The 13th edition of Lollapalooza kicked off with a bang Thursday night before ending on a slight sour note. Over 100 thousand people braved the rain and cold temperatures to catch the many highlights of Thursday. The day was filled with great sets and the threat of major storms almost held off until after the headliners took the stage.
This is the second year Lolla has expanded to a four-day lineup, and unlike festivals like Bonnaroo whose Thursday lineup is a showcase for up and coming and emerging artists, Lolla kicked off hard and heavy with Lorde, Muse and Wiz Khalifa all headlining their respective stages.
Lorde played the biggest crowd of the day and opened big with the intro of “Green Light” into “Tennis Court” and the New Zealand phenom was off and running. Her stage setup was one of the coolest I’ve ever seen at a festival. With an elevated glass house on stage populated by dancers bringing her songs to life. But sadly after just three songs while Lorde was charming the audience with her irresistible sweetness, her production manager came on stage and told her the show was over. Seconds after the crowd was notified to begin evacuating the festival grounds and much to Lorde and the crowd’s dismay, Night One was over.
Muse hit the stage just as the rain hit its hardest and the opening riff of their new single “Dig Down” helped the audience forget about the undesirable weather and fully embrace one of the world’s best rock bands. They had their normal collection of lasers and amazing lights and their ability to produce a sound so much larger than their three man band stature is one of the most impressive things in music. They clearly haven’t missed a beat and are still raging, moving and rocking like they have since day one. It’s heartbreaking, they only had 15 minutes on stage.
CAGE THE ELEPHANT
You might have thought lead singer Matt Schultz would have came dressed for the weather, with a jacket and maybe a poncho, but Schultz took the stage Thursday in sequined dress and fishnet stockings. The rock star move, was followed by a rock show just as bold and filled with in your face rock. It definitely was the boost of energy needed to warm the crowd up.
Australia’s own Middle Kids were one of the first sets of the day and this bands infectious energy on stage made them one of the highlights of the day. This was a massive stage for them in front of one of their biggest audiences ever and they crushed the opportunity.
In what most thought would be the most dramatic part of the day, the former Oasis singer abruptly left the stage after performing less than 20 minutes. There was no reason given and no announcement at that time, but Gallagher later tweeted his voice was in bad shape from the night before.
Friday’s lineup includes The Killers, Run The Jewels. Blink 182, Kaleo and more.
Photo by Candice Lawler Roth.