Well – Lollapalooza 2016 has come and gone. For the first time ever – grant park was inhabitted by 100,000 rowdy fans for four days instead of three. Although the MVP of the weekend may have been the weather agreeing with the weekend and not forcing any evacuations – there were a handful of other memorable moments. Here’s what we’re going to remember from Lollapalooza 2016.
Flosstradamus Inviting Some Friends to Close out Day 1
Lollapalooza Day 1 started off hot with some rain in between – but Perry’s stage ended with a bang. After an absolutely destructive set from Excision – hometown heroes Flosstradamus took on the headlining responsibilities but couldn’t do it on their own. Their first guest was Post-Malone the vocalist from their new future bass collaboration – “We Came Up.” Then they invited newly minted Chicago Bull Dwyane Wade to help introduce some other friends. First it was Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child who led Perry’s in a massive sing along of “Survivor.” Everyone sang along – even if they weren’t aware that they knew the lyrics. Finally – Chance The Rapper joined the crew on stage to sing “No Problem” and “Summer Friends.” Chicago was loud. Chicago was proud.
Mija‘s Insanely Heavy 1:00 PM Set
It’s not easy to play early on day four of any festival. Mija was up the challenge and crafted a 1:00 PM set that woke up everyone in attendance harder than any espresso could do. She blended dubstep, drum & bass, future bass and, yes, even a hardstyle song. Watching her on stage is like watching the cutest fairy in the world – pig tails and all.
After linking up for a couple of songs on Big Boi’s Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, Phantogram and Big Boi officially created the Big Grams act which has kept them busy during the 2016 festival season. The highlights of the set came from their live rendition of “Mouth Full of Ms. Jackson” – a live mashup of “Mouth Full Of Diamonds” by Phantogram and “Ms. Jackson” from Outkast. But my favorite part was the adorable banter between Phantogram’s Sarah Barthel and Big Boi. They just sounded like misplaced best friends out of a quirky sitcom. I would pay to watch “Big Boi and Barthel.”
Louis The Child‘s ‘Sold Out Performance’ at The Pepsi Stage
I know I know. They are out door stages – you can’t ‘sell out’ a stage to capacity. There’s always more room. But if you saw the crowd that young Chicago duo, Louis The Child brought out to play one of the smaller side stages at Lollapalooza you would agree with me. There was fans climbing every tree in sight – hanging onto every future bass inspired drop as they sewed other genres in seamlessly. The young duo definitely have not been around as long as other performers – but their lack of experience didn’t show at all on that stage. They were even joined by the dueling saxophones of Griz and Dom from Big Gigantic for a surprise live rendition of ‘Good Times Roll.’ Everyone swayed in unison with K. Flay as she joined the boys on stage to sing ‘It’s Strange’ live. The hometown pride was strong.
LCD Soundsystem creating a dance party that included tears
If you had watched LCD Soundsystem’s closing performance at Lollapalooza 2016 without knowing who LCD Soundsystem was – you might not have been able to tell that they have been on a five year hiatus. But the ‘disco-punk’ band did not lose a damn step. James Murphy controlled the Samsung Stage – 5′ o-clock shadow and all. He combined his ‘sing-talking’ with his emotional crooning that reminded everyone why they were so sad when they played their ‘last’ show five years ago. I’ve never seen a man dance, scream and cry all within 20 minutes of each other. That changed when LCD played the ending trio of songs to their set. “New York, I love you but you’re bringing me down” —-> Dance Yrself Clean —-> All My friends. It was tight.
As Lollapalooza 2016 almost drew to a close – the crowd at the Samsung stage started to fill up, and fill up, and fill up. The attraction being Flume. Flume played Lollapalooza’s grove stage in 2014 following his deput self titled- album. Well he came back in 2016 with Skin and finally got the crowd he deserved. But again, what’s a party without some friends? Flume invited Vic Mensa for a live rendition of “Lose It” and Vince Staples for “Never Be Like You.”
Cashmere Cat‘s Set
Cashmere Cat’s Lollapalooza set was a little different than his usual ones, it was way more mellow than it usually is and we loved it. Aside from dropping fresh new music in between popular tracks, it was the perfect set to start marking the end of day 1. Because unlike years past – there was still three more days to go.
One of the downsides of hosting a music festival in the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world is the sound curfew. Being such a heavily residential area – the outdoor music must be cut off by 10:00 PM. But the party never stops there. Festival goers are encouraged to buy tickets to aftershows spread out across venues all over Chicago. The highlights for me came from a huge surprise b2b2b2b2b session at The Mid. What started off as Jauz and Marshmello grew into much more as Griz, Snails and even LOUDPVCK joined them in the booth for an unforgettable night of tunes until the sun came up. Another huge honorable mention goes out to Four Loko and their pop up aftershows. Night one featured Metro Boomin‘ along with Lil’ Uzi Vert and night two brought along Jillionaire (Of Major Lazer), A-Trak and Araabmuzik. The venue was small and had an almost warehouse feel to it. With polite bouncers, and security that had no problem answering every question I had, I can only hope that they come back to Chicago for more pop up events. Plus – Four Loko was flowing. Can’t argue with that.
Well it looks like the four day experiment was a success – and Lollapalooza has already announced that it will be returning to the four day extravaganza format come 2017. Expect Lollapalooza to inhabit Grant Park August 3 – 6 for what I can only assume will be another successful festival. Until next year, Lollapalooza. You will always have a special place in my heart.
Featured Image Photo Credit – Maclay Heriot – Lollapalooza 2016
-Nick Isasi + Wameq Khan