Photos by Chris Rotolo
With festivals of Lollapalooza’s scale, featuring lineups jammed to the seems with artists and outfits of various genres and dynamic, it can sometimes be difficult to locate a theme at the backbone of it all…80 mph winds during a 45-minute midday lightning storm made it easy.
The Day 2 lineup was ravaged the by severe weather, as main draws like Alabama Shakes, Chairlift, The Temper Trap, B.O.B., and more were forced to cancel their sets entirely, while Neon Indian sped through four songs, including “Mind Drips” and “Local Joke,” before the festival’s executives announced a mass evacuation to a three-deck parking lot across the street, or, in the case of many patrons, various local pubs and eateries.
After cheeseburgers, White Russians, and storm watching at Eleven City Diner The Tallest Man On Earth was the first artist back on the planks, forgoing the official 6:30 restart time and embracing the tiny gathering of festival goers flocking back grounds, as well as those who chose to ride out the squall by hiding from authorities in Grant Park’s various crevices.
“Thank you for coming back, I’m so happy you came back,” said Kristian Matsson before reaching into the front row to accept an offering or rainbow leis and tearing into “The Gardner.”
fun. drew the largest assemblage of pre-headlining post-torrential rain storm performers at the woodland enclosed Google Play Stage, as audience members still waltzing through the gates were forced to stare through foliage for a glimpse of Nate Reuss and company, who rolled through such eccentric College-Rock anthems as “All Alone,” “One Foot,” and the made for Z100 anthem “We Are Young.”
tUnE-yArDs constructed a collection of brass accompanied compositions on the Sony Stage for the sea of mud-caked humanity set before Merrill Garbus and friends, who surfed dirt puddles and combed beaches of slop to such cuts as “Powa” and “Bizness,” prior to The Weeknd’s Abel Tesfaye showcasing his silky croon on The Red Bull Stage, a sultry capable of inducing women to make out while swimming in a pool of muddy water.
“Man, mother nature is a bitch,” said Tesfaye before cuing up “The Birds”
Not from my vantage point good sir, Nor from the sights of a the toddler frolicking about a large puddle in front of The Bud Light Stage, soaking her tie died garb with each tremendous hop, her toothy grin expanding after every splashdown, which hypnotically sunk up with the explosive bass attached to Franz Ferdinand’s most popular single “Take Me Out,” producing a crowd-wide sing along and fist tossing dance party, and an eventual mass exodus to The Red Bull Stage with “This Fire” as its traveling soundtrack.
Waiting for the Lolla populace was the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Funk-Rock statesmen failed to disappoint the 70,000-plus patrons on hand, offering such classic cuts as “Around The World,” “Snow (Hey Oh),” “Otherside,” “Throw Away Your Television,” and “Can’t Stop,” captivating the congregate and keeping it focused while the true gem of the evening, Frank Ocean, went relatively unseen into the cool Chicago evening, save for a group of diehards who hung on every lush lyric to “Novacane,” “American Wedding,” and “Strawberry Swing.”
Prior to the rain, breakthrough Indie-Rockers Givers and Moon Taxi shared a time slot, the former on the Google Play stage delivering a ferocious collection of scatter-shot salvos, such as “Up Up Up” and “Saw You Firt” which sent front-man Taylor Guarisco to his knees while Tiffany Lamson attacked her stand up drum set, the red mop atop her scalp flailing with each strike of the kit; meanwhile, the latter subdued a modest shade-craving patronage with its brand of soaring six string-led compositions under the cover of a leafy canopy, the Nashville-based outfit drawing the most cheer from its congregate after vocalist and axe wielder Trevor Terndrup crawled to the foot of the miniature BMI Stage to connect with those on the rail during “Mercury.”
Fellow Nashville-natives JEFF The Brotherhood churned out a beer battered collection of sweaty Garage-Rock, which a shirtless and mid-riff bearing assemblage baked too in the midday sun while Jake Orall’s gut jiggled to the haze-encased rhythms as the axe-wielding front-man rattled from corner to his brother Jamin’s drum kit during “Stay Up Late” and “Sixpack”.
Stay tuned for coverage of the final day of Lollapalooza featuring Jack White, At The Drive In, The Gaslight Anthem, and more.