Lollapalooza Day Trois … my body aches … as well as my creativity muscle

Stephen Patterson from White Rabbits

Wow. I wouldn’t trade my first festival photography experience for anything. It taught me so much about the industry and how to shoot bands with efficiency and ease.

I met so many cool people, both photographers and fest goers.

I saw that the industry and steeped in lots of talented photographers who are battling it out for a place in this industry, and frankly, it’s scary. There were so many photographers that it almost created a sense of aversion.

Before the Childish Gambino set last night, one photographer from Chicago Magazine said, “This experience [shooting Lolla] makes me hate photography.”

I agreed.

It’s not that you hate photography, but all the elements (the heat, the mud, the sweat), battling crowds, seeing tons of other photographers vying for position, more battling crowds, using portapotties after a day of drunken debauchery while holding a bag and two cameras with huge lenses … that makes LOVING something difficult.

The photo pits were full of a variety of photographers. There were some who used consumer-level equipment and lenses. There were dudes using point and shoots. There were phones. It’s crazy. And there were the seasoned veterans who have shot so many bands and festivals that they probably can’t remember the sheer number of bands they’ve ever shot.

My day started with the White Rabbits who played at 2:30. I’m a huge fan, and I showed up a bit early and their set was pushed back 30 minutes.

Around 2 p.m., I looked up at the stage and saw the lead singer, Stephen Patterson. He was smoking a cigarette and moving stuff around on stage. A little while later, the whole band appeared on stage. They were doing their own sound check.

Oddly enough, there were no hoots or hollers. There were no, “I love you Stephen!” or “White Rabbits!”

I looked over the crowd of people forming for the show, and I started asking people if they were fans and excited about the show.

“Yes,” all of them said.

“Do you know that they are all on stage right now?”

“No. No we don’t.”

While waiting for them to start, I talked to two AP photographers who both had water logged cameras after shooting the evacuation in the rain on Saturday. They both said they’ve shot in worse conditions, and their cameras were fine. But when they got back into the festival on Saturday night, neither of them could shoot the headliners because they’re cameras were toast.

One guy had to borrow a camera for Sunday and the other one had a camera that worked and the other was still suffering. It turned on, but didn’t shutter.

In the White Rabbits pit, I felt like the biggest fan. I was bobbing my head. I was screaming. I was singing along. But looking at the crowd, they were excited to be there, but weren’t all that stoked about the band.

In my opinion, White Rabbits didn’t take advantage of Lollapalooza. They started slow with “I had it coming”. If I weren’t a fan before, I wouldn’t be a fan after. By the time I got out of the pit and made my way to the opposite stage, they never got over their hump. The crowd seemed asleep.

They closed with “Are you free?”, and while I was in the pit waiting for Gary Clark Jr. to start, I was bobbing my head and singing along watching the screens. Meanwhile, the crowd forming for Gary Clark were facing my direction. I’m sure they were like, “What a douche.”

Click here for the shots published at Time Out Chicago.

Gary Clark Jr. was great, and I stayed in the pit longer than I needed just to enjoy from the front row.

He brought the guitar licks and his stank face like a bad ass.

Back in the media tent, I was given an extra assignment. A band called Chairlift who got cancelled on Saturday during the storm. They were going on after Florence + The Machine, who I shot for my personal portfolio.

I’m glad I got Chairlift. The lead singer Caroline Polachek is a performer and gave so many good photos that I wanted to jump on stage and kiss her.

She had personality, and personality — as you know — goes a long way.

Before Chairlift and Florence, I shot Amadou & Mariam, who you should check out if they ever come to your town. They are amazing.

Amadou & Mariam

Just a word about Florence + The Machine. I shot her because I am a fan. I wanted to be in the front row, and since my press credentials allowed that, I did.

She is an amazing voice and performer. She is poised. Beautiful. Controlled. And boisterous.

I love her.


I wrapped up my day shooting Childish Gambino. I would have never known he was so amazing on stage. The videos I saw were so laid back.

But Donald Glover brought it. He swore like a champ and integrated the word “Pussy” in his lyrics like a 12-year old with a potty mouth.

Childish Gambino


I would shoot Lollapalooza again … for the right price.

Meanwhile, I’m exhausted. I am going to go to the gym later and sit in the whirlpool for a while and then find a port-a-potty to sit in to use as a sauna … just like I did over the weekend.





I thought the quote was: “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.”

Signs have flooded the Internet!

And they’re getting posted everywhere!

Here’s a good one with commentary that I found on a Christian friend’s Facebook wall (click to enlarge):

It’s Gaster Lumber & Hardware, and below it, Mr. Gaster hung a sign that says, “I built this business without gov’t help. Obama can kiss my ass.”

It’s priceless.

And then there are the marquee signs that were popular to manipulate via sign generator applications back in, what, 2006. Those guys got a surge when these signs came out:

Little do gullible people know, they’re posting signs that were generated through an application that allowed this Jack Wagon to make this video:


I’m all for posting up juicy goodness, but falling for this meme is strictly for those who know no better.