Short blogs by an over-enthusiastic radio presenter.


Lollapalooza, Grant Park, Chicago.

It was Lollapalooza this weekend. I’ve still never been to a festival outside the UK, even though flying all the way to Chicago is probably cheaper than buying a day ticket for Reading or Leeds. I’ve also never used a toilet inside a festival – I wonder if music fans in the US have the option to venture to their nearest Starbucks. Then again, maybe they don’t need to. Maybe Lolla’s shit don’t stink?

Tremendous headliners this year but what on earth were Lolla chiefs thinking putting Muse and Coldplay on at exactly the same time? I think they’ve swayed a bit towards their homies, making sure that Eminem and Foo fighters don’t clash. What?!!

Festival goers who like rock music then, got it good this year. But I’ve always been fascinated by setlists, particularly those of bands who’ve built up a strong back catalogue. A couple of simple questions for now: For those who’ve now seen either Muse, Coldplay or Foos at Lolla 2011, what was the one song that really blew you away? Did they manage to throw a curveball your way? (For hardcore fans, I believe those are the difference between great and superstellar shows) Or was there a song you wish they’d played but didn’t?

I haven’t seen Muse since the Absolution tour but I just have the feeling that Dead Star hasn’t been heard live for a while. Its opening would be enough to tear fluffballs off clouds. I saw Coldplay at the iTunes festival a couple of weeks ago and it was magical – but hearing 42, White Shadows or Square One would’ve been truly eargasmic. And Foo Fighters? Well they lasted 2hr 40m onstage at the iTf so they pretty much played EVERYTHING… except DOA strangely.

Anyways, I look forward to your setlist reviews of Lolla 2011. Thanks for reading and I welcome you all to my #Shlogg.


Comments on: "Lollapop!" (13)

  1. wait, you were in north america and didn’t tell me! that’s it, I WANT A DIVORCE.

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    • These thesauri are the most fascinating and beneficial resources I've found on the internet, especially for me as a totally blind writer. Sometimes I find it difficult to describe the faces, eyes, and/or specific actions of my characters when they experience different emotional states, and I want to thank you for putting this collection together.I have one request, and I apologize if I've just missed it somewhere. I looked all through the weather and setting thesauri, and I didn't find "the sky." I see "clouds" but could you give me some descriptors of the sky's overall appearance as it changes seasonally, at different times of the day, by setting, etc. (By setting, I mean does the sky appear different when you're looking at it near the ocean, from a city street, etc.) Also, can you specify the colors of the sky. I know blue for a clear sky, gray or even greenish for a stormy sky, but are there other more varied shades?THANK YOU again for this treasury of words!

  2. Have to say that I heard citizen erased is absolutely mind blowing live…the riffage at the beginning basically melts your face and I’m lucky that I’ve heard it so many times live…dead star is one muse song I’d LOVE to hear live…but last I heard they only play it live in Japan (most recently on the resistance tour)…

    Ps shak you NEED to see muse live again! It’s blasphemy not to!

  3. Nice simple straight to the point blogging there sir, loose and easy, good work.

    I didn’t attend Lolla, and personally I’m a bit over the large festivals. They’re all a little too overcrowded and the food & drink is overpriced and toilet facilities are just … gross.
    Give me a concert or a nice intimate pub gig any day where I can enjoy myself in a comfortable atmosphere. And potentially stalk the band for meetings afterwards. ;o)

    I have subscribed so I can follow your online rantings, looking forward to seeing more of your scrawlings on the cyberspace wall.

  4. Seriously, swear to God, Lolla toilet facilities were not horrible. I’ve been to much worse. I still walked in armed with my antibacterial wipes, but really, they were not horrible. Oh, and if you had a three-day wristband you did have the option of popping out to Starbucks, but it would be a long walk. One-day people didn’t have the option – once you were in the park, you were in. I just did the one day.

    I’ve never been to a big festival before, but I was seriously impressed with how well Lolla was organized! I would go back, any time!

    Muse? Well – Citizen Erased, of course! I dreamed of them playing it, and I still can’t believe they actually did it! Of course I’d DIE to hear Dead Star, but CE …. WOW. It was … words can’t describe. And CE *and* Butterflies and Hurricanes? *swoon*

    I was bummed that White Lies didn’t do EST, though.

  5. I’ll never understand their logic at putting Muse and Coldplay on at the same time. Would have been nice to see Coldplay, but Muse was the main reason I went to Lolla. That was my first festival and I had such an awesome time. It’s a great festival and Chicago is an amazing city (what I saw of it)!!

    I’ve seen Muse 5 times over the past year and a half and Lolla was the best show, hands down. Citizen Erased completely blew me away, as did Butterflies & Hurricanes. Being one away from barrier, surrounded by die-hard fans was amazing, everyone was so into it. Foo Fighters were pretty incredible too. One of the best moments (and I’ve seen lots of people mention this) was us singing along to My Hero in a torrential downpour!

    Shak, I can’t believe it’s been so long since you last saw Muse – you MUST see them again!

