This year’s Lollapalooza at Chicago’s packed Grant Park, featured stellar acts with an international appeal and variety of eclectic styles, like Lorde, Lykke Li, Kate Nash, Blood Orange, Nonono, Lucius and London Grammar. There were also hip-hop legends like Outkast and Nas, alongside quickly rising talents like Chance the Rapper.
Some of the fest’s highlights included the phenomenal sounds of British psychedelic band Temples, who began the first day on one of main stages. The band created a significant wall of sound that made them seem more accomplished than the young musicians they are. In the afternoon, Courtney Barnett played a well-attended set that captured the audience’s hearts; and that evening on one of the main stages, Lorde took light technical difficulties in stride and sang like she was born for the stage. Arctic Monkeys took the stage after her and channeled Elvis with lead singer Alex Turner’s snarl.
On Saturday, British singer/songwriter Kate Nash played a riveting set during which she made feminist statements to encourage women in the audience, and flirted a bit with her fans. That night’s biggest headliner, Outkast, delivered hit after hit, all of which the audience knew by heart and sang with gusto.
Enjoying the festival was more challenging on Sunday, with torrential downpours throughout the day, but many attendees embraced their inner mud child and enjoyed some of the bands even given the conditions. Perhaps the day’s best crowd and set may have been Cage the Elephant’s return to the fest. Being on a headlining stage didn’t stop lead singer Matthew Shultz from his usual raucous unpredictability, where he actually crowd surfs into the audience. The night, and the festival, ended with Chance the Rapper performing in his own city, with kids he went to high school with undoubtedly among the crowd. (His decision to bring R. Kelly on stage with him had mixed reactions.) And remarkably, the rain stopped long enough for his fans to truly enjoy one of the rapper’s most momentous accomplishments thus far.