"It's raining out there, so we need to make this hotter than a motherf-cker," Childish Gambino shouted during his Lollapalooza 2014 set amid a torrential downpour. The rapper/actor appeared empathetic to his audience, running into the pit during the first song to greet the fans getting soaked in the front row.
Similar to an Australian performance from early last week, Glover brought a no-holds freestyle where he waxed on his rap abilities. He declared, "I'm the motherf-cking best right now," but left out last week's disses towards Drake, Kendrick Lamar or any other rappers.
As usual, Gambino's vocal mix of falsetto yips to blazing-fast raps were all delivered in a dramatic fervor. And in that passion, he almost wound up in just his underwear. The rapper had thrown off his blue Hawaiian shirt in the middle of the show, but his shorts almost fell to his ankles when he refused to pull them up mid-song, leaving only his yellow boxer-briefs to cover his behind—very 2013 Justin Bieber.
At first glance, Jack Antonoff may have been unrecognizable without his signature, black-rim glasses. But the fun. guitarist was an undeniable rock star during his Bleachers showcase. In addition to multiple guitar solos, there was a sax section and at one point Antonoff jumped into the pit to get close to fans.
"You guys are the f-cking best crowd," he told the audience, who had waited through the day's first rainfall to see the set. He rewarded them with high-energy renditions of Bleachers tracks like "I Wanna Get Better," "Reckless Love" and an unexpected cover of the Cranberries' "Dreams."
Betty Who definitely brought the fest's most adorably self-deprecating set. "I actually didn't think this many people would show up," the Australian pop star admitted. "Now I'm nervous!" Luckily, the blonde bombshell slayed her selection of synth-pop jams, as well as a deliciously soulful cover of Destiny's Child's "Say My Name," a song that she said "means a lot to her."
The audience stayed mostly dry thanks to a lot of trees shading the BMI stage, but the "Somebody Loves You" singer asked the crowd to help her look out for any rain-related wardrobe malfunctions of her own. (She put them on "nipple patrol" in case her mesh jacket/tank top combo went see-through.) "If you see anything, give me a wave," she said with a laugh.
For their third time playing Lollapalooza, Chromeo made it clear how special the Chicago fest was to them. "Today, we're playing the main stage thanks to you guys!" they shouted to the crowd during their turbo-powered synth-pop set. The show sometimes felt like an epic rock concert, with electric guitar solos from both members. And it certainly kept people moving as another major downpour hit Grant Park. "Even if it rains, we still get down!" the duo declared.
Chance the Rapper closed down Lollapalooza with an incredible show that paid tribute to the festival's host city and brought out fellow Chicago natives R. Kelly and Vic Mensa. Get the full review of the festival-closing set right here.
While Rihanna didn't make a second Lollapalooza 2014 surprise appearance to support her "We Found Love" producer, Calvin Harris still wowed the crowd with the best stage show of the festival so far. Gorgeous, vibrant backdrops shined from the Bud Light stage and kept the Scotland native mostly hidden in shadows—giving him sort of a mysterious, Daft Punk vibe at the turntables. Fireworks, bouts of smoke, fireballs and laser lights all shot from the stage as Harris moved through his hits ("Feel So Close," "I Need Your Love," "Sweet Nothing") and tracks by his EDM peers (including songs from Major Lazer, David Guetta and Showtek).
The "Tongue Tied" band delighted the audience with a cover of Beyonce's "Drunk in Love" that turned into a crowd sing-along at the massive Bud Light stage. We posted a clip shortly after on the Fuse Instagram account, so in case you missed it, watch a snippet of Grouplove's musical treat below.
While Nas spent a majority of his Lolla set celebrating his own legacy—namely, the 20th anniversary of his landmark Illmatic album—the New York rapper also gave a nod to another musical great. Before moving into lllmatic single "It Ain't Hard to Tell," he dedicated the track "to [his] musical inspiration, MJ." Then a Jackson 5-era picture of Michael Jackson appeared on the screen behind Nas as the rapper nailed the classic track, which samples MJ's '83 hit "Human Nature."
Rising singer/rapper Wallpaper. had the crowd feeling the #feelz when he dedicated his single "Good 4 It" to a late friend. Then, while the crowd was swaying to the sentimental jam, the Oakland artist threw the ukulele he was playing into the audience mid-song! Fortunately, the crowd wasn't too lost in the moment, and ton of bros were ready to catch the airborne instrument.
