Author: David Heinrich
Lollapalooza 2018 was another fantastic year for Chicago’s largest music festival. A sunny and sweltering weekend in Grant Park was the setting for this year’s edition of the event, breaking the weather trends of years past. Without a drop of rain in sight, the festival was one of the most vibrant and energetic that I’ve attended. Superstars like The Weeknd, Post Malone, and Bruno Mars drew massive crowds of pop music fans to the main stages. While the Bud Light and Grant Park stage hosted a few fantastic performances, the festival was full of hidden gems as well. The afternoons were just as good as, if not better than, the evenings this year. With this much great music non-stop, it’s hard to pick out a few favorites. Here are some of the biggest highlights of the 4-day festival.
Tyler, The Creator
Tyler, the Creator wowed a packed crowd on Friday afternoon at the Grant Park stage. He played some old Odd Future classics and a lot of new material from Flower Boy. The mood of the set was really interesting because it showed two different sides of Tyler. Hype songs like “Who Dat Boy” or “Tamale” incited mosh pits, while slower cuts like “See You Again” left the crowd grooving, vibing, and singing along. Tyler also showed his personality a lot by interacting with the crowd, most notably when he persistently roasted one fan for throwing his shoe across the crowd.
Post Animal left the American Eagle stage in pieces when they left. They ripped through a fantastic 40-minute set that left the crowd wanting more. The band’s musicianship was really impressive. They had very smooth rhythmic and tempo changes, seamless segues between songs, and a real collective energy and vision about their performance. Tracks like “Ralphie” and “When I Get Home” really brought out the excitement from the crowd. It was a set full of highlights, and I can’t wait to catch them again next time they make it to Madison.
St. Vincent commanded the stage on Saturday evening, taking the sub-headline slot on the Bud Light stage. She played to a smaller crowd, perhaps because she was up against pop-rap superstar Logic across the park. St. Vincent proved her mettle with a fantastic hour set, touching on points all across her career. “Los Ageless”, from her new album Masseduction, was anthemic and inspiring to see live. “Digital Witness” really got the crowd moving, and St. Vincent showed off some robot-like dance moves during that track. She shredded and danced with great poise and confidence. It is no wonder why she is revered as one of the best contemporary rock acts to see.
Superorganism packed a punch in their opening set on Sunday afternoon. The band took the stage at 12:15, with one of the best turnouts for an early show at a festival I’ve seen. The 7 piece collective had us bopping along to their off-kilter, spacey brand of pop music. The lead singer had a charming stage presence, often engaging with the crowd. At one point, she asked us to close our eyes and imagine ourselves on a beach on Mars, because “we don’t have enough money to show you the cool video of it”. A trio of vocalist/dancers provided a lot of energy on-stage, and the whole show was just a pleasure to be a part of.
Cigarettes After Sex
Cigarettes After Sex left me speechless once again. The ambient outfit from Brooklyn played a set at sunset on Sunday evening, and it was a perfect way to wind down after a crazy Lolla weekend. The crowd was captured by their songs from the beginning, as they hypnotized us with cascading guitars and tender lyrics. I was a little worried that their quieter sound wouldn’t translate well to a festival environment, especially with the threat of potential sound bleed from the Perry’s EDM stage. Much to my surprise, the mixing was perfect and their sound was clear. They gave us one of the best and most unique shows of the whole weekend. Make sure to look out for WSUM’s interview with the band, coming soon!