Photo courtesy of Greg Noire / Lollapalooza 2017
Riding on the shoulders of established headliners the night before, the third day of Lollapalooza 2017 kicked off with another round of rising artists taking stages across Grant Park.
Crowning the night in an emotion-filled performance was Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper. He took center stage at the southern end of the park where he welcomed the largest crowd of the festival so far, while the moody, exotic sounds of The XX played from the opposite side.
At the same time, local DJ Kaskade took fans along a dynamic ride full of ‘80s disco beats, house step and an endless display of lights and smoke, just minutes after Atlanta rapper 21 Savage made his appearance on the Perry’s stage.
Here’s a recap of some performances of the day:
XXL Freshman Amine raps before lukewarm crowd in Chicago summer heat
With festival-goers still trying to wake up and find enough energy to keep going for an entire day, Portland rapper Amine (Adam Amine Daniel) hopped onto the Pepsi stage after his DJ played a mix of hip-hop hits from the likes of Playboy Carti, Migos and Soulja Boy.
Moments earlier, Amine had started a livestream on his Instagram profile (@amine). “We at Lollapalooza,” Amine said. “About to perform onstage live. Lit.”
The 24-year-old rapper, one out of 10 of XXL Magazine’s “2017 Freshman Class,” played a mix of songs off his July 28 debut album, “Good For You.” He also covered Frank Ocean’s “Novacane” and took a moment to play the real Spice Girls during his song “Spice Girls.”
As he hopped from song to song, occasionally stopping to tell the crowd, “You’re beautiful,” to which the crowd responded, “I know,” Amine reveled in the moment.
“Last year I came here as a fan,” he said. The crowd let off a cheer.
But the crowd couldn’t seem to match Amine’s energy level. He would play one verse from a song before switching to the next. While his hits drew the hype of most attendees, and one person in the crowd brought an inflatable banana, the set never felt like it truly took off. It had finished before it began.
A quirky trio: alt-J plays their bests
Leeds, England, indie-rock group alt-J promptly walked across the Grant Park stage at 6:15 p.m. Saturday to their respective instruments. Gus Unger-Hamilton (keys and vocals), Joe Newman (guitar and lead vocals) and Thom Sonny Green (drums) stood on raised platforms in a line across the stage as light effects shimmered around the stage.
The group’s fourth member, Gwil Sainsbury, left the band in 2014, but alt-J didn’t let that keep them from maintaining the unique sound first introduced to the masses in 2014 with their release of “An Awesome Wave.”
alt-J played a variety of songs from the three albums they have released thus far, from the harmonic, jazz-influenced “Dissolve Me” to their newest, more rock-filled “In Cold Blood.”
While their stage presence can be stiff and uniform, their live sound delivers a spot-on emulation of their studio-recorded music. Newman’s distinct, nasal melodies that give alt-J its signature charm carried across the park, and Green’s snare-heavy rhythms maintained the clean sound alt-J reps.
Three-time veterans of Lollapalooza, alt-J prefers to play music over conversing with the crowd. Aside from the occasional “cheers” uttered by Unger-Hamilton, the group opts to play a continuous stream of trippy, sensuous tracks. Newman and Unger-Hamilton’s vocals go hand in hand, and their excellent live sound makes up for their lack of stage presence.
The pride of Chicago, Chance brings out Vic Mensa, Francis and the Lights
Easily the most anticipated performance of the weekend, Chicago-born Chance the Rapper (Chancellor Johnathan Bennett) took the stage 15 minutes after he was scheduled to begin, rolling across the stage on his signature crotch rocket after a three-minute video displaying his notoriety in pop culture.
The video featured shoutouts from rappers Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West, a personal message from First Lady Michelle Obama and the moment Chance received three Grammy awards.
Touted as “Kanye’s disciple,” Chance had already released two mixtapes and made music with Chicago band Donny Trumpet and the Social Experiment when his verse on Kanye West’s “Ultralight Beam” propelled him to the national spotlight.
As he did with his previous tour, Chance gave a commemorative moment to Kanye, performing renditions of “Waves,” “Father Stretch my Hands Pt. 1,” and his own verse on “Ultralight Beam.”
As the night continued, Chance’s set slowed down, and he played songs from his second mixtape “Acid Rap,” bringing out Chicago rapper Vic Mensa to perform “Cocoa Butter Kisses.”
Criticized by some for his awkward momentum and transitions during live performances, Chance took frequent breaks to thank the crowd and take in the moment.
“There’s a lot I’ve gotta thank you for,” Chance said.
The Social Experiment acted as Chance’s live band for the performance, a glorious reunion of Chicago talents with a crowd to prove just how far they’ve come.
At the request of Chance, the performance wasn’t livestreamed as other select sets were over the weekend. “ I just want it to be me and Chicago,” he said.
Even Francis and the Lights (Francis Farewell Starlite) showed up to perform “May I Have This Dance (Remix),” a collaborative ode to his daughter, Kensli. The two performed the iconic dance from their music video, syncing effortless dance moves with the poppy R&B sounds of “Starlite.”
Finishing with “Blessings (Reprise),” a final barrage of fireworks exploded over Grant Park. Chance may be criticized for performing a show similar to his tour, but the magic that is seeing a rapper from humble beginnings make it to the number one slot at Lollapalooza will never get old, especially when beyond the sea of fans sat the city lights he calls home.
To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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