Lollapalooza 2015 Sunday Recap: A$AP Rocky Rocks Hard, Stars Deal With Storm & Set Delays
The final day of Lollapalooza was delayed by a 90-minute premature evacuation and wrapped 30 minutes early when the storm was finally set to arrive. Through it all, artists rolled with the punches and put together a memorable last day of music.
12:24 PM: A full pineapple on a stick is pumping up and down to The Wombats' "Techno Fan," while other audience members point at it and give the dancing fruit quizzical looks.
12:43 PM: The Wombats realize they have two minutes left in their set after finishing their hit "Let's Dance to Joy Division," so they rock out with some major guitar rifts and get the crowd pumped for the rest of the day.
12:49 PM: Just before Circa Waves walks on stage, a kiss cam catches couples in the audience, and one couple puts on a full frontal PDA show for the entire Samsung stage to see. The audience doesn't mind, though, as they cheer them on.
12:55 PM: Kieran Shudall, lead vocalist of Circa Waves, continues on the trend of pointing out the floating Nicholas Cage head near the front of the crowd. "Hello Nicholas Cage, how you doing, man?" Shudall asks.
1:15 PM: L.A band Night Terrors of 1927 brought some romance to the stage with their cover of the Romantics' "Talking In Your Sleep."
2:01 PM: Alison Wonderland arrived at Perry's stage on crutches, but her foot injury doesn't stop her from enchanting the crowd with booming trap beats and lithe vocal hooks. She drops Naderi's remix of Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen" while the crowd convulses along with its pulsing synth-driven drop.
2:35 PM: The School of Rock All-Stars hit the Kidzapalooza stage and tear through a rendition of the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive." Two girls trade off the high-register vocals and one kid is killing the disco bass part. But after that… the stage suspiciously clears. "Not enough of you were dancing to the disco jams," a stage spokesman announces… "Just kidding -- we're expecting very strong winds and had to stop the music… maybe just lie on the ground so you don't get blown away."
2:36 PM: A large crowd of George Ezra fans begins to wonder why he is coming on late, when a Lollapalooza official comes onto the Samsung stage to announce that the festival is evacuating for severe weather warnings until further notice.
3:26 PM: The festival is evacuated abruptly due to a severe storm warning. Galantis piles into a waiting SUV wearing serious faces. The Swedish duo was supposed to play at 3:30 and the fate of their set is up in the air. Fortunately, their performance is rescheduled once the gates reopen.
4:16 PM: "As some of you were aware, there was a bit of rain earlier," George Ezra says to his fans. His set has been cut in half to just 30 minutes, and he is alone on stage with a guitar. He begins his six-song set with "Blame It On Me."
4:30 PM: Shakey Graves was on the Palladia stage when the venue was evacuated at 2:30 due to the weather. His set cut short and his day done, he is chilling backstage with a champagne margarita, "Don't judge me, " he quips, "These are two of my favorite things," when he explains what he did during the evacuation. He was put in a bunker under the Palladia stage with Angus and Julia Stone, crew and "other people who looked very important." This leads to the conversation of who he'd like to be in a bunker with long term, an eclectic crew that includes Beyoncé, a resurrected Levon Helm, Brandi Carlile and Sylvan Esso, among others.
4:36 PM: A disappointed Ezra finishes his short set with "Budapest." "Maybe next time, eh?" he says to the cheering crowd.
4:45 PM: How did Of Monsters And Men spend their evacuation? The band were transported in a van back to their hotel, or they were supposed to be the band explained. Instead, they got stuck in traffic as everyone exited the festival grounds. So they got halfway to the hotel before the hour-long evacuation was ended.
4:55 PM: The Lonely Biscuits hit the BMI stage and open with the song "Casual Vibes," to a warm reception from the crowd. People are grooving and singing along to, "I like 'em tall, short, blonde, and pretty, pale, tan, fat, and skinny."
5:15 PM: A$AP Rocky visits the Samsung Galaxy lounge, where a few of his crew are DJing a private soiree that is bumping when the rap superstar makes a big entrance. "A$AP Rocky in the house" the DJ says as Rocky gets behind the DJ booth with the two artists and begins dancing. He then makes his way to the bar where he is followed by a slew of fans taking his picture and trying to get close to him.
5:20 PM: "We have 2 songs left," announces Marina Diamandis. "I'm gonna sing this one on the shade because I think I might drop like a fly." She's wearing an all-black jumpsuit in the 80-degree sun, so it's understandable. Marina and the Diamonds perform "I'm a Wreck" with the singer sitting near the drums and next, close with "How to Be a Heartbreaker."
