Prior to winding down Lollapalooza on Sunday, the jury may have still been out on the Arcade Fire’s decision to dabble with electronic pop, dance and occasionally all out disco on its fifth long-player “Everything Now,” but those who stuck it out until the end seemed to agree that the Canadian indie rockers successfully pleaded their case for change. The troupe’s choice to merely sprinkle in current cuts between previous mainstays probably didn’t hurt, though even the groovy but critical look at an increasingly shallow society during “Creature Comfort” built one of the better bridges between eras.
Once the dust settled, Arcade Fire front man Win Butler mused “there’s so much f—ing poison in the air right now; what we need now is peace and love…”
By the time Arcade Fire dialed it all the way back to the beginning for the anthemic “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” and “Wake Up,” everyone was screaming along as each raced to their frenzied conclusions. Once the dust settled, front man Win Butler mused “there’s so much f—ing poison in the air right now; what we need now is peace and love” before launching into John Lennon’s “Mind Games” (seasoned with bits of Radiohead’s “Karma Police,” David Bowie’s “Oh! You Pretty Things” and a return to “Wake Up”) as an understated but meaningful way to wind down the four-day marathon.Sunday was also stacked with lots of girl power, including Charli XCX bouncing her way around the Icona Pop pairing “I Love It” (which she co-wrote) and “Fancy” (originally with Iggy Azalea). Although neither made an actual appearance, her pal Halsey came out for a cover of the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe,” and a little later, so did Chicago’s CupcakKe to assist on Charli’s “Lipgloss” and drop her own “CPR.”
Fellow local (and Chance The Rapper collaborator) Noname climbed up another notch with her elevated brand of poetic hip-hop backed by a soulful band. And while most will remember Swedish singer Tove Lo for flashing all of Grant Park, her down and dirty electropop continues to connect on its own merit, as evidenced by one of the largest afternoon audiences all weekend.
Also pulling in respectable numbers with the sun at full blaze, Machine Gun Kelly’s rap/rock may have felt like it was mostly frozen in 1999, but his adrenaline-stacked stage presence was indisputable and he nailed “Numb” in tribute to Linkin Park’s late leader Chester Bennington. Country music scored one of its few shout-outs shortly thereafter with Tucker Beathard, an emerging singer/songwriter who didn’t exactly set the barn on fire, but appeared affable enough to at least run with the southern pack.
Though not every genre on earth was represented, the 2017 roster made a concentrated effort to be diverse, and strictly from a logistical perspective, it felt more comfortably crowded than past years (with the exception of nearly everyone’s exodus to Chance’s set). Major props are also in order for putting an emphasis on area food vendors, which alongside recycling programs, water refilling stations and activism organizations, may very well make Lollapalooza the most locally conscious, environmentally friendly fest on the planet.
Lollapalooza returns to Grant Park Thurs. Aug. 2- Sun. Aug. 9, 2018. For additional details, visit Lollapalooza.com.