Lollapalooza Coolness Test

Lollapalooza returns to Chicago in 2021 after being Covid-cancelled in 2020. The line-up for the 3 day music festival has been released. I heard on my transistor radio that you can tell how cool you are by how many rows down the Lolla poster you can recognize acts.

Editor’s Note: The mere fact that this idiot is listening to a transistor radio negates any potential coolness gained by knowing music performers.

Hey, you pompous ass, what am I supposed to do? I suppose you want me to listen to the radio on my phone.

Editor’s Note: YES!

On my new flip phone?

Editor’s Note: Ugh, never mind.

As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, the word I hear is that you can consider yourself moderately musically cool if you are familiar with music acts in at least the top 7 rows of the Lolla poster. Let’s take a closer look at those first 7 rows. I have identified the acts I know with red boxes around them.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Rage Against Age Concert Edition

I’m old. However, somehow I have put together my best concert year ever in 2019, although with some concessions to age. I missed driving 3+ hours to see the Smithereens perform recently at Abe Fest …

Smithereens Springfield

Thank God. Although I love those 80’s/90’s rockers and have wanted to see them for years now, I didn’t want to see them enough to drive to Springfield to freakin’ Abe Fest. Regardless, I waited a bit too long, and their lead vocalist passed away a couple years ago. Enter 80’s power popper Marshall Crenshaw to take over vocal duties. I thought it was an odd combination of upbeat vocals from Crenshaw for brooding Smithereen songs like “Blood and Roses.” I had to find out for myself.

I saw that the Smithereens were playing an outdoor festival gig just outside Chicago last Friday. Would the wife approve of my going? Yes! But under one condition. She didn’t want me to drag her to Skokie to see them. It’s a deal! I was flying solo.

The Smithereens/Crenshaw amalgam looked and sounded great in suburban Chicago …

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The Day the Music Died – Part 1, Saturday

There is a line in Don McLean’s song, American Pie, about “the day the music died.” For me, it should have been “the days the music died” which perfectly described this past weekend for me. My 2018 concert summer experience was just showing signs of life with September concerts by Cheap Trick and Rare Earth. This past Saturday, I had a chance to make 2018 a memorable concert summer.

Chicago is a city chock full o’ of summer music festivals, and Riot Fest came to town this past weekend. No, it is not a celebration of the 1968 Democratic National Convention held in Chicago between riots. It’s an incredible 3-day music festival. I could have seen Weezer headline Friday night, and I thought it would be cool on Sunday to see Debbie Harry bring Blondie to Riot Fest to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of their great album Parallel Lines. But I couldn’t believe the line-up of artists I could see on Saturday. I could spend about 7 hours there in music heaven wandering from stage to stage to see favorites. Take a look at this line-up …

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