Even though the bands stopped playing at 10 PM every night, Lollapalooza didn’t end there.  Aftershows and parties scattered throughout the city kept the music and vibe going late into the night in Chicago.  It’s hard to pick the very best of Lollapalooza when so many moments, artists, and events were great.  It’s even harder when the aftershows take on a life of their own at the festival!  It’s one of the things that makes Lollapalooza so unique and special as a festival.  It’s more than 10 hours at Grant Park, it’s a full experience embodied by the spirit of the festival and the city of Chicago.  Here is our Best of Lollapalooza 2013: aftershows, parties and experiences.

 

Best Aftershow

*Aftershows are official Lollapalooza sponsored concerts that occur at venues in Chicago after the festival has ended.  Aftershows feature artists that perform at the festival.

Queens of the Stone Age (Thursday @ The Metro)

On Thursday night, all the way over in Wrigleyville at The Metro, Queens of the Stone Age put on possibly the best show of Lollapalooza- and the festival hadn’t even started yet!  As one of the official Lollapalooza aftershows and preshows, of which there were over 50, this was the one that everyone wanted to be at.  We saw over 30 fans outside of The Metro as early as 2 hours before the show started hoping to get an extra ticket from a fan who had an extra.  We saw one person get in.  The hottest ticket in town lived up to the hype.  The chance to see Queens with less than 1,000 people is a rare thing these days.  Playing songs from their new album, and classics such as “A Song For The Dead” and “Millionaire”, there was a steady pit in the middle of the venue that only slowed for a few songs such as “Make It Wit Chu”.  This was Queens of the Stone Age at their best- fast, sweaty, hot, and engaged with the crowd.  A Queens show like this might not occur again on this tour.  If you were at The Metro the day before Lollapalooza started, consider yourself lucky.

Highlight Moment: For fans, just getting a ticket to the show was a highlight.  Every moment rocked if you were able to get in.

 

Dada Life (Saturday @ The Mid)

Dada Life put on one of the best EDM acts at Perry’s Stage at Lollapalooza this year.  Their combination of sing-a-long house tracks and wild stage antics always throws the crowd into a frenzy.  Mixed with some truly innovative, weird and fun imagery on the screens, Dada Life was up there in our best of rankings for the festival.  Then we went to the aftershow at The Mid on Saturday night.  Not to take away from their excellent Lollapalooza set, but The Mid was the best aftershow we attended all weekend and the true Dada experience.  Taking the stage around 2:00 AM at The Mid, Dada Life were all energy and fun for their aftershow.  The Swedish duo consisting of Olle Corneer and Stefan Engblom were absolute beasts.  Non-stop dancing and banana throwing kept the crowd in a frenzy.  There were multiple champagne showers, inflatable bananas, pillow fights, and blasts of smoke that literally kept you from seeing a foot in front of you for over a minute.  Dada Life performed their new track “Born To Rage” at Lollapalooza where it played the best, but “Kick Out The Epic Motherf**ker” was a club destroyer at The Mid.  Simply bananas.

Highlight Moment: Mixing into Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t Worry Child”, Dada Life pulled Steve Angello from behind stage and into the lights on the decks.  Angello couldn;t help but laugh at the crowd covered in pillow fluff and champagne.

Dada Life Lollapalooza 2013 by Will Rice
Their Lollapalooza set was great. Their aftershow at The Mid was bananas. (photo by Will Rice)

 

Best Afterparty

*Afterparties are not official Lollapalooza events, but instead are sponsored by third party companies and vendors during the week of Lollapalooza.  Many of them feature artists performing at the festival.

ASOS Rocks @ The Hard Rock Hotel

The ASOS Rocks afterparty at the Hard Rock Hotel was a popular spot every night after Lollapalooza.  By 10:30 PM, the general admission line would extend around the corner of the hotel with dressed up Lollapalooza-goers clamoring to get into the VIP party.  There was a good reason to wait in line, because the ASOS Rocks party was the best afterparty at the festival this year.  Featuring a steady lineup of Lollapalooza artists, and some special appearances including Salt N’ Pepa, the party was a mixture of industry insiders, fesitval goers, and artists.  Our favorite performance was from IO Echo.  Staying true to their sound, they put on a heavy display of rock n’ roll infused indie rock.  Just because it’s a fancy afterparty doesn’t mean you need to change your sound!  Good work by IO Echo and the BMF Media Group for throwing an awesome party every night.

IO ECHO ASOS Rocks Lollapalooza 2013 hard rock
IO ECHO performs at our favorite after party, ASOS Rocks, at Lollapalooza 2013.

