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Lollapalooza 2023: Days 3 & 4: (Chicago, IL) - August 5th and 6th, 2023

7 August 2023

Day 3

The inclement weather did little to cull the crowds on the final two days of Lollapalooza 2023 – it was quite a sight to witness the shivering masses of equally prepared and unprepared attendees, bundled up in parkas and wearing muddy gym shoes braving the low fields of Grant Park.

While I was unable to attend the majority of the final two days, I had the pleasure of shooting two of the weekend’s headliners, both eagerly anticipated and had drawn crowds to the barricades even in the morning despite the poor weather conditions.

Odesza (while quite difficult to shoot well), has always been a fantastic spectacle of production and sound and is one act that I will forever recommend that people see at least once. With The Last Goodbye fresh in people’s memories and discographies, Mills and Knight pulled out all of the stops for their headlining slot on the T-Mobile stage that evening. Their 24-track setlist included, among others, a jaw-dropping remix of One Day They’ll Know from Pretty Lights as well as Sudan Archives coming on-stage for her cover of Selfish Soul midway through. I was pleased to see the duo pull primarily from A Moment Apart, their 2017 record that cemented them in the hall of electronic music fame and set them on a headlining course for festivals to come.

Photo by James Richards IV for Brooklyn Vegan

While the group has been a repeat headliner in recent years (much like our next headliner), there’s no doubt in my mind that their repeat headliner slots are not only well-deserved but also absolutely necessary for the longevity of the festival. Few groups in the electronic space can effectively draw as wide a crowd as they can, and if the goal of a headliner is to put on the biggest spectacle of the night, then Odesza will certainly fit the bill for many years to come.

Day 4

The general feeling of relief was quite evident amongst both crew and fans alike as Lollapalooza drew to a close on Sunday. Having been spared by a round of fierce storms that made their way abruptly south, the day went on without a hitch (not including the massive amounts of mud).

Walking to the site in the later afternoon, I was able to catch a highly anticipated 9-song set by The Backseat Lovers at the Coinbase stage. The crowd was almost feverish in anticipation, not unusual given the sets close proximity to the headlining acts, but nonetheless still a massive amount of energy for a relatively small band that had just found its foothold in households by way of social media in the last couple of years.

Drawing the fans in close with deep cuts like Know Your Name, the Utah natives gave a masterclass of teasing out the crowd, waiting until the halfway point of their set to launch into their hit single Kilby Girl.

It was no doubt a perfect time for the group to gain more appreciative followers, as the band played to what would likely be its largest crowd for a long while, pulling in both Day 1’s as well as those battling to the front of the T-Mobile stage to get a good spot for the evening’s headliner. A wonderful opportunity for a hard-working band and a good time had by all.

Few bands have had as much of an impact on Lollapalooza as the Red Hot Chili Peppers have had.

First playing the festival in 1992, the California natives have become as synonymous with Lollapalooza as Perry himself, consistently drawing massive crowds of all ages and musical tastes – and they certainly were worth the hype that evening.

Bassist Flea whipped the crowds into a frenzy before driving the group into what could be considered as the best 3-song start of any band that I’ve ever seen, playing Can’t Stop followed by Scar Tissue and Dani California in quick succession, much to everyone’s delight.

Frontman Anthony Kiedis was in good spirits that evening, dancing from end to end of the stage while leading the band through covers of Orange Claw Hammer and Dreamboy/Dreamgirl, as well as an homage to The Clash with Right on Time midway through.

Few bands in history have had the staying power that RHCP has had and even after 15 songs and a 2-song encore, both crowd and band alike would have been game for plenty more had it been in the stars. While it would have been wonderful to witness Lana Del Rey at the other end of the site, there’s little doubt that The Peppers gave us what we were all hoping for this year – just a brief second to turn back the clock and revel in the good old days that Lollapalooza has been providing for us for the past 32 years.

It’s been a pleasure. We hope to see everyone again next year.