Post tour wrap-up

I’ve been meaning to do this for a couple weeks now since I never did really get around to updating everyone on most of the Candian/American sector on the trip…

So I left off talking about the Blink 182 show in Milwaukee and 10 for $10 Tour. Here’s some pictures for you to have a bit of a geeze at:

Fall Out Boy</strong>

Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy, with a slightly better view of the amphitheatre venue

Fall Out Boy, with a slightly better view of the amphitheatre venue

Blink 182 - unfortunately didnt get many get photos

Blink 182 - unfortunately didn't get many get photos

After 10 for $10 I back-tracked my way to Chicago, taking about 5 or 6 hours to complete what is normally only a 2.5 hour trip. It was nice, I stopped off a few times along the way, even went to one of Michigan’s state parks to go for a swim in Lake Michigan. Beautiful day, great weather and the water was a great temperature. Driving into Chicago was a bit of a pain, the traffic there is insane.

The next day was the first of Lollapalooza and it just so happened that the car drop-off point was about 2 blocks from the festival, so it was nice to be able to drive myself to the festival pretty much. The whole 3 days were a bit of a blur to me, so I’m not even going to bother trying to write a blow-by-blow review, not that it would be all that interesting to read anyway…but there were a few observations I made:

  • The festival felt like it had no real personality to it… Every other festival I can remember going to always seems to have something interesting to see or do other than watch music, even if it’s just market stalls or some kind of performance art… this festival had virtually none of that, just 8 stages spread across one huge park.
  • They had people doing sign language to all the mainstage bands… seriously, what the hell?
  • Grant Park is one huge mofo of a park. One end to the other (mainstage to mainstage) would take a good 10-15 minutes without battling your way past anyone.
  • Perry Farrel still loves himself.

Lolla sign

Lolla sign

In front of Buckingham Fountain, the centrepiece of Grant Park

In front of Buckingham Fountain, the centrepiece of Grant Park

I don’t remember everything I saw, and I did see a lot of partial sets, but here’s what I can recall:

Friday
Manchester Orchestra
Gringo Starr
The Knux
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
The Gaslight Anthem
Kevin Divine
Ben Folds
Fleet Foxes
The Decemberists
Peter, Bjorn & John
Andrew Bird
Kings of Leon
Depeche Mode (does 1.5 songs count as seeing them?)

Saturday
Living Things
Constantines
Miike Snow
Los Campesinos
Care Bears On Fire
Perry Farrel
Arctic Monkeys
Coheed and Cambria (about 4 minutes. Bummer)
No Age
Glasvega
Rise Against
After this point I fell asleep in a hammock and woke up about 20 minutes into Tool

Sunday
Mike’s Pawn Shop (about 1 song)
Sam Roberts Band
Friendly Fires
Portugal. The Man
Kaiser Chiefs
The Raveonettes
Vampire Weekend
Cold War Kids
Snoop Dogg (whitest crowd ever)
Lou Reed
Deerhunter
Silversun Pickups
Jane’s Addiction (with Joe Perry from Aerosmith helping out on “Jane Says”)

All in all it was a pretty good weekend. Randomly made some friends with some people yelling at everyone to give them high-fives… We ended up walking through the streets of Chicago for a couple hours, grabbing a late night feed, trying to go for a swim in the pool at one of their siblings’ block of apartments (indoor pool, doors locked after 11pm… nawww). Turned out to be such a fun night.

Chicago itself is pretty cool… Lots of cool things to see and explore, I was a little disappointed by Navy Pier but Millenium Park was pretty cool. As it turned out I didn’t really have as much time as I was hoping to have in Chicago, so I missed out on a few of the touristy things such as Lincoln Park Zoo, Sears Tower and Reckless Records (it was the store in High Fidelity). I suppose there’s always next time 🙂

River that runs through Chicago

River that runs through Chicago

Massive chrome bean scultpure in Milennium Park

Massive chrome bean scultpure in Milennium Park

The flight to San Francisco with United Airways was a fun story as I’ve probably already told a few of you. Before I go on I must mention all my flights were booked through AirNZ as a round-the-world trip… Long story short I was told I had to go to the gate to get my “seat allocation” (ie. boarding pass). I do as I’m told and ask the people at the desk for my seat allocation, only to be told I can’t do that through them and I have to go talk to the Air New Zealand people… I go on a wild goose chase looking for Air New Zealand reps (which of there are none – AirNZ don’t fly to Chicago…), eventually go back to the United check in counter and explain the situation… After lots of arguing that, yes, I definitely went to the right check-in counter and I did nothing wrong, the check-in girl rings the gate only to find out the woman thought I was asking for a REceipt. Anyway, after this wild goose chase I went on I should have missed my flight, and the only saving grace was the flight was delayed by an hour. Very lucky indeed, and a stress I just did not need.

San Francisco was amazing. Just as beautiful as I remember as a child and the perfect place to end my trip when I had a bit of money to burn. First day I got there was pretty funny, within 10 mins of venturing out of my hotel I managed to bump into some family friends who then had me around for dinner and then drove me to a gig I was going to that night… Was really nice to see some familiar faces again and have a good chat. The bands I saw were The Copyrights (who were really really fun) and Cobra Skulls (also very fun, but I’m not really into the who rockabilly thing).

The next day I did the touristy stuff, walked to Pier 39 and saw the seals, then rented a bike and rode up to and across the Golden Gate Bridge. The weather was generally great that day but there was a lot of low-lying cloud that made the bridge almost impossible to see in the distance. I got mega sunburn that day… Later in the evening I went and bought myself a sexy new Fender P-bass… it’s only a mexi, but still looks and sounds sweet.

The Golden Gate Bridge is there somewhere...

The Golden Gate Bridge is there somewhere...

Riding over the Golden Gate Bridge

Riding over the Golden Gate Bridge

The last morning I had I went and did what I had planned all along – to blow the last of my cash at Amoeba Music. 3.5 hours and around US$100 spent per hour, I came out with almost 30 CD’s and a generous handful of vinyl. Damn it was nice to go on a spree like that after being pretty conservative with what I bought for most of the trip. Spent so much time there I had only enough time to grab some lunch, pick up the skateboard I had been eyeing off the day before and get back to the hotel to catch the transfer to the airport.

The flights all went pretty smoothly, except when New Zealand security confiscated my skateboard because I was bringing it as carry on and it could be used as a weapon… despite the fact I had just come off TWO US-boarded flights with it as carry on. Thankfully it really wasn’t much of a big deal, I just spoke with some AirNZ staff who managed to check it in for me.

All’s well that ends well.

Written on August 29, 2009