“Only 50 people ate lobster corn dogs, but they all started a band,” one might say about Lollapalooza ’10. (Though we’re sure they sold way more lobster corn dogs than that.) After the preview, the letter grades, the angry chef tweeting in response and the chefs tweaking each other by tweet, there remained only… the actual music and food.
Most of the fuss around Lollapalooza ’10 will fade in a very short time, but we do think this event will hold a certain place in the evolution of rock as live music. Rock and roll has never cared much about food as a subject for lyrics, compared to blues or even country (all we can think of offhand is “Poke Salad Annie” by Tony Joe White), and God only knows what they ate in the mud of Woodstock. But as rock reaches its fourth or fifth generation, its audience includes a lot of people who are accustomed to a high caliber of cuisine anywhere they go. And who don’t particularly see why a music festival can’t be as creative culinarily as a fine restaurant— rather than as dire as the Auto Show. Rock’s vow of brown rice poverty expired a long time ago; this is the era of rock entitlement.
So from rock star chefs to rock stars teaming up with chefs was a natural progression, and we suspect ultrachic food will become as much a part of the live music scene as its more customary companions, sex and drugs. (Or a substitute, depending on the age of the headline act.) Start the slideshow to see photographer Will Rice’s images of the cutting-edge, and maybe paradigm-shifting, food at Lollapalooza.