Lollapalooza LogoAfter three+ years of living in Chicago, and three+ years of avoiding the gigantic festival that takes over Grant Park for a weekend, I’m finally caving in and going this year.  Only one day, though!  Friday’s lineup pretty much bowled me over, but given that I’m not interested in any of the actual headliners, and that the other days didn’t have that same wow factor as Friday, I decided to skip them.  I’ll introduce myself to Lolla and its gajillions of sweaty drunken people slowly.

I’ve realized that I’m essentially going to be living at the Budweiser and Playstation stages, which is okay with me — at least I know I won’t have to do the “sprint across Grant Park in order to get to the next set you want to see” thing that I was sort of afraid of.  The morning of Lolla is kind of free space for me, though, so I’ll be cramming all of my eating/exploring/going to the bathroom time in there.   And then I’ll just  hope I don’t need to do any of the above from 3:oo on.  (Okay, yes, I’m a smarter festival goer than that; I promise I won’t avoid eating/refreshing/etc. for the next 7 or so hours.)

And, of course, the aftershows.  After much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the fact that the Andrew Bird at Schuba’s show sold out in just about thirty seconds (thirty seconds!! okay, I’m still a little bitter, not going to lie), I’ve managed to content myself with the other shows I did manage to score tickets to: The Decemberists on Thursday night and Fleet Foxes on Saturday.  There’s also a non-Lolla-related show from Brian Wright and Joe Firstman on Friday night at Martyr’s which I keep trying to tell myself that I’m going to check out, but I’m not too optimistic about being able to manage it.  And some genius decided to schedule the Lincoln Park Arts & Music Festival for the same weekend, which means that while I’d love to rest my exhausted self on Sunday, I’ll instead be trekking out to see Over the Rhine play.

So, my Lolla!lineup, or something like it:

April Smith, BMI Stage, 11:15 — I’ve never heard of her, but I was listening to her music on her artist page on the Lolla site and was pretty impressed.  I want to swing by her set to see what she sounds like live.
Bon Iver, Playstation Stage, 3:00 — Never seen him perform live, so I don’t know what to expect.  I’m not sure how his relatively low-key, ambient music is going to translate to a huge, open-air festival setting.
Ben Folds, Budweiser Stage, 4:00 —  Ben always puts on a fabulous show, I’m sure this will be no exception.  I haven’t had the chance to see him since 2005, so I’m looking forward to seeing the new music.
Fleet Foxes, Playstation Stage, 5:00 — I will probably get to this one late and check out early, as I’ll be seeing them them on Saturday night.
The Decemberists, Budweiser Stage, 6:00 — While I’m seeing them on Thursday, the rumor is that the Thursday show is an all request show, which leads me to believe that their Lollapalooza set might just be the whole of The Hazards of Love.  The album is just under an hour long, so it’s possible.  Regardless, I might skip out towards the end to head over to the other stage for…
Andrew Bird, Playstation Stage, 7:00 — my pretend musician boyfriend.  I’ll put it out there right now, it’s going to take something epically spectactular to eclipse this as the highlight of my day.

In fact, the only thing that might eclipse what is sure to be an amazing Andrew Bird set will be managing to get through the autograph line at the FYE tent to get my 30 seconds of security-approved face time with the man.  (In those thirty seconds, I would ideally like to convince him that we should totally be BFFs who can together be socially awkward and uncomfortable with interacting with people.)

We’ll see.  All I know is that by the end of the weekend, I’m going to need about a dozen good, long showers.

What about you? Are you Lollapalooza-ing?  What acts are you most looking forward to?