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Lollapalooza 2013

WGN Radio’s Kristin Decker is reporting from Chicago’s annual lakefront mega music festival.

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By Kristin Decker
WGN Radio

Lolla. Day 3.  It started with a little bit of MS MR, a New York band, and the most memorable part of their set was their cover of the LCD Soundsystem song, Dance Yourself Clean.  They drew a pretty big crowd for being on a smaller stage and they are a band to keep an eye on.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on a larger stage in a few years.   I wanted to get some heavy rock in because when I think of Lollapalooza, my mind goes to rock.  Baroness provided that outlet with a heavier rock set then anything I had seen the previous day.  I almost felt like I had stepped back into the early nineties but it was refreshing to see some grit in a weekend that seemed to be pretty heavy on pop music.

I love to get up and dance and Two Door Cinema Club was my solution.  Every single song was high energy and upbeat.  They have an 80’s vibe and their lead singer had a suit, black Ray Ban looking sunglasses and sipped from a glass of white wine during the set.    This was one of the few acts that caught my attention for the entire set.  Vampire Weekend was my next music stop and they were definitely a crowd favorite.  The crowd that had gathered for Two Door Cinema Club grew and grew for Vampire Weekend.  Their set had this mirror that provided an optical illusion.   From the crowd we didn’t really see anything, but when you see pictures or when you caught a glimpse of the mirror on the screen – you could see the audience, thousands of arms waving through the air and enjoying the unique mix of beats with catchy, peppy tones and lyrics.  Spontaneous dance moves were kicking out all over the north side of Grant Park.

The time had come for the headliners of the night, The Cure and Phoenix.  I was so torn because I am a huge Phoenix fan and their music got me through my first Chicago Marathon, but I had to say that I saw The Cure once in my life.  The temperature had dropped, the sky had clouded over, and Robert Smith’s vocals rang through the air.  Maybe it was my mood, I was sad it was Sunday night and the end of weekend, I was already getting post Lollapalooza depression, and I was completely taken aback by how awful Robert Smith looked.  The mix of those things made me stay for 35 minutes of The Cure and then I was ready  to end my night on a high note, I left and went to Phoenix.  I sang my heart out, I danced, I watched the lead singer of Phoenix crowd surf, and finally I realized that this was the perfect ending to my Lollapalooza.  I was with a group of people who just loved the music.  The thoughts of Monday were far away in my mind when we were all singing “1901” or “Armistice.”

Lollapalooza is my favorite weekend of the year.  Seeing so many different kinds of music, musicians, stages, and styles, and being in a special moment over and over again – where you sing, dance, fist pump, play air guitar, play air drums, and let the music take you away….there is nothing like it.  Only one venue is fan friendly enough for the massive stage of Lollapalooza and that’s Chicago and I’m already counting down the days until Lolla 2014.

See Kristin’s Lolla pics at instagram.com/wgnradio.

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The Cure’s Robert Smith performs at Lollapalooza in Chicago on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013. (Scott Strazzante / Chicago Tribune)

Dean sits down with the man behind Lollapalooza, Perry Farrell. Farrell talks about some of the great acts at this year’s fest, gives his thoughts on fans sneaking into the fest, and talks about the city of Chicago playing a perfect host to Lolla.


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School of Rock, a music academy teaching kids to play and perform live concerts, performed at Lollapalooza all weekend. Dean chats with Mark Biondi, SVP of Operations at School of Rock, about the experience of playing Lolla.


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Mason Kosowski, 10, plays the drums during a rehearsal at the School of Rock in Elmhurst on Tuesday, May 29, 2012. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)

By Kristin Decker
WGN Radio

Day 2 of Lollapalooza was a great mash of all types of different music.  I started out with the funk and soul of Charles Bradley.  His set, which included a costume change, was great!  Upbeat, energetic and the crowd was really into it.  Local Natives was next on the list and their chill vibe was the perfect time to sit on a blanket with friends, soak up the sun and plot out the rest of the day.  Things started to get rowdy when Eric Church took the stage.  His country music with hard rock elements drew a bigger crowd than I had expected.  It was evident from the energy in the crowd that country music does have a place at Lollapalooza.

Kendrick Lamar, a 26 year old a west coast rapper, was one of the stars of Day 2.  The crowd seemed to skew a little younger and they knew every word to every rap.  I saw a wheelchair crowd surfing, which got Kendrick’s attention and the fan brave enough to do it, a front row view of the show.

Finally it was time for Mumford and Sons, the headliner of the night.  That side of the park was completely packed of all ages, lots of families and little kids too and I lasted about 5 songs before I headed out to check out Perry’s stage.  Mumford and Sons are so great in a smaller venue and I felt that the festival scene just doesn’t do their music justice.  Steve Angello on the other hand, had the audience over at Perry’s stage in a dance trance.  Beats were pumping through the air and the show was a perfect fit for the mood on a Saturday night.  I had to see what The Postal Service was all about and I felt like they put on a good show but the audience was mostly just anti-Mumford and Sons and needed something to watch.  Funk, country, rap, folk, dance/dub step all had their moment on Day 2.

Follow Kristin at Lolla at instagram.com/wgnradio.

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Mumford and Sons performs at Lollapalooza on Saturday, August 3, 2013. (Brittany Sowacke / RedEye)

By Kristin Decker
WGN Radio

After a long day at work, I hustled down to Lollapalooza.  The familiar smell of body odor and the sticky humid weather along with tromping through a little mud made me realize why I love this weekend so much.  It doesn’t matter who is playing, it’s all about being together and experiencing the magic of a huge festival dropped right in the middle of our magnificent skyline.  My first act of the day was New Order.  The familiar beats of Blue Monday had the crowd bopping their heads, feeling the energy.  The highlight of the New Order set was when they played the Joy Division song, Love Will Tear Us Apart. The cloudy, gray sky and the vibe of the band members on stage made that moment a sentimental one.  Joy Division lead singer, Ian Curtis, committed suicide on the day before they were supposed to start their first American Tour in 1980  and the remaining band members formed the band, New Order.

Another awesome aspect of Lolla is meeting all different kinds of people that visit our city.  I met a Manchester, England native who was traveling around the U.S. and just happened to be in Chicago for a week.  He heard about Lolla on Wednesday, researched it, bought a ticket online, and was in awe of how convenient it was to NOT have to camp out at this three day festival.

Hot Chip was next on the list and they didn’t disappoint.  It was dance party time for that crowd.  I did leave after the hit Over and Over to get to Nine Inch Nails on the other side of the park.  The drawback was the fact that the big screens were turned off, so if you were far enough back, you couldn’t see the stage  The flow of the set list was a little mellow with some harder rock to keep the audience’s attention.  Nothing too crazy but absolutely perfect for a Friday night after a long work week.

Follow Kristin at Lolla at instagram.com/wgnradio.

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Nine Inch Nails perform at Lollapalooza, Friday, Aug 2, 2013. (Alex Garcia / Chicago Tribune)

We’ll be at Lollapalooza all weekend.  Check out our photos and follow us at instagram.com/wgnradio.

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