If you were looking for a more chill smooth and laidback type of performance on the first day of Lollapalooza at Grant Park in Chicago, then you definitely got it with singer Khalid’s set on the Bud Light Stage. Sporting a big smile throughout most of his performance, he had plenty to smile about with what was easily among the top two or three performances of the day.
Backed by a trio of dancers, a drummer, keyboardist and guitarist, Khalid grooved and two-stepped his way across the far north end Bud Light Stage. As he had fans in the very packed crowd dancing, grooving and two-stepping along with him, while he sang many of his records from his mostly critically-acclaimed just last year released debut album, American Teen, such as, 8TEEN, Winter, American Teen, Coaster and Another Sad Love Song.
Taking many water breaks in between, Khalid was relaxed and comfortable as his attire of just a white t-shirt tucked into sweatpants and a pair of Air Force One’s made him look. As he smoothly and comfortably sang through Saved, Hopeless and Shot Down, while even actually singing, “Oh shit I forgot the wordssss,” after forgetting the lyrics to one of his songs.
The 20-year-old rising singer wasn’t alone either. As he asked the very packed crowd, if it was alright if he brought some friends out along with him. Becoming the first really big artist as I predicted in my Lollapalooza preview to bring out a guest performer or performers with him. As he brought out fellow very talented rising singer/songwriter, Alina Baraz, for a cover of her very melodic and vulnerable hit collaboration single, Electric, she released with Khalid last year.
Alina not the only guest Khalid would bring out too. As he also brought out the beautifully talented Normani of Fifth Harmony fame, for their hit collaboration from the, Love, Simon OST, Love Lies. Putting on a very amazing performance of the record, Khalid would tell Normani, how much he loved her before giving her a smooch on her side at the end of their performance together.
As he closed out the performance, Khalid busted out his very vulnerable and really relatable lyrics to his very massive singles, Young Dumb & Broke and Location. Before closing out with his very popular record, OTW. The singer had everyone dancing, grooving and singing along with him, as he showed that just as the name of his album and title track, as well as life-affirming anthem, American Teen, suggests, Lollapalooza really truly is mainly about the youth and young kids, as well as the kids at heart who are able to endure the madness of such big festival’s as Lollapalooza.
The mostly R&B-flavored Pop of Khalid truly catering to the youth and younger crowd more than anybody. You could see why the crowd was filled with such not only youth, but a large female presence as well. With the singer having so many records not only catered to ladies/women and females, but collaborated with quite a few of them as well. Which was evident from the two special guest performers he brought out to join him being young women. Khalid showed how important women in music have truly become again over the past few years not only performing at Lolla, but just all the talented women throughout music that have either made a big impact or become big names through their great music. He also showed why R&B/Soul has had such a resurgence over the past few years with all the talented artists that have emerged and continue to as evident from the genre being the most important and impactful at the festival outside of course Hip-Hop.