It's only by coincidence that it's taken me 20 years to get to Lollapalooza. In fact, it's always been on my to-do list, perhaps more so in its earlier years, than its later, but this year, it's going to happen.
Thanks to an invitation from our friends at FM 102.1, I'll be tagging along with the station DJs this weekend in Chicago. It'll be the first time I've seen a show at Grant Park since Radiohead absolutely blew me away a decade ago.
This year's lineup isn't the most inspirational of all time, but there are more than a handful of bands I'd like to see in person, including Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Enimen, Cee Lo, The Cars and Ween. I'm, however, making this just a 24-hour trip, Saturday to Sunday, so I won't get a chance to see them all. Only Foo will be a repeat for me, but I'm a big Dave Grohl supporter, if not an overt fan.
Whatever shows I wind up seeing, though, will be secondary to the overall experience. I'm more interested in the spectacle of the whole thing, and I'll be hanging around the media tent, tweeting and chatting with the cast of characters that comes rolling through. I'll also chip in on the on-air broadcasts with my friends Kramp, Adler and Michelle. It seems like an opportunity that must be taken advantage of.
But beyond this loose schedule, I don't know much about the event. Is there anything I need to see or to experience? Can anyone offer me suggestions on some of the lesser-known bands that shouldn't be missed? I'm all ears.
I'll post a wrap-up blog when it's all over, and I'll be actively tweeting what I see from my Twitter account, @andytarnoff. In the meantime, please let me know what you'd like me to report on from Chicago this weekend.
And, if you're there, too, give me a heads up – maybe I can sneak you one of those $10 bottles of water from the media tent ... if you promise not to tell.
Andy is the founder and co-owner of OnMilwaukee.com. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.