In honor of its 25th year, Lollapalooza added a full extra day to the incredible weekend. And we can say definitively that no one complained. With headliners such as Lana Del Rey, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and LCD Soundsytsem to close each night, that alone could keep a music lover happy, especially one who grew up loving music in the 90s and early 2000s. If you weren’t down with any of those artists, though, Lolla had a major DJ performing during each of these headliners’ sets, including Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Disclosure, and Major Lazer.
With the on and off rain on day one, it seemed everyone took their time getting to the festival. We were able to catch Weathers play a kick ass set, but that was followed by some bad weather that forced most fans to take shelter — though some brave few continued on dancing. As soon as the rain let up, it was time to explore the grounds and take in the sheer number of beer tents, food tents and non-music releated activities. Next stop was Bastille, who had the crowd completely on their toes.
Finally, it was time to take to the city and got ready for what would be a very long night thanks to Nylon and Stillhouse Whiskey. We found ourselves at a Lolla afterparty powered by Nylon Nights and dFm, where we watched Haelos, Dua Lipa, and Jarydd James completely captivate the very chill and intimate setting at The Virgin Hotels. The Stillhouse Whiskey was flowing and smiles could be found everywhere you looked. And just when the night was about to end, Bastille decided to join the party and start a conga line. A perfect end to day one.
We arrived at the festival just in time for The Struts and a packed crowd as gray clouds hovered above. The mood changed immediately when we moved over to catch the next set from MØ. As soon it started, the rain joined in. It stuck around for the entire set and lingered afterwards. It didn’t seem to bother MØ or the crowd, though, as both danced and cheered, the audience enjoying the newly formed mud. Over at Perry’s Stage, it was time to get down to the beats of DJ Duke Dumont. Nonstop deep house, nonstop dancing.
The whole day seemed to be leading up to Radiohead for everyone at the festival. Radiohead mesmerized, playing both old and new tracks that the whole crowd sang along to. We were nowhere close to the stage, and it didn’t matter. It was nostalgic, enchanting and beautiful.
After Radiohead closed so perfectly, we headed to a party at Six10. Here, Big Boi opened up the night with a DJ set, and Leon Bridges played an amazingly soulful set at midnight, coining the name of the party, “The 25th Hour.”
On Saturday, the sun came out in the morning for the first time, offering a dry and exciting respite for festival-goers. After refueling from the night before, we walked over to the festival grounds in time to catch an awesome, energetic performance by Dua Lipa. She had the crowd singing and dancing in the sun, while she performed a beautiful set that encompassed the entire stage.
Next up was Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, a party full of nonstop foot stomping and screaming. Rateliff always seems to pack the house these days with his contagious energy. The band belted out awesome tune after awesome tune, and even from a little side corner, it was truly something to behold. Next up was FRANKIE who performed to packed crowd singing along and dancing to her every song.
Once again, we were nowhere close to the stage for the night’s headliner, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and once again, it didn’t matter. As they’ve been doing for decades, RHCP completely killed it. The crowd rocked out to both old and new tunes, most of the time singing along to every word. It was another headliner that was just as amazing for the performance as for the nostalgia associated with them — but when the show is that much fun, the similar feeling doesn’t matter.
On Sunday the fatigue may have slightly begun setting in, but this didn’t stop us from getting an early start and arriving at the festival around 1pm. With a stacked lineup, we wandered from stage to stage, not totally paying attention to the direction — the destination was sure to entertain either way. Fist up was a set from Muna sporting custom made Fuck Trump crop tops as they rocked out. After Muna, we decided to walk back over to the Pepsi Stage to catch Aurora. The wunderkind beautifully belted out tune after tune to a packed crowd.
Next, was a rush to catch Haim, who were playing right after at the neighboring Bud Light Stage. Haim, once again, impressed the hell out of us with their unison dance moves and their catchy-as-hell songs. These girls are always awesome and definitely know how to rock out.
Like most Lollapalooza’s in recent history, rain made a featured appearance, though this stopped no one from enjoying the festival. We were graced with sunny skies on the last two days and completely forgot about the earlier rain. As always, the venue was pretty damn awesome this year, with shade, food, drinks and cornhole scattered throughout the crowds. All in all, this was probably the best festival I’ve attended this year.
Around the Festival