Lollapalooza 2012 Preview

            No matter how the next three days unfold, on Monday you will probably be hard pressed to find someone who will tell you they had a bad time at Lollapalooza. That is not a comment on the festival's 2012 lineup or a reminder of past successes, it's just true. Fun-having is practically mandatory at Lollapalooza, or any music festival for that matter. Patrick Stickles, punk genius and lead singer of New Jersey band Titus Andronicus touched on this at their 2011 Lollapalooza show. Addressing the fans who weren't dancing, he said, “We love you too. Having fun shouldn't be a contest.” 

            He is so right, and yet it kind of feels like the opposite is true at times. Tickets are around $90/day and some of the best bands in the world are congregating for this one time only—any moment you spend not screaming with joy tends to feel like a moment wasted. It's almost like a pressure being applied by some unknown force, saying “have fun or else.”

            I'm overthinking a little here, I know. Nothing can change the awesomeness that comes with the chance to see dozens of your favorite musicians perform in one weekend. But still, by their nature, music festivals are labors of love. Heat pervades long days filled with standing and walking and being dirty and standing and being near weird people and walking and maybe eating once if you're lucky and patient. Also port-a-potties.

            While covering Lolla in the past, I've written these emotions off and focused almost solely on the music, the most important and universal aspect of it all. But so much of any music festival, including Lollapalooza, is personal as well as universal. Everybody's weekend takes different turns and everyone ends up with different stories, many of them unrelated to the music, many of them less than perfect. It's not all good and it's certainly not all bad.

            This year I will be listing my favorite and least favorite things that happen day by day, in an attempt to capture the singular experience of the average Lolla-goer. And somewhere during that I will try to have a little fun. I'm sure I'll miss some great shows and stand through some crappy ones, so will everybody else. It's all part of the plan.

            So until tomorrow, I'll leave you with a playlist that includes tracks from the ten Lollapalooza acts that I'm most excited for (in no particular order). Give these a listen if you want an idea of what the best shows of the weekend will probably sound like.

1. Super Rich Kids (feat. Earl Sweatshirt) – Frank Ocean
2. He Gets Me High – Dum Dum Girls
3. I Belong In Your Arms – Chairlift
4. One Day – Sharon Van Etten
5. Stranger – Dr. Dog
6. New Beat – Toro Y Moi
7. Polish Girl – Neon Indian
8. Feel It All Around – Washed Out
9. Juveniles – The Walkmen
10. The Wild Hunt – The Tallest Man On Earth

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