Lollapalooza Day 2 Highlights: Metallica’s Metal Militia Sets a New Lolla Flavor

Metallica’s bro-army hijacked the day at Lollapalooza. There was an alpha-male miasma lingering over the southern half of Grant Park all day. It germinated and lingered, coalescing at the Samsung Galaxy main stage throughout the day. By 2:30PM many of them were already piling in to worship their once thrashing heroes. They came, they drank, they wore black, they moshed, they conquered.

Despite their imposing presence, the Samsung Galaxy stage was the place to be during Lollapalooza’s intense second day. 

Metal Up Your Ass: Metallica

Metallica playing Lollapalooza in 1996 made a whole lot of sense. Metallica playing Lollapalooza again in 2015 was a perplexing but rewarding puzzle piece. These guys brought it hard, dropping a career-spanning setlist that would make even casual fans salivate. For many people at Lollapalooza, this was the only set. It wasn’t hard to spot flag toting fans in the crowd from the far reaches of the globe.

From the opening fracas during “Fuel”, many fans fervently countered the ferocity on stage with meathead moshing. Hundreds of contest winners lined behind drummer Lars Ulrich’s kit for the duration of the set. “Are you with us” vocalist James Hetfield inquired rhetorically in his comical growl.

Metallica are a bastion of confidence, the consummate professionals of their game. From guitarist Kirk Hammett’s adroit dexterity to Hetfield’s tenacious charisma, these guys were unrelenting in dishing out the thrash.

Black Album mega hits or first-four gems, it mattered not. Fans ardently sang along in drunken discordance. Fists were pumped. Heads were banged. And so it went.

From the snarling thunder of “For Whom The Bell Tolls” to the chugging riffage of “Creeping Death”, from the power ballad sway of “The Unforgiven” to synchronicity of lasers and frenetic riffs during “One”, the San Francisco 4-piece poured on the heavy for over two hours.

Every time this set seemed like it had reached its logical end, they threw more at the audience. They encored with a rare and coveted cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Whisky In The Jar” followed up by a pounding cover Diamond Head’s “Am I Evil”. “Enter Sandman” closed out the set. Those who fancied themselves too hip to get behind Metallica’s return to Lollapalooza missed out.

Ephemeral Aussies: Tame Impala

A kaleidoscopic, psilocybin time warp played backdrop as Kevin Parker’s Tame Impala spun out another sensational Lolla set. Opening with the delectable psychedelia of new radio hit “Let It Happen”, the outback amalgam brought it.

Rotating with ease between the synth-pop musings of this year’s Currents and the guitar-driven melodies of 2012’s Lonerism, the boys delivered a compelling one-hour set without let up.

The Currents tracks have a way of finding new legs in a live setting. The sheer amplitude of those airy synths forced the issue most noticeably during “Eventually”. But without a doubt, Tame Impala is at their best when they are rocking out. When they dropped “Mind Mischief” and “Elephants” their set hit a renewed stride. Following a captiviating “Feel’s Like I’m Always Going Backwards”, the scarf-toting Aussie and his cohorts jammed out an eternity-long hallucinatory “Apocalypse Dreams” to close out the performance.

Samsung Owner’s Lounge – Artist Appearances

Throughout the weekend the Samsung Owner’s lounge has been the place to interact with Lolla artists. Following her impressive midday set at the Sprint stage, Brit Charli XCX snuck on over to the lounge to spin some beats for a fortunate few in attendance. On Friday afternoon, the Galaxy Lounge hosted a Gary Clark Jr. listening party and on Sunday will feature an A$AP Rocky appearance. Samsung is continuing to bring the ruckus throughout the grounds this weekend.

Hooray For Hula Girls

Cataclysmic Canadians: Death From Above 1979

They’re back. Well they’ve been back for a while now, but it always somehow feels like a return when one runs into the opportunity to get reacquainted with this combustible Toronto two-piece. It was early, it was hot, and of course, it was loud. Drummer/vocalist Sebastein Grainger, was a spastic blur of drumsticks and kool-aid purple hair as they opened with the menacing “Turn It Out”.

Jesse Keeler was aimless in his flailing, slamming his bass in all directions as they slammed through the pulsating danceblasts of “Rock On Frankenstein” and “Cheap Talk”. The majority in attendance appeared to be in a state of bewildered fascination. Confusion eventually gave way to acquiescence as moshers threw their bodies carelessly into the fray.

“We saw the lineup for this festival and we kind of thought that was like a perfect equation. Like Tame Impala + Death From Above = Metallica” Grainger quipped in a daft attempt at comedy. “Let’s keep this up. Let’s keep this going” he said, driving the set forward without restraint. And then came an outbreak of manic punchups. “Gemini” was a crushing bass feedback foray. The angst-anthem of “Romantic Rights” crushed. Then came that all-encompassing power riff during “The Physical World” to close out the set. Death From Above killed.

Civic Pride Award

Great Scott! – Django Django

Scotland’s Django Django are on the rise. Their long-awaited sophomore record Born Under Saturn landed in May, hailing their return to touring.

Their delightful vocal harmonies, throbbing bass-heavy synth infusions and multitude of influences have spawned one of the most interesting acts in the game today. Following a rapturous “Hail Bop”, they dove into steady groove of “Shake And Tremble.”

“C’mon Chicago” singer Vincent Neff pleaded with attempting to conjure a reaction out of the early day crowd. He took to all corners of the main stage raising his arms emphatically before they introduced a saxophonist, who accompanied them for the “Reflections” while keyboardist Tommy Grace poured on booming melodious layers.

They rolled with urgency through a painfully short set with a run that included “Waveforms”, the dry-bass and groupchant of “Default”, before that familiar siren started to blare. And then we were at “WOR”.

“I need everyone down on the floor, fists in the air,” Neff announced. “I need everyone down, I need all the Metallica guys down”. The audience slowly declined as the music began to grow, and without a cue they were back on their feet, jumping and dancing to that contagious surf-hook.

Please Stop

Lollapalooza’s second day is behind us, but Crave’s coverage doesn’t stop here. Follow us for photo galleries and coverage of Day 3 as we head back in to catch Florence and the Machine, TV On The Radio, Gogol Bordello and any other magical mysteries that find us in Grant Park.