Music

Lollapalooza Day Four Proves Bigger is Better With Genre-Diverse Lineup

Day four of Lollapalooza had it all: pop queens, Grammy winners, DJs and of course, bands, bands, bands. The thick layer of music, smoke and excitement that had caked the venue all weekend was stronger than ever as people ran from stage to stage, trying to catch as many artists as they could on their last day.

The diverse array of genres made it so there was something for everyone. Kacey Musgraves gave country fans a place to line dance while Louis The Child provided a space for EDM-lovers to mosh safely and Ariana Grande gave a feminine touch to a weekend of mostly male headliners.

As music festival season comes to a close and summer barrels toward its inevitable end, day four was a good time for many to have one last bash with friends, enjoy something fried or a frozen wine drink from the Cupcake Vineyards tent, or just get lost in the music that seems to come from every direction.

slenderbodies — American Eagle stage

At 1:50 p.m. when slenderbodies emerged on stage to begin their 40-minute set, those gathered cheered and told band members Max Vehuni and Benji Cormack how much they love them. In the intimate setting created at the American Eagle stage with the thinner crowd, slenderbodies fans could enjoy an up-close performance. 

The California-based duo — who met attending university together — put on a mellow show, showcasing their dreamy falsettos and performing fan favorites including “anemone” and “belong,” getting the crowd bopping in a sound reminiscent of Sade and Glass Animals. 

slenderbodies has an album slated for release in the fall, and in anticipation for it the duo performed a few yet-to-be-released singles. 

“This is our chance to play album stuff so thanks for being here for it,” Cormack told the crowd. 

Judging from fans’ reactions to the songs, the album is going to be a good one. 

NoMBe — Bud Light Dive Bar Session

Tucked in amid the packed Bud Light and American Eagle stages sits the Bud Light Dive Bar stage, where up-and-coming artists were slated to give intimate performances on the small but cozy stage. NoMBe entertained his collected audience with a lively show — jumping around while playing the guitar, running up and down the dive bar’s viewing area and winking to concert-goers as he did it. 

As the bass vibrated through everyone at the dive bar’s stage, NoMBe, the moniker for German singer and producer Noah McBeth, had those gathered dancing so infectiously energetic, shaking the floorboards. The singer sported a monogrammed Bud Light button-up working shirt, in case anyone needed a reminder of his name or which beer brand sponsored the event. 

From older songs such as “California” to popular, fan-favorites including “Freak Like Me,” “Milk & Honey” and “Summer’s Gone,” NoMBe elicited such reactions from his audience, he could’ve had an entire crowd at one of the main stages moving without much effort. 

By the end of his 45-minute set, the singer’s pants were drenched in sweat but a smile still shined on his face. 

Francis and the Lights — Tito’s stage

Francis Farewell Starlite, better known by his stage name Francis and the Lights, made Tito’s stage his own personal spotlight from 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Oakland-based singer stepped on stage in a simple but stylish white linen suit and black sunglasses. As soon as the synthesized track began, Starlite had no trouble mesmerizing the crowd with his Peter Gabriel-esque voice reaching over the north side of Grant Park.

While Starlite’s vocals and unique sound are enough to fill anyone with ‘80s nostalgia, his set was but a plain white background, which might have left the audience wondering, “Where are ‘the Lights’?”

Starlite’s most popular song, “May I Have This Dance,” which features Chicago native Chance the Rapper, was saved for the finale. Chance, however, did not make an appearance, despite whisperings that could be heard among hopeful audience members during the set, and Starlite performed Chance’s section of the song instead.

Louis The Child — Bud Light stage

Louis The Child’s set hadn’t even begun and fans packed the Bud Light stage, waving flags, mounting their friends’ shoulders and preparing for the hype set that was about to begin. 

The Chicago-based duo, comprised of Robby Hauldren and Frederic Kennett, evoked the rowdiest in their audience — a result of them playing a hometown show or simply due to their bass-heavy songs. Or both. Groups scouted out their spots and planted themselves there for the show, taking no prisoners. 

If passersby didn’t recognize the stage set-up to be Louis The Child’s — the logo of a neon lit-up crown being front-and-center — that same crown, as well as the words “LOUIS” and “SMILE,” were painted in the sky. 

As the hour-long set came to a close, a modge-podge of dancers on stage riled up the crowd and from a distance, all that could be seen was a throng of hands waving in the air.

Kacey Musgraves — T-Mobile stage

Grammy-winning country singer Kacey Musgraves may have just been a girl on stage with her guitar, but she had no trouble keeping the audience’s eyes on her.

Musgraves, who hails from Texas, mostly sang tracks from her 2018 album, “Golden Hour,” leaving out past hits like “Follow Your Arrow” and “Family.” That’s not to say she left fans disappointed, as she had everyone tearing up during “Rainbow,” then immediately got them bopping around to “High Horse.”

Fans came decked out in pink cowboy hats and cow print shorts to show their support for the singer’s Western aesthetic.

“When I say ‘yee,’ you say ‘haw,’” Musgraves said to the audience, much to their enthusiasm.

While Musgraves’ set didn’t have flashy dancing or mind-blowing visuals, it was plentiful in that warm, fuzzy feeling that can only be found at intimate concerts as the sun falls in the West.

Ariana Grande — T-Mobile stage

While Lollapalooza is mostly known for its alternative music headliners, this year a pop queen wrapped up the weekend with her radio hits and larger-than-life style, with thousands of screaming fans piled against each other to get a good look at the diva.

Ariana Grande released two albums in less than a year and still continues to make new hits on the regular. Opening with “God is a Woman,” Grande’s angelic voice combined with the biblical energy of the song made for an ethereal experience.

The show also featured a first-time performance of Grande’s brand new single, “Boyfriend,” much to the crowd’s delight.

Though much of Grande’s personal life has been scrutinized by the public over the last year — particularly the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and the cancellation of her engagement with Pete Davidson — Grande kept the set impersonal, only referring to the audience for a “What’s up, Lollapalooza?” or an “I love you, Chicago!”

The singer faked out the audience by claiming she would only play one more song, but by the time “No Tears Left to Cry” was over, chants of “Ari! Ari! Ari!” had already begun. A video interlude appeared on the screen, documenting old tweets, performances and moments she’s had throughout the past year, and Grande officially closed the show with her massively popular “Thank U, Next.”

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