Millions of people flooded into Chicago’s Grant Park for the third day of Lollapalooza and boy were they treated to some really amazing performances throughout the day. From rock legends Red Hot Chili Peppers to Jane’s Addiction, newer Alternative Rock group X Ambassadors, supergroup Big Grams and Chicago’s own homegrown Vic Mensa, day three had by far the best performances so far of the festival.
In years past, that would be all and with how great the performances were on Saturday, I’m sure a lot of people would have been pretty satisfied with it being the last day of the festival. But this isn’t just any other year, this is the festival’s 25th Anniversary and why there is an extra day that was added this year to celebrate the historic mark for Lolla. A lot of the festival-goers for Lollapalooza, who had four-day passes knew this too and why on what was the first day where there was any warm weather and no rain at all, they endured the heat and crowds to see some really stellar performances. So here are some of the highlights we seen.
Starting with X Ambassadors playing on the Samsung Stage to what was easily one of the biggest early afternoon crowds so far of the three days and something you wouldn’t expect with such an early afternoon start. Then again with how popular they are though, it shouldn’t be any surprise they drew such a massive crowd, even for it being so early in the afternoon. They opened with a stellar performance of some of their lesser known songs like Loveless, Hang On, and Love Songs Drug Songs, before they started going into their more well known hits like the Imagine Dragons assisted Fear, Unsteady, the Jamie N Commons assisted Low Life and Jungle for which they ended up bringing Jamie N Commons out for. That’s how you know you got true fans who follow you, is when you have fans singing along to even a lot of your lesser known records, like the packed crowd was. But even with how stellar and amazing their set was, one of the true main highlights of their whole set was towards the end when they brought out homegrown Chicago native and Rock, as well as all-around living musical legend Tom Morello out to perform their collaboration Collider. It wasn’t just any performance though, as the guitar master brought a completely thrilling and new energy to their collaboration track, that had the crowd going nuts from the minute X Ambassadors lead singer Sam Harris announced he was bringing out Morello to the minute he quietly disappeared back into the wings. The reaction of excitement on Tom’s face when he popped onstage too, was one that truly let you know, no matter how old you get, when you love what you are doing it never gets old.
For much of Day 3 of Lolla, the most great and entertaining performances actually happened on the Samsung Stage with supergroup Big Grams having one of the most creative sets so far of the whole festival. With the perfectly random, yet perfect collaboration of a group between Outkast’s Big Boi and Phantogram providing the type of show that was made for festivals like Lollapalooza. Blending Big’s Hip-Hop with Phantogram’s Electronic and Rock, Big Grams is the perfect example of the crazy, but dope type of collaboration’s you can get at the festival. Playing most of their self-titled debut album for their set, it flowed really greatly with the crowd, who was captivated with them every step of the way, as they danced along to the amazing sounds of Big Grams’ Lights On, Goldmine Junkie, Put It On Her and Born to Shine. The group really showed how great collaboration can be on stage in a festival setting like this though, when the beat for Outkast’s Ms. Jackson dropped and the show catapulted into another level. As they meshed other hit singles of both of theirs such as Black Out Days and I Like the Way You Move, as a few examples to show true collaboration. It may not have been as historic of a performance as Big Boi did with his Outkast groupmate Andre 3000, at Lollapalooza a few years ago. Which was by far one of the best performances I have ever seen in my lifetime, but Big Grams performance was still pretty solid, great and entertaining, as well as by far one of the best so far of the festival and they definitely showed with their performance why they call them “Festival Killers.”
Also happening as one of the main premiere acts on of course the premiere stage, was the man responsible for the festival himself, Perry Farrell and his group Jane’s Addiction. Ironically enough the man, who founded the festival in 1991 to celebrate the group’s farewell after its second album, Ritual de lo Habitual, commemorated the 25th birthday of both Lollapalooza and the album by performing the entire album. Though he is 57, Farrell displayed the energy and enthusiasm of someone decades younger than he actually is. As he danced across the stage, jumping and rolling around throughout the set, as he wailed the Alternative Rock group’s lyrics. Perry then surprised a lot of the crowd by bringing Tom Morello out (for what was the second time in the day a performer brought him out) to rock out to some more of Jane’s greatest hits. Thus reminding fans of the role the band played in bringing the early 90’s Alternative Rock to the mainstream audience.
I was then able to catch the beginning 30-45 minutes or so and last 15 minutes of Red Hot Chili Peppers headlining set to close out the night on the Samsung Stage, which seen the group go into a groove with some instrumental improv shortly after 8:30 pm, before they ignited the south end of Grant Park with their 2002 hit, Can’t Stop. They then went into a nonstop string of some of their staples such Dani California, Scar Tissue, Otherside and Californication. Thrown in between there was some of the groups more deeper cuts too, like Blood Sugar Sex Magik and newer material Dark Necessities. With how diverse the crowd was, which was by far the most diverse so far of the whole festival too, from millennials to Gen X-ers, it showed that even till this day Chili Peppers still matter to a lot of people. The band’s set, which was by far one of the best so far of the festival, also showed how many radio hits they’ve had over the years and why they have such a diverse amount of fans even still till this day.