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  • Sydney Gray

Concert Review: Lollapalooza Music Festival 2023 - Chicago

Lollapalooza is a four-day music festival that takes place in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois. This year's lineup featured amazing headlining acts including Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The 1975, and Lana Del Rey. Each day also included a stacked undercard with names like Matt Maltese, Holly Humberstone, Sabrina Carpenter, and Beabadoobee. I had never been to a music festival before, but after much deliberation, my sister and I decided to attend three of the four days to catch a few of our favorite artists deliver their sets at Lollapalooza. It was a bit hectic to travel between stages, and I had to miss a few artists due to schedule conflicts, but overall, it was an amazing time. I saw so many incredible performances from some of the most talented artists out there.

On Thursday, we started our festival experience off with Matt Maltese’s set. He sat at his piano and performed on one of the headlining stages, T-Mobile, and had everyone swaying in the sun. He ended with his most well-known song, "As The World Ends," to which everyone increased their volume and energy to join in with. Next, we took a break in the shade, before returning to the T-Mobile stage to watch South Korean girl group, NewJeans, make their US performance debut. They brought high energy and well-choreographed routines to their infectious pop tracks, which had everyone dancing and jumping around. We were all connected and drawn in with tracks such as "New Jeans," "Super Shy," and "ETA." We ended our experience with the much-anticipated Billie Eilish. She walked onto the stage and debuted her new hair look of red roots and a Chicago Bulls jersey with a engaging performance of “Bury A Friend.” She had us jumping, getting low, and dancing for tracks like "Oxytocin," "You Should See Me In A Crown," and "All The Good Girls Go To Hell." But she also brought out her brother and long-time producer, Finneas, for more stripped-back versions of her songs, "TV" and "Your Power." She closed with the powerful "Happier Than Ever" in a moment that brought everyone in the crowd together to scream and cry in a send-off. It was a riveting performance and cemented Billie Eilish as one of the best acts I’ve ever seen live.

Friday, we began with the experimental, multi-instrumentalist Sudan Archives on the T-Mobile stage. She wowed the audience with her violinist skills, dance moves, and visual effects. She shocked the crowd in her high-energy performance of “NBPQ (Topless)” by quite literally taking her top off and sharing her titties out. "Home Maker" and "Freakalizer" were two other standout performances. We moved from this stage to a smaller one to see the British pop star, Beabadoobee, bring out a pink electric guitar and bring the crowd together. “See You Soon” and “She Plays Bass” were two tracks on the setlist that I enjoyed immensely. We left her set and went to Sabrina Carpenter, who we had just seen the night before at her exciting Lollapalooza aftershow. She sang several songs from her most recent album emails i can't send, along with an exceptional rendition of "Lay All Your Love On Me" by ABBA, before we left the set early to get a break from the scorching sun. To end the day, we caught Kendrick Lamar headlining on the T-Mobile stage. His set started later than anticipated, but he still had everyone cheering and energized when he finally stepped out on the stage to "The Heart Part 5." His setlist included tracks from across his albums, but we were all the most hype when he performed hit singles like "DNA," "Money Trees," and "HUMBLE." Because of the 15-minute delay in his start, he was able to perform past his allocated time, so many of us walked out the festival to the sound of his last couple songs.

Finally, we returned to Lollapalooza on the final day of the festival, Sunday. We started at the Bacardí stage for English artist, Holly Humberstone, who performed a short set with tracks like "Room Service" and "Superbloodmoon." Most of the crowd didn't seem too familiar with her music, but people were still swaying along and nodding their heads as she performed. Then, we moved over to the Bud Light stage to catch Lil Yachty. People danced, screamed -- even a man in a wheelchair was lifted up by the crowd and moved around to the beats. Everyone was most excited for hit tracks, "Minnesota," "iSpy," and "Broccoli." We left his set a little early to maneuver our way over to Maisie Peters. She opened her set with "Body Better," which had most of the crowd dancing and screaming along. She was so interactive with her audience, pointing the mic in our direction and making eye contact. She truly showed off how much of a rockstar she could be with hit singles, "Cate's Brother" and "Not Another Rockstar." Her setlist had range from popular singles to her debut album, You Signed Up For This to a few tracks off her newest album, The Good Witch. To end, we saw Lana Del Rey take the Bud Light Stage, kicking off her performance with "A&W." Her setlist spanned across her albums and career with her most popular songs like "Born To Die," "Summertime Sadness," and "Cherry." She was the epitome of elegance, as she sat atop a piano for her performances of "Norman Fucking Rockwell" and "Arcadia." She had us all dancing for hits "Ride" and "Diet Mountain Dew." She was a fitting close to Lollapalooza 2023.

Written By Sydney Gray

*copyright not intended. Fair use act, section 107.


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