Just back this week from Grant Park in Chicago, IL where I was lucky to work as a crew-member for Berklee-grown gem Honeysuckle (@honeysuckleband) through the college's student run record label Heavy Rotation Records (@heavyrotationrecords).
The band, who plays frequently in the greater Boston area, and had their album-release show earlier this year at American folk venue Club Passim, played their usual modern bluegrass set with the addition of bass and a full drum-kit. This added a unique twist to their typically compact and fine-tuned performance, a weight that nicely balanced out the Lollapalooza Pepsi stage.
A perk of the week was working as a staff-member at Kidzapalooza. Myself, several other crew-members and the band-members themselves all spent time working the Berklee tent which involved setting up kid-sized band instruments (guitar, bass, keys and drums), gear, and headphones so that kids could jam together. The gear was set up so that the kids could sit down, put on a pair of headphones and try each instrument while simultaneously hearing what the other kids were playing on their own.
Needless to say the kids were super cute! We taught them 12-bar blues, let their parents entertain us with stories, and received much gratitude for looking after their children for a few minutes. But, as with any hands-on job it was tiring. I would work the tent for several hours, slip out to see a show in the line-up I was excited about, and then come back and do it again. It rained off and on and by the end of the festival I had put more caffeine in my system in 96 hours than ever before in my life.
What a thrill the shows were though! My favorite, Kurt Vile and the Violators, played the Petrillo bandshell Thursday afternoon, it was a goony & entertaining original show. I pushed my way up into the crowd throughout their set, apologizing all the while and gesturing to my size (I'm just shy of 5'2'') and was able to get right up against the fence for the last 20 minutes. In between songs Kurt would go up to the microphone, utter a single wacky 'whoooop' and then begin his next song. Between the weird sounds, minimalistic stage banter, and tendency to blink every time he strummed a chord, I was relieved and inspired by his playfulness and authenticity.
Other notable shows included, M83, Lana Del Rey, HAIM, Disclosure, & Radiohead, (and I didn't get to see it myself, but I heard that Jane's Addiction really put on a show for Lollapalooza's 25th anniversary).
Happy 25th Lolla. Until next time.