Posted August 2, 2015 by whopperjaw in Tunes

2015 Lollapalooza Day Two


“This music makes me feel good,” said Metallica singer-guitarist James Hetfield at the beginning of the band’s two-hour performance on day two of Lollapalooza. Hetfield’s goatee might’ve turned gray and hard-hitting drummer Lars Ulrich might be balding, but these guys proved they could still rock. At the set’s start, Hetfield, wearing a leather vest that made him look him a member of the fictional biker gang Sons of Anarchy, barked “gimme fuel, gimme fire, gimme that which I desire” as the band launched into the tune “Fuel.” It made for an apt opening to a great hits set. One particular highlight: the band introduced “King Nothing” with some squealing guitars before the plodding drums kicked in. Ulrich is still one of rock’s hardest hitting drummers and he anchored the band’s performance. The group hasn’t performed much this year so it drew an enormous crowd and clearly reveled in playing before it.

On the opposite end of Grant Park, singer Sam Smith showed off his soulful voice. While he’s able to replicate the music on his 2014 debut In the Lonely Hour, he’s not a particularly dynamic personality on stage. At one point, he ripped into a cover of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” while backed by a cadre of singers.  The song sounded sharp but Smith didn’t manage to take it higher as it then segued into a rote rendition of Chic’s 1978 disco hit “Le Freak.”

Earlier that day, country singer Sturgill Simpson made his Lollapalooza debut. An old school country guy who even played a bit of bluegrass in his set, Simpson is a strange choice for the alt-rock festival, but Simpson, who doesn’t show much emotion while playing, fronted a terrific band that include guitarist Laur “Lil’ Joe” Joamets, a guy whose gritty guitar work gave the songs a real edge. Dressed casually in a blue button down shirt and black jeans, Simpson isn’t a flashy performer but he’s a terrific songwriter and singer. His set concluded with a vigorous jam that delved into garage rock territory.

Other highlights from the day: White Sea played on a small shaded stage where its synth pop/rock translated well. Behind evocative singer Morgan Kibby, the group played mid-tempo rock that fortunately never sounded too precious. Alt-country rockers Delta Spirit also put on a decent performance, delivering their hit tune, “From Now On,” early in their set.  Australia’s Tame Impala emphasized texture in its hour-long set that included smoke and strobe lights as part of its stage show. While that part of the performance didn’t translate well during the day-time slot, the band still managed to create a big enough sound to captivate the enormous crowd that came to see it perform.

To see photos from Day Two of Lollapalooza 2015, click here.

And you can read about and see photos from Day One of Lollapalooza 2015.


Whopperjaw is slang for anything slightly askew or out of whack which describes us perfectly. Our online mag covers interesting interviews, craft brews, movie reviews, music news and more.