It has been awhile since my last blog. I'm finally settled into college life at Creighton University, and ready to resume my blogging. Lets start out with a review, not of a specific artist, but of my summer of music as a whole in a few paragraphs or so.
I saw some great performances over the summer. This was sort of my first summer officially done with high school, and I saw myself presented with more freedoms and endless possibilities. From rock to pop, from indie to southern rock, I saw more music than I could have possibly imagined. Some bands I saw this summer included Alkaline Trio, REO Speedwagon, 311, Bright Eyes, The Decemberists, Foo Fighters, Ben Harper, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, The Head and The Heart, Los Lonely Boys, Cee-Lo Green, Lynyrd Skynryd, Sublime with Rome, Smoking Popes, and many others. Too many to list.
My family and I then took off to Chicago for possibly the most exhilarating, fun-filled weekend of my life. Lollapalooza 2011, the sold out 20th anniversary bash of one of the things that changed music forever. Of course came the sore feet, ruined shoes, and sunburned forehead, but it was worth it. Totally worth it.
On the first day of Lollapalooza, I camped out to see one of my favorite bands, Muse. This was tough to do; sticking around one side of Grant Park meant missing out on some great acts, but I also saw some great shows. I saw The Vaccines, The Naked and Famous, Delta Spirit, Foster The People, White Lies, Two Door Cinema Club, A Perfect Circle, and Muse. All were good, but Muse was spectacular. They have been a band I have wanted to see for a long, long time and it was definitely worth the wait.
Sore feet aside, Keith and I walked to Grant Park early Saturday morning. We eventually split up during the day (he was camping out for Eminem) but we both saw some fabulous shows. I personally saw Grouplove, Walk The Moon, Fitz and the Tantrums, Big Audio Dynamite, Ween, Cee-Lo Green (just as awful as the first time I saw him this summer), My Morning Jacket, and Eminem. Both Eminem and MMJ blew me away. Eminem still had it and Jim James sounded better than ever. This all made for a spectacular second day.
Sunday was more of a chill day. It was raining profusely throughout the afternoon and evening, making Grant Park a soggy mess. Besides finding shelter during the rain storm, I managed to wander to some wonderful stages throughout Grant Park. I saw Iration, The Joy Formidable, Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses, The Cool Kids, City and Colour, Flogging Molly, Cage The Elephant, Portugal The Man, Arctic Monkeys, Manchester Orchestra, and Foo Fighters. Two bands blew me away (besides Foo Fighters of course). The Joy Formidable absolutely killed it. I hope to see them again, sooner rather then later. Flogging Molly were also great; their Irish rock caused a frolic of dancing throughout the crowd, I even did a little jig myself.
I am already surfing through the Lollapalooza forums longing for information on next year. Plan on seeing me there.
I then returned home (after a trip to Milwaukee to see Josh Groban of course) and began my help with MAHA Music Festival. I fell in love with this fest in 2010, not as a volunteer but as a spectator. I spent friday breaking drink tickets and then a walk-around Stinson Park. Though I preferred Lewis & Clark landing, Stinson Park definitely offered a great atmosphere and definitely a great place to work with as far as a festival setup goes. After my walk around, a few of my fellow volunteers ran errands for artist riders.
After a few hours of sleep, the big day began. Filled with last minute setup, errands, and hotel pickups, my first part of the day was fairly hectic but a whole TON of fun. My biggest task was picking up Matisyahu himself. Now generally a pickup is not that stressful. However, Having to pick up an artist and have him on stage in a matter of fifteen minutes wasn't a big bundle of fun, especially when Matis (what I was told to call him) was running late himself. After texts like "in route?" and "where is he?" I finally had him to the venue. Mission accomplished. My night ended with a two hour trip to pick up his wife and basically help her pack up every piece of luggage she had for Matis and the rest of their family.
Although I didn't hear a complete set, what I did hear of Matisyahu, J. Mascis, Cursive, and Guided by Voices was phenomenal. Such an eclectic lineup really put MAHA far and above many other indie festivals. That being said, I am already excited for helping out next year!
So what is next? Well currently Manchester Orchestra and The Head and The Heart are on the docket for the remaining months of 2011. My current list of must see artists includes Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers, and many more. My music-filled summer will be hard to beat, but it will be topped next summer. Hopefully I will find myself at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and again working at MAHA Music Festival.