Twin Peaks (Chicago, IL), Marina and the Diamonds (Wales/Greece), Twenty One Pilots (Columbus, OH), Albert Hammond Jr. (NY), Gogol Bordello (NY), A$AP Rocky (Harlem, NY), and FKA twigs (UK)
August 2nd, 2015
Grant Park in Chicago, IL
Lollapalooza had quite the last day on Sunday, and even with an evacuation, all the set rescheduling, and the occasional dust storm the festival closed out with a bang.
Day 3 of the festival started out just like Friday and Saturday had. Albeit attendees were moving a lot slower as folks were surely feeling the effects of days 1 and 2. I headed over to catch Chicago locals, Twin Peaks at The Sprint stage. They did an excellent job at getting the crowd riled up but it didn’t last very long as the band cut their set about 20 minutes short. I headed over to the Samsung stage across the way for George Ezra when the festival announced over loud speakers that we were being evacuated. As someone born and raised in California that has zero experience with tornado warnings and heavy winds/rain I was in a total panic. Luckily for me I met the nicest photographer couple who let me follow them around for the hour or so that the festival grounds were closed (thanks again guys!). During that time the festival was excellent at keeping festival goers updated through the app and press updated via frequent email updates. After the storm passed everything was back on and festival goers were back in the park within the hour. Super impressive!
Within 30 minutes of the park being opened an updated schedule was released and luckily for everyone no sets were cancelled only shortened.
My first act after the evacuation was Marina and the Diamonds over at the Sprint stage. I was skeptical at the beginning of the set that she couldn’t live up to all the hype that surrounds her but that is not at all the case. She hit the stage in a black plastic body suit with hot pink heels and a tiara that spelled Froot for her album. As soon as the first notes of “Bubblegum Bitch” started the crowd lost it. What followed was a super fun, high energy, and sass filled set.
If you ever get the chance do not miss a set from Twenty One Pilots. For a band comprised of two members their set was anything but simple. The duo has so much energy that if you even turned your head for a second you probably missed something rad going on. Whether it’s drummer Josh Dun doing back flips off of the piano or singer Tyler Joseph climbing 15 foot ladders (as a compromise for the large/dangerous stage set ups he usually climbs) something rad is happening. Highlights of the set were most definitely seeing Dun playing drums on a platform being held up by the crowd, Joseph walking on the hands of the crowd, and seeing the ground literally move as every single person bounced to “Radio.” I wouldn’t be surprised if Twenty One Pilots headlines Lollapalooza next year. Don’t sleep on these guys, seriously.
Better known for his work with The Strokes, Albert Hammond Jr. hit the Pepsi stage for a set I was personally looking forward to. Despite some feedback issues with the sound his set went off without any hitches but it was one of the least interesting sets of the day.
Another act you should never miss is Gogol Bordello. They are fun personified. They bring so much energy to their set that even if you’re not at all familiar with their music or particularly enjoy it you will have an incredible time watching their set.
A lot of cool stuff happened during A$AP Rocky‘s set: a man in a wheelchair crowd surfed, mosh pits broke out, and people lost their collective shit to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. A$AP’s set was anything but ordinary. He established and maintained this crazy energy throughout his set that folks couldn’t help but follow his lead and absolutely lose it. Chicago’s own Vic Mensa made an appearance and ended up performing “U Mad” to the delight of the crowd. But of course the energy reached it’s peak during A$AP’s bangers “Wild for the Night” and “Goldie.”
I had heard a lot that seeing FKA Twigs live was more like seeing performance art than a concert. After catching her set I couldn’t agree more with that description. As her music blared from the speakers at the Pepsi stage, FKA Twigs moved her arms and hips almost hypnotically as stark white lights beamed from behind her. Her silhouette was what was most apparent as the occasional flashing light showed glimpses of her but faded just as quickly. She crumpled softly to the floor and curled up as she acted out her lyrics. Her performance was emotional and absolutely breathtaking.
With weather reports not looking any better and no real guarantee that I would make it in time to the Samsung stage before photographers were capped off for Florence and the Machine’s set I decided to head back to my hotel. Lollapalooza was a heck of an experience.