Lollapalooza 2010 Dispatch Day One: Lady Gaga’s Revenge

The first thing I noticed when I walked into Lollapalooza Friday afternoon was the distinct smell I have dubbed “festival stench.” It’s a combination of mud, sweat, tobacco, marijuana, and vomit. Gross, I know, but it brought back a flood of Bonnaroo memories, which was kind of comforting.

Lolla is dirtier than this photo would suggest

I later found out that while I was searching for the press check-in booth and getting my bearings at the festival, I missed a RIDICULOUS Semi Precious Weapons show. Intern Elizabeth saw it, the lucky bitch. LOOK, THIS HAPPENED, AND I WASN’T THERE:


Instead of experiencing what could’ve been the highlight of my entire life forever, I went to The Black Keys. They were good, I’m sure. It was hard to tell because of all the rowdy hipsters screaming around us. My friend Emily and I left in the middle to look for refreshments, and after a quick Stella in the beer garden, we booked it to the main stage to try get a good position for Gaga.

The main field looked like this an hour before the show, so I’m glad we showed up when we did!

Getting close to the stage obvs required a few elbows and I’m always down for that. I was expecting her to abandon the Monster Ball concept/set for this show, but actually it was mostly unchanged. Some sections were shortened, nothing major, except for there was no fire piano! Wtf, that’s the best part. At least she still donned her spark-spouting bra & panty set and brought out the car-piano. Unfortunately, this was the best photo I got all night (all ensuing photos are via our wireimage membership) At least you can see her monster pose:

To put it lightly, Lady Gaga EFFING ROCKED. I saw her in St. Louis in July, and the concert was pretty good, but it doesn’t compare to Lolla. This show meant a lot to Gaga. The last time she was at Lolla was in 2007, and everyone just stood there and looked at her like she was completely nuts. Which is true, she is, but now we love her for it.

in 2007

in 2010

Three short years later, she’s the headliner, playing the main stage to 80,000 people.

She wore the same mirror disco bra as she did in 2007 (see above photo) to commemorate her ridiculously steep rise to fame. She also brought out her friend DJ Lady Starlight, who was at the ’07 show and also DJ’ed Autostraddle’s 2009 Rodeo Disco!

To celebrate old times, the two did a “heavy metal dance break” to Metallica, which obvs included some hairspray and lighters:

It was pretty inspiring to share what felt like a huge triumph for Gaga. She dedicated “Speechless” to her dad, who was in the soundbooth, and at one point exclaimed “We did it Dad, I’m a f*cking star!” She’s right. No one does quite like her.

Today, I’ll be seeing Stars, Metric, Cut Copy, Spoon, and Phoenix. Maybe also Warpaint, if I can fit them in!

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Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 127 articles for us.


  1. gaga and starlight used to do hairspray and lighters all the time – classic old school. love it.

    • After they did their little metal dance and flame bit Gaga said it was a throwback to old times… and then she said it was something they maybe should have retired and not revisited, and then she giggled and it was adorable.

  2. I thought Semi Precious Weapons was horrible when I saw them.
    The only thing I like from them is the phrase ‘I can;t pay my rent but I’m fucking gorgeous!’

    • THEY WERE SO GOOD YOU DONT EVEN KNOW TAKE THAT BACK. I’m just kidding, love you.

      • LOL. Love you too!! Glad you had a great time but I couldn;t wait for them to get off the stage..I just don’t think we get it in Texas..Cause everyone had the wtf is happening/ed look..

  3. GaGa killed it last night! Absolutely killed it. The most fun of any Lolla set I’ve been to.

  4. I hope you can fit Warpaint in! I love that band but have never seen em live and am wondering how they are.

    • I’d love to know how Warpaint goes over live as well. I really like their music and find the band intriguing.

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