Festivals have become this rite of passage for millennials. They are the best chance we have at seeing multiple artists perform from our favorites to up-and-coming ones. Festivals are simply worth the price of admission.
Although concerts provide an unparalleled level of intimacy, to be front row, the price for one artist at times ends up being greater than a multi-day festival pass. Despite living in LA and being close to one of the greatest music festivals in Coachella, festivals like Lollapalooza Chicago offer one hell of a bargain.
Lollapalooza is a whopping four day festival in the heart of Chicago’s Grant Park. Lollapalooza initially started out as a grunge and alternative rock festival that has evolved into one of the U.S. top music festivals.
I chose Lolla over Coachella this year to mainly see The Killers and Chance the Rapper, who headlined day 2 and 3. Lolla’s four days are a blessing and a curse for some festival goers. Pacing is critical.
While attending Lolla I was able to see: Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, Kaytranada, Foster the People, Run the Jewels, Alt-J, Vance Joy, Justice, Big Sean, Zeds Dead, and Borgore.
Day 1 was a great experience into feeling what Lollapalooza is about. The venue in Grant Park for one is admirable considering Lolla has seven stages in a space of 300 acres. It gets crammed, the worst when entering and exiting the festival grounds.
The hype surrounding Migos was disappointing, considering the rap trio was 45 minutes late cutting their set time. It was crazy to see people question if they would show up, with delayed signs up people started leaving.
When the screen turned blank, that hype skyrocketed back as the crowd got up and started rushing to the front. Seeing Migos perform their top songs in rapid fire was great, starting with “Get Right Witcha”, “Slippery”, to “Deadz”, “T-shirt”, all the way to “Bad and Boujee”.
What pisses me off about festivals like Lollapalooza are the no age restrictions on entry. This opens the door to middle and high schoolers who do not have a damn clue who great artists are.
That is how I felt about Kaytranada’s set, this guy always has the most innovative beats and can really engage the crowd if only they knew who he was. Although there were a lot of curious listeners, dedicated fans showed up.
Remixes “Cranes in the Sky” and “All Night” were great spins, but as rain started to come down, his set became this fresh blissful moment. It was hilarious to hear him shout to the crowd multiple times “You all tired?”.
The crowd and vibe picked up when “You’re the One”, “Glowed Up”, and “Drive Me Crazy” played. Kaytranada was one of my favorite sets at Lolla. With Day 1 getting rained out and shut down early, it made day 2 all about The Killers.
When you’re in your 20s, it is best to see The Killers when you are young. They drew a huge crowd for a band that has been in the game for a while. They have a memorable list of songs that you simply just know by heart.
With their new upcoming album, the crowd got treated to the single “I’m the Man”, but The Killers make their performances memorable with songs like “Mr. Brightside”, “Somebody Told Me”, and “When You Were Young”.
You have heard them, sang them, and played karaoke with them. I was really glad that I saw The Killers live. They are a terrific band with frontman Brandon Flowers showing no signs of slowing down.
But the main event of Lolla was Chance, he got all of Chicago to come out on an unforgettable night. His night. It was something special to be a part of. Grant Park was worth being crammed in like a can of sardines.
His intro video montage of press with celebrities to Michelle Obama sending him off was crazy. Then you heard a scream, “Chicago!”, it was over from then on. From “All Night, “No Problem”, to “Friends” Chance harmonized the crowd with upbeat and love.
My favorite part of Chance’s set was when he brought out Vic Mensa to perform “Cocoa Butter Kisses” and “Didn’t I (Say I Didn’t)” providing a great touch to homegrown artists.
I won’t deny that Lollapalooza is for not for everyone. My energy was drained when watching Big Sean and Justice play Day 4. That alone separates Lolla from the rest of the crowd like Coachella, The Governors Ball, SXSW, EDC, and Ultra.
But if the line up is just calling at you. Go to Lollapalooza, it will be worth the price because Chicago is a great city to wander when your favorite artists are not on stage.