[[Update: Watching Lollapalooza on TV on Sunday, now THAT’S what I’m talking about! Huge, huge crowd, great music, and lots of energy. Friday was a low-energy day, compared to today. Keep this up and Lollapalooza Brasil will be a huge success! (But why did Pearl Jam refuse them permission to broadcast live???)]]
In another chapter of “Where Are We and What the Hell Are We Doing Here?” we went to Lollapalooza at the Sao Paulo Jockey Club yesterday. This is a big-deal live concert of some sixty bands, an unusual event in Sao Paulo, where the young fans were eager to see live bands in a large, breezy venue. The lines outside the Jockey Club extended for miles, as some 52,000 attendees waited their turn to get in. We were immediately aware that we weren’t the demographic the promoters had been aiming for, but we figured, why not try it?
(Spoiler alert: I’m not a huge fan of techno music and didn’t know most of the bands, so this won’t be a valid music review. I suspect that the Saturday and Sunday lineups were probably broader and more well-known.)
Because the concert was held on the interior of the horse track, we got to walk on the racing track. Judy and I decided to race. I mean, how often would we ever get that chance again? You can tell from our strides that I won. I mean, really, opposite leg and arm, Judy! You’ll never get anywhere that way!
It was the first of three days of the live music show, and I would take bets that I was the oldest, and possibly one of the shortest, people at the event.
Didn’t know most of the bands, but I was eager to see Of Monsters and Men, and we got there in time for their last three songs. So disappointed to have missed most of their set, but I loved what we got to see and hear. I’m definitely a fan.
Next, we went to hear Porter Robinson, but weren’t really into the techno beat and light show. Tried CAKE and Crystal Castles, but nothing really grabbed us, so we decided to bail back to the Hertz VIP tent and partake of the hospitality.
Later, we stood in the mud for forty-five minutes so that we could have line-of-sight for the Flaming Lips. The lead singer is the only original band member from the 1983 start-up band…I think it’s time to hang up his lips. He stood on stage holding a baby doll, which apparently was the control console for tentacles that rose behind him and changed colors. That was the most creative element about the band. The crowd was all fired up to hear their music, and it was this low-energy, let’s-explore-space-and-pretend-to-be-really-deep performance. Gag. We watched for about twenty minutes and then dipped. We felt very conspicuous as we wended our way out of the crowd … bunch of old folks who’d gotten lost, I’m sure that’s what they were thinking.
That was the only band onstage for two hours, so we walked through the venue and headed back to the VIP tent. Given that this is only the second year for Lollapalooza here in Brazil, we understand that they’re still having to build the show, but they definitely need more bands. There’s too much downtime and very little choice in what you can listen to. Fortunately, they had a covered area with beanbags where you could chill waiting for the music to resume. (This didn’t seem to be the case on Saturday and Sunday, when bands were playing simultaneously throughout the day.)
When we first arrived and were taking photos, we were photo-bombed.
Later that evening, I saw him again and had Tom take our photo. His name is Patrick McKeevy, a real Irish boy born and raised in Brazil. Just a fun-lovin’ guy who is sucking the marrow from life. (If you’re reading this, Oi, Patrick!)
One thing I wish I’d done, but I was afraid of hurting myself and then looking a fool, was to dive off a platform in front of a green screen, and then have a picture of myself jumping off a stage into the crowd. That would have been a great keepsake, but I chickened out. I know, I know, Ann caved. I admit it.
I did try to get the crowd rocking at one point. Fail.
We sat and chatted with the Hertz folks for an hour and a half until DeafMau5 started playing. We had a decent spot to watch “them,” but it turned out to be one guy wearing a mouse head and using a synthesizer with colored lights. Great club music, but not much to watch as a live show. We gave that about twenty minutes and then decided to bounce.
Since The Killers, the headline band, wasn’t playing for two more hours, we headed back to the VIP tent and had them call up the van to take us back to the rendezvous point. We hadn’t eaten anything all day, so Judy suggested we try Hooters for dinner.
What the hell, said Tom. It would continue our out-of-place experience on a Good Friday night. The food was great, the waitress proud, and the caipirinhas sneaky strong. I drank and Tom drove. It was the perfect close to an amazing, eye-opening day. (Home a little after eleven, kids. I know. We rock.)
Here are a few more shots from the day.