The 20th Anniversary of Lollapalooza culminated last night with a mind-blowing Foo Fighters performance, an ankle-deep mud bath and a Grant Park polluted with beer cans following a weekend of impressive performances from a range of artists. Two of the best performances of the weekend belonged to two very different bands: One, a Grammy Award-winning, legendary rock band, and the other, an up-and-coming Chicago band with barely legal teens and a style unmatched.
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I figured Foo Fighters would be good, because they were scheduled to close out the festival, but I had no idea they were going to be THAT good. Following the first downpour of the otherwise sunny day, concert-goers trudged through a mud-filled Grant Park to get as close to the Music Unlimited stage as possible to witness Dave Grohl’s band. Promptly at 8:00 p.m., the band rushed to the stage with indescribable momentum. Opening up with “Bridge Burning,” Dave Grohl belted out “these are my famous last words” with such power and energy he probably could have been heard without a microphone. A large black cloud slowly overtook the city as the second storm of the day crawled in, but the audience was too hypnotized by the Foo Fighters’ stage presence to notice. The second downpour of the day started almost on cue with “My Hero.” Dave Grohl took on the storm like a beast. He whipped back his soaking wet hair and jammed without reservation, staying true to his no bullshit, badass form. Foo Fighters made it known that no storm was going to stop them from rocking Chicago. Joining in the chorus of over 50,000 voices belting out the lyrics to “My Hero” as the rain pounded down from the sky was the highlight of my Lollapalooza weekend. As the rain subsided, the band carried on, interlacing classic Foo Fighters songs with ones from their newest album, “Wasting Light.” Taylor Hawkins was a sight to be seen as he passionately pounded on his drum set like a maniac, a smile on his face the entire time. Dave Grohl jumped into the audience at one point, feeding off the crowd’s energy as they danced and screamed together with Foo Fighters in ankle-deep mud water. Closing with the original rather than the acoustic version of my favorite Foo Fighters song “Everlong” was the crowning moment. One day later, my body is still dizzy thinking about what amazing performers the Foo Fighters really are.
Kids These Days
Although Kids These Days looks like a band made up of eight young kids, the band has developed such a sophisticated, smooth sound that upon first hearing them, one would never guess some of the artists are still in high school. I was lucky enough to see Kids These Days live two times over the weekend. My first encounter with the group was during their energetic Lolla performance, where I stood in a crowd packed with current city high schoolers as well as CPS alums. Vic Mensa, the rapper of Kids These Days, hyped up the crowd as Nico Segal did his best Miles Davis impression. Together, the eight-member group produced a funky, jazz-infused hip-hop sound incomparable to any other band out there. Any of the kids in this band could have a promising solo career; they vibe off one another so well in a group, though, that it would be sad to see any of them away from Kids These Days. I saw the band for the second time during a more mellow acoustic show at the Hard Rock Hotel. With drummer Greg Landfair Jr away from the stage, Macie Stewart and Liam Cunningham were given a chance to really show off their vocal talents. Macie’s voice is beautiful and reminiscent of Norah Jones; her vocals have a magnetic quality about them that left several members of the crowd, including myself, speechless. If you have not yet checked out Kids These Days, I strongly recommend that you do.
What were your favorite shows of the weekend? Which artists impressed you most?