WOW. This was by far the best day. And considering how good the others have been so far…that’s no small feat. This Lolla has been such a blessing.
Starting the day was The Walters, which, if you were to imagine poppy theatrical alt-rockers that grew up listening to The Beatles, you’d have a pretty general idea of their style. They pulled it off so well though, combining a silly and high-energy stage demeanor with shoegazy alt-rock that made a perfect start of the day.A pretty decent turnout for a show at 12:45 pm on a Sunday.
I’m currently writing this while watching Car Seat Headrest soundchecking. If they sound as good during the show as they do just tuning up, this will be the highlight of my Lolla. Then again, I’m biased. To every friend who’s made fun of me for playing their music too loudly: Talk to me after you’re this close to Will Toledo!
HOW DO I EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE CAR SEAT HEADREST?! What an incredible day! They played a FANTASTIC set featuring hits from Teens of Denial and Style (as well as a new track recorded for a Bandcamp fundraiser) that was just as full of energy and bursting with emotion as I’d been hoping for. I wasn’t in the very front row, but that’s ok because I got to meet half the band plus their horn player from the show at the FYE autograph tent later on! Me meeting the greats themselves (also, the shirt I’m wearing was made by someone in our Lolla group. She’s into visual art and made a design of a bunch of her dad’s favourite bands that she then made into a t-shirt. It says “CSH” in the middle-Car Seat Headrest).
What a sweet and humble group of guys who didn’t seem phased at all (and seemed very thankful in fact) with me blurting out “Your album changed my life” as soon as I was at the table. Will just laughed and said “I hope it was changed for the better.” That it was, Will. That it most definitely was.I’m still in shock this happened (but praise God it did).
Following the excitement of meeting the dudes who basically soundtracked my Sophomore year of college was some tropical club-inspired dance music fun with Milky Chance. These guys transitioned seamlessly from groovy dance tracks to soulful harmonica-tinged acoustic ballads, demonstrating a level of musical ability I’d previously thought they lacked. Their songs all carry the same laid-back vibe, but manage to do it in a way that never bores me, but intrigues me.Shiny skies and smooth dance rock over Chicago.
Following that was The Shins, a band I’d previously wrote off as monochrome folk rock. So wrong. They’re so energetic live, going all-in on each of their instruments and jamming so well together as a collective. They were so kind and appreciative of everyone coming out to see them too, and the live aspect really did add a new layer to their music that I’d been wrong to overlook before.Sunsets and Shins equals smiles all around.
Had to snap this picture of this guy’s shirt because our whole crew is huge New Order fans.
And then came Arcade Fire. I’m writing this pre-concert, and I’m much closer to the stage than I’ve been for any headliner on a big stage before. The Chicago skyline is glistening behind me, and a haze of heat and cigarette smoke is mingling with the newly fallen sunset. It’s ominous. You can feel the anticipation in the air. It’s perfect for an Arcade Fire show.Front and back of my brand-new Arcade Fire shirt. I love it because the Everything Now logo looks like the old PanAm logo.
WOW. What incredible performers Arcade Fire were. Every song was so worthy of a thousand words of praise, but they’ve left me utterly speechless. How blessed I feel to see the group that I listened to so very much when I was a kiddo that inspired me in some capacity to be the person I am today perform. It was just song after song that still means so much to me today.Arcade Fire, you’re still just as incredible and inspirational to me as you were to the 13-year-old who watched you perform on Paladia back in 2011 and vowed she’d see you live at a festival one day.
This has been such an amazing and blessed summer. So much talent. So much inspiration. So much time spent sharing the God-given talents of people with those that I love. And it only gives me so much hope for what’s still ahead in the future. And where I’ll end up going with my own God-given talents.
Thank you so much for reading through my Lolla adventure. God bless you all and see you soon.