For the first time in what seemed like years, a drop of rain didn’t hit the Lollapalooza grounds. Sure, a looming thunderstorm threat caused the festival organizers to evacuate concertgoers Sunday afternoon for a bit (and they even shut down headliners that night 30 minutes early), but Lollapalooza 2015 looked more Coachella than Tough Mudder competition for once. It was three days overflowing with underdressed teenagers melding and moshing to classic rock, new age hip hop, electronic dance, and blissful pop while the sun beamed down and set to a perfect Chicago skyline each evening.
Between A$AP Rocky, Kygo, Paul McCartney, and everybody in between, #SunsetFam was represented over the long Lollapalooza weekend. Below, enjoy a day by day recap of the most righteous sets, and be on the lookout for an official Sunset SoundCloud playlist to relive the sounds from the festival over and over again in the coming days!
The charismatic English singer-songwriter rocked out Friday afternoon, bringing plenty of mellow, throwback 1970s feels. Between a solid backing band and his distinct falsetto, Bay knew how to get intimate and connect with a crowd.
This was most definitely a watershed moment for the once mysterious Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd. There was a time when you couldn’t even find photo of The Weeknd online, but his recent shift to pop radio has changed everything. As always, Abel’s voice was pristine and commanding, but a new-found confidence may have just taken him to the next level of performer.
A living legend. What’s not to ‘get’ about seeing a Sir Paul show? A novelty for some, a honor for others, but regardless of your stance, seeing a Beatle croon in this day and age is a special thing. McCartney even threw some old man rocker shade at the nearby Perry’s Tent that was housing Chicago-native Kaskade. I guess between a string of hits that include “Hey Jude,” “Let it Be,” and “Blackbird,” you can call out whomever you want. You do you Paul.
The epic Australian five-piece of Tame Impala makes rock music that lands somewhere between psychedelic and club friendly. Between their dizzying light show and masterful control of their respective instruments, Tame Impala could have made a case for headlining event.
Her sultry nature and intimate lyrics make her the female counterpart to fellow R&B act The Weeknd. Banks’ style may be too slow and prodding for some, but her live set picked things up a bit from her studio sessions that made it an enjoyable performance.
One of the few artists who may actually sound better live than on a recording, the UK’s Sam Smith made for a resonating closer to Saturday’s festivities. With only a single album worth of material out, Smith made the best of his set by covering Motown classics like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and even leading the crowd to a strange rendition of the Cha Cha Slide. Of course, belting out “Stay With Me” as his finale was the best possible way to hit everybody right in the feels.
In a year that had a hole for hip-hop acts, the forever stylish A$AP Rocky was by far the best in show when it came to the genre. Sporting a raucous crowd that danced and sang along to hits like “Fuckin’ Problems” and a cover of “Smells like Teen Spirit,” Rocky knew how to sustain a party. Bringing out Chicago darling Vic Mensa helped too.
There’s something strangely satisfying about seeing Twigs bend and mold her body as she sings her way through her alternative R&B musings. Once a backup dancer, FKA surely knows how to entertain. Between her sexy vox and throbbing beats, Twigs was a perfect way to watch the sun come down in the forested stage formerly known as The Grove (now Pepsi).
Kygo’s brand of tropical house music may be too shiny for some, but between his massive Apple partnership and endless touring, it’s hard to miss the Norwegian producer and DJ turn up a party. Uber feel-good production with catchy hooks made up about 99% of Kygo’s show, and it felt like a fantastic way to close a Sunday night.