On the one hand, Lollapalooza is a giant party, an uninhibited festival for those a little too straight for Burning Man, a little too happy for Warped Tour. It’s the event for upper-middle class white folk to gallivant about, balancing faux-cultural relevance with hipster pride to celebrate controlled eccentricity. On the other hand, it’s a multi-million dollar staged extravaganza with twenty-four dollar bottles of wine and rigid scheduling procedures. I guess that’s the world we live in post-Altamont. Usually, I try not to question these things. Too much thinking can take you out of the moment, make it impossible to relax and enjoy---but all these factors came together last weekend, converging in an epic dick move, or maybe not dick move by hardrock pioneers Tool.

It’s pretty much standard operating procedure at these kind of festivals for things to run about five minutes behind schedule. Maybe it’s the mechanics of managing a mob of one hundred thousand people; maybe it’s preventing the sound from coming across like outdoor murmurings; maybe it’s Manny being Manny. I don’t know why these things run late, just as I haven’t the slightest fucking idea why people pay money for guinea pigs. The world hurdles forward without a conscience. We’re just riders on the storm, baby. And Lollapalooza is Thor. Or maybe Jim Morrison. No, Jim Morrison in a biopic about Thor.

So, anyway, let’s set up the dick move, or non-dick move, if you prefer. Animal Collective is playing on the smaller of the Southern main stages. Tool is setting up. It’s approximately 7:28 P.M. Animal Collective goes into their last song. The crowd is mostly indifferent, shamefully indifferent, having written off the band with the adjectives people use to slander the unfamiliar. Weird. Stupid. Noisy. At 8:30 P.M., Tool goes on, turning up the amplifiers and drowning out Animal Collective, Mosesing Grant Park apart and sending a stream of Lollapaloozites further Southward toward Tool’s stage, decimating Animal Collective’s already sparse crowd.

Tool was well within their rights to start playing at 8:30. It was their timeslot after all. But should they have? Woodstock is dead. The carefree jam sessions and random why-the-hell-not covers of yore have been replaced by bureaucrats adhering to organizational structures. Just bands on the run, bands out for themselves, bands looking after number one. Fuck music. It’s all about my music. I hear ya, Tool. And you’re a bunch of fucking dicks.

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