Highlights from Lollapalooza 2016

By: Seth Johnson

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Photo by Maclay Heriot

We sent writer Seth Johnson to cover Lollapalooza 2016. Here’s a roundup of what he liked most.

Big Grams

Saturday at this year’s Lollapalooza was packed with standout female artists, including Big Grams, Chairlift (also included in this list) and Grimes. Although a rather unusual combination in theory, Big Boi (also of Outkast) and Sarah Barthel of Phantogram made for a very entertaining duo, often combining both of their strengths to create some pretty special moments. During the course of their set, the two even did a few live mashups, including one that was one part “Ms. Jackson” and one part “Mouthful of Diamonds”.

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Photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman

Chairlift

Years ago during the Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix craze, I remember seeing Chairlift open for Phoenix at a show in Chicago and thinking they were pretty rad. Since then, I would definitely say the band has grown and matured, which was evident throughout their performance at this year’s Lollapalooza. Fronted by Caroline Polachek, the Brooklyn band played a dazzling Saturday set, that featured several selections from their 2016 full-length, Moth, including “Ch-Ching,” “Moth to the Flame” and “Romeo”.

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Photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman

D.R.A.M.

Of all the up-and-coming acts I checked out at this year’s Lollapalooza, the biggest standout was certainly D.R.A.M. (which stands for Does Real Ass Music). Throughout his set, the 28-year-old singer/rapper captivated the audience with his charismatic energy, repeatedly cuing fans to shout “Yeah doe” if they loved their momma. Throughout his rather short set, D.R.A.M. made sure to touch on all of his hits, including the insanely catchy “Cha Cha” and the Lil Yachty-featuring “Broccoli”.

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Photo by Roger Ho

Joey Purp

After hearing Indianapolis rappers like John Stamps and Oreo Jones mention Joey Purp, I figured I would go check out his early set on Friday at Lollapalooza. This turned out to be a great decision (thanks homies) as Purp impressed with his energy, style and flow. While many may know him from the song “Girls @” featuring Chance the Rapper, the Chicago emcee has plenty more to show off to the world, which can be heard on 2016’s iiiDrops.

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Photo by Greg Noire

LCD Soundsystem

While I am an unabashed LCD Soundsystem fanatic (I even went to their “final” show at Madison Square Garden), there’s no doubt that the band’s set at Lollapalooza was truly something special. Although they supposedly have a new album on the way, LCD stuck to the hits with this appearance, playing songs from all three of their excellent full-lengths. This included an epic final four songs, where the band went from “Home” to “New York I Love You” to “Dance Yrself Clean” to “All My Friends”. Oh James Murphy, how we missed you.

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

M83

In keeping with their latest two albums, M83 played a very danceable set of tunes that featured songs like “Go!,” “Midnight City” and “Steve McQueen”. As expected, Anthony Gonzalez’s compositions were even more grandiose in the heart of a big city like Chicago, as building towered all around. As an old school M83 fan myself, I personally was pleased to hear the band close with “Couleurs” from Saturday = Youth and “Lower Your Eyelids to Die With the Sun” from Before the Dawn Heals Us.

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Photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman

Radiohead

Radiohead made the most of the festival’s longest time slot, playing a career-spanning set that exceeded two hours. After opening up with the first two tracks from A Moon Shaped Pool, the iconic British band quickly dove into a smattering of songs both old and new, giving hardcore fans the set they always dreamed of. In addition to expected numbers like “Everything in Its Right Place,” “Karma Police” and “My Iron Lung,” Thom Yorke and company also whipped out some deeper cuts like “Street Spirit (Fade Out),” “There There” and “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi,” giving everyone a little something to smile about.

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

 photo Radiohead by Cambria Harkey_8077_zpsgewvwmie.jpg
Photo by Cambria Harkey

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