In the wake of 80s hair metal came the hangover of 90s grunge, and with it the festival that helped popularize the genre nationwide: Lollapalooza. Today, Lollapalooza is a single weekend, hosted in Chicago, and features a variety of acts from rap to grunge to folk rock and electronic. In the 90s, however, it featured primarily grunge and rock acts and it toured the country. At Old School Tees, we carry a lot of band t-shirts from the bands that graced Lollapalooza in the 90s, and love looking back on their performances. Below are a few of our favorite moments from the Lollapalooza of the 90s.
Pearl Jam Stakes its Claim
Pearl Jam joined the roving bands of Lollapalooza in 1992 just off the release of their debut album Ten. Though the album was not met with initial success, Lollapalooza helped Pearl Jam expand their fan base by exposing the band to fans of other alternative acts including Soundgarden, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The band returned to the festival as headliners in 2007, and will also be headlining this year’s festival in August. Still, it’s unlikely that they will recreate the raw performances they put on in the 1992 tour, which including plenty of instrument smashing.
Beastie Boys Bring the Noise
Not many people know that the Beastie Boys began as a punk band in the early 80s, so even though they played Lollapalooza as the classic rap trio, they felt right at home among the heavily rock-based line up of 1994’s Lollapalooza. And with the energy they brought to the stage, we’re sure the Beasties picked up more than a few fans throughout the tour. Check out this video of the Raleigh, NC stop that a fan put on YouTube as a tribute to the late Adam Yauch, known as MCA.
The Ramones’ (Second) Farewell Tour
Few festivals can claim the farewell tour of a legendary band. The Ramones actually toured in late 1995 on what was supposed to be their farewell tour, but surprised fans when they joined the Lollapalooza tour in 1996 (sans Dee Dee Ramone). As one of the punk rock’s iconic bands, they didn’t disappoint and actually played a proper, final show when the tour wrapped up in Loa Angeles, which included Dee Dee and featured a number of special guests.You might be wondering why the definitive grunge band of the 90s—Nirvana—is missing from this list. Despite being billed to play Lollapalooza in 1994, the group dropped out of the line-up and Kurt Cobain's body was found the following day. Courtney Love toured with the festival and spoke to crowds about his unfortunate passing.