 

Best Interview

Red Bull Sound Select artist Rivals of the Peacemaker

Anytime you can interview a local Chicago band who is playing Lollapalooza for the first time, it’s an awesome and exciting experience for the artist and interviewer.  But when you are conducting that interview at 8 in the morning in the back of a Red Bull Sound Select party bus with a screwdriver in hand, it’s even that much better! Red Bull Sound Select artist Rivals of the Peacemaker made their Lollapalooza debut on Sunday, and we got the change to sit down with the charming Alex Watson from the band.  You can read the full interview here.

rivals of the peacemaker alex watson interview lollapalooza
Alex and Billy Watson of Rivals of the Peacemaker

 

Biggest Disappointments

Modestep playing Knife Party’s “Bonfire” on Friday

Modestep is a guilty pleasure of some of the staff here at Rabbits Black.  Some of us love their high energy sets, even though we can admit it’s almost a gimmick at times.  Still though, adding in some live music elements to a fast paced DJ set makes for some good times.  We loved the Prodigy portion of Modestep’s set at Lollapalooza on Friday.  Any time we can hear “Smack My Bitch Up” is a good thing.  But we loathed Modestep’s rendition of Knife Party’s “Bonfire”.  Look, you don’t play the Sunday headliner’s most famous song at 6:00 PM on the first day of the festival.  Of course Knife Party was going to close Lollapalooza on Sunday with “Bonfire”- and they did!  So don’t play it on Friday six hours into the festival.

Lollapalooza 2013 Knife Party by Jack Edinger
This is Knife Party and this is how “Bonfire” was supposed to be experienced. (photo by Jack Edinger)

No collaboration with Trent and Josh on the Bud Light Stage

It’s been many years since Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails have been on the same stage.  Josh Homme and Trent Reznor have been long time friends and collaborators, and when it was announced that Queens would be slotted right ahead of Nine Inch Nails on Friday’s lineup, the dreams and wishes started flowing in.  Trent performed on the new song “Kalopsia” from Queens’ latest album Like Clockwork…, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Trent to come on stage and perform with his pal.  But we didn’t get “Kalopsia” during the set, and we didn’t get any Trent.  So we thought at least Josh would give a shout out since Nine Inch Nails was coming on 45 minutes after Queens of the Stone Age were done.  Nope.  Not a word.  We knew the possibility of Josh coming out during NIN’s carefully constructed orchestra was slim to none, so we didn’t have high hopes for that.  We trust that Josh and Trent didn’t see it fit to collaborate on stage, but damn we would have loved to see that!

Other Reasons why Lolla 2013 Rocked

Security, Staff and Police

It’s not often that the above three get a shout out, but at Lollapalooza they were all worthy of recognition.  Music festivals are crazy and people get rowdy with their partying.  We all know what goes on, but that doesn’t mean security and police need to ruin the fun.  At Lollapalooza the police and security did what they needed to in order to keep people safe- no more, no less.  That’s all you can really ask for as a festival goer.  Security didn’t make you feel like you were trying to board Air Force One.  The staff were smiling and polite and energetic, if they were serving a beer or handing you a program, they did it with a smile.  It’s as if everyone was feeding off the vibe of Perry Farrell and his attitude.

Lollapalooza 2013 by Jack Edinger
Things are going to get crazy. The staff and police were understanding and awesome. (photo by Jack Edinger)

Aftershows

It’s a difference maker when comparing Lollapalooza to any other festival.  With over 50 shows as part of the official Lollapalooza Aftershow programming, there were parties in Chicago going to 5 AM starting on Wednesday night and not ending until early in the morning with Diplo at The Mid.  You never get that feeling like the festival is over once the headliner finishes, because Lollapalooza provides enough entertainment and music for any fan to party until they drop.  There was a good chance that 2 or 3 of your favorite artists were playing an aftershow sometime during the week.  It’s the perfect blend of the festival live experience during the day, and the club or bar live experience at night.  Seriously, Dada Life and Queens of the Stone Age’s aftershows were so good that it made the festival as a whole that much better.

Weather

Ya, it rained a little bit here and there, but that was usually early in the morning.  There were a few wet spots of mud on Friday, but by Saturday it had all dried up.  Last year it poured during the Foo Fighters, but there were no downfalls like that this year.  We prefer a little rain and 80 degree weather over high 90s and humidity that makes you sweat the moment you step outside.  Chicago summers are known to be damp, hot and dogged.  The weather for Lollapalooza 2013 was unique for Chicago summers, and we thought it was just about perfect.

The Mobile App

It provided updated scheduling, gave you an easy way to find bands and stage times, and even provided a decent music discovery tool.  But our favorite part of the app were the 10 simple notifications we got during the festival.  It would have been easy to turn the app into a marketing spam tool for sponsors, but they didn’t let it go that way.  Our favorite notification of the festival?  Easy: “Hey, You! At Perry’s! Drink water.”

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