Lollapalooza Goes UndergroundAugust 5, 2010 By: Amelia Levin
Billy Dec seems to be taking over the city – one event at a time. The nightlife guru and successful restaurateur (Rockit, Sunda) announced he’s launching Underground Nights, a four-night guest DJ series at his downtown club and celebrity playground Underground (pictured below), coinciding with Lollapalooza Music Festival.
Since setting up shop permanently in Chicago five years ago, Lollapalooza’s a big draw for music lovers from both near and far. It’s also a time for club owners to capitalize on these swelling crowds with after-hours parties and other special events.
On the music front, Dec plans to keep the parties rolling late into the night with his DJ series, including some notable names (past performers have included Katy Perry, G Love and Kanye West with celebrity guests Lindsay Lohan, Stacy Keibler, The Killers and others).
Thursday night (Aug. 5), the series kicks off with Josh Madden (brother of Good Charlotte members Joel and Benji Madden, playing at Lollapalooza), Mat Devine (Kill Hannah) and Jesse Marco.
On Friday night (Aug. 6), in conjunction with Playboy Magazine’s annual Rock the Rabbit Party at Underground, artist Mike Posner will perform his latest hit single “Cooler Than Me.” DJ Reach and Semi Precious Weapons' lead singer Justin Tranter also will perform (Tranter’s performing at Lollapalooza and currently tours with Lady Gaga). Saturday will feature DJ Cobra followed by celebrity DJ Momjeans (aka Danny Masterson) on Sunday.
The intimate Underground space will be transformed into a more live music-focused space, with an elevated stage built at the back of the space near where the DJ booth sits. This give the space optimal viewing from any location, including the center, booth-lined VIP area and slightly elevated seating and standing area at the North end.
ABSOLUT Vodka and Vitamin Water will supply specialty cocktail ingredients at Underground Nights.
Additionally, the culinary world’s getting involved with Lollapalooza. With Graham Elliot Bowles – now a hit on Fox’s new “MasterChef” reality show – as the first-ever culinary director, he’s bringing in foods from top chefs in the city to pair up with the tunes.
But in a recent poll by local dining blogger Audarshia Townsend (312 Dining Diva), Dec still seems to take the cake on man-around-town status, racking in almost 60 percent of the votes against big-personality Graham.
Dec said he’s up to the culinary challenge – a recent Lollapalooza food preview showcased foods from top restaurants and chefs in Chicago, including some bites form Sunda (shrimp tempura and cucumber rolls with avocado-soy aioli; Asian chicken salad and braised pork belly bao buns) and Rockit (the popular truffle fries).