Lollapalooza and Other Adventures in Chile
29.03.2012 - 08.04.2012
We left our spectacular apartment in Buenos Aires and headed straight to Chile. The bus ride was long, but it was bearable since we had been immobile for two entire weeks. We arrived the day before Lollapalooza began only to find out that our hostel had mangled our booking and it appeared as if I had nowhere to sleep for the weekend. Luckily, our dear friends Kirsten and Donovan had met a Chilean and were staying at his house in Santiago for the weekend. With a bit of shifting around we all had somewhere to stay which was very fortunate because most hostels were booked up due to the music festival.
Saturday morning we awoke bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to see some live music. We started the festival watching some random South American artist bounce around stage to some salsa kind of music clad only in a pair of overalls. We left for another stage before he apparently removed his overals and proceeded to dance around the stage completely naked... it would have been quite a sight, but we had more important things to see. Gogol Bordello played next, and even though it was over 30 degrees, they put on their usual incredible and enthusiastic performance. After that, Cage the Elephant played very nearby. I haven't listened to them much before, but it was a splendid show. Their lead singer was very energetic... and and so intoxicated that he nearly fell off the stage on several occasions. We spent some time after that eating, wandering around, and checking out other random acts before the Arctic Monkeys began their set. Some members of the group were excited about seeing them, but I could only tolerate a small amount of British sing-talk before having to leave. Besides, Bjork was up next and I wanted a good spot to see her performance. Her performance was breathtaking. She had a choir of about fifteen Icelandic women singing and dancing with her, some sort of weird lightning machines, and very interesting visuals on the big screens. The visual aspect was entertaining, but the music was just incredible. I hadn't listened to her a whole lot leading up to that weekend, but I certainly will now.
Nothing started very early on Sunday, so we made our way to the park in the early afternoon. Our first stop was Band of Horses who played a lovely, relaxed set to begin our day. TV on the Radio followed them, and then we went back to the other stage to see Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. I was amazed to see Joan Jett performing so well, and still able to wear a black leather outfit without spilling out of it. Watching her perform so many of her classic songs was something else, but maybe half an hour into her set she announced that she would be playing some new material. I was already a bit worried about what was coming next, but I nearly ran out of the crowd with my ears plugged when she announced that the next song was titled T.M.I. I don't want to ruin Joan Jett's music for you my dear readers, but it was bad. I haven't lost respect for her, a pioneer of female rock and roll artists, but dear god was it bad. With the melody of T.M.I. still haunting me, we went over to see our first Canadian show... Peaches! Peaches was probably my favorite show of the entire festival. Even though I had high expectations for her performance, she greatly exceeded them. She came on stage wearing an outfit covered in breasts, but with decapitated Barbie heads where the nipples should have been. She awkwardly danced around between the front of the stage and her mixing board, sporadically spraying champagne on the crowd below. She also had two dancers who came on stage in different costumes, blowing fire, getting into fist fights, and other bizarre acts. I left the show invigorated and slightly confused. That was basically the last show I watched, and a grand finale. We listened to Skrillex for about five minutes, but I just couldn't stomach the show. We saw about ten minutes out of the Foo Fighters two and a half hour set, but once again, I just wasn't into it.
So that ended the festival for us. I had been deprived of live music for the whole trip leading up to the festival, so we all left feeling very satisfied. We had another day to hang out in Santiago after the festival, but we were all tired and didn't do much at all. We took an overnight bus to Iquique on Tuesday where we spent the next few days. Iquique is a nice little town on the coast of Chile, so for the first time of my trip we were finally on the beach! Unfortunately the water was freezing and full of jellyfish, so I spent virtually no time in the ocean. The beach was lovely though, and it's no surprise that I left Iquique with a massive sunburn on my back which is now peeling off as I write this. In my defense it appeared to be cloudy, but I guess the sun works a little differently down here. We didn't want to spend any more time in Chile because it's about twice as expensive as Peru and Bolivia, and so sunburned and content, we headed back to where I began my trip.