Lollapalooza and bad weather seem to go hand in hand at this point, and day one of the 2017 festival proved that to be true. On Thursday (August 3), the Chicago music festival ended about 45 minutes early due to lightning and heavy rain in the area.
As a whole, the day was tainted with performances that were far shorter than the original allotted time. From Liam Gallagher, who walked off stage unannounced after 20 minutes and didn’t return, to Migos who arrived nearly 40 minutes late (they originally pushed their start time back 20 minutes, which still wasn’t enough) and finally Lorde, who was only able to perform for about 15 minutes before Grant Park had to be evacuated, here’s a rundown of all that went down on day one.
Most Morning Energy
Rising English artist Declan McKenna roused early arrivers with a high-energy pop rock performance filled with his most loved hits from “Humongous” to “Brazil.” The 45-minute set acted much like a shot of espresso — a sharp shot that jolted the crowd awake while readying them for a long weekend ahead.
Best Attempt at Rallying the Crowd
“I’ll tell you all the WiFi password, just please wake up,” joked White Reaper frontman Tony Esposito. The grunge rock band was the first to play the Grant Park main stage on day one of the festival and the feat proved trying. Later, Esposito encourgaed the crowd to join him for a “Nick, take your pants off!” chant, though ultimately he decided the crowd wasn’t into it and let it go. How did Nick reply? By taking his shirt off, too.
Most Psychedelic Set
Temples‘ frontman James Bagshaw led the psych-rockers through its breezy set of easy-listening tracks — at least at first. As the wind picked up (signaling the dreary weather to come) so did the tempo of the setlist. As Temples moved more into its hard-hitting cuts (including set closer “Shelter Song”) its show took a sharp turn toward raucous rock in the best way possible.
Shortest Festival Set
It’s unclear how many of those in the crowd during Liam Gallagher’s afternoon set were simply attending in hopes of hearing some great heckles aimed at his brother Noel. It’s safe to say quite a few. Considering the ongoing and public brotherly spats between the Gallagher siblings, Lollapalooza seemed almost too perfect of a platform for Liam to go off. So fans waited as he performed in front of a sign on stage that read “Rock ‘n’ Roll” and a kick drum that said “As You Were.” But about 20 minutes into his set, the music stopped altogether with no warning, only adding to the anticipation that ultimately led in disappointment as Gallagher never returned. His set was done. He later apologized on Twitter, blaming his “shot voice.”
Most Delayed Start Time
After pushing its set back to 5:20pm, rather than the original 5:00pm slot, Migos didn’t step on stage until 5:40pm. But hey, hip-hop is in its own time zone after all. The trio made the most of the shortened set by delivering a booming performance that rallied the crowd with fan favorites like “T-Shirt” and even ran nearly 10 minutes past it’s scheduled end time of 6:00 to ensure its No. 1 hit “Bad and Bougie” made it into the set. Fans were going so wild it’s likely they (almost) forgot Migos were even late to begin with.
Most Stripped Down Set (Literally)
Matt Shultz got naked. Well, almost. The Cage the Elephant frontman stripped down to nothing more than his black boxer briefs during the band’s early evening set on the main stage, and appeared to be more free than ever (which for him is saying a lot). Considering the rockers are fresh off the release of their acoustic album Unpeeled, the stripped down look from Matt only seemed fitting. Of the few covers included on the album, the band performed Wreckless Eric’s “Whole Wide World” with vigor and conviction — a cover that fits in perfectly with Cage’s own sound. Following an exasperated series of “Thank yous” to C3 (the promoters behind Lollapalooza) and the fans, Cage then dove into “Shake Me Down” while Matt held the mic stand overhead, showing off both his strength and the fans’ knowledge of every word. Towards the end of the set, Brad Shultz took his shot at jumping into the crowd, guitar in hand, while Matt later took his usual surf to the sound booth. Once the brothers both found themselves back on stage, they embraced in a hug as Brad swung Matt around while his feet kicked in the air — illustrating Matt’s boyish tendencies and signaling the end of yet another successful show.
Strongest Set List
Britt Daniel led indie rock veterans Spoon through what can best be described as a greatest hits show. From “Don’t You Evah” (off Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga) to “Do You” and “Rainy Taxi” off They Want My Soul, plus its latest hit “I Ain’t The One” off Hot Thoughts — there were no sleepers in this rapid fire rock set.
Most Unfortunate Cancelation
“Melodrama is basically the document of a young female witch… tonight, we’re going to conjure the spirits,” Lorde told the crowd. She may have underestimated her powers, though, because minutes later the park was nearly flooded by a downpour while flashes of lightening lit up the skyline. The singer, wearing a strapless red jumpsuit, made her way through a reprise of “Green Light”,” and a couple tracks off her debut album before being called off stage by her production manager. “I’ll do everything I can,” she promised. “I’ll be back.” But as festival goers were told to evacuate Grant Park immediately (ending day one an hour early), it remains to be seen if and how Lorde will make up for lost time.