This past weekend I road tripped down to the windy cindy to enjoy Lollapalooza, the three day music festival that features 8 stages and over 100 bands set in beautiful Grant Park in downtown Chicago. Headliners this year were Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine and Nine Inch Nails and all three put on memorable shows. The three day festival was sold out with 225000 people attending which resulted in massive crowds and some crazy energy.
And although the weekend was not about food, I still managed to fit lots of that in. The first night there we had dinner at Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian Steakhouse. Prior to this weekend I had never even heard of Brazilian Steakhouses but
At Fogo de Chao you get a token at the beginning of your meal that you use to signal servers. If you flip your token to the green side be prepared for server after server to arrive at your side with a skewer of meat to carve and load up your plate. When you’ve got enough, flip your token to red and the onslaught will stop temporarily. Meat choices include pork, beef and chicken and a variety of cuts of each from ribs to tenderloin. The server will also inquire as to how well done you want you meat and will carve off a slice accordingly.
Fogo de Chao was certainly a novel and delicious experience although I believe I slipped into a meat coma shortly following dinner that took a few hours to recover from, just in time for a visit to the Ghirardelli store. I believe I have a separate sweets compartment in my stomach that is never full and always accepting donations. This meant I was able to enjoy a scoop of blueberry cheesecake ice cream on a sugar cone and also accept a complimentary peanut butter chocolate while waiting in line. Sweet.
What’s a visit to
Ah yes, the Rage Against the Machine show. I was close enough to the front to get a full work out, but not so close as to be crushed into the barricades, which was a reality for a lot of people. With Bloc Party finishing their set an hour before the Rage show began, there was lots of time for anticipation to build. Despite no music being played during this hour people were still crowd surfing and generally gearing up for the show. When finally rolled around a siren started blaring from the stage and went on for a full minute and a half before Rage took the stage and began full throttle with Testify. Check out my video below of the beginning of that song. The crowd went absolutely nuts! From Testify the band carried into Bulls on Parade and the energy reached a frenetic state. It was so intense that the band actually had to stop the show and ask people to take ten steps back and look out for one another. This happened two more times during the show, with the band stopping music completely but promising to play all the songs from their set so long as everyone was safe. It was an unreal performance.
Nine Inch Nails were closing out the festival at the end of day three and I was determined to have a prime spot from which to enjoy the show. This was no easy feat. I had to give up seeing Gnarls Barkley and Kanye West play as they were at the opposite main stage, (almost a full mile across the park) in order to hold my spot for Nine Inch Nails. This also meant enduring a horrendously loud and awful set put on by Love and Rockets, (Worst. Band. Ever.). Many of the people around me had in earplugs for their performance and I desperately wished that I was one of them.
It was worth it though when NIN came on and blew me away with a show that was both visually and musically outstanding and I was front and centre for all of it. The band played a lot of new material, starting off the show with 1 000 000, Letting You and Discipline off the new album, The Slip before transitioning seamlessly to some older material, (including March of the Pigs and Closer) and then instrumental tracks from Ghosts, among other greats. The set ended with huge energy for Only and The Hand that Feeds with a dynamic crowd that showed no signs of exhaustion after three days in the heat at Lolla. The show could have ended there, but