She didn't steal my identity. I gave it to her.
It all started about a year ago when my oldest son came to me and said, "Mom, I don't know how to tell you this, but...."
I braced myself. Visions of jail cells - police cars - handcuffs raced through my head. Or worse: blood - limbs - ambulances... Thoughts of friends, relationships and those we love -- perhaps he was the messenger of another's bad news. I bravely asked, "what is it?"
"Robin and I have set our wedding date for August 3. That's Lollapalooza weekend."
My massive sigh of relief sucked the wind out of me. Now I needed the ambulance.
After admonishing him for delivering his news in the way I always taught my boys never to do -- (NEVER start with a warning. ALWAYS start with the punchline. THEN give me the details.) The other way will age me five years in five minutes.
Robin and Andrew's engagement was fabulous news. After dating for eight years, and Robin being pre-approved by the Haller brothers (Robin rocks - she'll play tackle football in the backyard with the boys at Thanksgiving, and is the biggest San Francisco Giants fan you'll ever meet.) They think she's perfect. And she is.
Since I was in San Francisco during Chicago's Lollapalooza weekend, I enlisted Caroline Kerr, a 21 year old music lover on my staff, to cover the fest with my media pass. To say she's a "go-getter" is an understatement, and I couldn't wait for her stories about the fest. All weekend my friends and colleagues texted me saying "your interns are rocking the social media at Lolla this year" -- and I wasn't surprised. Caroline got photos -- I don't even want to ask how she shot those photos -- but she got 'em. I've asked her to write a guest blog this week and I've posted it below.
So the weekend of August 2, 2013 involved an identity change for many of us: I flew to the west coast a mother and came back a mother-in-law. Robin became Mrs. Andrew Haller. My son became a husband. And as you'll read below, my intern Caroline went to Lolla as Val. For all of us, the change of identity was a positive one. In fact, the best weekend ever.
* * * *
LOLLAPALOOZA as VAL
-by Caroline Kerr (Valslist staff member) with her cousin Connor
I've finally done it...
I've conquered Lollapalooza the way I have always wanted to. Get this: I actually WENT to the bands I've waited to see, rather than being convinced otherwise by where my friends were. I didn't even set foot into the crowd at Perry's Stage this year (electronic dance music -- aka: social scene.) I didn't spend hours at Urban Outfitters the Thursday before desperately grinding through racks of hipster clothing-not that I was ever one of the girls who seemed to have lost the second half of her shirt.
I wore comfortable, light clothes. Mature ensembles. Lengthy and linen was a reoccurring theme. White boxed waters replaced Bud Light Limes (well, for the most part.) Okay fine, I had a couple of beers. But I did stay more hydrated than any other past year and it enabled me to keep going. So did choosing shade instead of sun. I was prepared for the rain that came and went Friday afternoon with zip lock bags and poncho in an easy access bag. My phone life lasted me throughout the day. Hard to believe, I know, but entirely possible if you don't waste minutes with hand dangling above head, trying to literally reach a signal and find friends.
I have a new outlook. Forget your friends, unless of course they are ones willing to tag along and see whatever bands you tell them you're going to see. If that's the case, fantastic -- someone to accompany you in the heinous bar and bathroom lines and give you praise after you've introduced him or her to an emerging, talented band. If that's not the case, go alone. You will thank yourself later. Alone, I was able to mingle with the media, chat with bands about their music, see just over fifty sets, and spread the word about Valslist Music with festival-goers.
I made the most of my experience, and that's because I went to Lollapalooza as Val.
NOW, FOR THE MUSIC:
Who I Saw (pre-parties and after-shows included)
Mumford & Sons - The Killers - Phoenix - The Postal Service - Vampire Weekend - Queens of the Stone Age - The Lumineers - Kendrick Lamar - Eric Chruch - Ellie Goulding - Imagine Dragons - Grizzly Bear - Thievery Corporation - Flux Pavilion - Band of Horses - Two Door Cinema Club - Hot Chip - Dog Blood - Local Natives - Crystal Castles - Frightened Rabbit - Matt & Kim - Alt-J - Lana Del Rey - Tegan and Sara - Smith Westerns - Ben Howard - Father John Misty - Ghost B.C - Alex Clare - Lianna La Havas - Emeli Sandé - Wild Nothing - Jessie Ware - Timeflies - HAIM - Atlas Genius - Io Echo - Icona Pop - Jake Bugg - Wild Belle - MS MR - St. Lucia - Guards - Robert DeLong - Little Green Cars - Family of the Year - 360 - The Bright Light Social Hour - Twenty One Pilots - San Cisco - Hey Marseilles - The Orwells - Astro - Pujol - Machines Are People Too - The Neighbourhood - Half Moon Run - The Mowgli's - Pacific Air - Blondfire - Bear Mountain - American Authors - The Dunwells - Houndmouth - Wild Cub.
Who I'll Remember (for more than one month post-lollapalooza)
Mumford & Sons - Phoenix - Vampire Weekend - The Lumineers - Eric Church - Ellie Goulding - Imagine Dragons - Band of Horses - Frightened Rabbit - Alt-J - Tegan and Sara - Smith Westerns - Ben Howard - Father John Misty - Alex Clare - Emeli Sandé - Atlas Genius - HAIM - St. Lucia - San Cisco - Wild Belle - Jake Bugg - Family of the Year - The Neighbourhood - American Authors - Wild Cub - Houndmouth - Half Moon Run - Pacific Air - The Mowgli's - Little Green Cars - Io Echo - Bear Mountain
What I Can't Stop Playing (you won't be able to either)
CAROLINE'S PLAYLIST: (Listen to Playlist Here)
- Lover of the Light / Mumford & Sons
- Trying to Be Cool / Phoenix
- Unbelievers / Vampire Weekend
- Stubborn Love / The Lumineers
- Springsteen / Eric Church
- Burn / Ellie Goulding
- On Top of the World / Imagine Dragons
- Is There A Ghost / Band of Horses
- Swim Until You Can't See Land / Frightened Rabbit
- Fitzpleasure / Alt-J
- I Was A Fool / Tegan and Sara
- The Fear / Ben Howard
- Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings / Father John Misty
- Hands Are Clever / Alex Clare
- Next to Me / Emeli Sandé
- The Wire / HAIM
- Elevate / St. Lucia
- Fred Astaire / San Cisco
- Keep You / Wild Belle
- Lightning Bolt / Jake Bugg
- St. Croix / Family of the Year
- Flawless / The Neighbourhood
- Believer / American Authors
- Thunder Clatter / Wild Cub
- On the Road / Houndmouth
- Call Me In The Afternoon / Half Moon Run
- Move / Pacific Air
- The Great Divide / The Mowgli's
- The John Wayne / Little Green Cars
- When the Lillies Die / Io Echo
- Congo / Bear Mountain
- 3AM Spiritual / Smith Westerns
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