Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Much Smoothapalooza

With the caveat thay I'm writing this while waiting for a cab to take us back to our hotel, Day 2 of Lollapalooza went much better than Day 1.

For starters, we got an outbound cab with no problem (yesterday we had gotten into 2 taxis only to learn they either didn't know how to get to San Isidro or didn't want to take us, then had to go back to order an appropriate one from the hotel).

Since we had our 2-day tickets in hand--plus a wristband for no obvious reason--getting into the Lollapalooza grounds was a breeze.

And now the taxi has come so getting back to the hotel in Buenos Aires should be simple as well.

As for the music, we had 6 performers who ranged from decent to outstanding over nearly 8 hours of continuous music.

Johnny Marr played a strong hourlong set mixing songs from his excellent 2013 album, The Messenger, with Smiths  classics like "Bigmouth Strikes Again,"  "How Soon is Now?" and " There is a Light That Never Goes Out." He also did a great version of "I Fought the Law."

The two younger artists I saw today--British singer Ellie Goulding and American hipsters Vampire Weekend--were fine but served mostly as background music as a lay on our blanket and read a book on my iPhone.

As at Riot Fest in Chicago last September, The Pixies sounded strong but suffered in my eyes by playing a set far to esoteric for a festival crowd. It was nice to hear "Wave of Mutilation" and "Gouge Away," but there was too much I didn't know and that tended to languish.

For the third time in recent years after reuniting, Soundgarden reminded me that they are one of the best hard rock bands that has ever existed, and they still sound on top of their game. They were just fantastic, and the best act I saw over the two days of Lollapalooza Argentina.

Closing out the festival, the Red Hot Chili Peppers also sounded really good. 

I'm finishing writing this from bed and think I'll end here and close my eyes.

But I'll just mention that before the show I went over to Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Peron and many other notable Argentines are buried. 

I also went into a nearby 18th-century church, a fancy hotel called Alvear Palace and the Hard Rock Cafe which I just happened to come upon. 

I tried to go to the city's main art museum, but it was closed due to a holiday I was unaware of until a taxi driver mentioned it to Paolo; I guess he commemorates the Falklands War.

So no art today, but lots of really good rock. I don't think I'll be attending many more festivals, but I'm glad I suffered through this one.

I don't know if rock 'n roll can really save my soul, but it's definitely good for it.

And did I mention, Soundgarden rocked.

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