The new Lollapalooza: Coachella of the Midwest?
When was the last time there was a "good" Lollapalooza? 1993? 94? So, needless to say, when I saw a big, full-page ad in the Reader a couple of weeks ago touting a "Lollapalooza '05," I hardly flinched. Let me guess...a couple of major label staples like Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Coldplay headlining a day at the Tweaker Center. Sure, there may be a couple of decent opening bands, or a second stage with some notable acts...but overall, hardly anything worth driving an hour south to the boonies and spending $50+ to see a show at one of the worst venues in the country. However, news about Lollapalooza got a lot more interesting last week...turns out the event will actually be held Grant Park instead of Tinley Park and, most surprisingly, Chicago will be the only stop for the event. Hmmm...could Chicagoans be getting a world-class music festival to call their own? Sort of a Coachella for midwest music fans? Damn! If they nail down a solid line-up, this cynical music junkie who balks at paying over $15 for a show, might actually shell out some serious cash to check this out. Earlier this year, I was thinking about flying out to Cali to check out Coachella if I could find airfare for under $200, but now I might not even have to shell out $2 to see a major music festival, as I can just hop on the el or ride my bike to get downtown. Of course, the real test for the show's success will be the talent booking. If they can pull off a line-up similar to Coachella '04, I'll be there with bells on. And yeah, even though they are not touring this summer, thousands of fans in the region (and everyone at RFC central) are already saying their prayers and keeping their fingers crossed about a Radiohead return to Grant Park. The Lollapalooza website boasts that there will be 70 bands on 5 stages, plus other installations featuring music, art, invention, light, sound and robots. (Robots!!! OK, now I am sold!) Sounds great so far, let's hope it lives up to the hype and Lollapalooza becomes a credible, worthwhile event again. Check out www.lollapalooza.com for more info and to pre-order tickets at a bargain 35 bucks a pop, starting on April 7. RFC will keep you posted on the music line-up as information becomes available. (Word on the street is that Beck will be one of the headliners...who else would you like see? Post your Lollapalooza '05 wish list in the comments section)