I have to admit, I’d planned on doing an exposee on Lollapalooza, expecting to find attendance down amongst the recent hush of online buzz over the event. As it stands, I’m floored: this year’s attendance was up 15k from last year to 115,000, according to MP3 Mag, and the writer of the article for this magazine even took an enthusiastic and also professional approach to detailing many of the musical nuances of this year’s festival. Now, of course, it seems like the headliners are geared toward a younger crowd, like Lana Del Rey, Billie Eilish and some band called Tomorrow X Together, which was a new one to me. From the way it seems, this was a lucrative move on Perry Farrell’s part (lead singer of Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros and founder and curator of Lollapalooza). The energy from the crowd, purportedly, was enough to spawn Lana Del Rey lookalikes in the crowd, overnight camp-outs and even a stampede, at one point, per source.
What’s most impressive to me about all these festivities is that, in this day and age when I often consider genre to be dead and for all of Americans to need visual entertainment, all of this clatter and hoop-la was generated solely by the music, itself. I mean, my jaded mind would have thought that to bring in sufficient attendance and enthusiasm, they’d have needed a bunch of gimmicky stuff like a sports crossover and maybe a Zombie-fest or Rennaisance Fest to bolster things. As it stands, I was wrong, the kids still love their music and I’m amorous to see a beloved festival of mine doing well. My only recourse is to obstinately insist that the festival needs to be infused with some antiquated music, like Pearl Jam, a band which, mind you, fits the zeitgeist of Lolla to a tee, with its egalitarian, liberal mindset (see boycott of Ticketmaster, mid-1990s) and music which blends radio-minded songwriting with the virtuosic jamming of lead guitarist Mike McCready, making for a mesmerizing, rustic experience. Yeah, I said mesmerizing… I went there. Rock on.
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