Lolla 2k17 in Brief: Day 1

Sometimes in life, you imagine that your first day at Lollapalooza 2k17 will be full of concerts, warm weather and some quality Chicago street food. And sometimes (in reality) you meet some cool dudes from the United Kingdom at the headlining show, get to see Muse play three songs until the sky opens up into a torrential downpour and you have to evacuate the park and end up spontaneously singing “Clint Eastwood” in full with a few people wearing Humanz tour t-shirts. And that ends up being infinitely better of a day than you ever would’ve expected.

What a day we had today! I’ve been running on two and a half hours of sleep, my flight left at 8:30 in the morning and I’ve been going ever since. So let’s get into some photos and a brief rundown of my favourites of today, alright?

Starting the day was Declan McKenna, a lovely and harder-rocking-than-expected weirdo in sparkly makeup, a suit jacket, a fat tie with no shirt, athletic shorts and white tennis shoes. He sounded better live than I was expecting and was self assured and confident without being obnoxious for the entirety of the show. He was also surprisingly active, throwing himself around the stage, climbing rafters and jumping into crowd to sing to people.

Declan before he took most of his already sparse clothes off.

I arrived to Middle Kids right as they started playing their breakout hit “Edge of Town.” When I was in England in May I would listen to this song on repeat and think about how stressed I was to move on to my next year of school. Hearing it live, as the sky opened up for the first time and the rain fell, was seriously like God reminding me that everything does work out in the long run. Everything will be ok. There’s joy in life. I could tell by the nervous energy turned fantastic fun that the band provided in their stage presence, as the two guitarists dueled it out through solos and singing. But unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture because of the rain.

Next was George Ezra, a gem of a crooner. What a voice this guy has for folk rock and slow burner ballads about love, lost, travel and musings on the world at large. While he tended to talk and stall a lot between songs, he maintained a professional, friendly and collected demeanor. His brass band was in perfect sync and gave the songs a great new dimension. The decision to play a more upbeat version of “Blame it on Me” was a great one. He has a lot of musical talent, even if not really my preferred genre.

Don’t let the sun fool you. We thought that the rain had stopped by the time George Ezra took the stage, but…

One of the family friends I was with insisted that I post this picture of someone who brought their sleeping bag to reserve their space in the audience. So here it is!

Immediately afterwards (seriously, immediately…they started before Ezra was even done with the final chorus of “Budapest”) came Cage the Elephant. What a show! The frontman came out in a sparkly dress with fishnet tights, running like a madman all over the stage, all through the crowd, climbing over anything there was to climb on and throwing himself to the ground in a second. He sang to audience members, jumped all over his band mates, and seemed so genuinely humbled and blessed to see how into the show fans were. He even looked like he was about to cry when crowd sang “Trouble” back to him.

And along came Spoon! And they were absolutely as good as they’ve been the last two times I’ve seen them. Unfortunately the setlist was condensed into about 10 songs instead of the 17 or so I’ve seen them do on tour, but they fit “The Underdog” and “Rent I Pay” (my personal fav in their catalogue) into it.Good to see you again, boys!

I got this lovely photo at the start of the show, too:Chicago, you are beautiful.

After that came Muse, who I unfortunately didn’t get a picture of due to all the rain. It’d started raining a bit during Spoon, and lightened up as we pushed our way to the front as Muse started playing “Dig Down.” Once they started “Psycho” it poured. The new friends we made sang along to both every lyric and every riff to the track, and everyone screamed “Ayy, sir!” at the drill sergeant parts. With all the rain, it was pretty fantastic.

But all good things must come to an end. The rain turned to a storm, and Muse had to leave the stage after “Hysteria.” Not long after we had to evacuate the park, but thankfully my friend and I (I was actually with the one and only Jac with no K, who I blogged about last month) met some people on the way out who were more than happy to sing “Clint Eastwood” word-for-word with us.

It was an unexpected ending to a nonstop day, but it was a flawed and perfect ending all the same. What’s in store tomorrow? I suppose you’ll have to tune in to see.

Thanks for reading, and God bless.

-Turntable Talk

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