Lollapalooza 2015 Day 3 Review:: Rain Delays, Florence Welch, A$AP Rocky and Vic
The third day of Lollapalooza, one of the biggest music festivals in the United States and the gem of the Midwest scene, finished on Sunday night in Chicago with shortened performances (due to rain) from Florence + The Machine, A$AP Rocky, Marina and The Diamonds and more. This is the third in a series of recaps from correspondent Ryan Book.
11:00: Despite the luxury that attending a music festival such as Lollapalooza is, it takes a toll on the body. Those entering Grant Park at noon on Sunday look about as miserable as one can under such circumstances, yet they would feel guilty for missing the opening acts.
12:00: The Wombats, despite its name, is not from Australia. It's from England. That said, bassist Tord Knudsen hops around the stage like another Australian marsupial, defying stereotypes for alt-rock rhythm men. The band is the biggest of the opening slot artists this weekend, and has the biggest audience accordingly.
12:35: "Black Tiger Sex Machine" sounds like a dubstep act that's trying too hard and...it is. Despite advertising itself for its "post-apocalyptic" visuals, it's a trio of dudes wearing some light-up cat masks and playing what, for all intents and purposes, is dubstep.
1:10: Zebra Katz is described as one of the biggest names in the gay hip-hop scene but that somewhat does him a disservice: Don't think this guy isn't the hardest emcee to hit the microphone today (and yeah, we're counting A$AP Rocky). His set does include bits of flair however, such as a dressy-looking eyepatch and showering the audience with pink sparkling wine.
1:50: Twin Peaks features almost no synthesizer, which is confusing for fans of the David Lynch cult classic television program. That said, the alt-rock group seems to rock just fine, although it ends up wrapping up its set nearly 20 minutes early. The Windy City is particularly windy today, and small cyclones of dirt cause chaos among attendees near the baseball fields.
2:33: Maybe Twin Peaks knew something we didn't. A few minutes after George Ezra is scheduled to begin on the Samsung Stage, a voice n the P.A. system announces that due to approaching severe weather, promoters are evacuating the park. A few fans cal them on it, chanting "bullsh*t," but the voice pleads with them to "please take this seriously."
3:11: After leaving the park in droves, Lolla attendees flock toward awnings and stores that will take them in, while those with nearby hotel accommodations head there. Your correspondent hangs out under an El-train station near Congress Street.
3:20: An update soon comes via e-mail letting us know that gates will reopen at 3:30 and music will begin playing at 4:00. The notice emphasizes that a new schedule will be coming soon and absolutely none of the acts have been dropped from the lineup due to the weather. It's tough to criticize organizers for making a move on behalf of safety, but the evacuation amounted to half and hour of drizzle. All fans must now reenter and once and undergo security procedures again, a rather tedious process.
4:19: We finally reenter the park and set out to pick up where we left off, with George Ezra. Unfortunately, the big letters spelling out his last name seem to have ben taken down from the stage. Also...his band seems to be missing. We could have sworn there was a drum set with his name on it ready to go pre-evacuation, yet he performs this set solo on guitar.
4:45: The sun is shining right in the face of the Sprint Stage, as well as current performers Marina and The Diamonds. The vocalist is feeling at ad uncomfortable as she's wearing, to use her words, plastic. She's matched the skintight black bodysuit with bright pink heels and a tiara spelling Froot, her new album title.
5:30: Twenty One Pilots try to flair up its set-it's just two guys on the massive Samsung Stage after all-with drummer Josh Dun wearing a Roswell alien mask, while frontman Tyler Joseph wears a more simple set of ski goggles. Most impressive is the microphone hanging midstage, supported by a wheel-and-pulley system. Necessary? No. Cool? Yes.
6:40: Bully's Alicia Bognanno sounds pleasant as she comments on the BMI Stage's Lake Michigan background and its idyllic nature. It's a dramatic contrast to the pained yowling that she unleashes during songs. Music critics have praised the band for being the next face of grunge, so it should be noted that it got its start in Nashville, not Seattle.
7:30: A$AP Rocky brought the whole gang...literally. Before the emcee even takes the Bud Light Stage, the rest of the A$AP Mob is running about and jumping (a rather high distance) down into the photo pit and crowd. The main man in the mob bursts the bubble of suspense when he finally takes the stage.
7:45: Rocky addresses the situation between Chief Keef and the Chicago Police Department. The rapper has been looking to stage a charity concert in his hometown, but can't appear in person due to outstanding warrants, and the government is set on preventing him from appearing via hologram wither. Considering that the pair released a track, "Superheroes," last week, we're hoping that maybe that holo-performance finally happens. It doesn't. But some guest blood is injected into the set when Rocky invites Vic Mensa up for a few tracks, one of which is a cover of House of Pain's "Jump Around."
8:15: We've got a choice to make, between waiting in line for the chance to shoot Florence + The Machine's set, or the guarantee that we can hear AND shoot TV on The Radio's set across the field on the Sprint Stage. We're not missing out on that opportunity. Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone keep the fire burning even as attendees start to get weary after a long weekend.
8:50: Things are looking bad as we get another schedule update, informing us that TV on The Radio will wrap up 15 minutes early and Florence + The Machine will get rolling that early as well, no doubt because of the approaching storms predicted by the radar displayed on the video screens near the Samsung Stage. Bummer.
9:00: Florence Welch and company start their set ominously with "What The Water Gave Me."
9:16: Welch begins recalling the crowd with one of her biggest hits, "Shake It Out," however it's clear that there's one devil this festival isn't going to shake: the weather. The clouds produce an array of heat lighting that's both visually impressive and worrisome, as it could spell doom for this set at any moment. Welch herself seems enraptured by the weather. It must provide a cool spectacle for those bouncing to Bassnectar on the other half of the park.
9:33: Welch makes one male fan's life during "What Kind Of Man." The vocalist wanders down to the pit and picks out one twenty-something, grabbing him by the face and aiming the song's invective at him. He's beaming, even as Welch shoves his face away as she enters the hook. That's why fans find it worth it to head to the front of the stage and camp out there all day: because a star may abuse you mentally.
9:45: Welch sadly informs us, before playing "The Dog Days Are Over," that promoters have informed her that the set needs to be cut. It seems a little convenient, exactly at the midway point during her set, that the festival pulls the plug. But we suppose we should be glad that we got to see her at all, considering the weather disaster that would strike your correspondent as he drove home. Actually, no. We're going to be ungrateful. We wanted another 45 minutes of Florence + The Machine.