Blueprint staff shares who is worth your time at Lollapalooza this year


Ian Crowley '18

Mark your calendars; August 2-5 is when the festival starts in Grant Park

While I am a little bit sad to say that I won’t be at Lollapalooza this year, it doesn’t bother me that much because Lolla is really lacking an awesome rock headliner. When I went two years ago I reveled in the musical balance between rock and rap, my two favorite genres. I went from seeing J Cole one night to the Red Hot Chili Peppers the next. It was divine.

However, with Jack White as the main rock headliner, it seems Lolla’s center of balance is tipping. The past two years have seen less rock stars and more party music. No longer is the festival catering to all ages, but it is drawing high school and college students who want to jump around and party. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just the truth.

While I appreciate a good banger as much as anyone, I still believe that musical balance is key. Lollapalooza is losing its balance.

All that aside, the rap centric lineup is still bound to dish out an awesome four day long party.

Day one has two solid rappers that I’m excited for: Travis Scott and G Herbo. Considering his track record, Scott’s show will be a freaking mob. His last visit to Chicago’s most popular music festival lead to riots, and, frankly I’m surprised they let him back. This show could be the highlight of the festival. And, while I don’t listen to G Herbo that often, the Chicago rapper will bring some fire to day one.

Day two has no real standouts for me. Although it goes against popular opinion, I am not a big fan of Post Malone. Part of it is just about how ugly he is, but I’m sure he’d put on a good show. On day two you would probably find me there, and at Tyler, the Creator’s performance with the hopes that he’ll bring out some other members of Odd Future, most notably Earl Sweatshirt, who is one of my favorite artists.

Day three is where things really pick up. I’d go from LL Cool J to Perry Farrell’s Kind Heaven to Lil Pump. LL Cool J is an American icon, and currently a badass cop on NCIS. You couldn’t miss that. Perry Farrell, the man with the plan, would also be a must. Whether or not you like his crazy style of rock, you have to pay homage to him as the man that brings music and drug infused fun to Grant Park every summer. And, finally, as stupid as Lil Pump’s lyrics are, you could not miss that show. His incredible drops, and catchy chorus’ promise to bring down the house.

To close out the fest, we have a bunch of other rappers who I don’t listen to that much, but who I know would put on a few really fun shows. Day four would be filled with Lil Uzi Vert, Gucci Mane, and Playboi Carti.

While I wish the lineup would have some more variety, there is no doubt in my mind that if you get to these shows you will have an incredible time.

An artist that everyone is familiar with, from hits like “24K Magic”, “Uptown Funk”, and singles from 2010 like “Grenade”, Bruno Mars will certainly draw an enormous crowd during the weekend. There is no doubt that the Chicago crowd will be bumping and moving to the megastar’s music. His suave and slick dance moves draw shades of Michael and certainly will bring energy and excitement to the entire weekend. Look no further than Mars’ performance at the 2014 Super Bowl as proof of his tremendous stage presence and skill as a live performer. With his dedication to fun, Bruno is truly one of the headliners of this year’s festivals that make you shake in anticipation to see what sort of show he brings to Grant Park.

This local Chicago band plays a genre of music described as psychedelic rock. The band itself is the product of a group of tight friends exploring different riffs, hooks, and flourishes together to create their own unique sound. Using many synth heavy sounds in their debut album, “When I Think Of You In A Castle”, Post Animal has drawn comparisons to Tame Impala, Mac Demarco, The Shins, and even the Beatles. However, at the end of the day, the band of brothers are the owners of their own sound with every member contributing to songwriting and singing the vocals of their own contributions. Furthermore, Post Animal is truly formed and molded by the local Chicago scene after having performed extensively in the city and touring with other local Chicago bands like Twin Peaks. Having made the stage at Lolla seems like a success worth celebrating with this band that will undoubtedly become your best friends. In addition, having Joe Keery, of “Stranger Things” fame, as a contributing member, despite the fact that he is no longer able to tour with them, certainly draws connections from their own music to the show with the psych rock feel mixed with heavy synth usage.

Daniel Caesar, the Canadian R&B artist, sings soulful, somber, and reflective songs. He has several Grammy nominations to his name at only age 22. With his debut album “Freudian” in 2017, Caesar has reached success with a timeless and emotional voice, even getting one of his songs, “Blessed”, on Former President Barack Obama’s annual playlist of favorite songs of the year while also garnering attention from other high profile fans like Chance the Rapper, Stevie Wonder, Shawn Mendes, and many more. Caesar’s music has drawn such attention due to the sheer honesty of his music, along with the vocal expertise and movement at his disposal. He is dedicated to the artistry of his music rather than any monetary reward or notierioty that he would receive, especially seen in his resistance to being signed by any major labels. The songs that he sings are filled with a love and passion that truly come out in his performance, and are simply enjoyable. Daniel Caesar is simply an amazingly talented singer who brings out a vibe that everyone at Lolla will not only enjoy, but completely jam out to.

Originally, Durand Jones & The Indications began as a small idea between a few music students at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music to perform for one night only. Equipped with a toy microphone, a miniscule recording budget, and a few beers in their bellies, they recorded songs that would eventually became their self-titled debut album in 2016. The band brings new light to an old school feel by leaning heavily on their roots in soul music, which is clearly expressed in their music. They utilize a collection of funky guitar, organ, horns, and the powerful vocals of lead singer Durand Jones to blend a soul feel with the simple purity and power of rock music. It is hard not to hear both Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding in their rasps and murmurs, while still acknowledging how original the band feels. But the really amazing thing about these musicians is how effortless it seems for them to play with such amazing depth while playing both love ballads and dance party songs alike without losing any of their genuine passion for music. Without a doubt, Durand Jones & The Indications will pour their hearts out on the stage on the last day of Lollapalooza, leaving everyone with a memorable performance they will remember with satisfaction.

