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Adventures in Lollaland: Un Buen Finde en Santiago & Lollapalooza

The weekend before last, a few of us EOD folks made the trek from our respective regions for a weekend Santiago. As the time during my previous visit to the Chilean capital city was consumed by 9-5 volunteer onboarding, tap water/complete-induced indigestion, and overall travel-itis, it is safe to say that redemption was on my mind. And redemption I received! Me and the other Quilpue gringos took a 1.5 hour early morning bus-ride and arrived in the city around midday. We wandered around Providencia and met up with the others; we lunched, took a few beers, and soaked up the 90 degree day-sun. The rest of the day continued as such, capped by a night filled with piscola, Chorillana, and shenanigans in the streets of Bellas Vistas; all in all, a successful outing! Aside from an unrelenting desire to reunite with others from one of the coolest volunteer cohorts to ever grace Chilean soil, the other reason for the trip was to hit up the Lollapalooza music festival. An offshoot from the original in Chicago, this spectacle in Chile remains the festival’s only international location. Artists on the bill included the Foo Fighters, Band of Horses, Skrillex, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Arctic Monkeys, Bjork, Calvin Harris, Foster the People, MGMT, and a slew of hometown acts such as Systema Solar, Fernando Milagros, Juana Fe, Camila Morena, & others. Of these, and after a bit of intensive planning and strategizing, I managed to fit about five equally epic shows into my itinerary. Peep the breakdown:

Foster the People- We arrived about 10 minutes after they started their set, but were still able to catch most of their better songs. A pretty solid effort for a lesser-known, filler band whose main single “Pumped Up Kicks” stealthily alludes to columbine. Speaking of; great bluesy-rock, dub remix of said single!

Systema Solar- Awesome Columbian Cumbia band, with a sound that mixes elements of traditional Columbian music, including indigenous and Caribbean sounds, with rap and funk. We were all pleasantly surprised, and showed our excitement accordingly via an hours-worth of out-of-control cumbia/gringo dancing.

Band of Horses- Great set, hands down. The sound was a bit shaky at first, but after a few adjustments and performances of their big hits, they had won the crowd! “No One’s Gonna Love You” & “The General Specific” were especially noteworthy.

TV on the Radio- Stumbled upon this show without really trying to, but was extremely happy that I did. TV on the Radio might be classified as a group that actually sounds better live than in album form. My personal opinion is that their music utilizes such an enormous variety of instruments and sounds that it becomes very difficult to capture the diverse sounds in studio. Even though I missed my all-time favorite song of theirs, “Staring at the Sun”, the show was full of energy and wailing guitars.

Skrillex- Absolutely unbelievable. Typically not a huge fan of dub-step music, but definitely make a special exception for Skrillex. The guy’s a genius. In an arena-like venue of about five thousand, within seconds he had everybody womping and going apeshit (it took me until the Wednesday of that next week to fully recover).

All in all, definitely up there on my lists of top concert events ever!

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