|LOLLA-FOR-LOSERS: WHY TWO-DAY CONCERTS SUCK TEN YEARS LATER.|
Remember Lollapalooza? Remember how amped you were to go in high school, when nothing seemed cooler than an entire day outside with music blasting, your friends crushed up against you and burgers made of hemp?
The sunburned face and mudcaked ankles didn't matter. Losing your friends for a couple hours while you ventured over to the second stage was just another adventure. Getting shoved by beefy linebackers from across the river in Jersey was included with admission. And wearing wet clothes all afternoon? Whatever, man. We were rocking.
And I never want to do it again.
I was 16 when I attended Lollapalooza 1994. In a summer filled with concerts, it was the apogee. Look at that lineup: George Clinton, The Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, The Breeders (OK, so The Smashing Pumpkins headlined, but I didn't like them in high school and still don't.) It rained and we didn't care. It was hot and humid and gross before it rained, but we didn't care. We met a really tall guy named Dirk who became our personal line of demarcation, a totem atop the pile of crap that 16 of my closest friends dragged into Roosevelt Field.
Lollapalooza is a concert experience designed only for those seeking their high school or college diplomas. Its givens -- overpriced water, expensive food, bleaching sun, and unmentionable toilets -- stop being tolerable sometime after you learn to stop throwing up in bar toilets.
But its lineup is one geared toward post-college, post-cool rockers. Holy crap, what a roster this year: Modest Mouse, Sonic Youth, Le Tigre, Morrissey, PJ Harvey and Broken Social Scene. And that's just the first day. The second day you get Wilco and The Flaming Lips, and The Pixies (at least in New York). And I'll plead ignorance to knowing anything about The String Cheese Incident, but they're headlining the second day, too.
Or were. Lollapalooza announced Tuesday that the entire tour was cancelled. Citing "poor ticket sales" and the "weak economic state of this year's summer touring season," Lollapalooza will pack up the mist tents and put away the Mumia literature. Tibet will not be freed this summer, folks.
It all makes perfect sense, really. Everyone universally acknowledged the awesomeness of the lineup, but did anyone actually want to go? Did anyone feel like working all week only to spend their Saturday that way? Can anyone even handle that anymore? Lollapalooza, sadly, sounds exhausting.
The people young enough to enjoy these types of shows don't like Wilco. They've heard Modest Mouse on a minivan commercial and have no idea if PJ Harvey is male or female. The people young enough to enjoy these type of shows go to the Warped Tour, featuring a bunch of bands I've never heard of because I'm too old.
So save events like that for the Burning Man freaks. We've graduated from shrooms to speed and complain about shows that go past midnight on a Tuesday. We don't like to admit it to ourselves, but we know the truth. There's just some things, like Pop-Tarts, that aren't good past a certain age. And though we wouldn't say it out loud, our wallets spoke for us.