Yesterday we had a beautiful day here in Chicago for the first day of the Lollapalooza weekend. Lollapalooza used to be a traveling show of mainly "alternative rock" acts that died out from lack of interest and has been reborn by Perry Farrell as a fixed festival here in Chicago's Grant Park.
Lollapalooza's acts have changed with the times; instead of dour alternative rock acts Day One featured dance bands such as LCD Soundsystem and Daft Punk (the photo above is from Daft Punk's late night show with someone sitting on the fences in the baseball field facing south in Grant Park). One great thing about the festival so far is the relative lack of pretension about the "power" of music to change the world - typical lyrics from LCD Soundsystem were "Ya ya ya ya ya ya ya..." and Daft Punk doesn't really sing along in a traditional sense... most of their lyrics sound like a compressed robot voice if there are lyrics at all.
The only pretense at a show is a high level of "green" awareness - there was a big focus on recycling (although the field at the end of the day was completely littered with plastic beer cups) and Perry's set mentioned the power of love a few too many times, but that isn't over the top when you have thousands of basically kids in the audience.
The festival seemed to do a lot of things right; you can buy tickets directly from the web site without a service fee, cutting out the hated Ticketmaster surcharges. The food at the festival was very good, far exceeding the dire offerings of a typical sporting event or (worst of all) the Chicago Bears (which I highly recommend avoiding through tailgating). People were well behaved and the police presence wasn't overbearing - you had a few dope smokers in the midst but that should be expected at a show like this.
I am going to high-tail it out before Pearl Jam gets up there to rant... perhaps they will mention the usual round up in Tibet as mentioned in the Chicago Tribune article. There you can see the absolute ineffectiveness of the "power of music", as generations of Tibet protesters have accomplished exactly zero with regards to that occupied province of China.