"Smooth Shaves and Smooth Cocktails" New Amsterdam's Lolla-Kickoff Party

"Smooth Shaves and Smooth Cocktails" New Amsterdam's Lolla-Kickoff Party

Lollapalooza is sloppy. Grass turns to mud after being trampled for days, wine is served in water bottles, and a shocking amount of time is spent in or around outhouses. And don’t even get me started on the high school kids… like I said, sloppy.

That’s why I was so skeptical of the them of the Lolla Thursday night pre-party: “Smooth Shaves and Smooth Cocktails.” Relating Lollapalooza to something classy is like relating Flavor Flav to something handsome. I had my doubts, to say the least, but took the leap of faith.

My only familiarity with straight razor shaves was the movie Sweeney Todd. If you haven’t seen it, I’ll make a ridiculous simplification by describing it as not painting a pretty picture of straight razor shaves. From the moment I signed up, I cherished what could possibly have been my final moments spent with my intact jugular.


The crowd put me somewhat at ease. More so did the New Amsterdam cocktails. Sometime after sampling the watermelon and mango flavors, I took a turn. “Johnny Depp ain’t $***,” I muttered to confused company. Maybe these barbers’ intentions truly were purely aesthetic and less murderous.

My time had arrived. Master Barber Eric Ransom introduced himself with a brotastic handhake/chest-bump combo that assuaged any remaining nerves.

The experience couldn’t have been anything less like Sweeney Todd. The New Amsterdam staff was almost as accommodating as my grandmother would be, as the cute bartender handed me another Mango cocktail while the barber tied my bib.

MSRF played on stage a few feet away. I sat down  right in time for her hit song, “Diamonds” which she acknowledged, “I know you probably all are thinking ‘O great, someone else made another song called Diamonds.’”

MSRF killed it and walked off the stage to an appropriate ovation. Meanwhile, I’m just finishing up getting my goatee perfected and face covered in eucalyptus. At this moment, I began to understand why metrosexuality became so popular.

Several cocktails later, we found ourselves next to the room reserved for band members. And by the smell of things, they made no secret of what was going on behind their closed door.  The band, the Smith Westerns, came out blearly eyed and barely functional… until they hit the stage, of course.

This was the first sign that the winds were changing into what truly became Lollapalooza a short twelve hours later. After one more watermelon flavor from New Amsterdam, I found myself in a hillbilly relapse with a PBR in hand. My final decision of the night turned out to be my first horrible decision of the weekend. But at least when I stumbled about the disgusting Lolla grounds, I did so looking smooth.

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