Lollapalooza Day Three Recap: All Hail Queen Flo

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Mother Nature cut Lollapalooza concertgoers a break for the third and final day of music/debauchery, delivering bright sunshine and a breeze. The stinkier-by-the-minute mud pits lingered, though, and the filth-lovers of the crowd wasted no time jumping right in. It was a day of dream fulfillment, surprise cameos, and of course, plenty of ear candy.

Outasight stopped by VH1 in a jovial post-show mood. He kindly took the time to chat with VH1 News’ Janell Snowden. Stay tuned for the interview!

I was reluctant to venture back into the chaos that was Perry’s stage, but duty called, as did Swedish electronica band Little Dragon. The stylish frontwoman Yukimi Nagano worked her tambourine like a boss and the dancing fans ate it right up as a conga line of various blow-up creatures bounced above their heads.

At the nearby Red Bull Stage, the atmosphere could not have been more different. Sigur Ros was serenading a mellow but enthused audience as Jónsi Birgisson crooned in his falsetto and played his trademark bowed guitar.

After being effectively relaxed by Mr. Birgisson, I meandered back over to VH1′s TV platform where we were slated to interview Florence Welch. [Cue my heart exploding.] As we stood around preparing and waiting, our very own Jim Shearer‘s eagle eyes caught sight of Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul in full scruffy incognito mode. Since I was already hyper-giddy for Florence, it’s a miracle I was able to compose myself. Ever the intrepid journalist, Jim darted down with his Flipcam and had an impromptu interview with the always-gracious Paul.

Suddenly a gust of ethereal air blew in Florence Welch in all her fairy goddess glory. She strolled (really, it’s more like floated) right up to the rail of our TV platform and looked out upon the thousands of music lovers she’d be performing for that evening. It’s always shocking what a contrast her quiet, reserved presence in interviews is to her commanding, all-powerful stage show.

As Flo was whisked away to prepare for her much-anticipated show, we had to get on the move ourselves to battle a crowd near the size of Saturday’s Chili Peppers concert.

Flo glided on stage (as she does), admired the crowd and kicked off the seriously unforgettable show with “Only If For The Night.” As her voiced echoed through Grant Park, her gorgeous Alexander McQueen gown billowed forward, as if propelled by the sound. It was dramatic and it was awesome.

Beyond her obviously powerful and haunting vocals, perhaps the most sensational thing about Florence Welch is her mood-altering audience participation efforts. She joked that the British aren’t particularly affectionate, but quickly proved herself to be an exception. From suggesting everyone hug their neighbors and encouraging “more snogging!” to prompting everyone to hoist each other on shoulders for “Rabbit Heart”(much to the festival organizers dismay) to jumping in unison to “Dog Days”, Flo relentlessly insists that everyone have a good time. Did I mention she performed “Breathe of Life” (from Snow White and the Huntsman) for the first time and the “Shake It Out” dance remix?! Good times, indeed.

On my way out the festival (I had every intention of stopping at Jack White but my blistered feet refused), I dropped in on Chairlift whose show had been rescheduled from the day prior. Adorable hipster leading lady Caroline Polachek praised Flo’s performance across the field and went into a set including songs from 2008′s Does You Inspire You and 2012′s Something. It was clear at this point that festival goers were tuckering out, splayed across the cement as they listened.

I resisted the urge to retire my legs and lay across the trash-ridden ground, and instead hobbled my way out of the park after three days of fun, sun, outstanding music and more puking within arm’s length than I ever hope to see again.

Check back for lots of photos and exclusive interviews!

[Photos & GIFs: Lauren Olson]

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