Day 3 Recap : Lollapalooza 2014 : Grant Park, Chicago, IL

Written by Ryan Hickey

Our third and final day of Lollapalooza started with somewhat of a surprise. Well, two surprises. First, we were greeted by rain at the start of the festival, which was not originally predicted. Second, while taking an alternate route to the Bud Light stage, we stopped by the Toyota Soundwave tent and caught a few minutes of Wrestlers, a Houston-based live electronic group. Turns out they are a Red Bull Sound Select artist, and I won’t be surprised if you start to hear more about them soon.

We reached our original destination, the Bud Light stage, for Trombone Shorty, the passionate multi-instrument and voice talent from New Orleans. Trombone Shorty, along with the members of his band, Orleans Avenue, oozes talent and Big Easy funk influence. However, Shorty has clearly evolved from his New Orleans roots, often performing songs that feature aggressive guitar riffs and other hard rock traits. Their entire set absolutely ripped, with Shorty leading the way in a highly energized performance that combines big band organization, NOLA energy, and rock n’ roll edge. Further, it was refreshing to finally be around a crowd that just enjoyed the show and danced.

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Our next venture took us to The Grove stage for RAC. Now, as a DJ I have been familiar with and quite fond of RAC’s remixes of popular and indie songs alike. Like any great remix artist, they tend to completely recreate songs, often times leaving people asking themselves what they like better, the original or the remix. The live show, in which the group performs these remixes live, only increased my appreciation for them. From what I can tell, they use hardware for preprogrammed beats in lieu of a drummer, but the guitars and keys are performed live. In addition to performing some of their original work like “Tear You Down,” they delighted the crowd to some of their more popular remixes, including “Something Good Can Work” (Two Door Cinema Club) and “Blue Jeans” (Lana Del Rey).

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Day Three seemed to find us exclusively at the north end of Grant Park, and the theme continued back at the Palladia stage for Run the Jewels. This rap power duo, which officially formed in early 2013, is one of the best ongoing collaborations to emerge from the hip hop world. El-P and Killer Mike, both established as solo artists, teamed up officially after prior collaborations together. While too many Lolla attendees missed this great set, the MCs performed their namesake track, as well as “36 in. Chain”and “Sea Legs.” The latter part of their set featured an appearance by fellow Lolla performer DJ Z-Trip.

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While the festival would continue for a few more hours, our final stop was back at the Bud Light stage for the electro-funk-pop act Chromeo. Confession: I’ve been a big fan of their music and have included it in my DJ sets for a while now, so I was looking forward to seeing the live version. Not only did the Canadian duo deliver an electrified set, the crowd returned the favor with an all-out dance party. Aside from OutKast, this seemed to be about as much fun as we witnessed among the crowd throughout the weekend, at least for the over 21 contingent. Longtime fans were treated to a ‘greatest hits’ type set, with everything from “Night By Night,” “Hot Mess” and “Tenderoni,” as well as current single “Jealous” from their new album (White Women). I think the only thing that could have possibly made this show better is if it had been after dark. I suppose we’ll just have to go see them again sometime.

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Lollapalooza was a great experience once again. My only hope is that the younger generation will take the following advice to heart: let the denim diapers go out of style, put down the flavored blunt wraps and stop pushing people to get where you’re going at festivals.

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