Lollapalooza 2022: Day One Recap

With perfect weather and a buzz in the air, thousands of fans made their way to Grant Park in Chicago for Lollapalooza 2022. Thursday’s lineup was filled new faces looking to break out, and capped off by gods of Metal.

One of the first acts to make their mark on Chicago was Australian indie rockers Last Dinosaurs. The band had an enthusiastic following that made their way to the Bud Light Seltzer stage for their afternoon set. While the sun beat down on the band, they were among the first to get the Grant Park crowd moving, hammering out songs from 2018’s “Yumeno Garden,” and winning over some new fans in the process. Look for the band to start making an even more significant splash in the states soon.

Another buzzing name that turned some heads were The Wombats, who had a big crowd gathered later in the day at the Coinbase stage. The set was made even more special with frontman Matthew Murphy’s daughter coming out on stage. There’s a lot going on for the band, who put the crowd in a frenzy with cuts from this year’s “Fix Yourself, Not The World.” Recent single and TikTok trending song “Greek Tragedy” had the crowd jumping after fan requests for the song made it to the stage. Their set was an early highlight of the festival so far.

For some, Christmas can be celebrated wherever and whenever you like, and Remi Wolf took that literally. Her set on the Discord stage had a full Christmas theme, complete with lights and an inflatable tree, and she also made an entrance to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.” She completely owned the stage on Thursday, though, bringing the dance party with hits like “Pool” and “Photo ID.” The layout of the stage, set aside in the woods, can make any set feel intimate, but Wolf pulled a big crowd in, essentially throwing a party for a few thousand of her closest Chicago friends.

The Coinbase stage was capped off on Thursday by indie pop star Ashnikko, who attracted a massive crowd of her own in the same field where the night’s headliners would play immediately after. Complete with inflatable vagina-themed teddy bears flanking the stage, she delivered a set as the night started to close that showcased her pop star potential, with fans singing and screaming along to 2021’s “Demidevil.” While she danced, thrusted, and seduced the Chicago crowd, her live performance proved she’s much more than hard beats and suggestive lyrics. Expect her on a main stage soon.

There’s no denying, though, that the night belonged to legendary headliners Metallica. The band has an extensive history with Chicago, and they delivered a two-hour headlining set on the T-Mobile Stage unlike any other. With a special stage build for their show, the metal gods opened with a barrage of big tracks, including “Creeping Death” and “Enter Sandman” featuring all four members in the middle of the crowd on the stage extension. Before Lars Ulrich would run to his normal drum kit on the back of the stage, the band had already thrashed through some of their faster hits, but were of course with plenty of fan-favorite material for the rest of their night.

The show played like a greatest hits selection come to life, expertly crafted by the band. Metallica managed to touch on just about every era of their four-decade career, with even just a touch of the largely panned “St. Anger” album. James Hetfield would even poke fun at that record, gauging fan interest before telling Chicago to “give it another chance.” While that spot in the set could have been used for hit “Fuel” on Thursday, they instead opted to bring the fire in the form of literal gigantic flames shooting out from the perimeter and top of the T-Mobile Stage. The night closed on plenty of pyro, with an encore featuring “Battery,” “One”, and “Master of Puppets,” now receiving new life thanks to “Stranger Things.” Yes, Eddie Munson did make a couple of brief cameos on the big screen as well.

Day one of Lollapalooza had plenty of big action, and we’re just getting started. Don’t forget to subscribe to our Patreon for early access to interviews from the festival, and check back in with us here for more from Grant Park.

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