Lollapalooza has been around for more than 25 years. In that time the festival and music has evolved so much, going from a traveling festival with mostly rock bands to a stationed four day festival hosting genres and bands from all over the spectrum. A week ago 100 thousand people from all over the world flocked to Grant Park to see the biggest names in music and once in a lifetime opportunities to see all their favourite acts in one place.
This year was the 13th edition of Lollapalooza happening in Chicago and the memories and moments of the weekend will live on forever for all who attended. Here are my four favourite moments of the weekend.
Just over a week after the release of their latest album Arcade Fire kicked off their tour as the band who was tapped to close out the festival. This is a giant honour to be the last band standing and it’s one Arcade Fire truly seized. They began their show playing the intro to “Everything Now,” the first track on the new album. It was like a giant explosion of energy and bliss radiated from the stage. The crowd had waited four days for this and it appeared the band and all of its nine members were just as thrilled to be there. “Creature Comfort,” perhaps the best track on the new album was one of the highlights of the show.
The dark, violent sounds live bring to mind comparisons to Nine Inch Nails which is something you wouldn’t expect from this band, but that’s what makes Arcade Fire one of the most important and successful rock bands of the past decade and a half. Each of their albums they have managed to reinvent themselves and create a sound so theirs. This is so evident in the performances ranging from “Neighborhood #3 (Lights Out)” to “No Cars Go”; to “The Suburbs” to “Here Comes the Night Time” and to “Creature Comfort.” It’s truly a rollercoaster ride with amazing visuals and even greater sounds. This was the best band at Lolla and the best show.
Nostalgia is a hell of a drug and Friday night there was a lot going around as The Killers and Blink 182 went on at the same time at the two main stages. I opted to go with The Killers, a show I had never seen and somehow fallen through the cracks over the years. What resulted was some of the most fun I have had a show in a long time. Seeing them rip through classics like “When You Were Young,” “Somebody Told Me,” and “Mr. Brightside,” each created a feeling of pure joy and the ability to take you back to a time of innocence and way less problems. Brandon Flowers‘ voice was greater than I ever could have imagined and the band was outstanding.
It’s refreshing to see a band that has been playing the same songs for years and years approach them with so much energy and passion. They had a very special moment when they honoured Muse. Muse had headlined the day before, but only played 15 minutes before storms forced the festival to evacuate the crowd. The Killers honoured Muse by playing “Starlight” for the crowd who wasn’t able to see the real band play it. This was an amazing sign of gratitude, kindness and appreciation for the fans. While Arcade Fire was my favourite set of the weekend, my favourite moment will always be roaring, “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a solider!” With tens of thousands in the middle of downtown Chicago. It was a memory I’ll never forget.
The growth of this band has been one of my favourite developments over the past year. The release of their album How to Be a Human Being brought this band to a different level musically and professionally. Their show on Saturday afternoon escalated them to an even higher level. The connection this band has to its fans is one of the best things about them. With inside jokes and traditions ranging from Hawaiian t-shirts, pizza boxes and kids bringing pineapples along, a Glass Animals show is a full on interactive experience. So much joy radiates from the stage and the crowd.
The energy that lead singer Dave Bayley moves and sings with makes this band infectious and brilliant to behold. I fell hard for this band and I won’t miss a show of theirs that comes close to me.
I had never heard of this band before someone suggested I check them out. Walking up the only thing I knew about them was their name. And judging by their name I was expecting an R&B singer, like Maxwell or Miguel. What I got was not that. These three sisters from Portland, Oregon greeted me with three part harmonies that soothed my soul and bluegrass folk that rocked my core. They were so enjoyable on stage and came off so likeable. Their song “White Flag” closed the set wonderfully and has been in my head for the past week. The moment I had first hearing them and discovering how great they were is what makes festival like Lollapalooza so great. You never know what will happen, what surprises will occur and what you are going to experience. Joseph was the best surprise of the weekend.
Photo by Daniel Boczarski.