Tove Lo (Stockholm), Father John Misty (Los Angeles), Philip Selway (Oxford), The War on Drugs (Philadelphia), Alt-J (Leeds), and Flying Lotus (Los Angeles)
July 31st, 2015
Grant Park in Chicago, IL
The 11th annual Lollapalooza festival hit Chicago’s Grant Park for 3 days of music stretched out over the enormous park grounds. Lollapalooza is the stuff of dreams folks and if you don’t mind the trek between the stages you’re in for an absolute treat. Anything you can imagine, the folks at C3 presents have thought of it and have got you covered. From the conveniently placed camel back refill stations, to cellphone charging stations, and even hammock stations, Lollapalooza has your comfort in mind. Something that is easy to appreciate especially at the end of the festival day where more than likely the average festival attendee has crossed the park a minimum of 5 times. It took approximately 15 minutes to get from one end of the festival to the other and a lot of planning to make sure that no pertinent bands were missed. Though with a lineup like this year’s it was impossible to get to them all.
The first act I caught was Tove Lo on the Sprint stage. Her drum-heavy and overall fun sound make it easy to have a good time. The crowd clapped along to “My Gun” and of course lost their minds singing the “ooh” parts in “Habits (Stay High).” If Tove Lo isn’t on your radar yet you must be living under a rock because her jams are literally every where right now.
Father John Misty is smooth as fuck, okay? He practically glides on stage when he sings. Kicking off his set with “I Love You, Honey Bear” he had the entire crowd in the palms of his hands from the get-go and kept the crowd laughing the rest of the set. His sarcasm was at a 10 throughout the set as he poked fun at some of Lolla’s sponsors, made fun of his set time, and even stopped mid-song to make fun of the Trojan blimp that was flying by at the time. Hilarious banter aside, the band played a solid set.
Philip Selway graced the Pepsi stage with his presence as he performed his psyche-pop tunes under some greatly appreciated shady trees. Usually behind the drums in Radiohead, he was front and center in this project. He humbly hit the stage and performed songs off his two releases Familial and the newer Weatherhouse. Selway couldn’t help smile as he watched the head-over-heals crowd move about to the sounds him and his band were creating. Fans and anyone within an earshot of the Pepsi stage during Philip Selway’s set couldn’t help be impressed with the huge sound coming from the seemingly minimalist setup.
Lingering tones and scattered layers are some things that longtime The War On Drugs fans have come to expect and new fans can appreciate. Seeing the band recreate these same sounds in a live setting was impressive. There’s so much depth to TWOD’s songs that simplifying a song is almost expected for a live setting but it didn’t happen with they played the Palladia stage. The band hardly addressed the crowd and chose to do what they do best and melted some faces in the mid-afternoon heat.
Leeds’ very own Alt-J made their way back to Lolla for the second year in a row. Boasting one of the largest crowds of the day the boys made sure to deliver as they played fan-favorite after fan-favorite at the Budlight stage.
Paul McCartney took the Samsung Galaxy stage and played an impressive 2 hour and 55 minute set to the largest crowd of the entire festival. He made sure to give it his all as he played “Let It Be” and “Hey Jude” among many others and even brought out guests like Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes on “Get Back,” an absolutely memorable part of his set.
What better way to cap off day 1 of Lollpalooza than to catch Flying Lotus? The psychedelic mastermind behind the high-tech cube AKA Layer3 delivered a brilliant and mesmerizing set. Vivid displays of shapes, flashing images, and just a variety of flashing lights and colors complemented the sounds perfectly. Fly Lo looked like a mad scientist as he curated what the crowd would experience next only visible by the two bright eyes in his mask and his waving arms. Overall Flying Lotus’ set was an overwhelming audiovisual experience in the best way.