Thursday, July 17, 2003

Lollapalooza bands still hit hard with fans



By Larry Nager
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Benn Mendoza, an aerial tissue performance artist with the Dream Circus Theatre of Los Angeles, performs Wednesday during Lollapalooza at Riverbend.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
| ZOOM |
Lollapalooza came back to life Wednesday, as the tour that changed the face of modern rock concerts returned to Riverbend in all its body-painting, hemp-wearing, belly-dancing glory.

Beginning in 1991, Lollapalooza ushered in the age of festival tours that dominated the decade's concert industry, spawning Lilith Fair, the Warped Tour, OzzFest, Smokin' Grooves and the HORDE Festival. In 1997, Lollapalooza played what looked like its final tour, until founder Perry Farrell revived both the fest and his band, Jane's Addiction.

The resurrected Lollapalooza drew an estimated 10,000 to Riverbend on Wednesday, expanding into the parking lot with the second stage, sponsored by Blender magazine.

But some Lollapalooza veterans said it just wasn't the same.

"Maybe it's because I was younger in 1992, but it felt more political, edgier," said Nathan Singer, 27, of Sharonville. "This one's a little white-bread."

But if Lollapalooza's cutting-edge has dulled a bit, the varied lineup of talent, including garage-rock queens the Donnas, hip-hop innovators Jurassic 5 and the unrepentantly alternative Audioslave and Jane's Addiction, brought in the fans. The crowd ranged from teens to 40-somethings, with every music subculture represented - from dreadlocked hippies to Day-Glo Mohawked punks.

READ THE REVIEW
Lollapalooza still has a lotta punch
First-timer Lindsay Stevens, 22, of Clifton came for the music. "I'm here to listen to some great bands and hopefully meet 'em," she said. "The atmosphere is nice and laid-back, people are really cool."

"I remember Perry, that's why I'm here," said Kimberly Coulter, 38, of Maineville, an alum of the 1995 Lollapalooza. Her sister Kelley, 33, also liked Rooney and Queens of the Stone Age, but she wanted to hear the new band Audioslave, featuring Rage Against the Machine and former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell. "But I liked him better with long hair," she added with a laugh.

Along with vendors selling everything from veggie burritos to hemp clothing to henna tattoos, this time there were also booths offering cell phone contracts and free soft-drink samples. And one throwback to the edgy beginnings of Lollapalooza was the booth offering to "Paint Your (Breasts)." But the booth wasn't allowed to provide its "liquid fashions" at Riverbend, said owner Lee Freedman of Cherry Hill, N.J. It wasn't the first time. Since the tour started in Indianapolis on July 5, he said he was allowed to fully operate only in Columbus.

But that didn't stop him from giving a free paint job to one eager volunteer, Tracy Barker, 31, of West Chester. "It feels good," she said, drawing stares as she walked the concourse afterward wearing only paint from the waist up. "I was at the Columbus show, and tons of girls were doing it. Cincinnati's too conservative."

E-mail Larry Nager at lnager@enquirer.com




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