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!
Not even bolstering winds and seasonal snowfall could deny the party at SnowGlobe last weekend. Despite only being in its fourth year, the 2014 incarnation of the Lake Tahoe music festival drew estimated crowds of 14,000 each day. Locals and out-of-towners were drawn to the EDM-heavy lineup and celebrated the New Year together with fresh powder, scrumptious food vendors, and of course, simply good music.
The festival, which spanned across three stages under the mountainous backdrop of Northern California, gave festival goers a face-melting way to ring in the 2015 to the tune of big and small EDM acts alike. Staples like Skrillex, Zedd, Porter Robinson and Flume were present, as well as up and comers like Bro Safari and Branchez.
Whether you (very sadly) didn’t make it to the festival or simply want to relive it (again and again), we got you covered with the best moments from each day of the musical winter wonderland below. Also, don’t forget to check out our 21-track SnowGlobe playlist for your aural pleasure.
The Best Moments of SnowGlobe Music Festival 2014
by Tia Nguyen
The Entire Bro Safari Set
Before his set even started, there was an obvious sense of energy that rippled through the crowd as the emcee pumped everyone up for the long night ahead. The tightly packed Sierra Tent waited in anticipation for Bro Safari to emerge, and the dedicated group of fans that trekked through the cold to see his performance didn’t come in vain. His killer set gave everyone a taste of the electric vibes that the rest of the night and the next few days would bring.
Disclosure’s Performance of ‘Latch’
With Disclosure’s addictively rhythmic tunes, the crowd found itself swaying along to every beat of the electronic duo’s tempo. But it was clear that everyone was eagerly awaiting ‘Latch’ as their closing song. Disclosure effortlessly united the crowd as everyone joined the two brothers to sing harmony, making the song easily one of the most unforgettable moments of the night.
The Energy During Skrillex’s Set
As Skrillex rounded out the end of the night, it seemed the crowd was ready to finish in high spirits, creating an atmosphere so full of energy that the frigid temperatures were completely forgotten. In fact, Skrillex’s own performance, complete with headbanging and climbing on DJ stands, had the sea of people in beanies and animal hats jumping around and feeding off of his excitement.
Odesza in the Sierra Tent
By the end of the night, the combination of heavy winds and the biting cold had many festivalgoers fleeing to the Sierra Tent for some much-needed warmth and the melodic rhythms that Odesza delivers. The duo’s electronic-pop fusions created an ambiance perfect for the end to SnowGlobe’s second night with a balance between smooth instrumentals and upbeat vocal tracks.
Porter Robinson Ditches the DJ Set
The 10 degree weather did not stop the die-hard Porter fans from coming to the Main Stage. Freezing winds pierced the many layers of hundreds of festival goers, but when Porter Robinson opened his set with Sad Machine, all was forgotten. His live performance at SnowGlobe was refreshing in the midst of all the DJ sets and constant rhythms, leaving the crowd in a trance with soundscapes unlike any of the other music on this year’s lineup.
The Entire Zedd Set
Zedd may have taken the crown as the best set of the entire festival. The light show alone was awesome enough to make his set one of SnowGlobe’s top moments. But what made his performance even better was how interactive he was with the crowd, getting everybody even more pumped than they already were for ringing in the New Year. Remix after remix of popular songs had the entire audience feeling ecstatic.
What So Not Brings the Heat
Typically after popular sets in the Sierra Tent, the crowd took in their last moments of warmth and ventured out into the more prominent outdoor stages. But What So Not delivered an unforgettable performance of his own. With songs like “You and Me” and “High You Are,” he kept the crowd energized the entire set and ready to go for Flume’s big finale on the Main Stage.
Flume’s ‘You + Me’ at Midnight
2014 saw the year of Flume’s rise as one of electronic music’s biggest names, and with the midnight slot on New Years Eve, he attracted the biggest crowd of the entire festival. ‘Insane,’ ‘On Top,’ and ‘Drop the Game’ as the first few songs were only the buildup to Flume’s epic midnight countdown, which was appropriately followed by a remix of his biggest hit “You + Me,” an epic fireworks show, and New Year’s kisses all around. There was no better way to welcome 2015 than with Flume.
Lollapalooza’s Sunday (and final day) was the most comfortable I’ve ever been at a music festival. Honestly, like, there were times I wouldn’t have minded a fashionable cardigan to don with the brisk breeze from Lake Michigan blowing in. The atmosphere was the perfect cool down to a high energy weekend.
Something interesting that I noticed during Day Three’s activities was a slight difference in the crowd age. Lolla tends to be packed full of teens since it’s so accessible and relatively cheap, but Sunday saw a much more mature crowd showing. Of course, the festival organizers had planned this when they booked 80s English rock band The Cure. Smooth move Lolla. And in all honesty, it’s a refreshing thing when anybody from ages 16 to 40-something can enjoy and share the same music festival.
