Sneak Peek: Free Lolla Aftershow Friday at Reggie’s

The Damage:

Ticket to Lolla: $230

Ticket to Lolla if you bought it off Craigslist today: $300+

Lobster corndog from the Grahamwich tent in the food court: $10

1 oz. Wheatgrass Shot from Tiny Greens Organic Farm: $2

Souvenir Lolla poster: $30-$275

Average Lolla aftershow: $40-thousand$

Weekend alcohol budget: $150 ($50 a day, though by Sunday you’ll be so exhausted you may skip the double-priced Budweiser products strewn about the festival’s 20 bars)

Reggie’s Friday aftershow featuring “magic circus” tribal / marching band Environmental Encroachment: Free

CTA of shame ride home: $2.25

Being able to face your mother/father/significant other/cat when you return home having not spent every nickel: Priceless

Environmental Encroachment. Photo by WD Worden, altered by Dan Merlo.

You don’t have to attend the gigantic, full-service festival beginning tomorrow in Chicago’s scenic Grant Park to appreciate a good aftershow. If you’re going all in for the weekend, then I will see you among the sweaty masses, my friend. Catch me at the sets of the Black Keys, Delta Spirit, GIVERS, the Alabama Shakes, tUnE-yArDs, and Jack White. (For videos and pre-show reviews, check out my Top 10 Lolla picks.) Then we prowl aftershows.

Given the Lolla budget, I’m going for free aftershows this year. I’m working on scoring tickets to various shows on Saturday and Sunday, but I know exactly where I’ll be on Friday night: at Reggie’s Music Joint, riveted by the performance art / music / freak show of Environmental Encroachment, the city’s premiere circus rock marching band.

Confession: I’ve always been a band geek. I played trombone from fith grade through college, including as a member of both the Hilo High School and Northwestern University marching bands. Once a band geek, always a band geek. Part of my fascination with EE is the marching band aspect and how they have managed to turn a straightforward genre into a hybrid of public performance art, circus tricks, and random acts of music.

It’s a marching band gone rogue, and the antics are endlessly entertaining. Look no further than the flutist waking up the “sleeping” band members in the video above and you’ll wonder how these guys are still playing venues for free. They write a lot of their own stuff, and they’ve got deep roots dating back to 1994 and following a storied path well-documented on the band’s self-penned Wikipedia page and events archive.

Opening for EE is the Deuce Funk Monsters, an electronic funk duo.

After a day of heat, crowds, and the enthusiasm of Day 1 of the world’s best music festival, EE and DFM will be a fanciful and fun way to end the day — especially because EE will be picking up anyone who wants a ride from somewhere along Michigan Avenue as people leave Lollapalooza.  Time and exact location are unconfirmed, so just look for the sassy, brassy ruckus.

If you’re not going to Lolla, join the freak show anyway. It’s free!

Show details here; Reggie’s (1 block from Cermak/Chinatown red line), 9 p.m., 21+, free.

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