Lollapalooza Friday Recap


Callie Craig | Post Malone

With the sun still beating down and the typically lush grass of Grant Park completely flattened from the foot traffic of the day before, festival goers filed in for a promising second day of Lollapalooza. Big names were scattered across the schedule throughout the day, there were plenty of entertaining ways to fill up the time, eventually culminating in an epic performance by Bruno Mars.

Post Animal’s packed debut

Chicago-based rock band Post Animal kicked off the afternoon on the American Eagle stage where they made their official Lollapalooza debut. The crowd continued to grow throughout the set, leaving space only in the back under the shade.

Fans sang along with the music, never missing a lyric and always perfectly in-sync with the band. Following the success of their first album, “When I Think of You in a Castle,” their debut only further solidified their status as a band on the rise.

Taylor Bennett makes a name for himself

His voice is eerily similar to his older brother’s and they share the same wide smile. But Taylor Bennett, Chance the Rapper’s younger brother, has an entirely unique style to his music. Unlike Chance, his music isn’t heavily reliant on gospel but rather uses fast-tempo beats to take his songs to another level.

Plenty of people packed in around the stage while others chose to sit under the shade of the trees to get a quick and much-needed reprieve from the harsh sun.

The crowd was a real mixed bag. Devoted Taylor fans made their way to the front and made their presence known while curious Chance fans came to see what he had to offer. Regardless of how well they knew him starting out, they definitely won’t forget him now.

Much like Chance, the city of Chicago is of great importance. Taylor took every opportunity to remind the crowd just how great this city truly is and what it has to offer. One thing’s for sure: the Bennetts love Chicago. It just so happens that Chicago loves them back.

Bebe Rexha lights up Lake Shore

With her flowing blonde hair and nude bodysuit, Bebe Rexha took some time to reminisce on what once was. Just four short years ago, Rexha was playing her first Lolla at the much smaller BMI Stage, to a crowd who seemingly didn’t know who she was. But this year, Rexha ran on stage to a sprawling crowd all cheering her name.

She performed some of her most popular chart-topping songs including “Me, Myself & I,” her new single “I’m a Mess,” and her first ever hit song “Take Me Home” to which she acknowledged its impact on her career by simply stating “Cash Cash baby!”

The highlight of the performance came when she invited two fans onto the stage, Drew, a tall sunburnt kid wearing a basketball jersey and a blue bandana, and Lauren, a smiling girl with a high ponytail in a red shirt and cutoff overalls. It was then that Rexha attempted to play matchmaker by playing her hit “In the Name of Love” with the overjoyed fans dancing alongside her.

After ending her set, she returned to the stage taking song requests from fans and begging festival organizers to let her play one more song, which they allowed despite this all taking place nearly 20 minutes before the scheduled end of her show. Regardless, fans were more than happy to have her on stage one last time before moving on to the rest of the day’s festivities.

Tyler, the Creator and Post Malone draw massive crowds

Despite both of their sets being much earlier in the day than usual for artists of their caliber, Tyler, the Creator and Post Malone were able to draw headliner-sized crowds for their respective sets.

Tyler kicked things off at 4:30 p.m. on the Grant Park stage where eager fans had been gathering for over two hours and others were still trickling in from other parts of the park. However, as soon as the music started, crowds of people came running from all over to catch the show in full.

Emerging on stage in a tie-dye button-up shirt and red shorts, Tyler took the crowd’s energy to another level and never let it fall. Throughout, Tyler once again proved why is one of the most unique artists today, with his performances being entirely and unequivocally “Tyler.”

Immediately after his hour-long performance under the still scorching sun, a mass exodus took place as almost the entire crowd made a beeline for the Bud Light stage, all the way on the most northern part of the festival grounds. With still over an hour to go until show time, Post fans buzzed excitedly through the crowd, meeting up with friends and strategizing the best way to get a good view among the sea of people. For many, standing atop trash cans did the trick.

Finally, after a brutal wait, Post Malone burst on stage with a man bun and a white shirt and pants covered in pink, green and black graffiti. After introducing himself, he assures the crowd that he would play songs off of both of his albums, 2016’s “Stoney” and his newest release, “beerbongs & bentleys” which came out at the end of April this year. He kept his promise.

Bruno Mars came to entertain

As if his 11 Grammy’s weren’t evidence enough, Bruno Mars is a force to be reckoned with. Filling up the entirety of Grant Park for his set is an accomplishment in and of itself, but to capture the attention of each and every person in the crowd and is something else.

Wearing a white Bulls jersey and matching red shorts, Mars kicked things off with his most recent hit “Finesse” accompanied by fireworks. Mars mixed up his setlist a bit, highlighting songs of note that he has released over the course of his career including “24K Magic,” “That’s What I Like,” “Treasure” and “Marry You.” He also acknowledged that “it’s a beautiful night to be dancing, sweating and falling in love” which made his performances of love songs “When I Was Younger” and “Just the Way You Are” all the more special.

While Bruno Mars is deservedly referred to as one of today’s greatest performers, his immensely talented band provides back up like no other. All in matching white sneakers, they grooved on stage together seamlessly synchronized. Their performances, with Mars front and center and the guys spread out horizontally behind him are perfectly choreographed. Never a missed step or off-beat movement. But they also have the unique ability to perform with such ease that each movement seems improvised and spontaneous, making their performance all the more dazzling.

As the tiring second day came to a close, hoards of festival goers headed to the exits early in an attempt to beat the crowds. Unfortunately for them, the lucky Lolla loyalists that stayed were treated to a nearly 15-minute encore of “Uptown Funk” that encapsulated a fitting, and funky, ending to Friday.