I like to think I dress nice. I could be wrong, but I do make an effort to fit in at these swanky events. And yet, I couldn't help but question my style when I went to W Chicago-City Center Thursday for Pete Yorn's show. When I arrived, one of the PR people looked at me said "Media?"
Guess I don't fit in as well as I thought.
In my defense, I worked in sports for three and a half years up until May. I used to look around the press box and wonder how many Hawaiian shirts I'd own when I got older. Now I'm in entertainment -- specifically nightlife. That means dress shirts, vests and the occasional skinny tie. It also means I go to parties, talk to celebs and get shot down here and there.
Here's a little bit of each of those things in my Lollapalooza recap:
After getting my cover blown by the PR person, I walked into the ballroom where Pete would be playing. Anyone who has heard his music knows he's got a knack for heart-breaking, slit-your-wrist songs. I prepared myself for the show by sending all my ex's an email beforehand letting them know they might get an emotional phone call around midnight.
The show began with some guy coming out and introducing Pete. "Give it up for my man Pete Yorn," he screamed. "It's goin' down ya'll." Not the sort of intro you would expect for this type of artist. A part of me began hoping the guy would yell "NOW WHEN I SAY 'PETE,' YOU SAY 'YORN!' " Never happened. Pete came on around 9:15 p.m. sporting his trademark messy hair and a t-shirt and jeans. He would've come on sooner, but they probably sent him to the wrong place thinking he was media.
To Pete's credit, he put on a much livelier show than I expected. I don't think he played one downer song. The crowd was digging him and, confession time, I listened to a few of his songs when I got home. As the guy who introduced Pete would say, "Pete Yorn ain't nuttin to [mess] with!"
Of all the Lollapalooza parties taking place over the weekend, the one I heard the most about was the "Rock the Vote" parties at the Hard Rock Hotel's Music Lounge. Apparently Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson were there last year. I'm not sure why people made such a big deal about it. I mean, can anybody name Lindsay's last movie? She gets way too much attention for doing nothing.
(On a completely unrelated note, make sure to check out my article on Lindsay in today's Tribune.)
Anyway, I went to the Music Lounge and saw the Bulls' Luol Deng. The guy might as well do my job because I see him at 70 percent of the events I cover. I told him that when I saw him at Rockit once and he said I've probably been seeing someone who looks like him. I'm going to start using that one. When the Tribune asks why there are pictures of me drunk at a party, I'll say it was someone who looked like me. And when they ask "Why then did you post the photos on your blog?" I'll smile and sing like a canary.
Deng, or someone who looked like him, wasn't the only celeb there that night. Lindsay stopped by earlier with her sister. "TRL" host Quddus was also there, as was "That 70's Show" actor Danny Masterson, who DJed. I was hoping Vampire Weekend would show up (I'm kind of a fan), but no luck. They were the Lollapalooza band I tried the hardest to interview. Unfortunately, my interview request was turned down.
The Hard Rock party had free booze, live music, free booze, pretty girls and lastly, free booze. I wanted to spend the whole night there, but I heard Chester French was going to be at The Underground and Kid Cudi was going to be at RiNo. I went to both clubs but have no idea if I saw the Chester French guys or Kid Cudi. Let's just say I learned a valuable lesson Friday night: If you're going to a club to see a celeb, make sure you know what the celeb looks like.
The festivities kicked off a little earlier Saturday thanks to Playboy's "Rock Star Brunch" at the Hilton. The party took place in the impressive Imperial Suite, so it felt like you were at some rich kid's house party. There was "Guitar Hero" and Twister, side rooms with beds in them and Playboy pillows and magazines throughout. There were also a few Playboy playmates in attendance, but not enough to compensate for the ridiculous amount of dudes at the party.
Danny Masterson was DJing, so I went up to him and said I was the Tribune writer he met the night before. He remembered me, mainly because when I asked to take a picture of him Friday, he unexpectedly grabbed my camera and took a picture of the both of us. Just for the hell of it, he took a another one of us at the Playboy party.
"We can take one at every party to show how I'm deteriorating," he said.
Later that night, I headed back to the Hard Rock Hotel for round two of the "Rock the Vote" parties. As was tradition for me this weekend, I showed up after the celebs had already left. Apparently The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio and Stacy Kiebler were there earlier.
I did, however, see the end of GZA's performance in the music lounge. Like I said in today's paper, the Wu-Tang rapper had the part-hipster-part-scenester crowd throwing up the Wu-Tang "W." Ol' Dirty Bastard would have been proud -- or embarrassed. I'm not sure.
It was the last night of Lollapalooza, so I figured, what the hell, why not give the Hard Rock Hotel hat trick? Sunday night was much quieter than the previous two nights, probably because people had either left town or were worn out. No Lindsay. No Luol. Just Quddus. For the third night in a row. Oh, and I saw one other guy: Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend.
I ran into the indie rock singer as I was leaving. I asked if I could take a picture of him and he agreed, but when I warned him it would go on the Tribune website, he politely declined.
That's understandable. It was kind of late. He probably didn't want the picture to come back and haunt him. On the other hand, if a picture gets you in trouble, you just say it was someone looked like you. Everyone knows that.