Lollapalooza Review: Two Little Girls, One Giant Band.

The chubby guy with patchwork whiskers, a sweat-stained black-and-gold Pearl Jam hat, and the white MLK t-shirt on white cargo-shorts combo approached the Meet-and-Greet booth a couple dozen yards from the eastern section of Grant Park after two and a half days of non-stop rocking. In his hands he held one of two CDs purchased hours before, "Free To Stay" by the Seattle band Smoosh. In front of and behind him in the line: teenage and pre-teen girls, anticipating with great awe the impending sight of Asya and Chloe, keyboardist and drummer respectively.

Surely, he felt slightly pervy given the circumstances; the two members of Smoosh (as well as the third who played bass guitar on two songs) couldn't be older than 15 tops. Of course, that didn't just make him feel pervy so much as Breaking Some Kind of Laws Pervy. He quickly cast those dark thoughts out of his mind; this wasn't about pedophilia, this was about showing appreciation for a performance earlier in the day that tickled his aural fancy.

He'd heard wonderful things about Smoosh from ... somewhere. He couldn't quite recall - were they briefly featured in Rolling Stone? The Stranger? Had it been the opinion of a friend? Regardless, he made it a point to see them at the beginning of his third day at Lollapalooza, if nothing else to see what the fuss was all about.

As it turns out, he could now confirm the praise that's been heaped upon these two girls. He could also declare with certainty that they weren't chipper Asian girls as he'd previously - for some God-foresaken reason - imagined. No, instead they were chipper white girls who looked like they were having more fun performing on the small BMI stage at 1:45 in the afternoon than any of the other more mainstream, more popular, more monetarily-compensated bands at the festival. Rare was the moment during their supercharged showcase when they weren't sporting elated grins, and the audience rewarded them accordingly, which was sparse to begin the set and bloomed by the end to fill the entire shaded grassy area.

As he waited in line to talk to them and have his CD autographed, he thought of what he wanted to say. "I really enjoyed your set today. I'm from Seattle too, but now I live in New York; any chance your tour hits the Big Apple anytime soon? What are your opinions on ... hopscotch?" The longer he waited, the more he thought about how uncomfortable these types of situations make him. Granted, it's not like Smoosh is on the same level as Aerosmith or Grand Funk Railroad, but they're still celebrities in the sense that they've actually hung out with Eddie Vedder. They're in the public eye, albeit on a smaller scale. What are you supposed to say to some band - any band - that you meet after a performance you enjoyed?

So, he ended up leaving. He told himself and others that he left because he didn't want to miss the start of My Morning Jacket, but really it was his discomfort made him hightail it and run. He may go on to regret it, or he may take a second stab at meeting them at some show in the future. Nevertheless, he won't avoid telling everyone he can about the two little sisters who impressed the hell out of him and everyone else who witnessed their sound. The keyboardist/singer who's already better than Jack White on the ivories; the thrashing drummer who's already ten-times the drummer Meg White will ever be.