  6. Lindsey said:

    Excellent first entry to your SCHLOGG, Shak. I wish I had something interesting to add regarding the Lollapalooza festivities; alas, I was not fortunate enough to be in attendance! I actually have yet to see Coldplay live (hoping I can change that on their next tour through America). The setlist from Lolla looked amazing as always, although I do wish there was a little more in there from “Parachutes” and “X&Y.” Like you mentioned, White Shadows would be a welcome addition back into the setlist, as would Don’t Panic and Trouble. I’m praying that they play Don’t Panic when I finally get to see them! I do also believe that Charlie Brown is going to be a massive hit for them if it’s released as a single.

    Looking forward to reading much more from you, Shak!!

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  7. Lolla was AMAZING! It was my first festival and I’d go again in a heartbeat. Perry Farrell has this running like a well-oiled machine. Food prices weren’t even that obnoxious. I was expecting them to be much higher. I’ll confirm what Steph said about the toilet facilities. They were not awful, and actually much better than I expected.

    Muse was simply amazing. They were on fire, the best I’ve seen them, and this was the 5th time in a 12 month period. Their energy was absolutely insane. Citizen Erased was amazing, especially since it’s so rarely played in the US. They do tend to save CE for festivals here, so I’m glad there was a significant Muser fanbase in attendance to appreciate it this time. Hearing Butterflies and Hurricanes for the second time in three days was also amazing. I’m not sure that was played in the States at all during the second half of the tour. The one I really wanted to hear though was Bliss. Maybe one day . . .

    There are no words for Foo. They played the full two hours, some of which was in the rain. I think everyone’s seen the My Hero video by now. They played everything I wanted to hear, so I was very happy. There are very few bands I’d stand in a mud puddle for, and Foo Fighters is one of them. (I did have to throw out the shoes though.) Dave made references to his first rock show in Chicago, going to the first Lolla in LA, and checking It was epic. I think they were also able to squeeze in another song by foregoing the leave the stage/come back for the encore mess.

    The other two shows that stood out in my mind were White Lies and Friendly Fires. I’d go back and see either of these bands in a heartbeat. The only complaint I have is that White Lies didn’t use their entire set time; they played 45 min instead of an hour, and they definitely have the material to cover the hour. As Steph mentioned, they didn’t play E.S.T., which while not a single, is one of my personal favorites and has been a setlist staple during the tour. Friendly Fires were nuts. Ed Macfarlane got the crowd into it right away by jumping into it. Did that again later in the set too. Great, great time!

    Arctic Monkeys had to shorten their set on Sunday due to the weather (13 songs), but I was lucky enough to go to the gig they put on the night before at The House of Blues. Solid, solid set, 20+ songs, and great energy. I think I like the Suck It and See material better live. Probably helped that I had barrier and they were playing 2-3m away too! They also included 505 in the encore, which had been left off the setlists on earlier sections of the North American tour. One of the die-hard AM fans in attendance was VERY excited about that addition!

    Shak, you must see Muse when they tour for the next album. I will drag you over myself if I have to . . .

  8. Catherine said:

    Firstly, I want to say shame on you Shak, for not having seen Muse since the Absolution tour – you live in the UK, so there is no excuse!
    Secondly, I was at Lollapalooza this year, as well as LA Rising, Kanrocksas, and Outside Lands (all festivals that Muse played at). To be honest, I am not one to worry about the set list; I would not travel from Australia, in the hope of seeing Muse perform a particular song. That being said, I do have my favourite songs, and Citizen Erased is one of them. I’m kinda spoilt because I saw them perform it live 7 times last year, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable when they played it at Lollapalooza, Kanrocksas, and Outside Lands. I could see it performed a million times and still enjoy it – I love it!! But I felt particularly emotional when they played it at Lolla, because I had many friends with me who had not seen it before, and had been really desperate for it. So it was lovely to be there when they finally experienced it!!
    Also, Muse played Butterflies and Hurricanes at four of the festivals, Kanrocksas being the one to have missed out. But that didn’t make Kanrocksas any less enjoyable, because the band did “other things”. For example, Matt tried to play a bit of Primus after telling the crowd that he was gutted to have missed them the day before (when theyMuse were at Lolla!). They also played a few extra riffs, and messed around a bit! So, despite Kanrocksas being two songs short of the Lolla set list (Guiding Light was the other song that Lolla got, and K’rock didn’t), in my opinion, both gigs were equally brilliant. So, the set list isn’t always what makes a concert superstellar instead of great! The other thing that made these gigs so enjoyable (including Muse’s own one in Indianapolis), was the fact that Musers from everywhere were there, and it created a real atmosphere.
    Re festival toilets, the ones at Lolla were pretty good really, but we were able to go to our hotels or the nearby Starbucks whilst queuing before the gates opened. And considering my groups of friends and I queued from 5am (that’s another story, really!), it was nice to have that option.

  9. bands include:a0the Weeknd, Justice, the Shins, Delta Spirit, Dr. Dog, Gary Clark Jr., Tame Impala, Band of Skulls,a0The Black Angels, Blind Pilot, Oberhofer, The War on Drugs, Jeff the Brotherhood, Dum Dum Girls,

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