Music

Gate-Jumpers and an Endless String of DJs Make for an Interesting Day Three at Lollapalooza

Roger Ho | Lollapalooza 2019Twenty One Pilots headlined Lollapalooza's T-Mobile stage Saturday, Aug. 3.

Just three years ago Lollapalooza tickets would sell out within mere hours of going on sale. The four-day passes would go like hot cakes, and so did the single-day tickets. This year, Saturday was the only single-day pass that sold-out. 

The massively popular alternative band Twenty One Pilots headlined the T-Mobile stage on Grant Park’s north side while across the way Colombian singer J Balvin made history for being the first Latino to headline Lollapalooza. 

As the skies turned pink and the heat ever-so-slowly began dissipating, South Columbus Drive sweltered as the masses emerged from Lil Wayne’s set to grab a bite to eat, meet with their festival friends and prepare for the final acts of the night. Tired, sweaty but excitable festival-goers mobbed the street and instead of a leisurely stroll, it was like attempting to walk through the tightly packed crowds at the front of sets. 

The rowdy energy was present not only in attendees within the festival grounds but those outside its walls. Some brave souls attempted to jump gates, knocking a set on Michigan over, to get a taste of the live music. While a few made it in, others weren’t quite so lucky. 

Day three of Chicago’s favorite summer music festival brought another genre-transcending lineup, leaning heavily into the rap scene with scheduled performers including Lil Wayne, Gunna, Tenacious D, 6LACK and Lil Skies. The raging Perry’s stage continued fueling festival-goers desire for head-thrashing with sets from DJs including Rich The Kid, Loud Luxury and RL Grime to close out the night. 

Jonas Blue — Perry’s stage

At the stage where attendees brave the sandstorm to dance to upbeat electronic music, English musician Jonas Blue entertained a sizeable crowd with his well-known remixes. 

Since his debut into the industry, Jonas Blue — whose real name is Guy Robin — has amassed a worldwide following and almost 28 million monthly listeners on Spotify. While his career skyrocketed, making him a staple in the electronic music scene, the 30-year-old works with smaller artists as a way to help launch others’ careers. 

The artist sampled pieces from his 2018 debut album, “Blue.” When the audience had the chance to sing along to the lyrics of songs, such as “Mama” and “Fast Car,” they revelled in the moment, dancing and becoming more electric as the songs progressed. 

To commemorate his successful set before officially signing off, the artist asked his audience for a picture together. Hands raised and cheers ringing, the crowd happily obliged. 

Pink Sweat$ — American Eagle stage

In the midday blaze of the hot third day of Lollapalooza, R&B singer Pink Sweat$ evoked all the feels in his collected audience at the American Eagle stage. 

As the weekend’s exhaustion began collecting, some more tired festival-goers opted to rest and relax under the shade of the trees enveloping the stage, while Pink Sweat$’s major fans and those with more stamina packed in close to experience the performance in its entirety. 

The set wouldn’t have been complete without the artist’s classic, expected attire of pink sweatpants. As the artist — otherwise known as David Bowden — moved around on stage singing songs including “Cocaine” and “Body Ain’t Me,” the crowd swayed and sang along. 

With one song left, Pink Sweat$ asked how many of his listeners had dreams. After cheers, he proceeded to close out his 45-minute set with his hit single “Honesty,” confessing this song was his dream.  

Loud Luxury — Perry’s stage

Joe Depace, one half of the Canadian DJ duo Loud Luxury got to celebrate his birthday in the most epic of ways: playing Lollapalooza Chicago for the first time. 

Running onto Perry’s stage at 4:50 p.m. for their 45-minute-long set, Depace and Andrew Fedyk were prepared to show their audience a great time. The two told everyone they’ve played both Lollapalooza Berlin and Santiago and couldn’t believe they were now in Chicago. 

As the massive crowd gathered, dancing and jumping up and down with abandon, dust rose and surrounded festival-goers, but there was no reason to stop. When the bass dropped, fire arose from the stage. Combined with the humidity and heat radiating from the Perry’s sandy grounds, a dome of feverish heat formed around Loud Luxury’s audience— only further fueling them. 

Twenty One Pilots — T-Mobile stage

After the release of the 2015 album “Blurryface” led to a massive spike in popularity for the two-man band of Twenty One Pilots, members Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun ended up on two consecutive year-long tours, beginning in the summer of 2015, when they played Lollapalooza for their second-ever time.

This Saturday was not only the band’s first time playing the major festival since that summer — it was their first time headlining the iconic event.

The pair opened with “Jumpsuit,” the first single from their 2018 album, “Trench.” The intense pounding of Joseph’s bass guitar battling with Dun’s demanding drumline got the audience jumping up and down right away, pumping their fists to the beat.

At one point during the set, Joseph encouraged everyone to find a partner, and when drummer Josh Dun gave the cue, one half of each pair leapt onto the other’s shoulders while the band played their alternative-reggae song “Ride,” allowing Joseph and Dun to get a look at fans they might not have seen otherwise.

While the set was plentiful in hits from “Trench,” and featured a number of songs from “Blurryface,” there was a surprising lack of tracks that predate their transition to a more radio-inclined sound. As “Morph” ended and the synthesized piano chords of “Car Radio” began, many fans were likely taken back to their high school days, when Twenty One Pilots was just an unusual alternative band from Columbus, Ohio, with a couple radio hits.

The band closed out the show with their usual routine: a heart-thumping, feet-moving rendition of “Trees” and singer Tyler Joseph saying goodbye to the audience with his typical aphorism.

“We’re Twenty One Pilots and so are you,” Joseph said.

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