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Sunday, August 7, 2011

I’ve grudgingly attended only a few general-admission concerts and then only at very small venues. I missed the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art because I couldn’t bear to wait in line for more than an hour. But yesterday I waited — mostly on my feet and with no food — for 9 1/2 hours and through four other bands to see Eminem from the third row of the audience at Lollapalooza. I’m not sure what made this seem like a good idea or how I persuaded my sister, Terri Berry, to go along with me, but I have no regrets.

We got there when the gates opened at 11 a.m. and fought constantly to maintain our spots until Eminem went on at 8:30 p.m., at which point we started fighting even harder. Terri Berry says, “It was like being in the ocean,” except in the ocean you generally don’t beckon security to have some pushy bitch half your age thrown out, the way TerriB did. Before that happened, I was tormented for at least an hour as I was forced to hear a 14-year-old boy try to impress a 15-year-old girl with lines that included, “I want to be making eight figures by the time I’m 40. Do you know what ‘eight figures’ means?”

TerriB managed to sit down for a few minutes before things got too hectic.

We got rained on, then fried by the sun.

I sat down when we first got there and stared at the legs of the front-row peeps.

The first band on was Walk the Moon. I was pleased to see one of the Moon men representing the red-leg trend.

Also represented: the festival face-paint trend.

They were followed by Fitz and the Tantrums. After them came Big Audio Dynamite, who I last saw at a small venue — general admission — in 1987. I have a good story about that but I’ll save it for another time.

Mick Jones of Big Audio Dynamite, and formerly of The Clash.

Then came Cee Lo Green, whose outfit was more impressive than his performance.

I wanted to love you, Cee Lo. But I couldn't.

Sure, he was plagued by technical problems, but my almost-husband Paul McCartney can fall through a fucking hole in the stage, come up joking and carry on like nothing has happened. He’s a true professional. That’s why he is my almost-husband and Cee Lo Green isn’t my almost-anything. (There’s a good summary of Cee Lo’s behavior here.)

Finally, Eminem came on. As soon as he did, my camera copped an attitude of “Bitch, please! I need total peace and quiet to concentrate on focusing!” That wasn’t a very helpful attitude at a time when I needed to use the camera not just for photography, but also to beat down people who were pushing in on my personal space. Therefore, these are the best of the shiteous photos I got.

It’s really too bad that this next one didn’t come out at all. You can see through the blur that it had great potential.

Darn!

We loved the show, but it was such a surreal experience that by the time we got back to TerriB’s house we were asking each other, “Was it all a dream?”

Safe at home. Yes, my lipstick held up the whole time.

My condition of my sneakers seems to prove that something unusual happened.

The sneakers remind me of the Vietnam vet on Family Guy who says, “I’ve seen some things, man, and some stuff.” Yeah, I guess I was there!

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19 Responses to “We Survived Eminem at Lollapalooza”

  1. Mary says:

    Oh dear all that jostling! Much as I love a festival, I can only do it if I am sufficiently liquored-up. Then it’s easy! You and your sis look gorgeous.

    • WendyB
      Twitter: WendyBrandes
      says:

      I didn’t even drink because I wasn’t going to be able to get to the bathroom! So I had to deal with all that sober! Can you imagine?

  2. Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl
    Twitter: juliaohso
    says:

    Blurry or not, I still like the Em photos!! Cee Lo’s outfit is more than weird… It makes HIM look really weird :S

    I like the photo of you and your sister!

  3. Courtney
    Twitter: thosegraces
    says:

    Looks like you have a great time! I love Eminem!

  4. Have to admit when I saw Eight Mile, I had a bit of a crush on Eminem – I became an almost-cougar! Love Big Audio Dynamite, Mick Jones came on stage at the last ever Joe Strummer gig in London. Very moving seeing them together again. Ah.

  5. Lara says:

    Oh thank god you had sneakers!
    I used to love the ocean feeling of moving with a sea of people all pressed together… when I was way younger. My last attempt a couple years ago was a mess. Now I stay in the back, with my beer and a bathroom nearby!
    You’re a real trooper.

  6. Winnie says:

    Haha I absolutely love this post Wendy! Sounds like you and your trainers had a good time despite the pushing and shoving for Eminem! Cee Lo looks like he is ready for battle rather than a gig.

  7. Suzanne aka Punk Glam Queen
    Twitter: PunkGlamQueen
    says:

    The best way to see the McQueen exhibit was to show as late as possible — few people were left and they made sure all got to see it. When the tears sprung to my eyes, a lovely museum gentlemen took me by the hand and made sure I saw everything. NYers are the best! it was worth waiting for!
    XXX
    Suzanne

    • WendyB
      Twitter: WendyBrandes
      says:

      I would have waited it out but the close of the exhibit kind of sneaked up on me while I was out of town…time flies.

  8. You have a fun and interesting blog. I enjoyed seeing your jewelry.

  9. eyeliah says:

    Goodness, Im impressed! I know I wouldn’t want to do that. I saw Cee Lo in Amsterdam a couple months back, he had lots of technical issues then too but definitely put on a better show than you got.

  10. Sabine says:

    9 1/2 hours… that’s true devotion! But Cee Lo Green looks pretty entertaining, too.

  11. Megan Mae says:

    Sounds like you had a great time! I would have stuck it out for the McQueen exhibit, but life sure does get away from you. I keep saying this time of year is just flying by.

  12. K.Line says:

    Since the glee concert almost put me in the mental hospital, i cant even imagine this!

  13. Hahaha!!! This reminds me SO much of my experience at Lovebox a couple of years back. I was so determined to see Duran Duran close-up, I nearly went under in some serious crowd-swelling and general stupidity during N.E.R.D’s set. I wore some chunky leather boots, perfect for kicking the stupid teenagers around me, but my friend wore sneakers (which nearly came off in the crush) and she’s promised she’s going to frame them one day ;)

  14. Samantha says:

    What fun you and your sister had! Can\’t believe you waited that long..especially sober!! Amazing!! xxx

  15. The Styley says:

    You are your sister are absolutely adorable!

  16. That CeeLo Green outfit looks hysterical and I’m very sorry that last shot of Eminem did not come out!

    • WendyB
      Twitter: WendyBrandes
      says:

      Disappointing, right? It’s from his performance of “Stan” — there’s some video out there of that so you can take a closer look! My camera was being a total ass that night. Right after the concert it was happily taking perfectly focused pictures again. Who knew it was so spiteful?