Lollapalooza Day One Recap: Raging Teens, Raging Heat And The Glorious Black Keys


The 100-degree heat index did not deter 90,000 mostly-young people from descending upon Grant Park in their finest fringed crop tops, body glitter and neon cutoffs everything. There was a visible “sweat cloud” lingering over the crowd, but that didn’t stop anyone from dancing their hearts out and jamming to some of the hottest names in rock, electropop and dubstep. As I mainline coffee and chug gallons of water in preparation for Day Two, allow me to review some of the uber-sweaty highlights, accompanied by GIFs, naturally.

From the glisten of her sequined top to the slick sweat on her legs, Metric‘s Emily Haines shined in both appearance and performance. With seemingly impossible energy, Haines ran around the stage with a tambourine, belting out some vintage (and by vintage, we mean 2003) goodies like “Dead Disco” to new gems like “Lost Kitten” from this year’s Synthetica.

Ok, I’ll admit I didn’t have South African rap-rave group Die Antwoord on my “hit list” and I sauntered over while awaiting Passion Pit, but props must be given to their maniacal fans. Definitely one of the more passionate crowds of the day, with edgy haircuts abound, their version of fist pumping was throwing their middle fingers right back at Yo-Landi Vi$$er.

Back on the stage after canceling much of July’s shows to work on his mental health, Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos seemed in good spirits as he praised his fans before kicking off a solid set including new hit “Talk A Walk” and adored-by-many “Let Your Love Grow Tall.” Seemingly unaffected by the heat in a shirt and skinny tie, Angelakos sang his heart out and the dance-happy crowd seemed thrilled to have him back.

As I made my way across a field of people swaying and cooing to The Shins “New Slang”, it seemed the crowd was tuckering out, laying across blankets, some with their eyes closed. Enter M83.

Backed by vibrant, radiating lights, Anthony Gonzalez and vocalist/keyboardist Morgan Kibby revived the crowd. The fans were particularly entranced by Ms. Kibby’s lack of “support” under her satin dress.

Have you ever actually had your hair blown back by speakers? If not, get on it, because it’s pretty f*cking awesome. The photo pit so happens to be smack in front of giant speakers – perhaps why wiser photographers wear earplugs – but every hearing-crushing decibel was worth it for my beloved Black Keys. Introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel (sans F-bombs, much to my dismay), Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney brought their A-game, playing hits from both Brothers and El Camino to a very large, very enthusiastic crowd.

My boss wisely advised me to mosey through the Bassnectar show. [The resulting contact high is totally his fault.] To say it was a dance party would be an understatement the size of this crowd. Painted faces, glittered bodies and even a furry fox hat (heat stroke central) donned the gyrating bodies of mostly teens and early-20-somethings, though I did observe a pair of sprightly retirees shakin’ it with the best of them.

Check back tomorrow morning for another GIFtastic recap, assuming I have not succumbed to the Chicago sun.

[Photos & GIFs: Lauren Olson]

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