August 3, 2015


5 Lessons Learned at Lollapalooza 2015

Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Windy City Is a Fitting Nickname

Chicago’s tempestuous summer weather turned from challenge to opportunity at Lollapalooza 2015. Fears of a severe storm led to a brief evacuation Sunday afternoon, but just about everyone who played afterward, from TV on the Radio to Florence + the Machine brought their A-game to shifted and abbreviated sets. And anyone who didn’t delight in the hair-whipping winds and lightning raging in the distance during Florence is lying to you.

Lollapalooza 2015: See Our Full Coverage

Surprise Guests Are Always a Win

We tried to dream up the most amazing collabs Lollapalooza 2015 might shock us with, but what the artists themselves came up with was even better. On Friday, Paul McCartney & Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard played the Beatles’ “Get Back.” On Saturday, festival founder Perry Farrell and Metallica’s Robert Trujillo rocked a couple of Jane's Addiction classics. And on Sunday A$AP Rocky traded rhymes with Chicago rapper Vic Mensa on “U Mad” while across the park, Halsey enlisted Twenty One Pilots'’s Josh Dun to drum on one of her songs. Good—no, great—times.

You’ll See Awesome Things from the Rail

Finding your way to the front of a giant festival audience is not for the meek, but if you managed to grab rail at Lollapalooza you got to witness several artists coming to sing with fans up-close-and-personal (Florence WelchKid Cudi), all the famous faces who had all access (Chicago’s mayor and Blackhawks coach, both at Paul McCartney, plus Tyler, the Creator at Cudi's set). Best of all: Being caught in the maw of the energy boiling off the stage from the performers and beaming back at the artists from the fans.

All-Black Fashion Rocks—Even in Chicago’s August Heat

There were so many diehard Metallica fans strolling around in the broiling sun on Saturday clad in all black, and not one of them seemed to even break a sweat. Chalk it up to good hydration and the elation of being about to see your favorite band.

The Ladies of Lolla Do in Fact Rule

We guessed that the women on this bill would be a force to be reckoned with, and we were so, so right. Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard led a soul-soaring blues-rock-out. Tove Lo got bodies moving. Halsey had fans chanting her name before she even appeared (see our exclusive photos of Halsey's set). FKA Twigs brought art and otherworldly craft. Florence Welch and her Machine communed barefoot with the impending storm—and her Lolla-closing “Dog Days Are Over” was simply ecstatic. There were so many awesome sets by the ladies (hey Bully!), the number got too many to count.