Did someone say 'still growing at 21'?: On Friday, Lollapalooza creator Perry Farrell told USA TODAY that he hoped the fest's reach would expand into other locales throughout the city, and that reach continues to extend thousands of miles beyond Chicago. On Saturday, the festival announced the addition of Lollapalooza Israel, to take place in Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park (August 20-22, 2013). This will be the third international location Lollapalooza organizers have added in as many years.
The band has the chops to back up its business savvy. Live at the festival, songs such as Perfectly Aligned, with its multi-part harmonies and sing-along "Oh whoa oh ohs," are immediately catchy. They also know how to play a crowd. "This one's for you, Chicago," Andrew Heringer announces before launching into a well-chosen cover of Sufjan Stevens' Chicago.
This is their first time playing a festival. "I went to Lollapalooza when it was a traveling festival in San Francisco, so now to come here where it's a staple in Chicago, it's pretty cool," Arnett says. "And even though we were here really early, the crowd was really responsive." Judging from the early festgoers' reaction, expect to hear more from these up-and-comers.
International flair: Splitting the difference between lovely ballads and party music, with unrelenting South American rhythms and energy, Chilean group Los Jaivas conjured a lot of home pride. A man waves a Chilean flag, a fan chants something loudly in Spanish that draws cheers from the crowd and a "muchas gracias" from the band. While the country has garnered only 13 Olympic medals to date, they received an Olympic-sized reception from those in attendance.
Kinship: Jeff the Brotherhood may be a two-piece band, but they ratchet up quite a raucous sound, thanks to the brothers Orralls' anthemic rock. Guitarist/singer Jake's subject matter focuses on beer, embracing youth and having fun with friends, such as onHeavy Day, which featured simmering and soaring riffs and drummer Jamin's fiery drums. Recent effort Hypnotic Nights was produced by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach.
FOMO: For the newno2, thefearofmissingout is not just the name of the album that the band just released, it represents what's going on with them and in society in general. "It's a recurring theme," Jonathon Sadoff says. "It's when your friends are all out somewhere and you see it on Facebook. It's the fear of 'FOMObook,' it's what we all call Facebook, like everybody's having the best time and you're not there."
"That's what social media is all about — it's not about where you are, it's about where you aren't," Dhani Harrison says.
So what do they fear they're missing out on at Lollapalooza? "I missed out on Nero," Harrison says. "I missed the War On Drugs," adds Sadoff. "Well, we were playing when Porter Robinson was on. I'd have had a little boogie to Porter Robinson if we weren't playing," Paul Hicks says. "It's probably best to not look at what we've missed."
Evacuation: Around 3:15 p.m., word broke that the fest was being evacuated because a tornado was coming. While that was not quite accurate, severe weather was indeed on the way. Near the bar, folks were not in any hurry to leave. Outside, the crowd seemed equally unaware that an evacuation was taking place, with only a sparse few making their way toward the exits. By 3:30 p.m., organizers issued a news release informing recipients that the park was being evacuated because of an impending storm, to three garages along Michigan Avenue that would serve as emergency evacuation shelters. Still, as late as 3:45, Neon Indian was still performing.
Most of the crowd that wandered out early spilled into nearby hotel lobbies, bars and restaurants. Others congregated underneath whatever awning they could find. At Hard Rock Hotel, the CKOne party was in full swing as more Lolla refugees lined up to gain entrance, overflowing to the point that the elevators were shut down. At surrounding restaurants, long queues formed with hours-long waits. The winds began to pick up, knocking over patio furniture outside the restaurants, and soon after, sheets of rain pummeled the area.
Rained out: In the end, it was a relatively smooth transition, though a park-wide PA system could have better informed attendees more efficiently. Those without smartphones (yes, they do exist), were likely the most lost.
It was a heavy storm, but it didn't last for long. By 5:50 p.m., organizers announced the fest would resume, and returning to the park was a breeze. Each day to enter and exit the fest, attendees must scan wristbands that serve as tickets. The rule was dropped for both the evacuation and the re-entry, which eased the process.
An updated schedule was posted at 6 p.m. revealing that several bands were rained out, including Alabama Shakes, B.o.B. and Chairlift. The rest of the schedule shifted back an hour and a half, and the fest ran 45 minutes later than usual, with a 10:45 closing time.
Back to the fun.: Ponds formed around the grounds, making navigation more precarious, but that didn't stop the party. The band fun. hit the stage at 6:45. Singer Nate Ruess declared, "Let's just sing along and dance, all right?" to which the large crowd happily obliged. The area was densely packed, prompting one daredevil to climb a tree for a better view.
Long play: LP (aka Laura Pergolizzi) has songwriting credits for material sung by some of the biggest pop stars around, including Rihanna's Cheers (Drink to That), Christina Aguilera's Beautiful People and Backstreet Boys' Love Will Keep You Up All Night. But she also writes tunes for herself, and more recently, she has come into her own voice. "When I had a deal five or six years ago, I didn't really have my sound knocked down," she says. "I felt like I did, but the record company wanted me to sound a certain way, so I was trying and thinking, 'This may be better for me, but, eh, it doesn't really sound like me.'
"But then I felt like there's material that I've written recently for myself, it's kind of like there's no question that it's for me." And whether she's writing for herself or for others, she adds, "I'm always trying to write something that's catchy."
The woman has serious pipes, whether it's riffing on Aerosmith tunes backstage (she says her Going South, Starting With Your Mouth would be good for them — and when she sings it, jokes aside, it does sound up their alley), or when she took front-and-center onstage at Lollapalooza, belting Levitator, a song from her Into the Wild EP.
Decisions, decisions: If there's one day where it's a challenge to decide which headliner to catch, this is it. Red Hot Chili Peppers are veterans of the fest circuit and an obvious draw. With their funky, danceable rock they filled the entire south section ofGrant Park and incited sing-alongs to radio staples Around the World and Snow (Hey Oh). Barefoot fans danced in the newly created pond to the right of the stage. "Be kind, be gentle and be nice," bassist Flea told the amped-up crowd. Meanwhile, Santigold headlined Perry's.
On the other side of the festival grounds, Avicii boasted a spectacular light show and a decently large crowd (though not quite the claustrophobic confines of the Chili Peppers), who shook it to Le7els and his remix of Florence + the Machine's Spectrum (Say My Name). The Swedish DJ, remixer and producer is in high demand on and off the dance floor and studio. Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren have partnered with Avicii to co-produce a music video for the brand's fall 2012 campaign, which includes a remix of hisSilhouettes.
A powerful Ocean: One of the most highly anticipated performers at Lollapalooza is Frank Ocean and he exceeded expectations, proving the most compelling of the night, if not the entire fest thus far. Songs from his new Channel Orange album, such as the romantic Thinkin Bout You and the ambitious closing epic Pyramids, were spellbinding, his falsettos drawing goosebumps, body grooving and audience-wide sing-alongs in equal measure. "This is really important to me after what I said last month," Ocean told the crowd, referring to his blog post that revealed that his first love was a man. "It's taken the fear away, so thank you," he said, before launching into the confessional, heart-wrenching Bad Religion. His emotional sincerity perfectly capped off an emotionally charged day.