LOLLAPALOOZA 1994 – The Limit Of The Fantastic

by Rebecca Cox on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Originally conceived by Perry Farrell in 1991 as simply a “farewell tour” for Jane’s Addiction, Lollapalooza immediately and irrevocably entrenched itself in the history of live concert festivals touring the nation. In 1994, TAZ continued the Lollapalooza tradition with elaborate and explosive fanfare. Lollapalooza ’94 booked Nirvana to headline, but they officially dropped out of the show on April 7th and the very next day Kurt Cobain was found dead in Seattle. Nonetheless, this festival had an astounding line-up that included The Smashing Pumpkins, George Clinton, Beastie Boys, L7, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, A Tribe Called Quest, Guided by Voices, The Breeders, and some seriously fantastic side stage acts, to boot. SPIN Magazine included Lollapalooza ’94 in its list of the five best Lollapalooza line-ups ever.

For this markedly sensational festival, TAZ worked closely with Perry Farrell and, in Evans’s words, “decorated every square inch of the place.” TAZ was once again responsible for the creation of the Lollapalooza ‘94 poster, something Evans describes as embodying a “new tribalism,” a refreshing and provocative metaphor for the impassioned message the music and art was broadcasting – a new way of thinking, seeing, being, existing. Evans considered the “fans as shock troops carrying a fresh idea” and TAZ’s magnificent, azure 60-foot screaming Buddha’s flanking the main stage and their diminutive counterparts adorning the posters – these represented this fresh idea, as well. They were compelling visual goads for a strong message of universality and higher, deeper, greater forces that aren’t easily discernible.

TAZ was also the creator of the breadth of Lollapalooza ‘94’s myriad signage, t-shirts, and backstage passes, the stage backdrops, as well as the cover of Teeth, an off-the-charts experimental, one-of-a-kind publication of put together exclusively for this particular festival. Why “Teeth”? “Because everyone’s are different,” quipped the cover.

Lollapalooza ’94 was, for all intents and purposes, a wholly mid-90s happening, a wild and reckless merging of performance art and moshing and technological evolution. While the “world wide web” was still in its nascent form where the general public was concerned, the “Electric Carnival,” a “phreaky cyber sideshow” invited the show’s attendees to step in and check out the internet, “a sprawling anarchic spider web of computers connecting people with each other and sharing information. You can play games, hang out in virtual coffeehouses, and visit entire cybercities.”

With the Electric Carnival’s Alien Voices, Animation Sandbox, and Telemorphix “electronic oddities,” the most intrepid and trippy of Lolla lovers could create their own digital movies, digital puppet shows, and distort their voices for the sake of gleeful, ephemeral entertainment. Presenting a queue of regular “road poets,” an LSD Flight Simulator (called “The Chameleon”), a Rain Room, chanting Tibetan Monks, and an unbelievable second-stage line-up including The Verve, The Flaming Lips, Luscious Jackson, and Stereolab, Lollapalooza ‘94 was everything odd and extraordinary and wonderful that Perry Farrell had imagined. As Evans so succinctly describes: “it was a seamless art experience . . . one gigantic rolling party.”

Click here for past TAZ blog articles

Click here to see the complete collection of T.A.Z. work

Continue to follow this blog for updates on TAZ.

Sign-up for our newsletter and get news, updates and special offers

For lovers of Vintage Posters, Photography and Art — Limited Runs!

Limited Runs, the premier destination for discovering and buying the best in original vintage posters, print art and fine art photography, continues to add new items to the site every day and each week we feature some of our latest additions of original vintage film, advertising and rock posters, art prints and photography.

Follow Limited Runs on:

Related Posts