Thinking the bad weather was over with after the evacuation that ended Thursday’s opening to Lollapalooza, Chicago’s lakeside Grant Park on Friday consisted of a cold, windy and drizzly atmosphere. All inclement weather held off, but what remained was an uncomfortable shiver for many Lollapalooza-goers as they continued to wear their summer outfits amidst a 65-degree weather day.
For what seemed to be a more packed day than Thursday, the streets within Lollapalooza were littered with people lined up for venders, something that was much more of an inconvenience than the prior day. As it seemed to be throughout the day, festival attendees’ schedules had accommodated for some R&R as the hillsides along the outskirts of the festival grounds were much fuller as well.
Even with the cool breeze coming in from the lake and the drizzle that often made everyone squint, the extra layer provided another reason for the packed Lollapalooza crowds to sing and dance along to the wide-variety of acts both Chicago-bred and not that were featured throughout Friday.
The Lemon Twigs
Opening up Friday, the Lake Shore stage offered the pop/rock brother band The Lemon Twigs at 1:45 p.m. After a scheduling mix-up, The Lemon Twigs were pushed back two hours, which gave them a better timeslot for their crowd to enlarge. Brian D’Addario and Michael D’Addario, the brothers that consist of the leads, along with Megan Zeankowski on bass and Danny Ayala on keys, whom all attended high school together in Long Island, NY, performed a variety of new and older stuff that simply kicked off the day on the right foot.
One of their popular singles “I Wanna Prove To You” opened their set with curating long rhythmic pauses to ensure a heavy head nod when it ultimately built up. Other than Zeankowski on bass, the D’Addario brothers and keyboardist Ayala often shift around instruments and on-stage presence. Frequently, between almost every song, the three will hop on the drum kit, or take the lead guitar, or even play a small recorder. These multi-instrumentalists warmed up the crowd, drew decently large numbers and never once did they fail on a leg kick or a drumstick twirl.
Run the Jewels
Appearing on the Grant Park stage, an enormous crowd gathered and ran to catch Run the Jewels. Hearing the heavy bass from the other side of the festival, the duo, which consists of rapper Killer Mike, and EI-P, alternated beats and interchangeably shouted lyrics together. Telling the crowd to shove their selfie sticks up their a–, the duo tag-teams their set which encompasses an incredible amount of energy that all-out bangs for the entire hour set. After a few hard-hitting songs, EI-P thanks the crowd for getting them where they are. He never thought that Run the Jewels would be as big as it is. Their third album “Run the Jewels 3” was released back in January, hearing top-tracks like “Legend Has It” highlights their performance.
One of the most anticipated sets of Lollapalooza this year is Chicago’s very own Whitney. Playing in just their 300th performance, the ex-Smith Western’s guitarist Max Kakacek and drummer/singer Julien Ehrlich mesmerized the secluded Pepsi Stage during sundown. The band’s first and only album (although they’re currently working on one) Light Upon the Lake has grown exponentially since it’s release last year. Most notably the track “Red Moon,” the traditional instrumental song had a surprise guest to accompany it. Chicago rapper Joey Purp spit freestyle over the jam beats in an exuberant hometown style, something that seems like it came out of Thalia Hall.
Whitney’s performance rang through the trees that surrounded the stage, one in particular, about being depressed, is “Rolling Blackout” a new song coming on their upcoming album. Other favorites like “Follow,” “The Falls” and “No Woman” really brought out the local fans, singing word for word. What came to be a 45-minute set, Whitney’s special performance ended with one last treat for the Chicago crowd. “Golden Days” with Instagram’s Finally Aaron wrapped the beautiful set in a graceful peak.
Vic Mensa (surprise set)
Earlier in the day, the Lolla app and Twitter page provided updates and a surprise performance set at the Perry’s stage. Roughly at 8:30 p.m. Vic Mensa came out to perform a miniature 4-song show. Dedicating a song to the lives that were lost in Chicago this summer, Vic Mensa’s lively performance of “Rollin’ Like a Stoner” amplified the young Perry’s crowd and transitioned the tone into a party setting. Vic Mensa continuously hits hard on his lyrical messages; often pin-pointing a certain verse more directly to ensure that message is receptive. The surprise set was rather short, but ultimately the performance was a reflection of Chicago talent.
Since The Killers didn’t accept any photography, Blink-182 was the move for a while. Taking place at the Bud Light stage, Blink escaped from back stage to a roaring crowd wanting to be thrown back to their 8th grade bedrooms. The nostalgia fell through and ultimately did not come in copious amounts that Blink lovers wanted. A missing aspect was too apparent as Tom DeLonge is off doing other artistic endeavors while chord for chord, the set did not own up to any of the previous, as Mark Hoppus is the sole remaining original band member of Blink-182. The newest member is Chicago’s hometown Matt Skiba, never once hitting those marks that DeLonge did.
An outrageous set piece included the outlines of the f-word engulfed in flames behind the musicians while both the performers and the audience tried to rekindle the missing ingredients. Obvious favorites like “What’s My Age Again,” “First Date,” “Anthem” and “Damnit” were among the songs that just did not hit like they once did. Nonetheless, the headlining crowd remained screaming each beat and lyric as they dance around wondering what has happened.