Day two of Lollapalooza brought a cooler breeze and overcast weather, complimenting the mid-tempo vibe accompanied by many of the day’s biggest acts — as well as changes in COVID guidelines from the city in response to worsening case numbers.
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) now recommends everyone over the age of two wear a mask indoors with masking outdoors remaining optional. The change comes due to the CDC’s guidance relating to the city’s current COVID numbers, which recently reached more than 200 cases a day with a 3.1% positivity rate, according to Chicago’s COVID Dashboard.
Lollapalooza announced on its Twitter Thursday that more than 90% of attendees showed their vaccination cards, with another 8% showing proof of negative tests and 600 people being turned away for showing up with no paperwork.
TikTok breakout star Tai Verdes kicked off the Bud Light Seltzer stage with a hypnotically energetic set.
“I am so happy that you guys are here right now,” Verdes addressed the crowd with a wide-brimming smile.
Verdes’ set was a masterclass in audience engagement. From his cover of Weezer’s “Beverly Hills” — the first song he ever downloaded on his iPod — to the sing-along sections of viral TikTok hit “Stuck in the Middle,” Verdes had the audience in the palm of his hand.
The charming star had fans singing along to tracks from his recently released album “TV” one second and laughing at his spoken zingers in between tracks the next. After an adrenaline-rushed run through the middle of the audience, Verdes returned to the stage in a pant, sipping water out of a can.
“What is water in a can?” he smirked. “Guys, I haven’t been to a gym in like a year.”
The set energized the crowd, setting them up for a lower key day under the clouds.
Giveon brought stunning vocals to his first festival appearance — and only second time in Chicago — but his band brought an energy that surpassed his largely mellow tone. The backing band’s rhythm section produced a sound as large as the singer’s voice, which is no small feat.
Before playing an unreleased track, Giveon played one of his largest successes, though without the lead singer. Justin Bieber’s “Peaches” electrified the crowd in a way that seemed out of character for the largely mellow set, though it still fell into place because of the audience reaction. With hundreds singing along, it was a unique moment for the R&B singer’s set.
On the pop side, rising artist Mothica hit the BMI stage to perform her dark pop tracks. With the crowd bopping along to her hypnotic production, the Oklahoma native performed song after song fit to be the closing track in a “Gossip Girl” or “Pretty Little Liars” late-in-the-season episode.
Lauv took the Bud Light Seltzer stage Friday night. The moody artist kept fans swaying with mid-tempo tracks, including fan favorites “i’m so tired…” and “Drugs & The Internet.”
“I’m so happy that we’re all together right now,” Lauv said. “We’re all here right now, together in this moment. Let’s all be here fully together.”
The calm crowd lit up when Lauv announced he’d perform an unreleased track. The untitled new track was an upbeat, slight shift from his traditional sound. The dance track had fans on their feet and energized heading into the night’s headlining acts.
Then, there was Tyler, the Creator. If every other stage had a show, Tyler had a production.
Elaborate set pieces — including a boat, multiple costume changes and pyrotechnics — made the rapper stand out more than anyone else on Friday.
This is all before mentioning the energy that Tyler himself brings to the stage. Very rarely does he stop moving while performing — usually dancing in a jolting way, perpetually stuck in the role of the song’s narrator and hell-bent on channeling his words physically.
This peaked during “NEW MAGIC WAND,” beating out even his being showered in sparks during “EARFQUAKE.”
The frantic instrumentals put music to Tyler’s sudden and intense movements while he screamed his verses into the microphone, making every aspect of the performance dedicated to focusing on the song.
While he rounded off the end of the set with some hits from “IGOR,” he played songs from early in his career — such as “Yonkers” — and his newest album “Call Me If You Get Lost,” which also inspired many of the scenic nature backgrounds used throughout the show.
It was only fitting that the showman, or rather ringleader, of Lollapalooza’s second night take a bow at the end of his performance, and Tyler did, all while fireworks went off behind him.
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