Kate Nash gave by far the most fan-friendly performance of the fest. The "Fri-End" singer called a group of fans onstage, letting a gaggle of excited teen girls accompany her through her final songs. At first, the fans danced around Nash’s all-female band as the British songbird gave them hugs between songs and posed for selfies. Nash finished her set playing "Merry Happy" at her piano with the fan posse happily sitting behind her.
During Manchester Orchestra's opening tracks "Pride" and "Shake It Out," it almost sounded like lead singer Andy Hull's voice was going to be lost among his band members' passionate, hard-rock backing. But the singer's vocals—delivered with a twangy timbre—soared when he belted, yelped or screamed. And luckily there were belts, yelps and screams aplenty in this memorable set.
With a small-but-respectable crowd, Duke Dumont created a '90s-esque dance party with a nonstop mix of feel-good, nostalgic tracks. Find out why the British DJ was Lollapalooza's best kept secret right here.
A massive swarm of people hit Perry's stage at Lollapalooza 2014 to see Iggy Azalea own a location typically reserved for EDM acts (Zedd, Brillz, Above & Beyond and the Glitch Mob all played that stage on Day 1). Decked out in a form-fitting sports bra and stretchy pants, the rap princess gave impassioned performances of "Change Your Life" and "Lady Patra," while the crowd shouted along to verses from "Work" and her new single "Black Widow." When Azalea performed her No. 1 hit "Fancy" to close her set, the audience went into an even bigger frenzy, whipping out their phones to capture a live rendition of the song of the summer.
The rapper finished the performance with a call-and-response, yelling "Who dat? Who dat?" as the crowd responded, "I-G-G-Y!" She signed off, telling the crowd, "Chicago, my name is Iggy Azalea. Stay safe and stay dry. We love you!"
Obviously, the crowd already knew her name... and loved her too.
While Hozier has garnered attention with his stirring, gospel-tinged breakout single "Take Me to Church," the Irish singer's Lolla set proved his upcoming debut album has much more to offer. Accompanied by a cellist, bassist and pianist, the 24-year-old strummed his guitar to the hard-rocking soul song "Someone New," the bluesy "It Will Come Back" and "Sedated," an R&B track with an underlying rock feel. When Hozier encourage the crowd to clap along to the haunting and gospel-esque "Work Song," they happily obliged. When he moved into "Take Me to Church," that clapping morphed into cheers.
Draped in a long black jacket, flowy black pants and a black scarf, Lykke Li could easily have been engulfed in Lollapalooza's big Lake Shore stage as the sun was setting. But with the help of multiple backup singers, the Swedish chanteuse's voice boomed through the southern section of Grant Park as she nailed new tracks like "No Rest for the Wicked," "Shotgun" and "Never Gonna Love Again" as well as a harmony-heavy rendition of 2011 fan favorite "Jerome."
Rising producer/DJ Brillz created what was potentially the most dangerous set of Lollapalooza Day 1. In the middle of the performance, the Diplo collaborator instructed the "fly girls to get on people's shoulders." Many complied, leaving a crowd full of wobbly women trying to maintain balance on top of guys intent on continuing to dance despite the people perched on their shoulders. Peppering the rest of his set with plenty of cries of, "What's up, ladies?!" Brillz continued to aim his set at the female contingent, at one point asking them to sing throughout a trap remix of Ginuwine's "Pony." No one appeared to fall, but it was Lolla's shakiest set. Literally.
Bombay Bicycle Club's chilled-out psych-pop acted as a pacifying distraction to the rainstorm that was quickly approaching in the early afternoon of Day 1. While it began raining less than halfway into their set, the London band did their best to brighten the mood. "This is our most summery song, in spite of what's happening," lead singer Jack Steadman said with a smile before moving into "Feel," off the quartet's latest album So Long, See You Tomorrow. With each track embellished with lively tambourines and shakers, the performance kept the crowd happy to wait out the rain, which did eventually let up... right after the band finished.
Eminem gave a career-spanning set that focused more on Slim Shady's undeniable spitting skills than any kind of over-the-top stage show. Special guests Rihanna and Royce da 5'9'' all dropped in during the fast-paced set that included everything from classics like "My Name Is" and "Stan" to new hits like "The Monster" and "Bezerk."
Keep checking back to Fuse all weekend for our on-the-ground coverage at Lollapalooza 2014 right here.
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