Lollapalooza Day 3: Florence and the Machine Outshined By Unannounced Headliner – Lightning

The war was over. Nature won.

“The storm has won. We’ve got one more to give you,” Florence Welch announced as Lollapalooza organizers capitulated, pulling the plug on festivities for a second time on Sunday. Contorting forks of lightning danced amongst the clouds beyond the northern end of Grant Park as fans departed the grounds 30 minutes before the scheduled conclusion of Florence and the Machine’s mesmerizing headlining set.

The dog days were quite literally over. (badum tisssss)

In reality organizers made the right call, because what soon followed was a whiteout deluge. Another rager of a storm to add to the folklore of Lollapalooza’s troubled fortunes in this regard.

Fortunately within the window of time that nature chose not to disrupt things, fans were treated to countless abbreviated sets from Florence, TV On The Radio, Gogol Bordello and more. Festival organizers, having before experienced the wrath and brute force of nature’s sometimes cruel hand, worked quickly on Sunday afternoon to reopen the grounds after another storm scare and subsequent mandatory evacuation sent thousands of fans seeking shelter outside of Grant Park. The throngs of fans then seeking re-entry were seen through the gates without any security pat-downs or bags checks. The RFID chips on their wristbands went unscanned. No doubt a few savvy fun seekers found their way in to the festival for free.

There was something in the air when people reentered. You could see it in the smirking faces of the countless returned festivalgoers, many of whom headed straight over to Perry’s stage to dance off the humidity broil during Galantis.

Transient Temptress: Florence and the Machine

Ms. Welch was electric Sunday night. Nature reciprocated. Shortly after her set commenced, jaged lightning hands reached for each other across the foreboding dark night sky. She was passionate and peripatetic, sometimes convulsive and unfettered in a way that lends to the thought that she is exorcising some unfathomable demon. Her brand of vibrato was piercing and rigid during “Ship To Wreck”.

“When I was making this record storms seemed to follow me around. It seems they’ve found me again,” she acknowledged before veering into “St. Jude”.

It was an erratic revelry. During “What Kind Of Man” (at this point having already been informed of the unfortunate transience of her performance) she and her Machine kicked it up. She pounced into the photopit and embracing the crowd, at one point singing nose-to-nose with a male fan in the front row.

“The storm has won. We’ve got one more to give you” she announced to an incredulous audience before bowling through “Dog Days Are Over”, throwing caution and her blouse into the wind and running in her bra through the photo pit, dashing with confidence into the darkness beyond.

Perry’s Stage

We found a reason to swing by the EDM stage once this weekend after all

Beguiling Resurgence: TV On The Radio

How great it is that Brooklyn’s TV On The Radio are doing shows again?! Storm clouds were lingering over Grant Park, blowing in with urgency as they took to the stage under low light.

Vocalist Tunde Adebimpe was effervescent in the shadows. He claimed that he was going to “beat back the weather”, and perhaps they did, if just for a brief time. They drew from 2014’s Seeds with a smashing “Lazerray” and the dazzling disco beats of “Happy Idiot”.

They closed out the set with the droning guitars and tortured screechy utterings of “Staring At The Sun” with many in the visibly fatigued audience already in flight to find them some Florence.

Samsung Owner’s Lounge snags A$AP Rocky

It seemed that by Sunday, word had certainly gotten out about Samsung’s main stage sidling Owner’s Lounge. Samsung product owners who had rushed in early and completed product trials at the Samsung Galaxy Experience were once again treated to the finer things. With this exclusive access, Samsung owners were treated to free drinks, catering, an elevated viewing platform complete with lounge chairs, as well as an opportunity to toy around with the Samsung virtual reality setup that puts fans on stage with Sunday main stage acts like Of Monsters And Men and Florence and the Machine. They also managed to snag a personal appearance by A$AP Rocky and his crew preceding his later set at the northern main stage. A$AP J. Scott and A$AP Lou spun some beats while A$AP Rocky met and greeted fans for photos.

Captain America

Waltz Explosion: Gogol Bordello

Elsewhere on the grounds, Gogol Bordello made an incendiary return to Lollapalooza, running amok for an adoring but diminutive crowd. The ragtag collective of multicultural misfits ran themselves ragged, smashing through one waltzy-dance-punk anthem after another. Though, curiously absent were their gypsy dancer girls.

Some ludicrous individual had the foresight to raid the port-o-potties in advance of the set. Toilet paper rolls flew through the air throughout the abbreviated set.

Singer Eugene Hutz was everywhere. He called for the “participation of the Chicago women’s choir before leading the group into “My Companjera”. In one flash he jumping on the monitors in a technicolor robe and in the next he was shirtless dousing himself in red wine as they strolled through “Immigraniada”, the audience in full participatory celebration, arms raised and chanting “hey, hey, hey, hey.”

They closed out the fiendish affair by reaching back to Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike for “Immigrant Punk” and the absurdly catchy “Start Wearing Purple” as Hutz poised himself on a large drum and rode on crowd, looking like a malnourished Eastern-European Iggy Pop.

So, here we are again. Another superlative and manic Lollapalooza weekend is behind us. Props to Samsung for their efforts throughout the weekend and for helping to make this coverage a reality. We can’t wait to do it all again in 2016!