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Lollapalooza 2006 kicked some serious ass. This was its sophomore year as a destination music festival in Chicago and, by all accounts, it was so successful it's almost guaranteed to continue for years to come. I had never thought of Grant Park as a venue for such an event. But with its various "rooms," abundant trees, the most beautiful skyline in the world on three sides, and Lake Michigan anchoring the eastern edge, it turned out to be an ideal location to enjoy some good music.

Unsure of the security situation, I didn't bring my camera the first day. So you won't get to see any pics of the Eels (awesome as always), Umphree's McGee (I usually don't like jam-band music, but the hour time limit forced the hometown band to play a tight set), My Morning Jacket (a catchy mix of Radiohead and the Allman Brothers), and Death Cab for Cutie (predictable as always).

Day 2:

Entrance on Columbus:



Band #1: Calexico. Alternative Country/Rock in English/Spanish from Tucson. The Latin beats and horns certainly made our toes tap:





Heading to the south end...



...for Band #2: Gnarles Barkley. I once read a review describing this band as Marvin Gaye with modern electronic production. Very apt. The lead singer was energetic, hilarious, filthy (that's a good thing), and a great singer.



Behind this fence (to the right in the photo) was a VIP section. Why would VIPs want to be so far from the stage? To shove it in their Very Important Faces, we sat against the fence and smoked. The young lady smiling at us in the photo soon realized what we were smoking. She and her mullet-sporting friend asked for some, but alas, we weren't about to share it with them. Perhaps if she was better-looking, and her friend was a female sans mullet...



...So we sat back, enjoying the music and the view of the Grant Park streetwall...



Band #3: The Flaming Lips. I'm probably biased because they're my favorite band, but this performance was un-friggin-forgettable!



Lead singer Wayne Coyne rolls over the crowd in a transparent, plastic bubble:



It wouldn't be a Flaming Lips concert without hundreds and hundreds of balloons:



This guy was totally stoked:



More balloons as the sun sets:



This proves, beyond any doubt, that aliens, astronauts, and Santa Clauses can share a single stage. (And, yes, that's Flipper jumping over the crowd.)



That giant, inflatable Santa Claus was rocking out!



Donning a nun puppet for the "Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Part 1" sing-along:



Those Martian babes were sexy, but I think some of them were actually men. Is that wrong? (And, yes, that's Batman playing the keyboard.)



Handy:



Singing "W.A.N.D." through a nuclear megaphone:



The set comes to a close:



Band #4: Kanye West. Unexpectely good. It didn't hurt having Common and Twista make guest appearances. I couldn't find a solid place to set my camera down for a proper night shot, so you'll have to trust that these psychedelic swirls were on Kanye's stage:



After Kanye, we joined the flood of Lollapaloozians heading through the Loop toward Union Station. Unfortunately, we were five minutes late for our 10:35 train, and the next one didn't come until 12:25. A lot of our fellow concertgoers were in the same boat. So we all hung out outside of Union Station and continued the party. This gave me an opportunity to get some decent night shots of the river:















Finally 12:25 rolled around and we boarded the Metra back to Morton Grove. 95% of the passengers were from the concert:
 

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Day 3:

Boeing headquarters on the way from Union Station to Grant Park:



Sears Tower from Lasalle Street:



After listening to Of Montreal (great psychedelic indie band), we hunkered down as close to the stage as possible and waited for...



...Band #2: Wilco. One of my favorite bands, yet I had never seen them live before. Jeff Tweedy & Co. didn't disappoint:





The various "groves" provided much needed shade:



The herd moves south toward the final act. Band #3: The Red Hot Chili Peppers:












Teenagers clinging to a baseball fence:



...And that's it. I'll definitely be back next year!
 

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Wow, such an interesting event in Chicago,thanks for sharing! I hope that I can be the part of it for its Junior year...lol!:cheer:
 

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chukchi said:
Amazing pics :applause: Do you have any pics of RHCP on stage? I love those guys
Because we stayed through the end of the Flaming Lips and then stopped for a bite to eat, my friends and I couldn't get close to the Chili Peppers' stage. There were 75,000 people in the softball fields south of Buckingham Fountain. We could've pushed our way a little closer, but it was the last act after 3 long days and we were exhausted. We relaxed on the grass at the edge of the crowd (2 or 3 blocks from the stage). Even that far away the vocals were clear, the guitar wailed, and Flea's bass thumped through the ground. Unfortunately, it was too far away to even get pics of the large screens flanking the stage.
 

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Fantastic photos! I can't believe I missed it!
 

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Good stuff man. I probly would've gone, had I not been across the country. I guess this is the next best thing.
 
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