Lollapalooza Day 1: The Chainsmokers Come Full Circle, Normani Holds Her Own & 9 More Best Moments

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Normani performs during Lollapalooza 2019 day one at Grant Park on Aug. 1, 2019 in Chicago. 

The sun was shining bright as Lollapalooza kicked off its 2019 iteration on Thursday (Aug. 1), as were the stars who took the stage on the fest's first day.

Several acts celebrated their first Lolla appearance, like rising singer-songwriter Jeremy Zucker and Grammy winner H.E.R.; while headliners The Chainsmokers and The Strokes made their returns in memorable fashion. Check out all the highlights Billboard caught on day one.

Lennon Stella Shouts Out the Haters

The singer mostly let her music do the talking during her 45-minute set, which included her super-honest tunes such as "Feelings," "Like Everybody Else" and "Goodbye." But her song "Fortress" felt extra special because of her empowering intro: "This song is for anyone who needs to hear that it's okay to cut toxic people out of your life," she said. "Build yourself a little safe haven."

Half Alive Redefining the Rock Band

Though Half Alive might not be the only alt-rock band on this year's Lolla bill, there is a good chance they're the only alt-rock band with dancers. As they rocked their way through songs like "Pure Gold" and "Still Feel," the trio was occasionally joined by a small troupe of dancers, whose almost body-morphing interpretive dance moves had the crowd extra amped.

Harry Hudson and Jaden Smith's Reunion

Almost exactly one year to the day after he joined Jaden Smith for a surprise Lolla appearance, Hudson flipped the script during his first-ever solo festival performance. As Hudson began their collaboration "Just Slide," Smith made his way on to the BMI stage to a frenzy of excited screams, which got even louder when Smith busted into "Got It" from his new album Erys. Before Smith left the stage, Hudson showed one last bit of love for his buddy: "I wouldn't be here without that kid."

Jeremy Zucker and His Not-So-Depressed Kids

The 22-year-old's breakout hit may be called "All the Kids Are Depressed," but his Lolla set proved his fans are anything but that. The crowd sang every word, dancing along with Zucker as he dominated the stage by himself. The enthusiastic vibes continued throughout his entire American Eagle set, especially during his biggest hit, "Comethru."

Normani Proves She's the "BO$$"

Even without a full project out yet, Normani managed to fill her 45-minute set thanks to popular collaborations like her Sam Smith hit  "Dancing With a Stranger" and Khalid team-up "Love Lies" as well as a mini tribute to Rihanna. Her ultimate shining moment came during a Fifth Harmony medley, but not because of the familiar tunes -- Normani turned the group's hits "Work From Home," "Worth It" and "Bo$$" into a full-on dance number that left everyone in awe.


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Everything About H.E.R.'s "Hard Place"

After taking the stage 10 minutes late, H.E.R. made up for her delayed start with a powerful set, particularly during her recent hit "Hard Place." The performance had just about everything a fan could want: A vibey sing-along, stunning harmonies, an epic guitar solo, a sunset-esque backdrop, an ad-libbed high note and an impressive run at the end. It was chill inducing, even as the late afternoon sun burned.

Lauren Daigle's Impactful Set 

Accompanied by a pastel-dressed backing band, Lauren Daigle brought some infectious positivity with her own songs as well as some happy covers like Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke" and Bob Marley's "One Love." Daigle's performance was clearly meaningful for those watching, as fans lifted their hands up while swaying along to songs like "Rescue," as if they could literally feel what she was singing.

Hayley Kiyoko's "I Wish" Debut

Kiyoko drew an impressive crowd to the Lake Shore stage, and it was evident that no one was there by mistake. The crowd knew practically every word to every song, and when Kiyoko teased, "So I've got a new single out," fans lost it before she began "I Wish." As they proved to even know the words to a weeks-old song, Kiyoko delivered spot-on choreography that made the debut performance even more enjoyable.


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Hozier's Surprise Duet With Maggie Rogers

Hozier's voice soared during his entire 12-song set, but he made his 2014 fan-favorite "Work Song" extra unforgettable by turning it into a duet -- and recruiting none other than Maggie Rogers as his singing partner. Their harmonies were so awe-striking that their performance together left fans wanting more. Though they may not take the stage together again, Hozier reminded the crowd that they can see more of Rogers on Friday. "Gonna catch Maggie Rogers tomorrow?" he asked before declaring, "Damn right you are."

The Chainsmokers' Full-Circle Moment

Most festivalgoers who caught The Chainsmokers set may have thought that their star-studded surprises (from Bebe Rexha to The Fray frontman Isaac Slade) were the best part of their show. But one of the most special parts of the dance duo's performance this year was "Roses," which has a bigger meaning at Lollapalooza. "The first time we played this song was right here four years ago on that stage over there," singer Drew Taggart reminded the crowd as he pointed toward the Perry's stage. With a slew of celeb guests and plenty of pyrotechnics, The Chainsmokers' set was certainly a celebartion of how far they've come in those four years.

The Strokes' Post-Curfew Encore

The New York-formed rock band's frontman Julian Casablancas spent almost every song break making some sort of wisecrack about Chicago, which helped push their 75-minute set right to its 10:00 p.m. cutoff. After Casablancas announced that they had one song left at 9:56 p.m., The Strokes played their hit "Someday" instead of their usual set closer "Last Nite." But just when fans thought they really might not play their biggest song to date, The Strokes returned despite the time, with Casablancas declaring, "We believe in a little drama."

Festivals 2019


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