REVIEW: WJHU x Lollapalooza


Greeting a drizzly Chicago crowd, Lorde began her headlining set with a premonition: that the tour for her new album Melodrama summoned fearsome weather wherever it went. Fans laughed, until twenty minutes and three songs later, Lorde was pulled off-stage and Grant park evacuated due to severe storms/Lorde’s witchcraft. The fact that this micro-set still managed to be one of my favorites is a testament to Lorde’s stage presence and her devotees; in a red jumpsuit and with an elaborate set of caged dancers, the twenty-year-old star gracefully poeticized her songs (tragically cut short) to a young, drenched and enthralled audience.


Chance The Rapper:

Chance The Rapper’s Chicago roots and mutual love with the city made his Lollapalooza set more akin to a homecoming parade than any headliner I’ve ever seen. With an opening video of famous figures and Chicagoans like Michelle Obama and Oprah praising Chance, more fireworks than I’ve ever seen at a concert, and guest appearances from the Chicago Fire Department, Vic Mensa and more, it was certainly a moment for Chicago music history.


Charli XCX:

Charli XCX is a goddess whenever she performs (seriously, check those pants), but the guest appearances of Halsey (“Wannabe” cover) and cupcakKe (“Lipgloss” from Charli’s new album) made the show extra fun and full of spiced up girl power. Charli played the same stage she played at Lolla two years ago, but this time with a noticeably larger crowd, perhaps due to the success of her recent hit “Boys” and album Number 1 Angel.

Oliver Tree:

I saw Oliver Tree as a way to kill time before CRX. Never having heard of the band, the name implied to me that I would have forty-five minutes to chill with an ice cream cone and listen to somebody’s folk music. Instead, I was met with a bowl cut, an obsessive amount of Solo Jazz print, and background screens that looked like they were directly pulled from Adult Swim. Oliver Tree is a rapper, but what truly comes across is his entertainment value, however it may be defined. This Lolla set was the L.A artist’s very first show with the Oliver Tree band, so keep an eye out for future dates.

Cloud Nothings:

Compared to Cloud Nothings’ Baltimore set at Ottobar this spring, their Lollapalooza set was musically the same. What made this show one of my favorites was the crowd, which was rowdy, generous, and truly hyped about the band’s music. Catch Cloud Nothings at Rams Head this fall for what will hopefully be an equally great show.


Glass Animals:

During the hour of Glass Animals’ set, thousands of happy people and at least twenty pineapples bopped to the best of How To Be A Human Being and a stage covered in the 2016 album’s very rad aesthetic. While I thought the highlight was the band’s newer tracks, songs from ZABA didn’t feel stale, especially with the enthusiasm of lead singer Dave Bayley, who gave off the vibe of a slightly chiller Matt Shultz.

Arcade Fire:

For a band known to wander into the limits of extraness (see: $109 fidget spinners and Everything Now’s entire marketing campaign), Arcade Fire’s Sunday night set was surprisingly conventional. In the context of Arcade Fire, this is a compliment; their music is grandiose and well-received enough that simply playing it— glitzy outfits and silver decor included— was enough to invigorate the audience. Win Butler led the show with songs ranging their entire discography, and closed with a John Lennon cover that left a politicized but compassionate tone. I befriended flag-waving Canadians, danced the glitter off my body, and contentedly left Lolla with a crowd still echoing the chorus of “Wake Up” into the Chicago night.


Honorable Mentions:

Mura Masa

Foster The People

The Shins


The Walters

By Alex Walinskas on Aug. 12, 2017, 4:20 p.m.

#chance #lollapalooza #lorde #chicago