Sweltering heat and massive crowds that create equally massive traffic can describe Chicago on any given summer day, but they are also synonymous with Lollapalooza – C3’s four-day music festival that attracts attendees and media outlets from all over the world. Despite the previously mentioned pain points Lollapalooza is a festival bountiful with positive attributes:
• Chicago shows off how alluring of a city it is
• Vendors bring out the tastes of delicious world food
• Pop-up shops and art installations
• People watching, because who doesn’t love to people watch
But it’s undeniable that the absolute reason people flock to this spectacle of a festival is the music. Between pre-shows, after shows, and the festival itself, several genres and sub-genres of music can be experienced – hip hop, r&b/soul, pop, electronica, rock, country, etc. While Lolla boasts some of the most-recognized names in music, it also gives a stage to lesser-known, but equally talented bands and solo artists.
This year’s headliners, Bruno Mars, Jack White, Playboi Carti, and Arctic Monkeys are must-see but there are dozens of smaller acts who should not be missed. Being invited to perform on the Lolla stage is a substantial milestone for anyone in the music industry, as it allows artists to connect with their longtime fan bases while garnering new fans and is deffinitly a sign that the said artist is on her way up.
Because there is no shortage of performances, Lollapalooza can, at times, feel oversaturated, as some performers have the tendency to mimic each other in sound. However, there are quite a few unique gems, for those who don’t want to experience musical deja vu for four consecutive days. Here are just a few:
Femdot: The Chicago native has much to celebrate: he recently graduated from DePaul University, released the acclaimed Delacreme 2 LP, and has been heavily promoting with press tours, video releases and live shows. Femdot isn’t just a rapper, he is a gifted storyteller, who can now add Lollapalooza to his growing music resume as the Delacreme experience infiltrates Grant Park.
Tank & the Bangas: Hailing from New Orleans, Tank & the Bangas are set to bring the Big Easy to the Windy City. In true NOLA fashion, the band, headed by Tarriona “Tank” Ball, fuses elements of jazz, hip-hop, electronica, funk, soul, and R&B to create a unique and lively sound. To experience the distinct sound of Tank & the Bangas is to experience something that has never been heard before at Lollapalooza.
Allie X: The electro-pop singer is slated to release her sophomore LP, Super Sunset, this fall, the follow-up to her CollXtion II album. While often times pop singers have mediocre vocals and sugary lyrics, Allie X has lyrical content that has the tendency to be on darker side and visually striking music videos. Fans can expect her to incorporate some elements from her video releases into her performance as she takes the stage at her first Lollapalooza.
Jessie Reyez: Although the guitarist and vocalist has yet to release a full-length album, she has released numerous successful singles and the impressive EP, Kiddo. Known for her distinct and soulful voice, the Toronto native has worked with the likes of Romeo Santos, Chance the Rapper and Calvin Harris. Reyez’ music is filled with bold emotion, boundary crossing, and relatability. Having recently released “Apple Juice,” Reyez has a raw vocal and musical talent that draws her audience in, allowing them to truly feel her life experience.
Brockhampton: Brockhampton isn’t one person; Brockhampton is a collective of multi-talented people, with different roles that support the vision of one band. The group released three studio albums in 2017, and have a fourth album, The Best Years of Our Lives, scheduled for release later this year. Their lyrics and sound are catchy, creative, and humorous. Having announced the cancellation of their tour earlier this year, the band regrouped, and are set to bring their unorthodox musical style and lively personalities to Chicago.