Lollapalooza remains one of the most prominent music festivals of contemporary times, but do you know that it began as a farewell to legendary band Jane’s Addiction? Time for some Throwback!
The formerly American festival, Lollapalooza is now a touring giant, with its 2015 run featuring Paul McCartney, Metallica, Alt – J, Florence + The Machine, Kygo, Tame Impala, Alabama Shakes, Of Monsters and Men among a huge line-up of incredible musicians. But the festival in its inaugural show bore a much different picture than now.
Lollapalooza was a festival put together by Perry Farrell, the vocalist of American rock band Jane’s Addiction as a farewell event for his band, in an attempt to echo the sentiment, ‘You’d rather leave at the top.’ Along with Jane’s Addiction, he roped in post-punk band Siouxsie and The Banshees, alternative rock acts Living Colourm, Nine Inch Nails and Morrissey and Ice-T was invited to represent rap music.
It was at Lollapalooza ’91, where Farrell coined the word ‘ Alternative Nation’ which came to be the defining status for Lollapalooza Festival.
And it was at this very inaugural edition that Nine Inch Nails delivered one of their more memorable sets. Now, it was common knowledge for Nine Inch Nails to go grunge on their equipment, as it was an anomaly for their equipment to survive longer than a set, with Nine Inch Nails’ lead vocalist Trent Reznor unleashing his fury on them all. But on the day of the ’91 performance, dismay sound and constant power failure had the machines turn against him. Since, NIN was known to heavily rely on electronics, the set was abysmal, and Reznor, acutely aware of this fact yelled out loud, “This is the biggest show we’ve ever played, does anyone know what the fuck is wrong?”
When no good could have happened, Reznor launched into the brutally evocative song Sin, and began to trash all the gear available on stage, and then proceeded to tie up the broken equipment to trail behind his band bus. If that’s not hardcore, we don’t know what is.
In what is a far cry from multiple stages and over a 100 artists that seem to crowd music festivals today, Lollapalooza ’91 was a far stretch in its number of artists, making it a much more interesting spectacle than what it is today. And was a worthy farewell to a prominent act.