By Bryn Bennett, lead guitar player for Bang Camaro
(Editors' note: MTV News asked Bang Camaro to help us cover Lollapalooza and they were happy to oblige! The band's Bryn Bennett wrote this blog; Alex Necochea shot the video.)
"Load-in is at 8:15am?!" This is terrible news for a rock band. We travel around the country in stinky vans, make no money and don't take showers for many reasons. One of them is so that we don't have to wake up at 7 a.m. like the rest of corporate America. It was Lollapalooza though, and Radiohead was going to be sound-checking at the same time, so I guess this early wakeup was worth it.
We pulled into Chicago from Boston at about 1 a.m. on Friday, had a few cans of beer and some of us did our best to fall asleep. Others of us attack life with the same vigor as a cat attacks a mouse, sometimes with the same bloody results.
(Watch Bang Camaro "interview" the Black Lips, plus get medieval after the jump!)
We were at Grant Park by 8:20 a.m. (not bad for us!) and then, as per usual, sat around in the van for about an hour. No matter when you're supposed to be at a show, you end up sitting around forever. This time was a little different, though. We usually are sitting in the smelly backstage area of a club, but this time we were waiting in the van, surrounded by celebrities' busses. It made us a little angry that we had 15 guys in a van while all the other bands had just three or four people in monster busses, but whatever. We probably had wittier banter.
We finally made it in, and soundcheck went as usual. It was intimidating how large the field was in front of us. We were the first band to play. Would anyone be there? The answer: YES! At about 11:20 (we were going on at 11:30), the doors opened to the thundering sounds of the "Star Wars" theme. Tons of people came running in ... straight past the MySpace stage (where we were about to play) and toward the AT&T stage, where Radiohead was going to play. That was a little disheartening, but then some people starting running to our stage. Some guy with a "Rock Band" T-shirt and a "Rock Band" guitar in his backpack took the center spot. By the time we went on, a pretty large crowd had formed.
As our set went on, people started packing up to watch us. I guess a 22-man hard-rock act is a little tough to ignore. By the time we hit our last song, "Push Push (Lady Lightning)," there was a sea of people with their hands in the air, clapping along. Alex kept yelling, "Is this really happening?!" I don't think he was talking to me, but I answered him with a guitar solo. That ruled.
Then, it was all over. We did about five hours of interviews, throughout which I probably said some of the dumbest things ever recorded on video. MTV gave us a flipcam, those most of the videos we shot, besides the clips above, will probably never see the light of day. (I apologize to anyone I was bugging — except the security guy who wouldn't let me return the camera.) It was an amazing day. Thanks to everyone who came out to watch us that early. We really appreciate it.
Oh, yeah ... and I ate dinner next to Elijah Wood.