Nearly four years after playing the Bud Light Stage at Lollapalooza and giving what’s probably among the best performances I ever seen at Lollapalooza, the Arctic Monkeys are back again as one of the main headliners for the upcoming 2018 edition of the world-renowned music festival, which takes place in Chicago’s famed Grant Park. One of upwards of ten acts (which maybe a record number of returning acts), who are returning for the second time in five years to the Lolla stage. Also joining them for their second time at Grant Park in that time frame in a couple of weeks is Bebe Rexha, Travis Scott, Alina Baraz, Logic, Dua Lipa, WALK THE MOON, Portugal. The Man, CHVRCHES and ZEDD. With only a couple of weeks till the gates at Grant Park open and all the madness ensues, the speculation really starts to begin on who can be brought out as special surprise guests like there has been throughout the years.
Looking at this year’s lineup, there probably wouldn’t be as much guest surprises as in previous years, but three or four names came up that I wouldn’t be surprised to see pop up one, two or even three times during that first weekend in August. Which is rising R&B/Soul singer/songwriters Alessia Cara and H.E.R. As well as of course homegrown Chicago hero, Chance the Rapper, who despite not being on the lineup, there’s always a chance of him popping up as a surprise guest in his hometown. Giving his history of being at three of the last four Lollapalooza’s, whether he was on the actual lineup or not, you know that’s always a possibility and especially with his little brother, Taylor Bennett performing this year and several other artists performing that he has previously collaborated with like Knox Fortune or have hometown connections that would be likely to bring him out, such as Valee and G Herbo. Another homegrown Chicago product I wouldn’t be to surprised pop up for at least one set is female emcee, Dreezy, who made a surprise appearance at Lolla a couple years ago as well during AlunaGeorge’s set that opening Thursday of the festival. This time if she does, it would be during mega-producer, London On Da Track’s set, which is also on the opening Thursday. As the two have collaborated on several occasions, which includes Dreezy’s most recent strip-club centered anthem and single, Where Them $ @. With all the big names London has collaborated with over the years like T.I., Lil Wayne, Jeezy, 50 Cent, Young Buck, Nicki Minaj and Jeremih, to name just a few, his set is easily one of the sets during all Lolla to have one or probably even several surprise performers coming out to join him.
Moving to Cara and H.E.R., Cara has previously collaborated with both Logic and Khalid on Logic’s hit suicide prevention anthem, 1-800-273-8255. So I wouldn’t be all to surprised to see Logic bring out both Cara and Khalid to perform the record when he performs that Saturday of the festival. Maybe even both Logic and Cara coming out for Khalid when he performs his own solo set on that first day of the festival that Thursday to perform the record as well. With Cara’s highly-anticipated sophomore album, The Pains of Growing, excepted to drop sometime this year, it would be the perfect early cross-promotion for it too. As far as H.E.R., she’s previously collaborated with Daniel Cesar for what’s still one of both of their biggest hit records to date, Best Part. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see her pop up as a surprise during Cesar’s Lollapalooza set on that Friday of the festival.
If any Lollapalooza festival-goers are expecting any more surprise guests throughout that first four-day weekend of August, I unfortunately don’t see anymore really being a possibility though. Unless they are of the big cross-performance variety of other performers bringing out performers already scheduled to perform at Lolla. Which honestly probably more often times than not happens more than performers bringing out special surprise performers that aren’t on the lineup at all. The biggest possibilities of such performances happening being that Friday, Aug. 3rd and Saturday, Aug. 4th of Lolla, when Tyler, the Creator could possibly bring out Kali Uchis and/or Jaden Smith, Alina Baraz could possibly bring out Khalid or Uchis can even be brought out by Cesar. With Jessie Reyez also a possibility of being brought out by Cesar and/or her bringing out Cesar for her own solo set on that final day of the festival on Sunday, Aug. 5th. That very first day of the festival on Thursday Aug. 2nd, there’s even a possibility of Khalid bringing out Sabrina Claudio and/or Baraz and possibly even Buddy for his own solo set. Maybe even Khalid returning the favor for Claudio during her own solo set that Sunday. Besides obviously his brother Chance, there’s also a very strong possibility of fellow homegrown Chicago native, Supa Bwe, appearing during Taylor’s set that Friday and of course his own artist, Bianca Shaw.
Whether they happen, big name or even small name guest surprises, or maybe even none at all. I think this is honestly probably the best lineup for Lollapalooza I have seen since I first went in 2014, when it was Outkast, Eminem, Chance, Run the Jewels, Jhené Aiko and Nas, among just a few of the several big names that year. Which is why I’m sure me and so many others are already really looking forward to this year’s a lot whether there does end up being any guest surprises or not.