Considering that at his last Lollapalooza appearance he incited a riot, I have high expectations for Travis Scott. The popular rapper will be headlining on Thursday, and I along with everyone else will be there. The grammy award winning artist has been featured in an abundance of amazing collaborations, with those including, but not limited to, Kanye West, SZA, Big Sean and Rihanna. His raps are unique, anytime his song is on the radio it is unmistakably him. His songs don’t follow a specific tone, appealing to those who love a good hype song and those who like a more chill vibe. Personally, I’m looking forward to hearing Upper Echelon and Way Back. Travis has a big, unpredictable personality that will only add to his natural talents. He is an act you won’t want to miss.

There’s nowhere else to be on the weekend but at the Weeknd headlining at lollapalooza. Abel will be returning to Lollapalooza with a ton of new hits in store. The Weeknd’s music is hard to classify, as it spans over several genres; alternative R&B, pop, and soul being the most notable. Because of his multifaceted music, he attracts a large audience that keeps growing. The multi grammy nominated artist will likely be performing the hits from his latest album, Starboy, though I’m hoping he also plays some songs from my favorite album, Beauty Behind the Madness. At his last festival appearance at Coachella he appeared to be emotional while performing “Call Out My Name”, so look out for an emotional performance. Though I’m not the biggest fan of his new EP, he is still an act you won’t want to miss.

Annie Clark, better known by her stage name of St. Vincent, will be performing on Saturday at Lollapalooza. The underrated artist is known for her alternative, pop music and unique style that has gained traction as of recent. Her spontaneous and unconventional sounds make for an incredibly entertaining and unforgettable performance. The quirky artist has a mesmerizing sound, one that caught my attention in 2007 with “Paris is Burning”, and has kept me interested eversince. The Tulsa native won a Grammy in 2015 for Best Alternative Music Album, and though she has been an under the radar musician for years now, she is definitely worth the attention. She will not disappoint.

If your in the mood to be in your feels and upbeat all in one set, Khalid is an act you need to see. He had an impressive year last year, winning the VMA award for best new artist and has been nominated for 5 grammys. His song, “Location”, was on the radio 24/7 last summer and will be a highly anticipated performance from the 20 year old artist. His music gives off a very chill, relaxed vibe, perfect for summer. His most popular album, American Teen, was named in the 50 Best Albums of 2017 and was popular amongst many teens (no surprise there). This album was extremely relatable in content, addressing topics especially pertinent to the teenage experience. His set will be one you won’t want to miss.

Following the much anticipated drop of his sophomore album, Beerbongs and Bentleys, Post Malone is my most anticipated Lolla performance. Post came onto the scene with his single, “White Iverson” and truly rose to stardom with the release of his album Stoney in 2016. Post combines hip hop with elements of grunge and country music to create his unique sound. Post himself describes his music as “genre-less.”

Last year’s Uzi performance was forced to end after just one song due to lightning and rain. This year Uzi hopes to wow the audience with his usual rockstar-esqe antics. Uzi is a naturally charismatic performer and is well known for his entertaining shows. I’m personally excited to hear tracks from his new mixtape Luv is Rage 2 like “Sauce it up” and “The way life goes.”

The Atlanta native will make is Lolla debut on Sunday. After dropping his debut mixtape in April 2017, he quickly rose to fame. Carti is defined by his playful and melodic mumble, which can be seen through tracks like “Magnolia” and “Woke up like this.” Carti’s music is more about creating a fun atmosphere for the audience than it is about the lyrics, which is sure to make for a fun Lolla performance.

Don’t let Supa Bwe’s (Boy) position on the lineup poster distract from his accomplishments and impact on the music industry this year. His debut album Finally Dead peaked at number three on Apple Music’s hip hop chart in December and gained even more popularity during his U.S. tour. My first time seeing Supa live was three summers ago at the local music venue Subterranean. Honestly I was spoiled to have this be my first concert as everything since then, including many lollapalooza acts, haven’t come close to the performance I received that night. Supa’s sound transcends genres with both hard hitting and wavy vibes. One song he’s in your face, hyping you up verse after verse, and the next could be a reflection on his childhood or rise to fame. He not only has the melodic skills to keep the crowd jumping, but his on-stage persona is unique only to him. No stage is big enough to contain Supa’s movements and dancing, and no crowd is too small to keep him from stage diving and allowing his fans to pass him around. Whether you’re a long time fan or new to him entirely, Supa Bwe will not disappoint.

Starting your Lolla day as early as 12:15 can be daunting, especially on the last day, when you’re already tired from three very full days of music and partying. However, SUPERORGANISM is a good band to drag yourself out of bed for. SUPERORGANISM is a really interesting group, made up of international members, a self described transatlantic band that currently all live together in London. They burst onto the scene with the bright, unique track “Something For Your M.I.N.D.” Another single, “Everybody Wants To Be Famous” pulsates, their lead singers voice Oromo, whispering over the beat. Their set should be an exciting mix of beats and dancing.