Lollapalooza 2017 Hits & Misses: Saturday

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For another quick recap, I separated my Lollapalooza 2017 posts by day this year after my Twitter followers voted for me to post them separate compared to one long post reviewing the entire weekend.

To read my recap on Thursday and hear about my thoughts on artists like Hippocampus, George Ezra and Lorde, click here.

To read my recap on Friday and hear about my thoughts on artists like Bishop Briggs, Foster the People and The Killers, click here.

As always, thanks for reading! If you want to sign up for email notifications for new blog posts, check out the right side of my website and hit the “follow” button.

Photo Credit to QRO Magazine.

1:53PM: Midday Saturday brought a lot of sun, sweat and dancing, thanks to Aminé (pronounced uh-meen-aye) – one of my favorite breakout acts of 2017. If you haven’t heard his massive hit, “Caroline,” boasting 252,000,000+ plays on Spotify, you definitely haven’t been paying attention. The song was also certified Triple Platinum by the RIAA in June 2017.Just barely 23 years old  – Aminé (real name Adam Daniel), signed to Republic Records just about a year ago. His debut album Good For You was released at the end of July this year.

While I’m not the first person to be highly critical of rap music – since it’ something I usually don’t listen to, I knew that I was interested in Aminé’s music after hearing “Caroline” and was curious to hear what else would come from him. I hear a lot of Frank Ocean in Aminé’s music – upbeat songs paired with introspective moments – showing that Aminé can make a playful collection of songs and still create music that asks a bigger question. Pitchfork writes that Aminé “proves capable of more than a hit single or one-dimensional feel-good music; his joy becomes that much more meaningful when he explores the things that would constrain it.”

This style of music translated well into Aminé’s performance, who seemed truly blown away at the large crowd that showed up to his early set on Saturday – an energy and sense of positivity unparalleled with anything else I saw at Lollapalooza all weekend.

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Photo Credit to @nylonespanol on Instagram.

2:52PM: Another performance at the Pepsi Stage had begun – The Japanese House. I had previously seen Amber Bain – the face behind the name – this past February at Bottom Lounge. Her laid-back vibes and mysterious guitar riffs gave me a great opportunity to pop a squat and enjoy the tunes under some shade. While Bain’s music is extremely mellow and slow – very similar to the style of Imogen Heap – I still enjoyed the set and had some peaceful moments to listen to some of my favorite songs, like “Swim Against the Tide” and “Cool Blue.”

The Japanese House – who I would assume to be one of the lesser known acts playing Saturday – drew an impressively sized crowd – given the fact that she was performing up against the likes of Alvvays and Warpaint – two bands performing on the MainStage that inevitably drew fairly large crowds during this time.

While I would definitely not argue that The Japanese House’s music is for everyone, I would for sure recommend all festival goers to pick a more mellow set to check out during a festival weekend to relax and enjoy the ambiance.

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Photo Credit to @Lollapalooza on Instagram.

Zara Larrson – I had been planning on catching the first couple songs of Léon’s set – that started a few minutes after The Japanese House’s on the Pepsi Stage – but decided to leave and see a bit of Zara Larrson with my group. I knew a bit about Larrson – I’ve definitely listened to her most popular songs, and her cover of Drake’s “Too Good” in the BBC Live Lounge is pretty freaking amazing.

I am usually pretty weary of going to the Lakeshore stage at 3pm – I’ve seen a lot of female mainstream pop artists get this time slot in year’s past (i.e. Charli XCX, Tove Lo, and MØ), and know that this time and stage ALWAYS draws a massive crowd. To no surprise, this was exactly the case for Larrson – who has had a decent amount of hits coming out of her growing career.

Larsson – only 19-years-old, has impressive vocal ability, and showcased her talents throughout the 40ish minutes of her set that I got to see. She did a really great job holding the audience’s attention as she weaved through her catalog of hits, “Lush Life,” “Never Forget You,” “Ain’t My Fault,” and a few others.

I didn’t dislike her performance, but it was nothing that blew me away. She’s still young and new to the music industry so I’m sure she’s still getting the hang of a live performance.

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Photo Credit to QRO Magazine.

4:15PM: I had heard so much hype around Glass Animals‘ live performance that I was low-key a little worried that they wouldn’t live up to it. But alas, they definitely did. Glass Animals, a psychedelic pop band from England – had one of my favorite sets of the weekend. I had previously caught about 15 minutes of their set at Lollapalooza in 2015. I remember watching from afar and was genuinely confused about what their set was because a lot of their old music is a lot harder to understand (verbally – at least for me).

I was really into their newest album release, How To Be A Human Being, an album that’s approaching its first year anniversary. The album, which received positive reviews and was referred to as a “an album that plays like a colorful collage of life”by Consequence of Sound, was the spotlight of Glass Animals’ hour long set: songs from the band’s first album, Zaba, also made an appearance.

