scratched the minute my plane lands or the second I tap my former roommate on the shoulder and whisper “PSST! I’m BAAAACK!” And while I am usually the most excited out of anyone to see … well, anyone, it’s a simple joy that makes lonely NYC nights that much better.

This most recent trip, a friend summed it up best when (after I was complaining about when I could come visit next) said, “Lan, you’re home like every month & a half.”

Ain’t that the truth!? 😉

Ooooh, guys, I just can’t help it. Maybe I just wasn’t ready to leave in the first place? Whatever it is, my ache was certainly repaired this time with three-days of non-stop music and non-stop fun. But seriously, to Lolla, to those who made it worth it & to the apocalypse of a storm that forced 300,000+ people into the streets of Chicago looking for beer & music, I thank you. Best. Weekend. Ever!

And with that & with my newfound knowledge of linking spotify songs onto allanabytes, I’ve put together a playlist if you will of some of the best songs from this past weekend. Some are songs I didn’t get to hear thanks to the storm (or awful scheduling, thank YOU), others are songs I barely remember thanks to the vodka lemonades & dancing and others are songs that were absolutely slayed live. Lolla 2013, get here quick!

1) I don’t remember why we were so late seeing M83 but I do know we missed one of my favorite songs. The best part was, we get to the stage and after hearing one song, we asked the guy in front of us, “Did we miss midnight city?” His frown said it all

2) I’ve never seen Passion Pit live & even though other favorite bands were playing, I was lucky enough to have a lolla friend who suggested we see PP. And thank you & thank god because they were kickass live. Especially with this pump-up, total dance anthem from their newest album. After hearing PP had cancelled shows last week, I was so relieved they made it to Chi-town

3) Nothing I love more than blue-sy, hypnotic voices and Haley Reinhart is no exception. I didn’t make it to Lolla early enough on Friday to see her perform, so I’ll just have to continually listen to this song on repeat. She may have been on American Idol but homegirl has got a voice on her and I’m totally in love with her hair

4) From my last post, I’m sure you can tell I looove Of Monsters & Men. Unfortunately for me, they were playing right in between my biggest girl-crush ever, Florence. Luckily, I was able to catch a few minutes of these guys before heading to Flo. While I missed one of my favorite songs (“Little Talks”) they did play this one and it’s a close-second. If anyone has the chance to see them in person, go for it — because they’re even better live

5) Choosing which song to post from this one was beyond tough. Two weeks ago, I saw The Head & The Heart live in Brooklyn (for free, by the way). I knew a bunch of their songs but I never, ever anticipated how ridiculous they would be live. I’m talking, AMAZING. I picked this song because of how magical it was when during the chorus, it would almost go silent & the whole crowd would just start clapping & chanting along. So, obviously, when it came to Lolla, there was no question. One of the best quotes from the weekend came from TH&H when three tweens dressed in neon bra’s & short shorts shoved their way through the sweaty crowd and were whipping their hair back & forth onto our extremely sweaty bodies. Talk about woof. Anyways, this was how the conversation went

Girl # 1: Guys, I’m just letting you know … I’m totally content right now. They played the two songs I wanted to hear …. so, I mean, I’m like totally content

Girl # 2: Well, I really want to hear that song about them being lost in their mind

(Band plays one song, not “Lost in My Mind”)

Girl # 2: ….okay let’s go.

6) Fun. was the one band (besides Flo) I was really, reaaaaally counting on to see & love live. My world came crashing down when on Saturday, an hour or so they’re about to perform, the city evacuates Lolla (billions of people in the street) and we didn’t know if and when the gates would open back up & if we would get to see Fun. perform. Someone must’ve been watching over us because not only did we get to see them but they were probably the best of the weekend. The sound was phenomenal and while parts of their performance are hazy, I just remember screaming and singing along, throwing my arms in the air yelling, “WHYYYYYYY AM I THE ONE” etc. It absolutely ruled

7) If I recall, Metric was one of the first bands we saw on Friday and it was the perfect kick-off. This song was kicked out of the water live, thousands of people singing along, hands in the air, screaming, hips swaying, etc. Second band I suggest seeing live if you have the chance

8) The Lolla gods were not shining down on headliners because I literally could not choose who I wanted to see. While I don’t regret any decisions for headliners (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers & Black Keys), I am bummed I missed this song live. I’ll just dance alone like a P.Y.T. in my room to make up for it

9) This, I’m pissed about. Because of the Apoca-lollapyse, I missed out on Alabama Shakes. Fuckin’ rain, monsoon or whatever. Dammit

10) One of the craziest stages at Lolla is Perry’s, where all the techno / dub-step / mosh-pit-glow-stick-lets-get-absolutely-wild-music-that-sometimes-hurts-my-ears takes place. We even joked all weekend about how people seriously spent hours, show after show,  just at Perry’s. Pretty sure that’s where my brother hangs out (love you, Matty) and I applaud you for it. However, I do really love to dance and that I did when Calvin Harris played at Perry’s this year. This song absolutely rules

11) While on a Perry’s rant, I’ll just say it – I am totally bummed I didn’t get to hear this song live. Thanks to scheduling, I had to pick a different headliner and I will just live in slight agony I didn’t get to go completely buck, glow sticks and all, to this song

12) I can’t remember where I was walking or where I was even going but I know I was walking to another band when I heard this song being slaaaaaaaaaaaayed live at another stage. If you hear this and don’t start swinging those hips, bobbing those heads, whatever, you’ve got issues. This song is awesome and I’ll just have to hold out seeing Little Dragon live some other time. AY!

13) In following my last post, I don’t remember exactly where I was going but I do remember walking past a stage, stopping for 2 minutes, annoyed because I KNEW the song that was playing, I knew I loved it but I couldn’t remember who the band was (thank you, vodka lemonades). I started to freak out minutes later when I realized it was this song because I do love it, very, very much

14) Again with the scheduling. I know it’s difficult, Lolla Gods, but COME ON. I am so sad I didn’t get to see Santigold perform this song. DOUBLE WOOF

15) This one was pretty much my bad. It was between The Shins & Passion Pit and I like I mentioned earlier, I just lucked out with an awesome lolla friend. However, the two bands were playing opposite sides of the park, so there really was no way to see both. Jesus, it was like Sophie’s Choice. At least I had my brother & his lady to rub it in my face how awesome The Shins were. Really would’ve loved to hear this song live

16) Florence. She needs no introduction nor any explanation

If I could, I’d post many a more songs that we heard but sadly, I have to run to work. Also, I’ve spent the past 6 hours sitting in the corner of this Starbucks and all I’ve paid for was some sanity, a comfy cushion chair and a tall iced drink, so I pretty much feel like a big time bitch

Enjoy the tunezzzz

XO, Bytes

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