Bringing with it an epic lineup including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem, Major Lazer, Halsey and more, Lollapalooza 2016 has come and gone, but there were moments this weekend in Chicago that will live on in festivalgoers’ memories for a long time.
Danish singer MØ provided one. Rain hit hard during her Friday set, making for a muddy ground and several technical difficulties. She handled all of it in stride, graciously thanking her audience for sticking with her as her microphone cut in and out. For the finale, she gave her all, performing her Major Lazer collaboration “Lean On” as fans danced in the downpour and she made her way to the barricade. Once there she performed the song’s final chorus while crowd-surfing over the first few rows of the audience.
That same day, Future performed, and while the Atlanta rapper could have easily headlined one of the nights at Lollapalooza, he instead delivered a career-defining, career-spanning performance on Friday afternoon. And he invited out Chance the Rapper so that the Chicago native could treat fans to his second delivery of “No Problem” of the weekend (the first was with Flosstradamus).
Another standout cameo was made by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who briefly out-shredded Dave Navarro during Jane’s Addiction’s performance of “Mountain Song.”
In a move that no doubt had Morello’s approval, Chicago’s very own Vic Mensa turned his set into a protest, speaking out on the water crisis in Flint and the inaccessibility of such an expensive music festival to the poorer communities of the city where it takes place. A pantomime of Mensa being held down by the officers during the song “16 Shots,” recalled the death of Laquan McDonald. After the raucous “U Mad,” the officers pointed their weapons at Mensa as he stood on top of a platform above the stage, a powerful image for the rising rapper.
For their part, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ only statement was that they still rock. The Chili Peppers first toured with the alt-fest 24 years ago just as they were becoming mainstream rock staples, and now the band has become a legacy act of funky rap-rock. The quartet deepened their new calling with one of the weekend’s most unifying and fun jam sessions, powering through new and old hits in front of the festival’s biggest crowd.