Django Django (London), Charli XCX (London), Death From Above 1979 (Toronto), Walk The Moon (Cincinnati), Tyler The Creator (Boulder), Brand New (Long Island), Metallica (San Francisco), and Sam Smith (Cambridge/London)
August 1st, 2015
Grant Park in Chicago, IL
Day 2 of Lollapalooza started slightly late for yours truly. I promise you that it had absolutely nothing to do with the free booze at the press tent. After a quick lunch in catering I made my way over to The Samsung Galaxy stage to catch Django Django. The band played a lively set even without their elaborate stage lights. The crowd who varied from die-hard Metallica fans to dancing hippies were all in motion for the entirety of their show.
There was quite a scuffle over at the Perry’s stage during Travi$ Scott‘s set. His set started 30 minutes late due to him “doing the ultimate amount of drugs.” Then only a few minutes after his set started Scott asked fans to hop the barricade and the DJ was forced to cut the music. An announcement was made that the show could continue if everyone cleared the stage but it never happened so the actual performance was wrapped.
Charli XCX was an act I decided to catch on a whim and was so glad I did. She hit the stage running with her all girl glam band in tow behind her. Charli strutted across the entire stage, as she kicked about and even gyrated behind one of the cameramen. Highlights of her set definitely included the giant inflatable guitar on “Breaking Up” and her renditions of Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and even Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” which she both co-wrote. She had the crowd and all the dragonflies in the park in a flurry throughout the set.
I had been waiting for the chance to catch Death From Above 1979 and it finally came. These guys pack so much sound into such a small package, it’s almost unbelievable.
Pro-tip: Never miss a chance to catch Walk The Moon live. You’ll get to jam out to “Circle of Life” for a bit and maybe even witness guitarist Eli Maiman split a hole in his jeans from jamming too hard, and honestly have the best damn time. Shout outs to the fans in the front who were in face paint for the set. Walk the Moon had one of the liveliest crowds I saw at Lollapalooza the entire weekend. Such good energy and so much fun as usual.
Tyler The Creator hit the Palladia stage with an air of depressed detachment about him. “Can everybody just yell so I can feel better?” Tyler asked as he hit the stage. The crowd obliged, as soon as the first few notes of “Deathcamp” started Tyler went off. He raced all about the stage as he swung his arms and legs about furiously. Backed by Odd Future friends Taco and Jasper, they made full use of the almost pop-art giant bedroom set on the stage and the crowd loved every single second of it.
My trip to Chicago was 96% fueled by Brand New being at Lollapalooza. Since the band has a strict no-press rule I knew that a festival was the only way I could check off “Shoot Brand New” from my bucketlist. They were incredible. The band started their set off with “Mene” like they have been doing and went straight into “Sink” then hit everyone with a one-two punch with “Gasoline.” It didn’t take long for a mosh pit to break out with the whole crowd being in a frenzy. Jesse Lacey sounded amazing and Vin Accardi was losing his mind with his guitar in hand, Garrett Tierney was keeping his usual cool, and Brian Lane was hitting his drums like a madman with the help of Benjamin Homola. Everyone just about lost their shit when the band played “Seventy Times 7.” Everything was beautiful and at this point I swear Chicago is making all my dreams come true.
Then I got to catch Metallica. These beasts blew through an almost 2 hour set consisting of some of the greatest decade-spanning hits. Starting their set with “Fuel” they hit “Cyanide,” “The Unforgiven,” “Master of Puppets, and “Enter Sandman” among many others. Bodies started flying over the barricade as the widest smiling folks made their way foward via crowdsurfing. Plenty of people got to the park before gates opened and ran to the barricade to make sure they were front and center for Metallica’s set. Judging by how hard these folks were rocking, the band did not disappoint them. Kirk Hammett’s guitar riffs practically soared, Lars Ulrich’s drumming was almost an attack to our senses, and James Hetfield’s trademark growl was on point. As long as Metallica keeps playing shows all will be well in Metal City.
Heading over to catch Sam Smith after Metallica was admittedly not the best idea but I made the trek across the park anyway. He kicked his set off with “Not the Only One” and I was floored and so were the thousands of shrieking fans behind the barricade. He sounded beautiful and there was so much soul to appreciate in the man’s vocal prowess. However, after your ears adjust to those almost pitch perfect falsettos, his performance seems a bit lack-luster for a closing headliner. But the fans received it incredibly well nonetheless.