Posted August 3, 2019 by whopperjaw in Tunes

Lollapalooza 2019 Day 1 – Here’s What You Missed

Lollapalooza Day 1 - Hobo Johnson
Lollapalooza Day 1 - Hobo Johnson

Clearly excited to be performing in one of the headlining slots on the first night of Lollapalooza 2019, the Chainsmokers pulled out all the stops with a packed 90-minute set in front of an enthusiastic audience.

They arrived on stage carrying flares and then launched into a dissonant instrumental before inviting Lennon Stella onto the stage to join them for a rendition of “Takeaway.” The guest singer brought a solid stage presence as she traversed the multi-tiered stage wearing a luxurious ensemble that resembled pink satin pajamas. Other surprise guests included Bebe Rexha, who joined the duo for the hit single “Call You Mine,” Kelsea Ballerini, who was on hand for “This Feeling” and Daya, who joined the band for “Don’t Let Me Down.” Bursts of fireworks amplified the band’s stunning light show and high-energy performance. They played opposite the Strokes, who performed on the opposite side of Grant Park to a reportedly smaller crowd. 

In another highlight from Day One, half-alive offered its distinctive take on indie pop during a short mid-afternoon set on a side stage. Bleached blonde singer Josh Taylor capably slipped into falsetto during the performance that featured both a string and horn section and some pretty cleverly choreographed dance routines. Spunky tunes such as “ok ok?” and “Runaway” sounded tailor-made for iPhone ads.

Cleveland native Cautious Clay showed off his multi-instrumentalist abilities as he switched from keyboards to saxophone, bass and flute during an American Eagle Stage set that featured songs from his three EPs. His husky voice made him sound a bit like Sting, and the mellow songs had a jazzy feel to them even as the jagged guitar riffs often made them border on indie rock.

Hobo Johnson’s Lollapalooza debut got off to a shaky start as the singer-rapper-poet had some issues with sound that delayed the show by 15 minutes. “What a classic way to start our set,” the very relatable singer joked before launching into his hit “Romeo and Juliet.” That opening number proved to the set’s highlight as Johnson’s spoken word interludes and poems sometimes fell flat, even though they reflected his ability to spin some very funny stories, including one that took aim at Trump.

During their respective late afternoon sets, Fitz and The Tantrums and Hozier showed why they’re festival favorites. Wearing a sleeveless T-shirt and skinny jeans with holes in the knees, Fitz and The Tantrums’ singer Michael Fitzpatrick looked more like a scruffy indie rocker than a neo-soul singer, but he capably engaged the crowd and had fans singing along to catchy numbers such as “123456,” “Moneygrabber” and “Handclap.” Best known for his hit tune “Take Me to Church,” which he played at the very end of his set, Hozier had a large band on hand for his set and brought up guest singer Maggie Rogers for a rousing rendition of “Work Song.”

King Princess, the stage name of singer-songwriter Mikaela Straus, also deserves mention for delivering a theatrical set. Led by Straus, who was decked out in old-school 1992 Lolla garb, King Princess expertly delivered the poppy songs from its debut album, Cheap Queen, which will come out later this year on Mark Ronson‘s Zelig Records.

Want to see photos from Day One of Lollapalooza 2019? Check out our Flickr gallery and follow us on Instagram.


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