Lollapalooza Day 1 - Chicago's Music Hub

This past weekend, music lovers of all genres congregated from far and wide to celebrate Chicago’s 3 day-long festival, right in the heart of the city. Festival-goers bebopped around historic Grant Park to catch performances by artists new and old. What really sets Lollapalooza apart from other festivals is the richly diverse lineup of over 130 acts curated to play at a whopping 8 different stages over 3 days. The lineup this year consisted of artists from all over the world, from indie rock to metal to electronic, from up-and-comers such as Halsey, to world-renowned names like Metallica and Paul McCartney.

Friday kicked off the weekend with a bang, proving to be a great day for electronic acts. DESTRUCTO tore it up at Perry’s stage, getting the crowd pumped up for a day filled with excitement. What So Not, formerly Flume’s counterpart, impressed the crowd with a set filled with original releases and features. He also included some banger tracks from the likes of Mr. Carmack and Missy Elliot. Check out his full set here:

EElectro-rock group BØRNS touched the crowd with an other-worldly atmosphere, blending an energetic folk-inspired sound with heavy rock and electronic influences. Dillon Francis and Kaskade closed off the festival on Friday at Perry’s stage, showcasing the powerhouse of mainstream EDM with their own unique production talents. Kaskade won the hearts of the crowd with favorites such as Never Sleep Alone, Disarm You, Atmosphere, and his remix of Runaway by Galantis. Meanwhile, Flying Lotus banged out some original mixes and edits at Pepsi stage, incorporating a fusion of jazz, psychedelic rock, rap verses, and so much more.

The quality of the lineup certainly didn’t stop at electronic music - Tove Lo belted out her dreamy vocals for adoring fans at the Sprint stage, pleasing fans with her most popular tracks, Habits (Stay High) and Talking Body. The Alabama Shakes brought Nashville’s music atmosphere to the heart of Chicago, fusing indie rock with blues and even punk rock. Alt-J killed it, returning to Lollapalooza after a year of absence, by performing a set of new and old favorites such as Fitzpleasure, Dissolve Me, Tessellate, and Breeze Blocks. In addition, the band wowed crowds with their cover of Lovely Day by Bill Withers, lulling festival goers into a pleasant bliss.

The amount of raw talent at Lollapalooza this year was phenomenal, but the real star of the show was Paul McCartney. His musical genius and versatility shined on Friday, blowing everyone out of the water. He started off by opening with Magical Mystery Tour, setting the tone for a magical ride of a set. Most of the songs he selected were largely composed of Beatles features, including Lady Madonna, Blackbird, Eleanor Rigby, and Hey Jude. However, he chose to break out a select few gems from the Wings such as Live and Let Die as well as Band on the Run. He also threw in some originals, which shined to showcase his broad musical experience. Some of these were Save Us, Here Today, and My Valentine. He left the crowd stunned; tears could be seen welling up in the eyes of many at various points in his set. They wanted more - and Paul delivered. His encore did not disappoint. He threw in Beatles favorites such as Get Back before winding down with Golden Slumbers and Carry That Weight, an emotional preamble to his final farewell with The Beatles’ The End. It was a perfect night, a once-in-a-lifetime performance under a magical blue moon. Lollapalooza could not have asked for more; Chicago thanks you, Paul.

Written by: Hanna Danecker