At 17 years old, I was searching for my identity like many kids that age. I felt insecure, misunderstood, and lacked a sense of belonging. I was having trouble comprehending where I fit in. All that began to change on August 5th, 1991, 25 years ago today.
Going into the Lollapalooza show, I recall thinking of it as “just another concert,” although the lineup boasted three of my favorite bands/artists at the time in Jane’s Addiction, Living Colour, and Ice-T. Rounding out the eclectic lineup was Siouxsie and the Banshees, Rollins Band, Butthole Surfers, and the up and coming Nine Inch Nails. As the day went on, and the more I soaked in the atmosphere, I slowly came to the realization that this was EXACTLY where I belonged. I truly feel in my heart that Perry Farrell helped create this festival not for financial reasons, but to give people like me a day where they could learn about themselves while being surrounded by beautiful art of all forms.
I recall the performances by all artists being passionate and heavy, but most of all, I recall feeling happy and fulfilled by the end of the night. Lollapalooza taught me that music, especially in a live setting, was the most beautiful art form in the world. I felt a sense of community that I was not feeling at Poison shows, or Guns N’ Roses shows. This was emphatically different. That day shaped me for many years to come, up to the present day. It affected the way I dressed, the way I heard music, and the overall confidence I had. I am forever grateful for that experience, and I will always carry with me the feeling I had walking to the parking lot that night. The feeling of knowing I was part of something special, a cultural movement. Days like that sometimes only come once in a lifetime, and I only hope my children experience a day like that in their lifetime. Thank you to everyone who performed, and who made that day possible for me and many others.