For the 11th straight year, Chicago’s Grant Park played host to Lollapalooza. 2015’s version certainly didn’t disappoint, though, it did have its usual share of ups and downs. So, here is your day-by-day recap of some of the Good, the Not So Good, plus the Weird, Crazy and Unexpected of Lollapalooza 2015…
By guest contributor Robert Sixsmith
Good: The Weeknd
With the illustrious Chicago skyline behind him, The Weeknd finished off day one with a captivating set. Arguably the biggest name in music right now, Abel played all his hits, and even treated fans to covers of Beyoncé and Ariana Grande. He can do no wrong at this point.
Not So Good: Young Thug
I was hyped for this show, but Young Thug was disappointing. It didn’t help that festival organizers slotted him at the BMI stage, where good views are hard to come by and space is limited. He constantly had his back to the crowd and kept his head down for the majority of his lines. Perhaps his legal woes were weighing down his performance…
Weird: Brittany Howard joins Paul McCartney
It wasn’t bad. Maybe it was cool? But it was mostly weird. Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard joined The Knight on stage to perform ‘Get Back’. I think there were high hopes of Kanye making an appearance for FourFiveSeconds that led to this feeling of ambivalence. Needless to say, The Beatles legend delivered an unforgettable performance and rocked the stage for more than two hours.
Good: Sam Smith
With only one album under his belt, critics will argue Sam Smith is undeserving of a headlining slot on a Saturday of a major music festival. Whether he should’ve played earlier or not, there is no denying that this guy can sing. Coming off of vocal surgery just a couple months ago, the Grammy winner was impeccable throughout the night. Sure, it was slow, and the exact opposite of heavy hitting Metallica raging on the South stage, but you know what you’re getting with Sam, and he pulled it off with unexpected ease.
Not So Good: Charli XCX
This is mostly directed at her bassist, who repeatedly banged out the wrong note during the chorus of ‘Doing it’. Hey, it happens, it just doesn’t sound good when it does. Charli wasn’t fazed, though, and kept on doing her thing.
Crazy: Travi$ Scott
Well, this was just plain dumb. After encouraging fans to jump the barricade and storm the stage, Travi$ Scott’s set was cut after only five minutes. He fled the scene, and was later arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Scott will probably regret this one, as it’s disrespectful to festival organizers and puts fans in danger. Something tells me he won’t be invited back anytime soon…
Good: A$AP Rocky
A monster crowd showed up to the Bud Light stage for Rocky on Sunday. He started slow, but things picked up once he brought out Vic Mensa for ‘U Mad’. ‘Wild for the Night’ led to massive mosh pits, and the hits kept rolling in after that. Rocky even found time to cover ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, which surprisingly worked during the hour-long set.
Not So Good: Odesza
Dressed in Chicago Bulls jerseys, the duo seemed poised to get the day shaking after rain forced a brief evacuation of the grounds (What else is new at Lolla?). Unfortunately, their sound was small and the crowd lost interest quickly. Perry’s stage would’ve been a better fit for these guys, as it was evident they didn’t belong on the main stage.
Unexpected: No more water!
With temps soaring over 90 degrees all weekend, water was a must for concertgoers. By nine o’clock, the North end was completely dry of water bottles and people started dropping left and right. You can run out of beer (not really) or Red Bull, but not water. Shame on you, Lolla.
Despite the blunders, Lolla lived up to the hype once again. Yes, the lineup can always be better, the weather is your enemy and it’s getting younger and younger…and younger, but it’s still just as fun. Thank you, Lolla, see you in 2016!