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It's All Happening: Chicago goes GAGA for Lolla

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Amalie Drury

It's my job to write about Chicago and all of its people, places and things. If it's new and it's cool, I'm checking it out.

Lady Gaga with DJ VH1.

Catch Lady Gaga's DJ at Lasalle Power Co. tonight.

OK, people. This is it. Lollapalooza starts today, and I'm already giving serious thought to how much eyeliner I'll need later this afternoon to amp up my groupie look (please note: my nails are currently attired in a multi-hued selection I call my "Goldfinger" palette, and the fact that they're chipping a little only makes it that much more appropriate). 

First stop: the Music Lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel, where Lolla VIPs, musicians and media hobnob over lunch while having our hair done, getting tattoos (but never me; here's why), and checking out a variety of rock-oriented products being marketed to us throughout the lounge (last year, I got kissy lips tattooed on the back of my phone, which I adored).  

Next, we'll tromp over to the festival itself, where I'll do some of my best people-watching of the year (check back here for my DOs and DON'Ts photos later tonight and tomorrow). We'll sweat unabashedly while bopping along to The New Pornographers and Matt & Kim, and later tonight: GAGA! The festival is abuzz over her 15 semi trucks' worth of equipment, a rumor I fielded at last night's Galapalooza kickoff party thrown by the Parkways Foundation. I predict at least four of those trucks are devoted solely to the Lady's wardrobe selections. 

Then, for the hard-core, don't-stop music lovers of the world, there are the after-parties. I've received such an onslaught of e-mails from Chicago bars with the word Lolla in the subject line, my eyes are starting to glaze over at the sight. But if there's an ounce of party left in me by 10PM, here's where I'll go: 

1. Manor, for the Friday night Lollapalooza gear giveaway event with a performance by Lolla artist Flosstradamus, or Saturday for the Perez Hilton appearance. RSVP to reservations@manorchicago.com. 

2. Debonair Social Club, for Saturday night's 9PM to 3AM party for the EA release of its latest version of Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. Play video games while Bam Margera DJs? Viva la Bam! Open to the public. 

3. Sub 51 for "Late Night Lolla," where special guest DJs include DJ Spider (tonight) and DJ Mr. Best. Party goes from 9PM to 2AM; table reservations are required by clicking here.

4. Lasalle Power Co. for the official Lady Gaga after-party tonight, where Gaga's DJ and collaborator DJ VH1 will spin from 10PM to 2AM. Tickets $10 to $20; sold at the door only. 

5. Crimson Lounge, for the official Black Keys after-party tonight from 11PM to 2AM, and tomorrow for the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros after-party from 11PM to 3AM. 

P.S. The prize for best use of the -apalooza word part goes to Jake Melnick Corner Tap's Porkapalooza, where the bar will serve pork-based menu items inspired by Lollapalooza acts throughout the weekend. Example: the "Swine of Your Life" Dr. Pepper BBQ-glazed ribs, a Green Day tribute item. Yum. 

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