–Alt-J: This was the second time I got to catch the English indie rockers, who are often dubbed the new Radiohead, and one thing I can applaud them for is their consistency. Alt-J is a band with a very dynamic sound, and every high and low from their album was translated to a T on the stage. Of course, “Breezeblocks” and “Fitzpleasure” were crowd favorites, but the triangle lovers even debuted some unheard sounds which was a thrill.
–Dogblood: Say what you will about Perry’s Stage, but when you’re there, you’re having a fucking awesome time. Yeah, it’s a huge fist-pumping, brofest coupled with skimpy-dressed raverchicks, but it’s one of the better stages on the whole grounds. Flashing lights, jumbotrons in the middle of the crowd, and the sound is crisp and deafening. Perfect. Oh, and not to mention the peanut butter and chocolate combo of Skrillex and Boyz Noize that actually sound different in a world full of cookie cutter EDM artists.
–Phoenix: These guys are consummate pros. Sometimes, I really didn’t know whether or not I believed the sounds I was hearing. Like, was I just listening to Thomas Mars’ iTunes playlist or were they actually performing? They’re that good. Their set also brought one of the coolest moments of the weekend, with Mars dashing out to the center sound stage to rock out in the middle of the crowd with the band raging on in the background. Then, he crowd surfed all the way back to the stage in a a rioting climax of drums, riffs and lights. Bravo.
Peep the video highlights of Sunday below, and definitely listen to the five-song highlight playlist I put together to recap the third and final day of another great Lollapalooza.
Saturday always serves as a de facto climax of sorts for Lollapalooza. Friday is full of fashionably late goers with many working earlier in the day (myself included), and Sunday is significantly more relaxed with Monday looming around the corner. So, Day Two is always packed and popping with people ready to go balls to the wall (also myself included).
-Ellie Goulding played a fully stocked 5 o’clock set that could of easily been a headliner. Her wispy, seductive vocals carried through the crowd, but her talents seemed boundless as she picked up a guitar and even a pair of drumsticks during her hour-long set. A true musician, through and through and not to mention humble. Multiple times Ellie stopped herself, presumably taken aback by the crowd and dizzied in the moment.
-Just an hour after Ms. Goulding, Compton-native Kendrick Lamar took the same stage to a massive gathering gearing up for a Good Kid, M.A.A.D city medley. Kendrick is easily one of the most hype and polished performers in the rap realm right now. K-dot glided through each of his tracks with ease and CDQ bravado, from a raw “Backseat Freestyle” to a climatic “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”. But, even Kendrick couldn’t ignore probably the most unique moment of the entire festival weekend: a man being crowd surfed, in a wheelchair, across the sea of fans to the front of the stage. The show legit stopped for what seemed like a full two minutes, with Kendrick applauding the spectacle (“this is gonna be on the Internet”).
-The most momentous main stage headliner had to be The Postal Service. TPS’ career was short and sweet, only really active for a few years in the early 2000s, but they always sort of served as an indiepop ambassador. They absolutely killed their set with fervor and a genuineness that made things seem very melancholy, with their tour acting simultaneously as a reunion and a goodbye.
Check out video highlights from Saturday below, and be sure to check out the five-song playlist featuring some of the day’s best sets.
You’d be hard pressed to find a better Chicago weekend than when Lollapalooza sets its sails in early August, nested between Lake Michigan and the city’s iconic skyline. In a lot of ways, Lolla marks the culmination of an entire summer of great fests, being the last in line of other big boys like Coachella and Bonnaroo turning out earlier in the summer.
This year was bigger than ever for the festival’s current 9-year run in the city’s Grant Park, with reportedly over 300,000 concertgoers bouncing around the Magnificent Mile to their favorite bands and artists. And compared to last year’s monsoon, the weather was the best I’ve ever experienced thanks to a relatively tame and cool Chicago summer.
It’s hard for me to pick my favorite moment on a day that ranged from Aaron Paul joining Steve Aoki on stage with roaring 90s jock jams to Imagine Dragons getting their sound cut off for about 15 minutes (and yes this was a good moment since they were fucking terrible live). But, I think I have to go with Chance The Rapper‘s set over at the vastly undersized BMI stage.
Watching Chance’s show felt like I was witnessing history in the making. Coming off of his hugely successful tape Acid Rap that placed him in national spotlight, coupled with a dizzyingly packed hometown crowd, you could feel that this was obviously the peak of Mr. Bennet’s burgeoning career. He could barely contain his fervor and it all spilled out as raw emotion on stage. Not to mention that he reunited Kids These Days to back him with Vic Mensa and Twista joining for a compete and thumping rendition of “Cocoa Butter Kisses”. With another album or two under his belt, I wouldn’t doubt that I see Chance back at Lolla, but headlining a much bigger stage next time.
Be sure to check out the five-song playlist below recapping day one of Lollapalooza, and come back for Saturday and Sunday highlights in the next few days.