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Chicago & Loolapalooza!

USA | Friday, 10 August 2007 | Views [1531]

Heya Rat Packers,

Chicago is DEFINITELY my kind of town!! I flew in from London on the Friday morning, very tired but excited to be catching up with Amanda after four weeks apart. We were staying in a reasonably flash hotel, just a shame it was RIGHT under the flight path of one of the world's busiest airports!! We spent the next few hours chilling out before heading downtown for the first afternoon of the festival. Unfortunately we didn't count on the slowest public transportation system on the planet (no kidding, 55 minutes to go 15km!!) and we only just made it in time for Ben Harper. He was MIND-BLOWING!!! He did a ten minute version of 'Two Hands' & played some awesome slide guitar, but the highlight for me was having Eddie Vedder join him on stage.

The next two days were spent in Grant Park watching some of the best acts going round. The park is right in the middle of downtown Chicago and is surrounded by funky old school buildings, trendy & modern skyscrapers and the massive Lake Michigan which you would swear is an ocean if you saw it. Also in the park is the massive fountain shown at the start of 'Married With Children'. Of all the bands, Silverchair were wicked, Kings of Leon were solid and they were joined by Eddie Vedder for another cameo. Eddie actually got a bit excited and absolutely murdered the tamborines that he was playing. Paolo Nutini was very soulful and played my new favorite song 'Funky Cigarette'. Muse were good, though by this stage I had drunk waaaayyyy too much authentic Absinthe straight from the Czech Republic and my recollections are somewhat vague! A couple of boys from footy were there and we had quite the posse by the end of the Saturday night gig. Amanda and I lost each other in the 80,000 strong crowd, so I ended up going out with the lads. A massive night ensued at a downtown bar, I ended up at the airport at 3 in the morning (no idea), one of the boys got thrown out for dancing on the bar and nearly arrested for trying to sneak back in and I lost my camera. I ended up back at the hostel at 4ish, soaking wet, no cash and feeling very sore and sorry for myself. Must have been my lucky night though as someone handed my camera in at the bar the next day, PHEW!!

Sunday was a bit tamer as we were all in recovery mode, but Pearl Jam were sensational. They played most of their huge songs and had heaps of other artists up on stage for Neil Young's 'Rockin in the Free World' as the finale. All in all a huge 3 days. For the last couple of days in town Amanda and I hung out and checked out the local sights including Navy Pier, Sears Tower, Lincoln Park and of course the lake. We actually swum in it and it was beautiful. I tasted the lake and it was very fresh, though my stomach has not been the same since!! We also found a place that sold $3 pitchers, BARGAIN!! I can find cheap booze anywhere!

Anyways, that's it from me for now.

Take care and keep smiling, Ben

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