Lollapalooza descended upon the great city of Chicago, and more specifically Grant Park again this weekend for its 26th year. As usual, the weather gods were just as excited to join in on the party as the 100,000 fans that attended each of the four days.
I always say it isn’t Lollapalooza unless there is a major storm, followed by an evacuation. Lolla organizers know – rain or shine, the show must go on.. unless it gets too dangerous of course. First-day festivities were thwarted after severe weather hit the city approximated 2 songs into the headliners’ sets.
I’ve been to a handful of Lolla’s where it was evacuated and once the storm passed, everyone was let back inside, running to various stages to continue the partying with an updated and extended schedule. This year, that wasn’t the case. Since the rain came so late in the game, it meant that Lorde, Muse, Porter Robinson and Lil Uzi Vert were rained out and would not be “rescheduled,” which was terrible for those who purchased tickets JUST TO SEE THEM. Lorde tweeted that she was “gutted” and promised to make it up to fans somehow…. Muse tweeted out hopes that Lolla would have them back again next year but really, for those who paid to see them this year, that isn’t much of a consolation.
I’ll put it this way, I came prepared with a poncho on and there was really no avoiding the “you look like a wet dog” look.
Lollapalooza is one of the biggest music festivals in the US and that’s not surprising at all if you spent any time inside the fest. Lolla is not for the faint of heart… Mosh pits were unavoidable, even in line for food! There were people on top of people and at certain times, it was so bad, even those who weren’t claustrophobic felt a little uneasy.
But rain and claustrophobia aside, this weekend was still all about the music!
Here are some highlights:
- Flight delays created problems for a few artists, including Migos, who showed up 45 minutes late to a set. Fans waited for what seemed like a shortened set, with Migos performing only the first verse of every hit. Except for “Bad & Boujee,” they played that in FULL.
- Jon Bellion, who was playing adjacent to Migos’ stage, waited patiently for them to finish up then gave his dedicated fans a high powered show. A few years ago, he played to a crowd of 130 and now, there was easily a few thousand that were singing along to his hit “All Time Low.”
- The Pretty Reckless never even showed up, tweeting their apologies and blaming it on a canceled flight. Such a bummer.
- The smell of cannabis wafted through the air during Wiz Khalifa’s set as threw out gigantic inflatable blunts into an already rowdy crowd. Seriously, what else did you expect?
- Bishop Briggs made her Lollapalooza debut and her sass, charisma, and flawless vocals proved she was a force to be reckoned. ‘Wild Horses’ might be the one song you know her for but it would be wise to study up on all of her material cause this girl is the real deal.
- There’s never a dull or quiet moment at Perry’s stage. Everyone there is letting (a little too) loose, dancing it up and reppin some serious bass face. Just ask the people there for Ngthmare of Getter.
- Every year, hundreds of acts play Lolla but one act largely remains in everyone’s memory. This was the year of Chance the Rapper. It was his biggest hometown show to date and as Chance turnt up for his city, his city turnt up right back. Unfortunately, Lolla tends to do this “thing” where make you choose between two really amazing headliners that are playing opposite sides of the festival. I’ve heard many festy-goers exclaim that they’d try to squeeze in two shows in the evening, splitting time between both equally. That, however, means fans must hoof it from one side of the city to the other. I was one of those fans.
- After seeing Chance, I power walked my way over to Budlight where The XX closed out with atmospheric indie pop, a melancholic change of pace from the usual Lolla headliners. It was the type of set that allowed you to sit down on the side, close your eyes and really just become one with the music – a rarity during the craziness at Lolla. The XX were so grateful to the fans that came out to watch them, knowing very well that a majority of them were at Chance.
- Charli XCX brought spunk, flavor and “girl power” with future tour-mate Halsey even surprising fans in a singalong to Spice Girls’ anthem “Wannabe.”
- Tove Lo was unapologetically herself, going through hit after hit. She continued her powerful feminist message and flashed her boobs to the crowd, which liberated and excited fans equally. I’ll say, the trend of Lolla this year was definitely “free the nipple.” Nipples are in again people, get with it.
- Lil Yachty PACKED in a crowd and it was on the verge of being un-safe. Lolla organizers should have known better than to put him on the newly-named Tito’s stage since the “Bubblegum trap” rapper has been skyrocketing up the charts. Feelings about Lil Yachty aside, it was CHAOS. A better option would have been to schedule him on the main stage where it wasn’t borderline dangerous to everyone crammed in, pushing each other as he egged on to create mosh pits. So many fans climbed onto some type of elevated platform that I was convinced it would collapse and end catastrophically. Thankfully security was on top of that one. Photogs had to be taken UP ON STAGE and let out through the back because things were so out of hand.
- Big Sean delivered blessings on blessings to a crowd that maybe wasn’t as ready to receive them. His message was loud and clear to the dreamers though and most of his set radiated positivity…. that is until he dropped his final song “I Don’t F**k With You.”
Food For Thought:
Music makes you hungry. Lolla organizers are completely aware of that and they want to capitalize on it by bringing the best local restaurants and joints to Chow Town. This year, I made it a priority to venture out of my Cheesie’s comfort zone (I still love ya’ll though) and try some new things.
- Leghorn definitely stole my heart and my money with its Spicy Chicken sandwich and seasoned fries. Literally, the BEST FRIES I’ve ever had in my life and for $13 bucks, I don’t think there was a better meal you could have had.
- Goddess and the Grocer were like the Whole Foods amongst all the fast food restaurants. For those looking for a healthy bite, the Thai Peanut Wrap did the trick. If you wanted a more “heartier” meal, the Sriracha burger was exceptional.
- M Burger’s $5 cheeseburger hit the spot if you were in a rush and simply needed something to snack on without all the mess.
- Lou Malnati’s came through as usual but Connie’s actually offered up a $9 pizza box at the end of each night, which is a steal if you’re hungry and poor from spending all your money on drinks.
- Tallboy Taco had what you would expect from a taco but at $4 or $5 bucks a piece, it would cost you $20 to actually feel full.
- As for drinks, I forked up the $27 for the Cabernet and the Rose Cupcake wines. Those who sipped on the wine instead of chugging it in one sitting found that it actually lasted almost the whole day. And if you think about it, that’s an incredible bang for your buck considering three 312 beers would set you back $30. It’s all about being smart at Lolla.
Cupcake was the real hero at Lolla. Not only did they provide the wine for all the ladies in the fest, they had an icecream truck and the popsicles were FREE! Free at Lolla? It’s almost as if I’m making this up right!?
What was your favorite moment of Lolla 2017?! Share it with us!