Yesterday, Friday, July 25, I took my fourteen year old son, Jeremy, to his first real concert. It wasn’t just any concert though. I took him to an all day music festival in Raleigh called Projekt Revolution. Projekt Revolution is hosted by Linkin Park and includes other groups on the main stage such as Chris Cornell, The Bravery, and Ashes Divide.
Linkin Park was excellent! I was very surprised at how good they were live. They performed most of the songs from the latest CD, Minutes to Midnight, as well as some of the more popular songs from their previous CD’s.
I was also very impressed with Chris Cornell. I’ve heard him before (as I’ll explain below). My favorite songs – and it seems the favorites of the crowd as well – were some of his older songs, including “Hunger Strike” from Temple of the Dog, and “Black Hole Sun” from Soundgarden.
Besides the main stage, there was also a side stage where other bands played earlier in the day. I was very impressed with a band from Knoxville called 10 Years. (Jeremy wanted me to say that the younger people – like him – liked a band called Atreyu better.)
This was not my first all day music festival. Sixteen years ago – in 1992 - when I was only 25 – I attended Lollapalooza with my brother-in-law and some friends. That concert included many big names from the alternative music scene of the early 90’s: Pearl Jam (my favorite), Soundgarden (which is where I heard Chris Cornell before), Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ministry, Ice Cube, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Lush. On the side stage at Lolapalooza, I saw less-known (then) bands such as Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine, Porno for Pyros, Cypress Hill, and many others.
In comparing the two music festivals, I have to say that Lolapalooza was better musically, for two reasons. First, I knew more of the bands that were playing at Lollapalooza, while I really only knew Linkin Park and Chris Cornell at Projekt Revolution. Second, there were more bands and more diversity in the music at Lollapalooza. However, I think that Linkin Park put on an awesome show – as good as, if not better than, most of the groups at Lollapalooza.
Otherwise, besides the music, I think that Projekt Revolution was a better overall experience. First, I was suprised at the age range at Projekt Revolution. When I went to Lollapalooza as a 25 year old who was not really into the counter culture scene, I felt old and out of place. As a 41 year old who is still not into the counter culture scene, I did not feel old or out of place. There were many, many people there older than me. Most of the people looked like normal people – young or old.
While I know some were smoking marijuana at Projekt Revolution (sniff sniff), it was not as prevalent as at Lollapalooza. At Projekt Revolution and Lollapalooza, there was plenty of beer drinking, and plenty of people getting drunk. However, at Lollapalooza I saw many more people who were passed-out drunk, sneaking in bottles of liquor, and getting sick from drinking too much.
There was much less fighting at Projekt Revolution. In fact, we only witnessed one near fight, and it was started by an older man who was drunk. At Lollapalooza, teens were fighting all the time.
I’m glad that we went to Projekt Revolution. Perhaps, over the next few days, I may share some of the song lyrics that I’ve really enjoyed – especially from Linkin Park. Too many times, the music of today’s generation is dismissed for being loud, screaming, ranting, etc. If you are a parent, listen to the music that today’s generation is listening to. You may find legitimate critiques of your own generation and the world in general. You may also learn something about the struggles that young people are facing today.