Posted August 7, 2018 by Jeff in Tunes

2018 Lollapalooza Day 3 – Upping their Game

LL Cool J
LL Cool J

Hip-hop dominated the third day of Lollapalooza. In a mid-afternoon set, Lil Pump delivered a set so raucous that he had to stop several times to tell fans to take a step away from the stage so anyone standing near the front wouldn’t get crushed. “You’re lit as fuck,” said Lil’ Pump, who clearly admired the enthusiastic crowd’s response and managed to successfully deliver his hit “Gucci Gang” despite the fact that his DJ had to scramble after his laptop overheated at the set’s start.

Most of the fans who bum rushed the stage to see Lil Pump hightailed it out of there after the rapper’s set even though old school hip-hop hero LL Cool J took the stage directly across the way. LL Cool J sent DJ Z-Trip out to hype the crowd, and Z-Trip did just that, playing snippets of everything from Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend” to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” and adding turntable scratches and hip-hop beats to the mix.

When LL Cool J emerged, he appropriately started his set with “Mama Said Knock You Out.” “Don’t call it a comeback/I’ve been here for years,” he rapped at the song’s start as he slowly made his way down a set of stairs onto the stage. Wearing a black tank top, a black baseball cap he twisted sideways and his signature gold chain, the burly rapper showed he still has plenty of swagger left to his game. During “Jack the Ripper,” he regularly pointed to Z-Trip when he needed a beat, showing how working with a DJ who’s not just pressing play on his DAT machine can give a live hip-hop performance the same sense of drama that rock and pop acts bring the stage.

Playing the last date of an extensive tour in support of his latest album, Bobby Tarantino II, rapper Logic toasted the crowd at the end of his high-energy set that showed off his lyrical prowess and Eminem-like skills on the microphone. He closed his set with the exuberant anthem “Everyday.”

While he’s technically not a rapper, Canadian singer, songwriter and record producer the Weeknd draws from hip-hop, and his headlining set showed off his ability to both sing and rap. Early in the set, he delivered the eerie “Starboy” with all the intensity that comes across on the studio release. Clearly enthused to be performing before such a huge crowd, he regularly praised the fans of Chicago and effectively used his live band to bring somber songs such as “Pray for Me” to life.

Other highlights from the day included Bomba Estereo. Having just opened a slew of dates for indie darlings Arcade Fire, the Colombia duo of Liliana Saumet and Simon Mejia fit the festival perfectly and has never sounded better. They wore bright outfits, and Saumet regularly encouraged fans to sing along to the band’s bouncy Latin rock tunes. Wearing a bright yellow dress and a festive flower crown, she easily shifted between rapping and singing, both of which she did in her native language.

Singer Dua Lipa showed how much she’s evolved as a live performer since her last Lolla show. Wearing a mid-riff baring halter top and sweat pants, she busted a move with her equally athletic dancers, delivering tunes such as “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” with plenty of gusto.

Making their debut at Lollapalooza, the Los Angeles-via-the-UK rock trio Bones also turned in a solid set as front women Rosie Bones and Carmen Vandenberg, both of whom donned matching overalls, expertly mixed blues and hard rock in their hard rocking performance while delivering a positive message about acceptance that was reflected in songs such as “Beautiful is Boring.”

To see photos of Day 3, click here.


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at [email protected].