Lollapalooza starts Friday, but the gigantic music festival has already taken over Chicago bars, clubs and music venues. Whether you are in it for the music or the partying--there will be no shortage of either. Check out our picks here.
For the past few years, a Chicago teenager has thrown a big concert to raise money for charity before Lollapalooza. It was called McFest, and apparently the incredibly rich and well-known McDonald's Corp. was not into the event's name. They sued the charitable Chicago teen (classy, right?) In any case, the show must go on, but now it is called Nelarusky. The pre-Lollapalooza charity concert includes performances by Constellations, Your Villain My Hero, Churchil, Fair Herald and Million $$$ Mano. The $13 cover supports the Special Olympics. Show at 5:30 p.m. Metro, 3730 N. Clark Street.
HuffPost Chicago will be attending Perez Hilton's "One Night in Chicago" at the Hard Rock Hotel. Kid Sister, J Brazil, Lissie and B.O.B. are slated to perform and the gossip blogger himself will be in attendance. More guests TBA. (Watch for photos of the event Friday morning!) 8 p.m. Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, 230 North Michigan Avenue. (Check out more Lolla events at the Hard Rock Hotel here.)
One place that will surely be packed Thursday night is Berlin nightclub. Do 312 is presenting the "1st annual Lollapalooza Side Show: Berlin's Freak Ball," which will feature none other than Lady Gaga's tour DJ, DJ Lady Starlight. Of course, the rumors about Gaga being in attendance are already floating around. So far, the Facebook event page has over 270 RSVPs. The event also features Chicago's best queer DJs--the folks behind both Chances Dances and Queerer Park. This event will be rowdy. Seriously. Get there early or expect to wait. Vice Magazine will be GIVING AWAY Colt 45 when doors open at 10 p.m. Cover TBA. Berlin Nightclub, 954 W. Belmont Ave.
Dare 2 Dream is presenting the "Official Lollapalooza Aftershow" Friday, featuring MGMT, Francis and the Lights and AWOLNATION. Some proceeds from the event will be donated to The People's Music School, which provides music educations to children who would otherwise not receive any. $80, 10 p.m. at House of Blues Chicago, 329 N. Dearborn.
The man behind the madness, Perry Farrell, will head over to Sound Bar Friday night for a serious dance party. Farrell will DJ, along with Chromeo (DJ Set), CASPA, Steve Porter, Dark Wave Disco, Ancient Astronauts and more. $20/$40 for VIP. 10 p.m. at Sound Bar, 226 West Ontario St.
Some of Saturday night's best picks are sadly sold out. This includes blues-rock dudes the Black Keys at the Metro, Gogol Bordello at Subterranean and The National at the House of Blues. But have no fear, there is more to do.
Wavves and Harlem will play the Empty Bottle Saturday night. The show will surely be packed with hipsters, but the Empty Bottle is awesome and definitely worth a visit if it's your first time in Chicago. $15. 11 p.m., 1035 North Western Ave.
Tired from a weekend of music, food, booze, sun and crowds? Close it out right. The official Lolla hip-hop afterparty will feature Philly's Chiddy Bang along with fellow Lollapalooza acts Donnis, XV, Vonnegutt & FreeSol. $15, 10 p.m. at Subterranean, 2011 West North Ave.
Have the best of both worlds. If you were torn between seeing Phoenix and Green Day at Lolla Sunday night, go see Green Day then head to the House of Blues and see Phoenix. Problem solved! Toro Y Moi opens. 11 p.m. at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St.
Check out the full list of "official" Lolla events here, and let us know what you will be checking out in the comments.
Also, if you plan on attending Lollapalooza or any of the parties/after-parties/pre-parties associated with Lolla, we want to see your photos! Send your pics to firstname.lastname@example.org along with your name and we will feature them in our Lollapalooza slideshow! If you are photographing a band/musician, please include their name as well.