After a rain-soaked Saturday made for a messy third day of Lollapalooza, the fourth and final day on Sunday was much less chaotic, schedule and weather-wise.
Thankfully, the lineup on Sunday seemed to cater to a crowd who just wanted to enjoy some bops, rock under the cloudy skies and close out summer on a high note. And wow, Lollapalooza delivered.
The day started strong, albeit with the occasional sprinkles of rain, but that was nothing for Oklahoma City outfit Husbands, who kicked the party off early on the Tito's Handmade Vodka stage, where they played a mix of older songs and new material off their upcoming album. Later in the day, the Danny Davis-fronted act played a more intimate show at the Bud Light Backyard stage, where they were clearly joined by some devoted fans, who were staked out waiting for specific songs.
Grant Park was then treated to a blissful performance from country singer Ingrid Andress, as the Grammy-nominated songstress kicked off the final day at the main T-Mobile stage, capping her set with the fan favorites "Falling for You," "Wishful Drinking" and "Feel Like This."
The party was just getting started over at the Bud Light stage, where Los Angeles duo Neil Frances dazzled the crowd. Their electric performance came with perfect timing, as the pair just released their new song "Standing My Ground" over the weekend and confirmed their new album is on the way this fall. Maybe it was the new music. Maybe it was the cooler temps. But the vibe was just right.
Then came Holly Humberstone at the Bacardí stage, easily one of our favorite performances of the weekend. The 23-year-old U.K. singer also recently announced her own new album, which will be her debut full-length, and she offered live renditions for the crowd, who packed in around the stage despite a bevy of mud pits from Saturday's downpours. She also had a chance to redo her live "debut" of the song "Superbloodmoon," her newly released collaboration with d4vd, which she played first at Osheaga Festival in Montreal just days before. But according to the singer, she "fucked it up badly." Luckily, her Lolla rendition, and the full performance was essentially flawless.
The late afternoon only further cemented the celebratory atmosphere, as Oklahoma City artist Josh Fudge was a hit on the BMI stage, winning over new fans and satisfying existing ones. The energy was very tangible as he performed his breakout single "Feel Like."
Meanwhile, Gorgon City had the Perry's stage in a daze as the English production duo built a euphoric environment which felt both larger than life and yet somehow intimate. That was all as Lil Yachty was performing on the Bud Light stage, where the north side of the park was getting some light rain showers. Fans expecting bangers seemed slightly disappointed by the rapper-singer's choice to emphasize his more recent rock inclinations. But for those who stuck around, it was psychedelic, soulful rock jam session.
By early evening, Joey Bada$$ was taking over the Tito's Handmade Vodka stage, the second-to-last performer of the weekend, joined by a very special Chicago guest in the form of Chance the Rapper, who is certainly no stranger to Lollapalooza. His surprise appearance only added to the positive energy surrounded this final day of the fest.
Of course, the positive vibes continued further over at the Coinbase stage, where ongoing Variance favorite Maisie Peters brought her new album The Good Witch to life on stage while running through a number of gems from her previous debut album, more than proving she is absolutely one to watch as she offered a magical experience for those camped out to see her just as much as for those who discovered her on Sunday, lured in by her charming performance.
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the day was The Backseat Lovers, whose enormous crowd was bleeding over from Coinbase over to the T-Mobile stage, where Red Hot Chili Peppers would perform afterwards. But unlike in some instances of lead-in acts benefiting from the headliner on the next stage over, this crowd was all-in for The Backseat Lovers. It was a special experience, quickly evident from the first few minutes as they played an instrumental jam for their opener with the crowd entranced.
The glow of the fading sun served as a perfect backdrop as the band played their hit single "Kilby Girl," at which point the crowd erupted in excitement. Singer Joshua Harmon even seemed to be taken aback as he would briefly step away from the microphone and let the crowd take over. And they never missed a beat. It was mesmerizing.
And then yes, of course, the Chili Peppers followed on the T-Mobile stage. Their presence atop the Lolla lineup this year was hardly a shocker, as the band is reliable as a headliner, at this point probably counting themselves amongst the so-called "legacy acts" festivals like to include. And they never disappoint, this time included. The band provided a perfect harmony of antics and theatrics and a burst of familiar favorites and good ol' rock 'n' roll. The kind of performance Lolla has long been known for, building on that legacy with a stunning show to cap the weekend.
But the real magic of the night was across the park on the north end, where Lana Del Rey was closing out the Bud Light stage. From early in the day, it was clear the park was full, perhaps even more so than the other days. And it was a young—very young—crowd. When the singer, also known as Lizzy Grant, took the stage, it was indisputable. The people were here for Lana.
And for anyone arguing against Del Rey as a headliner, those debates could be put to rest before she even took the stage—albeit five minutes late. But as fans eagerly packed in around the stage, it was hard to imagine anyone else playing this final day. When she took the stage in a haze of orange light, performing an abbreviated version of her newer song "A&W," it was phones up, screams, cheers, excitement at an 11.
And we shouldn't be surprised. As nightfall approached and the crowds shuffled for perhaps the last time of the weekend, we overheard a group of friends discussing their decision-making in watching some of the Chili Peppers versus spending the majority of their time at the Bud Light stage.
"I like the Red Hot Chili Peppers—or whatever they're called," one member of the group said, stumbling over the band's name, then adding: "But I worship the ground Lana Del Rey walks on." And that was it. Nothing against RHCP, but LDR reigned Sunday night. And as she delivered hit after hit after hit, she was silencing the naysayers. As she sang "Young and Beautiful," she could have easily let the crowd take over for her, because they were so resonant, their excited faces appearing on the screens overhead.
Sunday was a dazzling explosion of pop and rock, but if there was anyone lighting the fuse, it was Lana Del Rey.