Lollapalooza 2017

Posted August 12, 2017 by Mike

I recently found out that Steph used to be a major club girl before we dated. This came as a bit of a shock to me because I had a pretty hard time imagining my chill mostly non-drinking wife partying it up at a club. I’d always thought restaurants were more her thing; for a fraction of a second it even rocked my world a little bit. Just a little bit until she further explained that she did it for the dancing, and more importantly, loud music. The conversation went like this:

Me: You? Clubbing? You? You don’t even drink!
Her: I just like dancing to loud music!
Me: Why not concerts then?
Her: I love going to concerts!
Me: But you never want to go to any, I’m always the one buying tickets.
Her: I know, they seem so expensive.

So, being the problem solver that I naturally am, I suggested we solve this by going to more music festivals where we could enjoy many concerts for the price of only 2. Amortization! Lollapalooza happened to line up perfectly with our plans so this year for the first time, we went to Lollapalooza and hung with the cool kids.

Now, Steph and I both did not exactly have sheltered upbringings, but for some reason neither of us had been to a major music festival before, so we looked forward to it like a bunch of giggly teenagers. Being the adults that we are though, we booked a nice hotel with valet parking.

The first day, we rushed out to the festival, ate all the foods, bought all the merch, and saw one of my fave bands: A R I Z O N A. We watched Wiz Khalifa’s excellent show and danced away to Young, Wild, and Free, teared up when everyone sang along to See You Again, and laughed at his giant inflatable blunt on stage.

Lorde closed out the night in the rain. She told her audience that the rain was perfect and suiting for the way she felt these days. She probably has a tempest or hurricane going on in her head because it ended up storming so hard it closed down her set. All 400,000 of us evacuated Grant Park in the gorgeous rain slicked streets. I don’t think anyone minded hearing only 3 songs.

We capped our first night off with some legit ramen at Ramen San, chosen mainly because it was within walking distance and open late, but it exceeded all our expectations and blew me personally away with their Japanese Scotch list.

The next day, we camped out on the railing of the main stage to watch the killers. We’d both concluded that the killers were so popular that it wasn’t enough just to see the show ahead of theirs, so we needed to be there for the show before the show before. Armed with zero water and ready to hold out bathroom-wise, we sat on the railing for almost 6 hours.

It was worth it. We were right next to the VIP walk and saw tons of barely recognizable, probably B-list celebrities walk by. Everyone in the crowd seemed to know them though, except me and Steph who looked at each other in confusion. This redheaded dude walked by and all the girls around us wide-eyed. Some googling later between sets led Steph to figure out he was Shaun White, and he was there because he was dating half of the first act (Phantogram). We met Matt, Chance’s ASL rapper, and Elijah, his bodyguard, who claimed to do psyops as a paratrooper in the army (I did not believe this one bit).

Run the Jewels was the next act and their live show was just bomb. I’ve never seen three dudes look like they had so much fun on stage, and their fanbase was similarly impressive. At first, we overheard everyone around us chatting along these lines: “You know this band?” “No, I’m here for the Killers” But mid-set, they recognized a long time fan and got him up on stage, and he was able to rap along to their songs perfectly, even while carried over someone’s shoulder.

The main act though, the killers, were they worth waiting for 6 hours with no exit? Hell fucking yes. The Killers, if you are not familiar with their live shows, put on a fantastic live performance filled with a lot of Brandon Flowers posing and a light and laser show befitting an old school 80s rock band. They had 6 guys suspended above manually manning the lights from 60 feet up. I’ll never forget the look of joy and gratitude Brandon Flowers had when he played the first bar of When You Were Young and the crowd took over. What a feeling that must be for an artist.

Now to the meat of the matter: the food at Lollapalooza. It blew me away – in particular, the lobster corn dog is a thing at Lolla and we had it and it was an amazing thing. We’ve spent most of the past few weeks in New England, so you’d think by now we’d be tired of lobster anything, but it’s not true. Steph and I go to fairs just to get those little donuts. This corn dog is so good you should go to the festival just to get it.

One of the things we tried at Lolla was Tank Noodle’s sriracha fries. They were not good enough to talk about here, but made us interested enough that I did some research and found out that there is an incredible Chicago Vietnamese food scene. This was our first time in Chicago with a car, so it was serendipitously perfect. We drove out to the north end and feasted on some incredible pho just before making it back for the XX.

All in all, one of, if not the best, trips we’ve had to Chicago. Lollapalooza, we’re coming for you next year!

Where we ate (that was good and you should to):
Purple pig
Pho 777
Shake Shack
Ramen San
Lollapalooza foods


  1. Your weekend sound amazing! Thanks for letting us follow along. I was listening along on the radio but can’t imagine how cool it must have been to be there.

  2. Ka says:

    That was a fantastic story, I loved it so much! Thank you for writing about your time and sharing great photos! You and your wife had a ton of fun, and obviously are in a solid relationship. Good for you! Take Care, Ka

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