Kate Nash Dazzles At Billboard Party In Chicago

Dana Loftus
Kate Nash performs live during Billboard's Lollapalooza 2013 Pre-Party at the Double Door in Chicago, Illinois.

Half Moon Run and Blondfire rock Billboard's pre-Lollapalooza bash.

Billboard kicked off Lollapalooza 2013 with an impromptu "Grrl Gang," as Kate Nash asked a group of fans at the Billboard Pre Party, presented by Cotton, to help her thrash through a roaring cover of Fidlar's "Cocaine" toward the end of her headlining set at Chicago's Double Door. The lady riot capped off a four-hour concert that also featured performances from Blondfire and Half Moon Run, complete with free tank tops and tote bags in many colors courtesy of Cotton.

Kate Nash's latest single, "OMYGOD!"

"We need more girls who don't give a f--k!" Nash exclaimed as she invited her posse of fans onstage. The singer-songwriter had just played an electric, hour-long set that included many selections from her new album "Girl Talk," a rockabilly-meets-garage pop collection full of girlish grit, snarling wit and kiss-off titles ("I'm A Feminist, You're Still A Whore.") The gig was part of Billboard's Tastemakers Style Sessions series, and was also a Lollapalooza-weekend exclusive, as Nash and her band were flown out from the U.K. expressly for the concert and are not otherwise doing any U.S. shows until a fall tour later this year.

To show her appreciation for the many fans who came and rocked out for the packed show, Nash played a special a capella encore of "Lullaby For An Insomniac," a highlight from "Girl Talk" that required as much silence as possible. After shouting several expletive-ridden requests for silence, Nash wowed the crowd with one of the most intimate, emotive songs in her catalog.

Earlier in the evening, Blondfire kicked off the proceedings with a blissful set of dream-pop from their forthcoming Warner Bros. debut, "Young Heart," including the winsome title track, peppy single "Walking With Giants" and rock anthem "Where The Kids Are," the latter of which was recently featured in a commercial for Honda Civic. Lead singer Erica Driscoll also won a few new fans with the group's uncanny cover of "Dreams," which several fans in the upstairs VIP area mistook for a jukebox recording before noticing the live band onstage. The L.A. five-piece next plays the BMI stage at 6:50 on Saturday.

Second act Half Moon Run celebrated the July 23 release of their debut "Dark Eyes," allowing their breezy brand of Canadian folk-pop to wash over the crowd. Sweepingly melodic, Local Natives-esque "Call Me In The Afternoon" and "Full Circle" were easy highlights, but the band also showed off its rock chops on "She Wants To Know." Lolla-goers can catch the band Sunday on the BMI stage at 6:50.