It’s about that time again; somehow we’re already at the middle of August, and I’m getting ready to go back to school. But wait, that means…the internship is over! It’s times like these that I need one of those movie-style moments where the music is all dramatic and the character throws up their hands and goes to their knees: “Nooooooooo!”
I can’t even begin to describe how much fun this internship has been. I’ve learned a metric ton about music and the radio business, about promoting and event planning, but I’ve also learned a ton about myself. I’m now a confident city traveler, and I definitely feel ready to embark on the professional universe with my head held high. I know I’ll missevery single one of the interns and staff I worked with all summer; Lin’s high fives, Terri’s waves from outside the conference room, Regina’s smiley “good morning”. In all honesty, I could probably go on listing how all these people are so cool, but I think anybody reading this eventually has other things to do. Long story short, nowhere will you meet a happier, more enthusiastic bunch. But now that it’s drawing to a close, I guess I have to recount the biggest bang event of them all; the motherlode.
This past weekend was the mother of all Chicago festivals; Lollapalooza. I’m sitting here thinking about where to begin…still thinking…this may take a while. So I walked in on Friday prepared for anything. I’d heard so many things about Lolla over the years of my friends going that I pretty much felt as if I’d been there and endured the crowds, the heat, and the general swirling chaos. Little did I know that the weekend had plans in store for me I couldn’t even fathom. Soon enough, the Lolla Beast would be awakened. My biggest goals for the day were to see Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and Foster the People, both of which were during my work shift and, conveniently, playing at the same time at opposite ends of the park. When push came to shove I had to forgo Foster the People, but luckily, Grace Potter was able to belt her way across the park so I could hear her. I have to say, I now have a huge girl crush on her. The headbands flew out of the buckets every hour on the hour. Iswear, I have never seen anybody get so excited about a piece of cloth. But it’s free, and neon, so I guess I understand a little bit. I got out of the tent alive after my shift and went straight to the main stage for Coldplay, catching Bright Eyes in the crossfire. Now I know I’ll stir up some controversy with this with some music lovers, but Coldplay absolutely ROCKED it. Lights, music, enthusiasm, everything. Yes, I loved it, and I’m proud.
Saturday was a little more hectic, as it contained the only two bands I desperately needed to see performing: Fitz & The Tantrums and Local Natives. Thank goodness I wasn’t working until late afternoon; otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to cram my way to the front of the stage for almost 2 hours before Fitz & The Tantrums and practically get spit on by Fitz himself. Hey, I got Noelle Scaggs to smile at me, I guess my crowd singing powers work for something. I am practically still reeling from that show. Their energy shot to the moon and back…and the moon wasn’t even close to out yet, that’s how good it was. Later on, I got to catch about 20 minutes of Local Natives, but those 20 minutes were pretty much all I needed to lose my mind to their pounding drums on “Warning Sign”. Anything they ever put out in the future will have a welcome home in my library. Unexpectedly, my headliner for the night was Eminem, and with a quickinjection of his earlier and angrier hits, “My Name Is”, “Real Slim Shady”, “Cleaning Out My Closet”, etc., I was thoroughly satisfied and danced out by the end of the night.
Sunday was my off day, and long story short, rain + mud + Converse = ick. I left it to the other not-working interns to lead me around that day, and I was pleasantly welcomed with the sounds of Flogging Molly, Cage the Elephant, and Damian Marley. That is, until the clouds decided to lose some weight. I don’t think I’ve ever been that soaking wet in my life. After letting up for a bit, we got in the crowd for Deadmau5, and lo and behold, more downpouring rain right as the light show and the bass kicked in. Oh well, if anything, it made for a completely epic opening to his set. I gotta say, for my first Lollapalooza ever, it’s definitely the most memorable weekend I’ve had in quite a while. You’ll see me there next year for sure.
Now I’m trying to prolong this entry as much as possible. That’s how much I don’t want this experience to end. XRT is generally a fan of Top lists, so I’ll pull a few High Fidelity tricks and give you my top 5 moments as an XRT intern. Starting with…
1) Pride Parade (and everything that came after) – The fact that people in the crowd were taking pictures of us while we danced with everyone in the street made it pretty memorable in and of itself. Not to mention the fact that I now associate every song on that day’s playlist with dancing in the parade. Easily the most fun I’ve ever had.
2) Lollapalooza – An obvious choice, but it was my first one, and thank goodness I was spending it with the interns. No one better to dance in the rain with!
3) Dave Matthews Band Caravan (specifically the Flaming Lips) – After seeing them once two days before at the Aragon, I don’t think I’ve ever lost my mind at a concert as much as I did when they played “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse”. Just…wow.
4) Lin and Terri’s talks at the intern meetings – Okay, I know this is actually 2 separate things, but they just have to be billed together due to the fact that I adored themboth. Lin’s just split my sides the whole time, and Terri’s just left me more in awe of her wealth of knowledge (more than I previously thought possible for a human to achieve).
5) Events – Blanket term for all the non-festival type events we did. I feel all seasoned in city navigation now, and just the number of people who loved the station that came up to talk to us was amazing.
This list could go on forever; I may as well just list everything I did at the internship and count it as my Top (insert number here) Intern Moments. Kristin was right: this summer was indeed the best of my life. I will absolutely recommend it to anyone who is interested, talk their ear off about how much fun I had, and keep my stereo glued to Chicago’s Finest Rock.