The full-fledged “Drones” World Tour may have technically come to its conclusion, but Muse lovers were in luck (at least for a little while) with the announcement of select festival dates this summer, including an immensely anticipated headlining slot to kick off opening night of Lollapalooza 2017 opposite Lorde. While Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard came out swinging to the even fresher, momentum-building alt-rocker “Dig Down,” their spellbinding set was cut short due to severe weather that forced the entire event to evacuate.
Before it was time to prematurely say goodbye, Muse with its sea of blinding lights and synchronized screens blasted out the militant “Psycho” from its latest aforementioned long-player, prior to dipping back to the 2003’s elaborate breakthrough album “Absolution” for the jittery stomper “Hysteria.” The riffs to a cover of AC/DC’s “Back In Black” also permeated through the wet air, but were ultimately aborted when a hesitant Bellamy announced the guys were being told to leave the stage, and while lightning conditions deemed it unsafe to ever continue, at least the band made each of its few moments as grandiose as possible.
The riffs to a cover of AC/DC’s “Back In Black” also permeated through the air, but were ultimately aborted when a hesitant Bellamy announced the guys were being told to leave the stage, and while lightning conditions deemed it unsafe to continue, at least Muse made each of its few moments as grandiose as possible.
At least as many (if not more) turned out for hip-hop hit maker Wiz Khalifa, who brought the party (along with the pot), and even though nothing was particularly deep, his connectivity was undeniable. The singles-stacked set included an in-the-flesh feature from Ty Dolla $ign on the new “Baby Come Give Me Something,” plus “See You Again,” “We Dem Boyz” and “Young, Wild & Free,” accompanied by a message for everyone to simply be themselves.
Unfortunately, the vibe wasn’t nearly as positive when Liam Gallagher put his solo career on display for the first time at this specific fest, and while he may have been expecting to get the same reaction as say Glastonbury, most of the millennials had no knowledge of neither his solo career nor Oasis. They had a chance to learn with true-to-form renditions of the textbook Britpop tunes “Rock ‘N’ Roll Star” and “Morning Glory,” in addition to a sample of his own “As You Were” project, but he abruptly left after barely 20 minutes with no explanation, later taking to Twitter saying his voice was shot (despite sounding pretty much like the scratchy/scrappy blend it always does), leaving some to wonder if a generally indifferent audience could’ve contributed.As Gallagher’s crowd was looking back in anger, hip-hop/trap trio Migos fans were kept waiting 35 minutes for a set that was far from spectacular but managed to cram in all the major necessities such as “Slippery,” “Bad And Boujee” and “Handsome And Wealthy.” Capital Cities may be unfairly lumped into the one-hit wonder category thanks to the enormous “Safe And Sound,” but the synthpop group were quick to remind everyone that “Kangaroo Court” was as contagious of a contender and the cheery newcomer “Swimming Pool Summer” was also able to keep the dancing going.
Between all the enjoyment and annoyance, the launch of this Lollapalooza may have very well belonged to Jon Bellion, who’s been blowing up between YouTube, co-writing for Eminem with Rihanna and Jason Derulo, collaborating with Zedd, touring relentlessly and supporting Twenty One Pilots. The songwriter/producer looked both overwhelmed and overjoyed when scanning the endless sea of faces, noting a mere 130 die-hards caught him on these very grounds two years ago.
Throughout a charismatic hour that regularly blurred the carnal, spiritual and consistently thought-provoking, the rapidly rising pop/hip-hop/R&B star tore through his now gold-certified collection “The Human Condition,” starting with “He Is The Same” straight into the triple platinum “All Time Low.” But that confidence to burn through his most universally familiar track so early was more than justified throughout several more groove-saturated selections (“Guillotine,” “80’s Films,” “Overwhelming,” “Jim Morrison”), all of which could quite realistically be closing out the night by this time in 2018.
Lollapalooza takes place at Grant Park through Sun. Aug. 6. For additional details, visit Lollapalooza.com.
For additional information on Muse, visit Muse.Mu.