Early Saturday afternoon at Lollapalooza 2016, it was the distinct guitar skills of Tom Morello — who first stood on a Lolla stage 23 years ago as part of Rage Against the Machine — that sent the loudest roar up from the Samsung stage as he surprised X Ambassadors fans with a perfect solo (and a huge smile).
Chicagoland native Morello, who grew up in the suburb of Libertyville, was the latest in a string of hometown stars to pop-up at the festival’s 25th anniversary this weekend. Chance the Rapper, Michelle Williams, and Dwayne Wade (newly a Chicago Bull), have all appeared unexpectedly this weekend. But Saturday felt like Morello’s day, especially as the afternoon rolled on.
Just a few hours later, as Jane's Addiction rocked towards sunset, frontman and Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell was suddenly introducing Morello again. The Jane's audience, which seemed to be filled with folks possibly old enough to have gone to that first Lollapalooza back in ’91, were easily just as psyched to see Morello as the X Ambassadors fans had been. This time, everyone was treated to Morello showing off his chops on the Jane’s classic, “Mountain Song.”
Fans were so pleased in fact, that they may have even missed Perry introducing Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin sitting in for the Jane’s favorite “Jane Says.”
But if you thought it was just Lolla fans thrilled by Morello’s presence, you should have seen the ripple of “holy shit” reactions that rippled through the media area as he walked through.
Chance was the surprise guest winner early in the fest, Morello won Saturday. Who will be next as Sunday closes out the 25th anniversary of Lollapalooza?
Lollapalooza 2016 rolls on through Sunday, July 31. Check out Fuse's interview with Perry Farrell from backstage at this year's festival in the video player below.