Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, February 2

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Ten Things Not to Miss at Lollapalooza 2013 Lollapalooza Day Two »

Lollapalooza Sat Aug 03 2013

Lollapalooza Day One

 photo b1d3f373-14be-40fb-be69-546f549aab7b_zpsdb2a05e4.jpg
Photo by Joshua Mellin

Despite predictions of rain and thunderstorms plaguing the first day of Lollapalooza, we luckily only saw a few scattered showers in the early afternoon before the sun came out for the rest of the day. We were lucky as had Friday hands-down had the best line-up of the weekend, between Nine Inch Nails, Lana Del Rey, Father John Misty, New Order, Queens of the Stone Age, Steve Aoki, Disclosure, and more. The downside was that the day was filled with tough decisions, but ultimately, no matter which stage you chose you couldn't really go wrong on Friday.

I started the day off a few blocks from Grant Park at the Hard Rock Lollapalooza lounge for a quick drink and a free manicure. This is a great spot to catch a few bands (they have scheduled performances throughout the day) and people-watch. As I was heading out, I saw a group of guys that looked like they were a band file into the elevator. My friend tugged on my sleeve and whispered, "That's Imagine Dragons!" As the elevator doors closed, the singer waved and whispered back, "Yes, it is!" Not bad.

The festival itself started for me at the Lake Shore stage for Swedish electropop duo Icona Pop. Sure, they do have a #1 song, but I was still surprised to find just how many people showed up to Lollapalooza so early in the day to see them. In my many years of attending the festival, I don't think I have ever seen a stage that crowded at 1:45 pm. They're set was, as predicted, heavily danceable, even during the rain that showered their performance. The sun came out from behind the clouds just as they started their hit "I Love It." Unfortunately, they played a weird mix of the song that was a little too drawn out and took away from the energy that the song usually produces. It was altogether a let-down.

 photo 3b9b9872-8773-499d-b58c-329a7e37405d_zpsdb980cb8.jpg
Photo by Joshua Mellin

I stuck around the Lake Shore stage to get a decent spot for Father John Misty, and considering there didn't seem to be too many Icona Pop fans who are also Father John Misty fans, it wasn't that difficult. I've seen Father John Misty a handful of times in the past and throughout his performance he typically likes to spend a good deal of time chatting with the audience, so I was interested to see how this would play out with the significantly larger Lollapalooza crowd. This man has such a charismatic stage presence and had no problems carrying that over into huge festival territory. He has an endearing flamboyance and you just can't keep your eyes off of him. At one point he saw someone in the audience with a unicorn on a stick, stopped the song he was playing, said "Give that to me!" and proceeded to sing to and make out with it. At another point of his set, he knelt down on his knees and hugged the camera guy, grabbing the camera and singing directly into it. Joshua Tillman is a showman.

I caught a few minutes of Disclosure, but seeing as though they were on at the same time as New Order, I didn't stay very long. I wish I could have caught more of their set because their debut album Settle has been on regular rotation for me all summer. The crowd seemed to be enjoying the few minutes I was able to catch. Walking over to Red Bull Sound Select stage for New Order saw a noticeable twenty year leap in age from Disclosure's crowd. I arrived just in time to hear "Bizarre Love Triangle,"Blue Monday," and "Temptation." They ended with a tribute to Joy Division, running a few minutes over their set time to fit in "Love Will Tear Us Apart."

 photo e3f5149d-50cf-40a5-87c4-251d40727953_zpsa71cf2e0.jpg
Photo by Joshua Mellin

Nine Inch Nails played Lollapalooza last night and I realize I will probably be slammed for my choice in headliner, but I've seen them before and so I chose Lana Del Rey instead. The thing about being a musician famous because of YouTube is that the fanbase are all hyper-internet-aware, and so throughout her set the entire crowd's cell phones and cameras were in the air capturing photos and videos. It's a common complaint at concerts nowadays (and I love snapping a few photos at concerts, so I'm not among the complainers) but usually fans will take a ton of photos for the first few songs and then it dies down. For Lana, however, it just never lets up. Her mostly younger crowd are just too excited to be in her presence.

After her flubbed Saturday Night Live performance, a lot of people wrote her off as a performer, but Lana commanded the stage last night. Through her short set played the majority of Born to Die with the mysterious exception of one of her hit songs, "Diet Mountain Dew". The crowd sang along to every word of every song, going especially crazy for "Blue Jeans," "Video Games," and from The Great Gatsby soundtrack, "Young and Beautiful." She ended with "National Anthem", jumping into the crowd and spending several minutes shaking the hands of the fans standing up front while her band jammed. After making it back up onto the stage, she waved a quick goodbye and disappeared as quickly as she arrived.

GB store
GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15