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Eminem Live Performance Lollapalooza

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    Lollapalooza. A time for friends to get together before school starts back up and enjoy 3 days of no worries and good music. Lolla has been my favorite summer event for the last 5 years. The closer I get to graduation, the more I think, "Maybe I won't have time for this when I'm older." Because of that, this year I unknowingly made Lolla my best one to date.

    We started the weekend off in Tinley Park, and took the Metra downtown as we always do. But this time, I decided we should change it up. Instead of taking the train to and from the city everyday (and losing 6 hours due to travel) why not stay downtown? I asked my step sister who lives in Lincoln Park if we could stay with her. She was all for it. Nice. We had plans to see the up and coming band Into it. Over it. as the first act on Friday, but we didn't get there in time so we settled in at Bombay Bicycle Club.

    I want to take a quick timeout to say that I walked into Lollapalooza with a different mindset this year. I alway try really hard to not be a music snob, or to be judgmental of other peoples taste in music. Sometimes it's hard for me because it is a subject I am so passionate about, I genuinely care about what others listen too. I love turning people on to new music, it is one of my favorite things to do. When someone discovers a new band because of me, I get a special feeling. Music should be perceived as an experience, and if it is a good one, I want that person to associate it with me! (I will include links to all artists and songs mentioned in case you would like to listen).

    So this year, I was unfamiliar with the majority of the lineup. I made the conscience decision to just go with the flow. Normally, I would spend all of July listening to all the bands I didn't know. I thought this was the only way to enjoy a concert; if you could sing along. I learned firsthand that this is not true. We sat down far in the back to listen to Bombay Bicycle Club. I didn't know one song by them and thoroughly enjoyed it. They were a cool English indie rock band that reminded me of a more relaxed Two Door Cinema Club. After this we had an hour to kill before Iggy Azalea. This is a perfect example of how I behaved differently this year. I was pretty sick of her hit song “Fancy”. My girlfriend was dying to see her so why not try it out. We walked over to Perry's and camped out just in front of the sound tent. It was fun. No shame in saying it. Plus, I think I fell in love that day. Iggy came out in very flattering tight jump suit with her clique of about 5 dancing girls. This caught my attention. And let me tell you, this girl can rap. I was totally expecting pop songs similar to "Work" and "Fancy" but what I heard was a badass white girl rapping to some upbeat EDM infused beats being played by DJ Wizz Kidd. I was very impressed by her flow and was loving the choreographed dancing by her crew. This definitely made for an entertaining good show to watch. After this, we had plans to hop into a time machine and travel back to middle school for AFI. We ended up getting a bite to eat instead. It was about 6:30 when we headed over to the Bud Light stage to check out Lorde. We were near the back sitting down and I was enjoying her unique sound. She was sporadicly shaking her entire body on stage which was different and interesting to watch. My ears perked up for her hits like "Team" and “Royals” which sounded impressively similar to the recordings. After this we began the long trek from the Bud Light stage over to the Samsung Galaxy to get a spot for the one and only Slim Shady. I was pretty torn between the two headliners that day, Arctic Monkeys or Eminem. I saw Arctic monkeys a few years back but loved their newest release AM PM. I decided on Eminem because I believe he will be remembered as one of the best rappers to ever pick up the mic. We settled in right to the left of the immense sound tent. He opened his set with a long and unusual documentary film clip surrounding the details of his popular song “Stan”. It lasted about three minutes long and I was anxious for him to make his appearance on stage. Finally he came out, and launched into the last verse of “Bad Guy”. I remember making a mental note that the sound quality was fantastic. Very well balanced, and had deep bass pumping out of the woofers and straight into your chest. The first half of the set he was playing very old and new material. I was always the kid who loved The Eminem Show and Encore so I did not recognize most of it. About half way through the set I began second guessing my decision and turned to my girlfriend and asked “Do you want to go check out Arctic Monkeys?”Just as I said that the stage went black and out from the depths of the stage, Rihanna emerged from a platform beneath them. The crowd went absolutely nuts and I saw about 100 girls pop up on their boyfriends shoulders to get a glimpse of the stunning pop singer. For me, it was one of those eye opening moments. I realized that I was in the presence of a powerful music entity. Rihanna has a shining passion that is expressed through her presence. Her and Em seemed to have a natural chemistry and really nailed the few songs they performed. Needless to say, I am glad that we stayed. After this there was a new energy in the crowd and to me the set list stepped in up a notch. The last ten songs included some of my favorites and then ended with his most popular “Lose Yourself”. I have to mention that he was one of the most energetic performers I’ve ever seen. He was running around the stage and constantly encouraging the crowd to “Wake the F*** up!” Overall, a very great and memorable show.

    I had a fantastic time at Lollapalooza this year. I would really encourage people to approach festivals with the mindset I had this year. It was a first time experience doing this for me and I am glad that I did. I would even say that doing this has helped me be more open minded in life situations as well.