RECAP: Lollapalooza 2019, Day Two
As the temperature rose at Grant Park on Friday, so did the amount of music that took over Lollapalooza’s second day. With a pair of huge headliners, Friday became one of the standout days of the festival on paper once the schedule was released. The enormous crowd was more than ready to party as the weekend rolled in as well.
The day started early on the Lake Shore stage, which featured electro-pop newcomers SHAED. The band’s 12:30 set was a formal introduction to Lollapalooza for the trio, who have a sound virtually tailor-made for a festival stage. Their set included covers of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” as well as Hozier’s “Take Me To Church”, both stripped down for a new lo-fi approach. Hit single “Trampoline”, however, got the biggest response of their ironically sunny set. Look for the band to become festival mainstays in the coming years.
Guitars haven’t completely left Lollapalooza either, as The Nude Party was a standout on the same stage later in the early block. With a sound nesting somewhere between psyche and surf, the band was a true party that attracted a crowd with each passing number. Their set proved that, not only is Lollapalooza an alternative festival at it’s core, but there is still a desire for a true rock band amongst the sea of Instagram photo ops and bass-heavy DJs.
Current XXL Freshman Tierra Whack might have been one of the day’s best kept secrets, as a huge crowd filtered into the wooded American Eagle Stage for her midday set. If there was any doubt that Whack was poised for some big things in the future, that notion was denied on Friday, as she had thousands singing along to tracks like “My Power” and her breakout “Hungry Hippo”. She worked the crowd along with a DJ that would dual as a hypeman, and the pair didn’t have to exude much effort to get the Lolla crowd bouncing. Something says she won’t be on a side stage next time around.
If you wanted big Lollapalooza moments, Friday had them, as Death Cab For Cutie‘s entire set was probably overshadowed by the penultimate song of their set. While the band delivered a strong set full of the hits that had made them famous, including “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” which was a request from “a prominent Chicagoan”, the group also brought out Chance The Rapper for the first performance of “Do You Remember” from Chance’s “The Big Day” album. Naturally, this sent thousands of festival-goers rushing to the Bud Light Stage, who thankfully also stayed to sing along for closer “Soul Meets Body”.
The Lollapalooza moments weren’t limited to guest cameos, though, as headliner Childish Gambino likely stole not just the show, but the festival on Friday. Amassing one of the biggest crowds a single stage at the festival has likely ever held, Gambino gave Chicago a show that most will assuredly never forget. The set started moments after NF had finished on the Lake Shore Stage with the rapper/actor rising above the crowd on a illuminated platform near the sound board, and from then on things were truly his own for the night. Childish would make his way back into the crowd several times in an hour and fifteen minute set that promised to “take the fans to church” and be a true experience, including taking fans’ phones to take crowd selfies mid song. His band was on point, and while the night wasn’t based around hit singles, everything from brazened guitar solos to fireworks to a full choir and dance team made the set a true spectacle. The night would eventually close on a series of hits, including “Bonfire” and “Redbone”, nothing would particularly stand out, because the entire show went above and beyond everything else at this year’s festival (so far).