Lollapalooza – Day 2

Posted: August 10, 2011 in Music Festivals, Rap
Tags: , ,
The air was thick and even more stale and humid because it had rained overnight, the grass was even more wet and mud patches were starting to form. The heat was strong and made you tired instantly. I tried to make it on time to hear the Deftones but just missed them and was then subject to hearing 80s band Ween, for which I have no comment. Other acts included The Pretty Reckless (ie Gossip Girl Jenny Humphrey’s band), Toronto punk rockers Death from Above 1979 and Cee-Lo Green who was horrendously unimpressive but I was trapped as my co-goers took an hour to use the restroom.                                                                                                                                                                                 Now truth be told the main reason I even attended Lollapalooza was for Saturday’s headliner – the one and only Eminem. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it plenty of times, but I am completely in awe of him. His lyrics are angry, personal and honest. Sure sometimes he’s gimmicky and a bit cartoonish but let’s face it, we all know the words to “The Real Slim Shady.” His later work is much more focused and mature than his earlier material and as far as rappers go, there’s no contest. His rhymes are out of control, fast and impactful. He means every word, spits it out that way, and his intensity can be felt miles away. He believes it, and makes you believe it. He was the main event, and I feel for the other bands (My Morning Jacket, Beirut and Pretty Lights) who played at the same time as him because I’m pretty sure every soul at that park was witnessing Eminem.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         We arrived about an hour before he went on stage and made our way as close as possible and waited. My feet and ankles were giving out (flip flops aren’t exactly the most supportive footwear), my spine was aching and the body odor had reached a new level. I was starting to wane, then all of a sudden lights went out, and Eminem burst out on stage. The crowd went crazy, the adrenaline was pumping and all the pain went away – I felt like a new person. Right off the bat, he was engaging and in top form, with incredibly sexy tattoos covering his very well defined arms, winning over the crowd instantaneously. He covered tracks from every point in his career, from “Stan” to “Toy Soliders”, to “Spacebound”, back to “Without Me”, sang a tribute to Nate Dogg, and even brought out Bruno Mars (my arch nemesis) for their new single “Lighters”. Each was a fervent performance full of passion and conviction. Since Eminem has so many tracks and not enough time to do them all completely, he would take a verse/chorus from one song and mix it into the verse/chorus of another song, and the flow was flawless.

For those of you going to any concerts in the near future, just a tip: the band shouldn’t sound exactly like they do on their album – they should be better and take it to such a different level that you can’t re-live it by just listening to their album at home. The whole crowd was singing along, bobbing their heads and waving their arms in unison. He thanked us his fans for sticking with him through his dark days, he talked about his sobriety, and if you listen to his current album Recovery, a large majority of it addresses his previous lacklustre albums, for which he apologized. Well Eminem, you’re forgiven. He closed out the show with “Lose Yourself” (Mekhi Pfeiffer was nowhere in sight) during his encore and I’m pretty sure we were all already gone.

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