Lollapalooza @ Jones Beach (or, "Jane Says...")

  • Thursday 31 July 2003 13:37
  • 5 minute read

Yesterday was one of those vacation days where you do stuff by yourself, to clear the cobwebs. And It Was Good.

Started off by going to see Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. summary: 2 out of 4 stars.

During the first third of the movie, I thought that other than the incredibly over-the-top action, the movie sucked badly. And, actually, even the uber-action lacked an expert hand (vis. James Cameron. But, in total, the screenplay wasn’t as bad as it implied it would be. And, they actually didn’t cheat at the end, which totally took me by surprise. Bottom line: you can still wait for cable, but watch it then.

Then, to Lollapalooza at the beach. The drive took me 2 and a half hours. Oy. If I never have to drive on the LIE again, it would be too soon (Yes, I know - there are other options available to me, which I will explore post haste).

I am happy to report that I am not yet at the high end of the age demographic for such an event. But, I am certainly not in the middle of that bell curve anymore. Alas, time marches on. I do believe that going to events such as these helps to keep the calcification of the soul at bay.

Speaking of which, here are some fave T-shirts I saw people wearing:

I enjoyed walking around, seeing the sights, eating some way overpriced food (as if I had any choice). I was amused to see so many people paying way to much money for stuff at all these little booths. A quick price check on a few items revealed a premium of at least 100% over similar fare one can find at any weekend street fair.

And, let’s not even start about the T-shirt counter. 30 dollars for a T-shirt? I know that touring bands make most of their bread from merchandising, but motherfucker! Musing over these prices, a nostalgic memory of my first concert T-shirt (ELP, 2$ - the ticket was $8.50) shocks me into the realization that my first concert was 25 years ago (eek!).

I was put off somewhat by the huge corporate sponsorship of the event. In addition to the usual booths full of PETA / Save the Planet / Justice for the Oppressed hippies, there was a tremendous presence by The Man: Xbox, Sirus Radio, Blender magazine, etc. I know the harsh realities and expenses of putting a show like this on the road, but man, at least they shouldn’t make it look so obvious that they’re sucking the corporate teat.

Anyway. End of rant, on to the show.

I really only caught three acts: Queens of the Stone Age, Audioslave, and Jane’s Addiction.

I was curious about QOTSA. I liked the one song that the radio plays, and I heard the full album once at my brother’s over the winter. The songs they played at first just didn’t rock my world, but as the set progressed, it got much more interesting. These guys are good. Much more than just your run of the mill post-grunge/post-post-punk/neo-garage/whatever-the-fuck-we’re-calling-guitar-bands-these-days. They played music with brains, and a smirk (gotta have the smirk).

Next up, Audioslave. Also heard the album at chez bro , but it didn’t do much for me then. Most of my buds whose taste in music I respect had high hopes for the Rage against the Machine boys / Soundgarden combo, as did I. But, they all told me it sounded too much like a Chris Cornell record, with not nearly enough of the “Let’s kick Grandma down the stairs” aggressiveness one expects from RATM.

Well, let me tell you: last night, Audioslave dished out a riffalicious serving of head banging goodness. They RAWKED, dude. Mr. Cornell’s voice was a little ragged. Sounded like he smoked two packs of Luckies and downed a liter of Jack before going onstage. But, nevertheless, it was not distracting. Actually gave it more of an edge.

To be fair, this show did pale in comparison to the RATM show I saw a Roseland six or seven years ago, but then again, just about every show would. That show was pandemonium contained only by the walls of the venue. My entire body ached the next day, both from the severe head banging that ensued, as well as from the generally high level of physicality that ran through the crowd. Yowsa.

But, even in light of that (somewhat unfair) comparison, Audioslave made me want to go out and get their album, so I can judge for myself (which I should have done all along, I know).

Lastly, Jane’s Addiction. Glam-er than Glam, loud, outrageous, energetic, over-sexed - and that was just Perry Farrel. They are as over the top as a rock band should be. And the dancing girls were a nice addition. They RAWKED as well.

Once again, the last JA show I saw was better. But, that was at the Garden, it was just them, and there was much more energy in the air. Short sets and a crowd made up of fans of multiple acts will do this, so no biggie. Still very enjoyable.

And, to top it off, the ride home was effortless, for a change. A beautiful way to end an evening.