Lollapalooza 8/12/97

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This summer was pretty uneventful with the exception of taking full advantage of our party place. There was a plentiful source of alcohol, marijuana, and girls. I didn’t take advantage of the female part because for some stupid reason I was convinced to try to do the long distance thing with Rose. This show was definitely one of the highest points of not only the summer but also my life. At the time of this writing it is my #1 favorite concert of all time and I don’t expect that to ever be surpassed. This was to be our third Lollapalooza in a row and another chance to visit the beautiful Gorge Amphitheater. It also ended up being the last Lollapalooza until 2003. The reasons we wanted to go were simple: Korn and Tool. I was lucky enough to find out about Korn right after their first album came out and we played the shit out of that album. I remember Korn played really small venues in Seattle for about $10 to support both their self-titled album and Life Is Peachy but nobody was yet old enough to drive. The curse of Korn concerts carried on as they were not at this Lollapalooza show due to a case of meningitis in Munky. My friends and I pretty much just took it easy all day on the lawn in anticipation of Tool. By a random stroke of fate we ran into Brian, a guy we had known by association of a few other people we knew. He asked us if we wanted some acid and without hesitation said “hell yes.” Normally I cannot be around anyone else that is not on acid with me so this was to be quite the experiment but I couldn’t think of any more perfect circumstances to drop. Concerts are a place where anything goes and you are in like-minded company. Snoop Dogg performed right before Tool came on and I took the acid when he first came out. The acid came on quickly and before Snoop left the stage I was laughing my ass off. He was one funny guy that night and I don’t think my acid ingestion was the only reason. Immediately after Snoop left the stage my friends and I ventured down to the floor section to stake out a spot for Tool. The acid was kicking in hard now and it was difficult to act normal in the crowd with nobody on stage to divert their attention. After what seemed like an eternity Tool finally made it to the stage and launched into “Hooker With A Penis.” Maynard came out in a woman’s wig, bra, and had his face painted white. Tool came on when it was still light outside and brought us completely into the darkness. It was a very clear night and the stars were beautiful out there in Central Washington. At one point in the show Maynard said, “Is anyone out there trippin’?” and he hit an effect to make the word “trippin’” echo. We went nuts. Were they trippin’ that night? Only they would know the answer to that. I also came away from that concert with the greatest concert souvenir anyone could ask for. My friend Ross is about 6 foot 6 and skinny as a sign post but made it to the front of the floor section. He was snapping pictures and at one point Maynard turned to him and said, “please stop, the flash is hurting my eyes.” Ross snapped a picture at that very moment and somehow managed to escape the wrath of the whole security force that was after that camera. That picture has since been blown up and resides on my wall to this very day. This was the last time I would ever see Tool with Maynard performing front and center. Sometime after this he retired to the back of the stage and though their shows have progressively got more elaborate through the years, nothing will ever compare to that moment in time at the Gorge.

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One thought on “Lollapalooza 8/12/97

  1. I was at Lollapalooza & Rage in 1997. Best summer/concerts of my life at the Gorge. Still try to go every year to the Gorge and catch a show.. but that was the best!

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