The fourth and final day of Lollapalooza may have found the majority of concertgoers a little worse for the wear, but those who trucked out to the north end of Grant Park were nonetheless sent home to the peppy pop pulsations of England’s Ellie Goulding (who played opposite the recently reunited LCD Soundsystem). Along with a beat-savvy band, harmony singers and sky-filling production, the radio-friendly singer/songwriter delivered a career-spanning set that spent the bulk of its time on her current blockbuster “Delirium.”
As Sunday drew to a close, one could only hope the tradition of blending the current class with those who helped pave the way would continue for many years to come, though in the meantime, mission accomplished for the 2016 installment.
New tunes such as “Aftertaste” and “Holding On For Life” got the groove going, while smashes such as “Outside” and “Lights” demonstrated her natural ability to bounce between the dance floor and a gentle piano framework. A little later, Goulding reached her energetic apex with “I Need Your Love” and continued unfurling emotive anthems such as “Burn,” “Anything Can Happen” and “Love Me Like You Do” to further show just how far her star has shot since debuting in 2010.Though he wasn’t considered a headliner, Australian producer/DJ Flume may have quite possibly outdrawn Radiohead a few nights before as fans holding flags and inflatables filled the south side as far as the eye could see. In addition to catching the awestruck artist’s sophisticated blend of EDM, downtempo, trip hop and hip hop, the parade-ready throng was treated to appearances by rappers Vince Staples and Chicago’s own Vic Menza.
Violinist Lindsey Stirling (who returns to town on October 13 at the Rosemont Theatre) also leaned towards the electronic side of the dial, but with one of the weekend’s most eclectic and compelling combinations of classical and world rhythms. And out of the tried and trues, veteran indie rockers Bloc Party kept everyone dancing to its continuously relevant indie rock/art punk offerings, while Silversun Pickups cranked up the fuzzy guitars for a dreamy alternative/indie rock cocktail.
Clad in hot pink shorts, Halsey was the first to admit her songs might not always be the most lyrically substantial, but that didn’t stop her from throwing an absolute blast of an electropop party. Even so, she paused to remind the masses to basically never be ashamed of their race, orientation or faith, inciting almost as many screams as when she burst into the delectable “New Americana.”
The afternoon also spawned a surprisingly early time slot from Third Eye Blind, who on paper might have seemed past its prime, but in actuality, are in the process of a completely vital rebirth. Sure, Stephan Jenkins and company played some of the post-grunge era’s greatest hits (“Never Let You Go,” “Graduate” and “Jumper”), but also debuted the timely “Cop Vs. Phone Girl” and called for a crowd surfing guy in a wheelchair to come up stage to help belt out “Semi-Charmed Life.”
No, this wasn’t an act of predictable nostalgia, but rather a recharged and entirely live rock band cultivating a sense of community with fans that weren’t even alive when the guys first hit the airwaves, let alone when Lollapalooza kicked off 25 years ago. As Sunday drew to a close, one could only hope the event’s tradition of blending the current class with those who helped pave the way continues for many years to come, though in the meantime, mission accomplished for the 2016 installment.
(Kathryn Randall contributed to this review).
Click here for more day four photos of Lollapalooza at Grant Park.