5:30 PM: Twenty One Pilots take the Samsung Galaxy stage wearing ski masks. The masks go back a ways for the Ohio duo. "We'd have kind of skeleton masks that we would wear and kind of a reason in doing that is we'd be playing in front of a large amount of new people who had no idea who we were and there are so many bands out there, obviously it's really hard to stand out as a band," Josh Dun told me not long ago. "So, for us, it was always really fun to look out and see what people are thinking when they see two dudes coming out in a skeleton costume."
5:45 PM: The festival reopens to the tune of Galantis. The group launches into recent single "Peanut Butter Jelly" while the Perry's stage crowd swells to support them. After the set, their manager Stephanie LaFera marvels at the response. "It's rare that a song works that well for both home listening and live."
6:00 PM: Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots steps onto a platform that the audience is holding up with their hands and begins drumming. His life depends on the crowd's hands holding him and his drum set up.
6:14 PM: "Give it up for Bradley Cooper," singer Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots says to the crowd of screaming fans as he points to a floating Cooper poster. A minute later he says, "I can't let this go, can we give it up for Nick Cage? I like to think of this show as Bradley vs. Nick Cage." The crowd proceeds to chant "Bradley" and Joseph admits that Cooper won the fight.
6:20 PM: Joseph runs through the crowd and climbs a ladder to see the swarm of people at the Samsung Stage. After he finishes his song, he says that he wanted to climb the light pole, but security wouldn't let him because it was unsafe, so he was stuck with a tiny ladder instead.
7:48 PM: A$AP Rocky decides its time to welcome a guest onstage. Vic Mensa emerges, and the pair performs the Mensa-Kanye collab "U Mad." He sticks around while Rocky's DJ drops a little bit of House of Pain's "Jump Around" and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." The crowd is rocking like Nirvana is actually in their presence.
7:59 PM: "Will you give it up for the interpreter?" asks Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, lead singer of Of Monsters and Men. "I want one for every show." She seems fascinated by the interpreter rocking out to their music, while also knowing every sign for their lyrics.
8:04 PM: Hilmarsdóttir ventures down to the fans and stands on the barricade to lean into them as the band finishes out one of their most upbeat hits, "Lakehouse."
8:07 PM: Amid concerns over another weather-related evacuation, A$AP Rocky performs "Wild for the Night," his collaboration with Skrillex and Birdy Nam Nam, for a fervent crowd. After wrapping up the high-energy number, he takes to the mic for a motivational speech. "Without sounding too cliché, be true to your motherfucking self."
8:13 PM: A$AP Rocky gets sincere again: "We even had a historic rap battle a week ago... I love the fact that I'm a part of hip-hop right now."
8:57 PM: Rising LA trap artist NGHTMRE mixes into a remix of Jack U's "Take U There" while his strong crowd showing cheers in support. The sun slowly sinks behind the Palladia Stage as foreboding clouds threaten forthcoming thunderstorms.
9:01 PM: TV on the Radio finishes their shortened set by thanking Steve Harvey, who is being held up in the audience, and with dedicated fans yelling out for an encore before being interrupted by Florence + the Machine.
9:22 PM: Lightning begins to start behind the crowd at Florence + the Machine's headlining set.
9:26 PM: "Does everyone see the lightning?" Florence Welch asks her fans. She then dedicates "Cosmic Love" to the Chicago storm that is brewing throughout her set.
9:37 PM: "What's up Chicago? How are you feeling?" Kygo says to his roaring crowd. "My name is Kygo and I'm very happy to be here." He's not just being nice, as there were serious concerns about his set being canceled amid continued storm warnings.
9:42 PM: Kygo fits many of his fan favorites into a truncated set due to weather concerns -- from his "Sexual Healing" remix to "Stole the Show." Many of his collaborators are on hand to see the performance, including Conrad, Parson James and James Hersey. Hersey is all smiles as he points across the stage at Kygo's manager pacing and shouting. "You gotta love Myles yelling at the dude on the side of the stage right now."
9:49 PM: Welch announces that she only has one more song due to the storm, and she finishes off the Lollapalooza weekend with "Dog Days Are Over." Concertgoers go wild as she takes off her blouse in the middle of the song and jump up and down with her.
9:53 PM: "The last song I'm about to play is called 'Firestone,'" announces Kygo. "Make some noise for Conrad!" The Australian singer bounds atop the booth and basks in the crowd's adulation. "Lolla put your hands in the air," he shouts. "We have one more song, so let's do it!" Conrad leads the audience in a full-throated singalong, allowing attendees to take up the chorus on "We Light Up the World."