RECAP: Lollapalooza 2019, Day Three
Saturday at Lollapalooza had some tough competition from the previous days at the festival, and while it may have lacked some blockbuster acts on paper, a host of newer names more than made up for the excitement at Grant Park. After all, there is a certain element to the festival scene that is crucial to new acts looking to break out, and Saturday was their chance to do so.
The first act of the morning to really make a name for themselves was The Band Camino, who made the absolute most of their 1:00 set at the T-Mobile Stage. The Memphis trio have an EP coming out soon, and seemed genuinely humbled by the fact that they had gotten to the Lollapalooza stage. Even some technical difficulties midway through their set were navigated relatively smoothly, and the band were able to make a big impression on the Chicago crowd when all was said and done.
Another band that are veterans at this point, but really made a big impression were Bad Suns, who looked like festival pros and got their crowd at the Bud Lite Stage dancing in the near 90-degree heat. Visibly sunburnt and likely affected by the heat, frontman Christo Bowman was giving it his all on stage, and eventually making his way to the front speakers to get personal with the crowd while delivering material from the band’s latest, “Mystic Truth”. It’s more than likely that the band gained some new fans in the crowd off of their midday set.
One of the acts that stood out on paper when the Lollapalooza lineup came out was R&B act 6lack, whose set on the Bud Lite Stage drew a larger crowd than expected. After some now-standard hype from his DJ, the Atlanta crooner put on a solid set, with the early portion consisting of material from his “East Atlanta Love Letter” album, and the majority of the back half going to his earlier material. While the majority of his crowd were pushing forward and bouncing along, around halfway through, the festival goers looking for the latest hype were making their way to the exits. However, 6lack did a great job of maintaining some of his earliest or most devoted followers.
Interestingly, Lil Wayne was not considered a headliner of Lollapalooza 2019. While he was on one of the main stages, his set was at 6:45, followed on that stage by Twenty One Pilots. That being said, he was clearly the main attraction of Saturday’s lineup, as he drew a massive crowd that might have rivaled Childish Gambino’s headlining set on Friday night. Fans turned out in droves to get a glimpse of Weezy F. Baby, who delivered essentially a condensed version of his Summerfest headlining set to accommodate for a smaller set time. One of the new additions, however, was his verse from one of the numerous remixes of Lil Nas X’s song of the summer, “Old Town Road”. Most of the crowd bounced along for the new cut, and Wayne delivered as promised with a combination of old, new, and mixtape Weezy.
In the literal shadows of Lil Wayne’s set, and on the opposite of the musical spectrum, genre-blending rock act Judah & The Lion promised that they would give the Lake Shore Stage everything that they have, and the band definitely did so. Frontman Judah Akers was crowdsurfing by the middle of the first song, and everything from EDM steam cannons to guest drummers to thrashing banjo solos made their set extra memorable. In some ways, the band is very festival-friendly with their sound, which invokes a little bit of just about everything, including punk rock, hip hop, country, and conventional indie rock. That also includes EDM, as the band closed out their set with a “two minute turn up” party version of their breakout hit, “Take It All Back”.
Saturday was, however a historic moment for Lollapalooza, as the Bud Lite Stage was headlined by J. Balvin, the first Latin artist to headline the festival. Not surprisingly, a huge contingent were on hand for his set, which came complete with an arena-ready stage show and flanked by background dancers. Interestingly, Balvin paid homage to reggaeton greats like Daddy Yankee, stating that “without the artists before me, I wouldn’t be on this stage.” While humble, he still managed to give an exciting performance that showed why he’s playing big stages and arenas, including Fiserv Forum last October as one of the arena’s first shows.