Berlin Lollapalooza: Day Two
I woke up at 09:00, showered, dressed, got ready, and exited the hostel, walking to the nearest ATM. I then returned to the hostel and stowed away the bulk of my newly acquired cash before exiting again and walking to the nearest U-Bahn station (Oranienburger Tor Station) and taking the train to Paradestrasse Station near the entrance to Berlin-Tempelhof. I reached the entrance at 10:40 and then waited in the sun (it was relatively clear today just like yesterday; so good to have had the rain stop for the festival) until 11:00 for the gate to open. I then made my way to the security check and waited there until about 11:10 when they let everyone on to the festival grounds. Next, I walked to a beer stall and drank a Warsteiner. Then, I walked to the food area and had a chicken burrito with nachos before getting another beer and walking to the secondary main stage to wait for the Coasts to play. While I was waiting, I heard the band on the alternate stage start up at 12:00 and I decided to walk over there and watch them for a while – a great decision. Dawes was playing and they sounded fantastic, like they had just come from the 1970s (part of the greatest era in music history ~ 1965-1985). I ended up staying for their entire performance and I will certainly be looking then up on YouTube later on. Then, at 12:38, I walked to the secondary main stage and watched the Coasts, a really good band that was worth watching. After they finished, I walked to the primary main stage and watched Wolf Alice perform. They had a cool sound, but I was a bit bewildered since the singing seemed secondary to the beat; at times I could hardly hear the lovely lead singer and I wasn’t sure if it was due to poor sound mixing or her singing in too low of a voice. After Wolf Alice finished up, I walked back to the secondary main stage and watched Brand New play. I liked a lot of their sounds and many of their songs would start out very cool, but often they would then devolve in to grunge rock and the lead singers would scream in to the microphones – a big turn off for me. Just before they finished, at 14:56, I walked back to the primary main stage and watched the Stereophonics play for the next hour. I liked their music and enjoyed the performance. Once they wrapped up, I hauled ass over to the good stalls and bought two slices of pizza topped with ham, pepperonis, and peppers to help recharge my body. As I ate, I listened to My Morning Jacket play on the secondary main stage. They sounded great and once I finished eating I walked up closer to the stage to watch them perform. My Morning Jacket is another band I’ll be checking out later via the interweb. After they were done, I made my way over to the primary main stage and watched Belle & Sebastian perform. They were pretty good and I liked the sound of their songs. During one song, the lead singer brought a woman in the audience on stage to dance with him. For a later song he brought a large bunch of audience members on stage to dance and gather around the microphone with him, thus ensuring a fun time for all. After Belle & Sebastian finished their last dong, I walked back over to the secondary main stage to watch the Beatsteaks. Their music wasn’t to my tastes and I watched them for only a moment before getting a snack (chili and cheese nuggets) and walking back over to the primary main stage to watch Sam Smith perform at 19:00. Sam Smith of course has a great voice and his band and backup singers for tonight were great as well. He put on an awesome show despite being sick and the crowd loved him. Once he finished at 20:00, I used the restroom and bought some currywurst slices covered in sauce and seasoning to snack on. While I was in line for food, I watched Seeed (a German band) perform on the secondary main stage; they sounded fine and put on a cool and funky show that would’ve been worth watching; however, I had other priorities. After eating, I bought a Red Bull for energy and staked out a spot by the primary main stage in preparation for Muse’s performance (21:30-23:00). I ended up near the center and about thirty meters or so from the stage; sure, I would’ve preferred being right next to it, but there was already a large crowd of people when I got there (about forty-five minutes prior). Shortly after 21:30, Seeed finished up their act and Muse then started theirs. As expected, Muse was incredible. A lot of their play list came from their latest album, ‘Drones’, but there was also a good deal of their previous accomplishments. I personally prefer their prior album, ‘The 2nd Law’, and wished they had played more songs from that album (like the last time I saw then in concert, two years ago). Muse finished their set with ‘The Man With the Harmonica’ (from ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’) and ‘Knights of Cydonia’ – a concert staple that I was worried they might skip this time around (I was very happy they did not). After Muse finished and the crowds started to exit the festival grounds, a woman in Cirque de Soleil tights came out floating and spinning, attached to a giant balloon that was led by two guide wires; every now and then she would descend and touch a member of the crowd like some angelic wonder. I watched her in childlike awe for a while before continuing on to the exit and to the U-Bahn station. Paradestrasse Station was closed in order to split the masses, so I walked south to the Tempelhof Station, which had the entry points controlled by the police; they weren’t there last night and everything ran smoothly, and now that they were here everything was running slow and stupidly (at least government interference is consistent across the globe). Anyway, I finally made it on the U-Bahn train and rode it to Oranienburger Tor Station, where I got off and walked back to the hostel. I was going to go straight to the bar and have a beer, but was too thirsty, so I walked to the convenience store across the street and bought a large water and sports drink instead (the bars across the street were nearly empty and only one confirmed prostitute was working the street, as opposed to last night, Saturday night, when there were several prostitutes and many more drunks). I then returned to the hostel and drank my liquid refreshments. After researching some bands that played today, as well as sites for tomorrow’s adventures, I went to the form room and fell asleep around 03:00.
As for today: out of all the bands and artists I watched, my three favorites were Muse, Dawes, and My Morning Jacket. Sam Smith gets the honorable mention because of his amazing voice and great songs; he didn’t make the “top three” because his music wasn’t rock, which I’m partial towards. Overall, today’s lineup was a noticeable improvement over yesterday’s; I liked the majority of the bands I watched yesterday, but most of the ones that played today were just all around better in my opinion (or maybe I think that because I drank a larger quantity of beer today . . . nah).