The overall vibes of Glass Animals’ set were upbeat, psychedelic and unique, to put it simply – complete with a giant pineapple statue sitting atop of the stage (it’s become the band’s trademark).

I admire Glass Animals’ ability to be creating music that is different than anything else that is currently being streamed and I think that their live performance encapsulates their sound perfectly.

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Photo Credit to @theheadandtheheart on Instagram.

7:00PM If you know me at all, you know how much I love The Head and The Heart and how they are one of my favorite bands right now. I was really excited to see them for the 4th time and they never disappoint!

Although the crowd felt a little bare due to the strong pull that Alt-J had on festgoers on the other end of Grant Park – on top of that, I’m sure a ton of people decided to head that way early to get a spot for Chance the Rapper, as well.

I felt the togetherness in the air from everyone who was in the audience and a spirit that was unlike any other. THATH always performs with a gravitational force that pulls people together and I feel like their music brings a sense of community to their fans.

The last time The Head and the Heart performed at Lolla was in 2014 and it was really great to see them performing as a pre-headliner on a main stage. I ended up leaving a few minutes early to catch Sylvan Esso and as I was walking away from the set, the band started playing “Down in The Valley” – and it was a very nice moment to feel super emo!

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Photo Credit to 101.1 WKQX.

7:48PM: One of my most anticipated sets of the weekend, Sylvan Esso, was here. I was so excited to see the electronic duo – their music is unlike anything I have ever heard of and after hearing about their live performance, I knew that I HAD to squeeze in their 45 minute set into my schedule for Saturday. The Pepsi Stage (here for at least the 6th time of the weekend) was completely packed and the audience was really chill – a lot of older people casually watching and swaying to the music. It was a nice change to the majority of the audiences I interacted with at this stage.

If you’re unfamiliar with Sylvan Esso – it’s comprised of two people – singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn – who does all of his mixing live onstage. The duo has been creating music since 2013 and has had international success with their music, whose dynamic has been compared to “watching two kids play together in their creative sandbox.” The duo’s musical chemistry is truly unlike anything I have ever seen and their nonchalant, laid-back yet excited and positive attitude is really a sight to see during their performances. Meath has a truly indescribable voice, capable of hitting notes high and low – and it’s safe to say that their recorded music doesn’t do the beauty and smoothness to her voice justice.

Their newest hit, “Radio,” was left as a closing song, and unfortunately to me, I left the set about 15 minutes early to book it across the park to get to Chance the Rapper on time (he ended up coming onstage late anyway, so I was pretty bitter). I did get to hear “Die Young,” which is probably my favorite song, and the band’s first breakout hit, “Coffee.” Overall, I would definitely go see Sylvan Esso again and would love to be treated to an entire show from them longer than 45 minutes.

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Photo Credit to FUSE TV.

8:43PM: Chance the Rapper’s headlining performance at Lollapalooza begins (late) with a compilation video showing the rapper winning awards throughout 2017. People cheer with enthusiasm from start to finish, admiring Chance’s activism and musicianship that he has been awarded for numerous of times during this calendar year. Unfortunately, this enthusiasm was hard to recreate and mantain once the performance actually began.

“I just want this show to be between me and Chicago,” Chance said after a couple sets, explaining that he struck a deal with festival promotors that he did not want his performance to be live streamed. Despite Chance’s best efforts to create a connection with his crowd – one of the biggest to show up to see a headliner in the festival’s history – his performance fell short for me.

I went into this performance unsure of what I was going to get out of it. I like listening to Chance’s music, but I’m no hardcore fan and have never pretended to be. I’m also not one to listen to rap music. On top of these factors, I had heard that Chance’s live performances was overhyped from many internet sources and word of mouth. However, I didn’t plan on missing him perform in his hometown, and to be quite honest, I had 0 interest in seeing The xx Perform across the park.

I found Chance’s energy to be almost contagious – but it flourished after every song he ended as the entire stage went completely black, along with the screens. The lack of momentum and continuation between songs left me with 0 sense of cohesiveness and I felt as though the performance was starting from the beginning as each song finished.

Another thing that left a bad taste in my mouth was his decision to sing 30-45 seconds of songs and then ending them. I really didn’t like this performance style and there were so many songs I wanted to hear in their entirety! I’m not sure if this tactic is something done in this style of music or not, but I wasn’t a fan at all.

Overall, I think Chance had a fantastic energy and seemed really hyped to be headlining Lollapalooza, as he should have been. But I felt like something was missing – and as amped as he claimed he was – the show wasn’t really anything different than what he has been touring on his Magnificent Coloring Book tour (according to other sources).

I love Chance as a human and will continue to support what he does for Chicago but it’s safe to say I probably won’t see him perform live again.

Thanks for reading!

– Kristin

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