Kanye West performs at Lollapalooza on Sunday. View more photos from this day >>
The holy trinity of Lollapalooza attendance: a mini-roll of Charmin, handy wipes, and sunscreen. By day three, it seemed like most people had figured this out, along with the names and locations of all of the stages, and the fact that getting piss drunk in the hot sun just isn’t that much fun. Maybe it’s just us, but Sunday at Lolla seemed way more chill, and, to that end, enjoyable. Here, the best/worst of the finale, written with Modesta Zapata
Amadou (right) & Miriam
1. Amadou & Miriam. The blind duo from Mali brought along not one, but two percussionists, who generated a driving African beat that was absolutely danceable. A lot of the crowd skipped out on this one, which meant more dance floor for those of us who stayed.
2. Kanye West. He seemed genuinely excited to be back in his hometown of Chicago, and his love for the city was a great way to sign off the fest. The show was a considerably stripped down version of the Glow-in-the-Dark tour, so, unfortunately, being outdoors and all, it didn’t really substitute for seeing him in an indoor arena where he can bring all of his toys.
3. Iron & Wine’s jam version of the song “Upward Over the Mountain.” It was delicious.
Iron & Wine
4. Scenester Mark Ronson, who surprised us with his talent and his willingness to wade into the crowd. The New York native brought along a medley of musicians (saxophones, a trumpet, drums, and some string players) and even managed to work in an appearance by rocker guests Phantom Planet.
5. The recycling. I meant to say this earlier in the weekend, but the promoters really stepped up their efforts from previous years. Recycling bins accompanied every trashcan, and volunteers roamed the entire fest with recycling signs and bags.
1. The giant crowd surge for Irish rockers Flogging Molly. This band attracts a wild crowd, but for whatever reason, the promoters put them at the stage (PlayStation) with the smallest—and most confined—audience area. The result: lots of pushing and shoving, bottlenecks at all exits, and, if you’re Coda, mild claustrophobia. Why wasn’t this band on one of the larger stages?
Dave King of Flogging Molly—and, yes, that is a Guinness in his hand
2. Perry’s, otherwise known as the DJ tent. We love DJs and love the idea of a stage devoted to electronica and dancing, but the beats were almost always overshadowed by high school makeout sessions in front of the turntables. Gag.
3. Blues Traveler. It’s over.
4. Inconsistency in sound. This is a perennial complaint as most bands are too quiet, and a strange few are crazy loud. It was better this year, admittedly, but note to organizers: There’s still room for improvement.
What’s your best/worst of the fest? Write in and tell us. Also, check out our photographs of stylish people and tattoos, coming soon.
Photography: (Images 1, 2 & 3) Esther Kang; (Image 4) Megan Lovejoy