Lollapalooza in Chicago hit its stride on its third day with just about everything anyone could want. The festival, known for its eclectic line-up, provided something for everyone with its Saturday night headliners and all the acts absolutely crushed it.
The excitement from Saturday didn’t just include the headliners as the entire day was stocked full of breakout bands, big time surprises and can’t miss sets. Here are some of the highlights.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Perhaps no band has had a more successful run at making massive hits as these guys have over the past 20 years. These hits were on full display Saturday night and really showed how much their music has helped shape a generation.
From the opening chord of “Can’t Stop” all the way to the soothing “Californication” to wrapping it all up with “Give it Away”, the audience knew every word to songs that have been relevant for three decades.
Anthony Kiedis still has every bit of energy he had from the first time he took the stage, while Flea is everything you would have ever wanted him to be. There was a truly special moment of the show where Kiedis sang “Under the Bridge” to an American Sign Language interpreter who had been interpreting every word of their nearly two hour set.
Radiohead really set the bar high Friday night with pure musical mastery. The Chili Peppers had a large act to follow, but though pure energy, rock and the heaviest dose of nostalgia we’d likely see all weekend, they created an unforgettable time.
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
This band has been my favourite thing about the past year. Their incredible sound blending Blues, Southern Rock and Folk is as infectious as it is toe tapping. Their debut album is one of the best of the past year and their live set does it all justice.
The crowd they attracted spilled over the entire North side of the festival and proved this band is long past the days of side stages.
“S.O.B” was a memorable moments for all in attendance as was nearly every song of their set. Nathaniel Rateliff will definitely be back to Lolla but next time there is no chance they will be playing a day time slot on a side stage.
This guy is simply incredible. He is a true one-man band. Fresh from his time in Australia and Asia in the last week and a half, Garratt can and does do it all in his set. His incredible voice and solid guitar playing are almost the side show to his mastery of his sound board and mix of electronic and real drums. His talent is only matched by his likeability and stage presence.
It’s hard to imagine a more entertaining and impressive act today in music. Seeing him live really makes you wonder why he isn’t the most popular artist in music today. Perhaps that day is coming.
This set definitely earned the most creativity points. The seemingly random, yet perfect collaboration between Outkast’s Big Boi and Phantogram provided the kind of show which couldn’t be more appropriate for Lollapalooza.
Blending hip-hop with electronic and rock, Big Grams is a perfect encapsulation of what you can get at this festival. But for 60 minutes it was all on one stage.
Playing mostly from their debut album under the name Big Grams, their set flowed greatly and the audience was with them every step of the way. But the moment the beat for “Ms. Jackson” dropped, the show catapulted to another level. They meshed other hits including “Black Out Days” and “I Like the Way You Move” with each other’s singles in a way that showed true collaboration.
Nothing But Thieves
Also fresh from their time in Australia for Splendour in the Grass, NBT started the day with a kick and a jolt that the audience was oh so ready for. This band brings to mind comparisons to early Muse and it is clear they are ready to explode on the scene. With songs like “Ban the Music,” “Excuse Me” and “Trip Switch,” this England rock band has the vocals and sound to be one of the best rock bands of the next generation.
This band has seemed to arrived out of nowhere lately with two massive hits in “Renegades” and “Unsteady,” but they are far from content to just pop radio success. Bringing out Tom Morello and Jamie N Commons helped provide the band with true rock spark. In front of a massive mid afternoon audience, lead singer Sam Harris, dressed in all white, had the crowd the entire way and they provided a great highlight of the day.
Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro and company provided a wonderful reminder of why we are all here (It’s Perry’s festival after all) in a fantastic throwback rock show. Farrell still has every ounce of energy, stage presence and charisma he had 20 plus years ago.
A great set list including “Jane Says,” “Stop,” and “Been Caught Stealing” brought nostalgic joy and a surprise from Tom Morello kicked Navarro into super gear and was a fantastic rock out moment.
It is insanely obvious how much Farrell loves this town and his festival. But what overcomes the love Farrell shows is the love and appreciation the crowd has for him. It was a great moment to witness.
Sunday will close out the festival with some very big names including LCD Soundsystem, Die Antwoord, Halsey, Vince Staples and more. Stay tuned to the AU for more, live from Chicago all weekend!