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Lollapalooza 2011 & the Sony Bloggie HD Experience

Grant Park - Chicago, IL, USA - August 5-7, 2011

by Sommer Thornton

Lollapalooza 2011Lollapalooza 2011 was one of the most memorable festivals of the summer for many reasons. It was the 20th anniversary of Perry Farrell's creation, the energy this year was on another galaxy, and UnRated Magazine captured all its splendor with the brand new Sony Bloggie H.D. camera. Put lightly this high definition touch screen camera takes a figurative piss on the flip camera and most other handheld digital cameras on the market. What better test for this 12.8 megapixel gem than to capture the excitement, the craziness, and the shear passion that epitomizes Lollapalooza?


The Sony Bloggie H.D. Touch Camera impresses at its introduction. In a millisecond it powers up and is ready to use. So I could catch a lot of surprises and capture performances from start to finish. You can shoot stills while you're recording-no more wasting time switching to a different mode. And the easy-to-use touch screen allows you to zoom in an out, scroll through your library, and share photos right from your camera.

Coldplay's concert Friday at the Bud Light stage may not have been the flashiest, but front man Chris Martin more than compensated. It was as if his angelic voice guided the masses northeast from the high energy rave Girl Talk was putting on in the Perry tent and the rock revival that MUSE was having on the Music Unlimited stage. Thousands stood enthralled in Chris Martin's passionate performance of Coldplay's biggest hits from their last 2 albums. Very few people could actually see Coldplay, or even the stage. But the acoustics were so pristine and Martin's voice so flawless, that together with the images on the jumbo tron, it felt like we were standing right in front of them. Even in near darkness, the Bloggie camera captured professional quality photos and videos of the Chicago skyline and the jumbo tron from thousands of feet away because of its 4x digital zoom.

A little earlier, Afrojack had a very different party jumping off in the Perry tent. Known internationally as a "progressive house" DJ, Afrojack delivered a beat pounding electroparty that had the crowd jumping from start to finish. The Bloggie captured every hue of his vibrant lights display. Other memorable performances on day 1 were from MUSE- where front man, Matthew Bellamy's lyrics belted across Grant Park drawing fans into the space rock experience, and the Black Cards, lead by former Fall Out Boy, Pete Wentz. Other great performances included A Perfect Circle, the Kills, and European rapper, Tinnie Tempah.

Check out Coldplay performing "Scientist" and "If I Ruled the World"; and Afrojack's rendition of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep"


Sony's Bloggie H.D. camera also has steady shot-image stabilization control which allowed for me to get my dance on while I filmed. Day 2 of Lollapalooza was all about the Perry tent. Known as the experimental stage, the Perry tent was where house DJ's spun affront a jumbo tron and elaborate lighting setups and the crowd partied like a 90's rave. Early Saturday, Joachim Garraud had the crowd dancing their clothes off- literally. Later, Chucky, The Glitch Mob, and Pretty Lights took the crowd to another galaxy with crazy techno beats and a pulsating lightshow.

Memorable performances Saturday came from veterans Eminem, Cee-Lo, the Deftones, and My Morning Jacket. Pleasant surprises, however were from some newcomers, Kerli, Lykke Li, Skylar Gray, and The Pretty Reckless. All these ladies rocked the BMI stage- in some ways harder than the boys. Kerli, Lykke Li and Skylar Gray had some mainstream success with singles and features, but it's their live show affront a energetic Lollapalooza crowd that was a true test of their rock girl power. Expect big things across genres for these ladies. Especially The Pretty Reckless, whose front woman, Gossip Girl's Taylor Momsen, helps to solidify their future among rock matriarchs like, Hole, Blondie, and No Doubt.

Check out performances from The Glitch Mob, Pretty Lights, Kerli, and The Pretty Reckless.

Sony Bloggie HD Camera


Sunday, the last day of Lollapalooza truly tested the Bloggie's capabilities. The day began bright and sunny, and the Bloggie took hi-res photos with no glare. Auto macro allows for sharp pictures when you're inches from your subject- which proved very useful when catching shots of the crowd packed in the Deadmou5 and Kid Cudi shows.

The Cool Kids' bangin performance ushered in a dramatic rainstorm. Even during pouring rain, the Bloggie out performed most hand held camcorders because of its HD 1920 x 1080p and its impressive face detection technology which makes faces look more natural.

Damien Jr. Gong Marley and Nas brought the sun back out performing reggae/rap medleys and some of Nas' greatest hits. The crowd was so hype they started dancing and belly flopping on the muddy Bud Light lawn.

Though Deadmou5 and the Foo Fighters were Sunday's headliners drawing the most enthusiastic fans, it was Kid Cudi that closed out the show with a BANG. Deadmou5 didn't disappoint, however. The Bloggie captured the fiery crowd as the rain poured. Getting soaked hyped everyone up moments before Deadmou5 hit the stage and he fed off that energy. He donned the well known headpiece that displayed its own light show. Simultaneously, the Foo Fighters were rocking the Music Unlimited stage. They kept their fans engrossed in their wild energy.

Kid Cudi however, was the surprise of the evening. Kid Cudi packed the Perry tent performing in front of a jumbo tron displaying a white silhouette of a man on a bull's eye. In torrential rain, the crowd spilled out of the tent into the deep mud on the lawn. Dynamic footage of his 2010 Lolla performance that included a crowd fight and blunt smoking, was the backdrop on the jumbo tron as Kid Cudi ripped the stage and the crowd sang along. As bold lights blared with the beat, Kid Cudi performed a ton of his commercial hits, mixtape cuts, and two great covers. One cover was of Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe." Kid Cudi performed a near perfect rendition and at the end, added a little rock bridge. The second cover was from Kid Cudi's "big brother" Kanye West. Kid Cudi did his version of West's "All the Lights", which he said he hoped would make Kanye proud. Kid Cudi closed the show performing 3 songs with no breaks between. His techno-remix of his biggest hit "Day and Night" brought the masses from leaving other shows, to the Perry tent. No one could leave Kid Cudi's show until the last beat dropped and last light went black.

Not only did Sony's Bloggie HD touch capture the spectacular close of the festival, it has the best playback stereo quality that I've ever experienced. Watching the clips, I couldn't believe that I actually shot the footage. Moreover, Sony's City@Play tent was the best by far at the festival. The spacious mini electronics store allowed for patrons to borrow Bloogie H.D. cameras for free, Facebook and tweet their pics at computer stations, and to test out the latest Sony professional quality headphones. All in all Sony made the 20th anniversary of Lollapalooza an unforgettable experience. Not just the memories but the pristine pictures and spectacular videos will last for decades to come.

Check out a surprise performance of Kanye West's "Heartless" from Kyle Lucas & Captain Midnight.