We would begin our synopsis with some overwashed idioms like “Lolla 2015 was another one for the record books” or “Well folks, that’s a wrap.”

But for the sake of this Lollapalooza recap and our mental inefficiencies after such a weekend, we’ll cut to the chase.

This weekend was another reminder that Lollapalooza is Chicago’s main event.

It’s the prime-time. The head-honcho. The big kahuna. And this year was no exception.

Despite the geriatrics that occurred on Friday night, and the weather-related evacuation that took place on Sunday afternoon – Chicago’s annually-beloved “Lolla” re-established its reputation as the best music festival in the Midwest.

Here’s our complete and unfiltered recap of Lollapalooza 2015.


Lollapalooza Recap

Before we begin, here are a few opening notes.

– Despite the name change, we’re still going to refer to the Pepsi Stage as “The Grove.” Just a suggestion for future music festival organizers, if your stage has a popular nickname – don’t change it. 

– The sound at the Sprint Stage sucked. Shows sounded noticeably softer here all weekend, not much else to say. 

Lolla Cashless (connecting your 3-day wristband to a debit/credit card) is awesome but dangerous. 

– Sunday’s on-and-off weather was a bit of a mess. Not only did it throw off the music schedule, it completely shifted the tempo of the day. Still, we were pretty impressed by the festival’s ability to handle the situation and keep everybody calm – and the fact that no sets got canceled. 

– For those of you who may or may not have lost something at the festival, here’s the contact information for Lollapalooza’s lost and found. Remember, denial is the first step in losing your entire wallet.

Day 1 | Lollapalooza Recap
Friday, July 31st 

Lollapalooza Recap

Obligatory blow-up Lollapalooza sign picture.

St. Paul & The Broken Bones
2:30 p.m.
Bud Light Stage

I couldn’t imagine a better show to have started the weekend with than this soul band from Birmingham, AL. Lead singer (St.) Paul Janeway – thanks to a killer voice and even cooler white shoes – was an absolute rock star, as evidenced below. -PH

What So Not 
3:15 p.m.
Perry’s Stage

I didn’t catch this entire set, but it didn’t seem to be a complete letdown. What So Not closed with “Jaguar.” Which, as you may know, was a product of the duo when they were still a duo. Flume-less or not, it was good to see Emoh Instead still doing his thing under unfortunate circumstances. –KG 

DJ Mustard 
4:30 p.m.
Perry’s Stage

If this was the first show you were able to make this past weekend, you chose a pretty good way to start. From old to new, this hip-hop guru (and co-producer of “I Don’t Fuck With You”) was among the first few pleasant surprises of the weekend. –KG 

Hot Chip
4:30 pm
Bud Light Stage

Everything about this show was fun. The British electropop group’s catchy sound, the crowd, the perfect Friday afternoon weather – and especially vocalist Alexis Taylor’s shiny-as-hell silver shorts. Lots of flashbacks to Chromeo’s set on the same stage last year. -PH

Alabama Shakes
5:45 pm
Samsung Galaxy Stage

It’s quite unfortunate I had to miss Alt-J coming off their awesome second album, This Is All Yours, but I had never seen The Shakes (cancelled due to weather in 2012) and they easily lived up to their “awesome live show” reputation. Just like their Alabama brethren earlier in the day, this was live blues rock at its best. –PH 

Dillon Francis 
7 p.m.
Perry’s Stage

I have pretty high standards for Dillon Francis, and I’ve got to say this was a pretty decent set. Although he’s co-headlining a tour with Zedd and will be coming back to Chicago in a couple months, Dillon left everything on the stage in his second Lollapalooza performance. -KG 

Paul McCartney
7:45 pm
Samsung Galaxy Stage

It’s hard to put the context of seeing a Beatle perform live into words. Sir Paul probably could have said whatever he wanted up on stage, but whenever he did address the massive crowd – from multiple very British pronunciations of the festival’s name to saying the Chicago backdrop was “pretty cool” (and the guy has played everywhere) – it was magic.

Paul McCartney is easily the most transcendent artist Lollapalooza has ever hosted, and you could feel as much in the air. In terms of show highlights, it’s hard to top “Live and Let Die” with fireworks.

Or Alabama Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard coming out to join Paul for “Get Back.”

And other than that, I definitely didn’t cry during “Let it Be.” -PH

8:30 p.m.
Perry’s Stage

I decided to catch the first half of Kaskade and then head to Paul McCartney, which was a decision I’m still indifferent about. After seeing Kaskade perform in Milwaukee for Summerfest, it was cool to see him a few weeks later on a much bigger stage and to a much bigger crowd.

No doubt, Kaskade can captivate a crowd better than anybody – and it was tough to leave his performance…even if it was to go see a Beatle. -KG

Day 2 | Lollapalooza Recap
Saturday, August 1st 


Django Django
2:15 pm
Samsung Galaxy Stage

Similar to St. Paul & The Broken Bones on Day 1, this quartet from the UK was a hell of a start to Day 2. Django Django is technically ‘electronic rock,’ but overall they’re very hard to describe – and that’s a good thing. -PH

Caked Up 
3:15 p.m.
Perry’s Stage

Solid, but pissed he didn’t play his Miley Cyrus remix. -KG

Toro y Moi
3:45 p.m.
Palladia Stage

After catching a quick breather and refilling on Budweiser/water, the man legally known as Chazwick Bradley Bundick kept Saturday’s good vibes going with a groovy and breezy set. The Palladia stage can struggle to get a big crowd due to its concrete surface, but ‘Toro’ didn’t have that issue in his return Lolla performance (2012). -PH

RL Grime
4:30 p.m.
Perry’s Stage

RL Grime’s set stuck out like a sore thumb at Perry’s on Saturday (and for good reason). The L.A. native played a show that matches his name perfectly: grimy. Considering the questionable list of EDM acts on Day 2, this was a nice treat. -KG

Walk The Moon
5 p.m.
Sprint Stage

Even though half of the crowd only knew this band because of one song, this was still another one of the weekend’s shockingly decent performances. Come to think of it, I need to Google that song they finished with. -KG

Tame Impala
6 p.m.
Samsung Galaxy Stage

Show of the weekend for me. After hooking everyone with the eight-minute epic, “Let It Happen,” Kevin Parker and the four guys he handpicked to play his genius music – Dominic Simper, Jay Watson, Cam Avery and Julian Barbagallo – delivered jam after jam off July’sCurrents and 2012’s Lonerism.

From beginning to end, this show was what one would call ‘killing it.’ Don’t be surprised to see Parker and Co. headline Lollapalooza in the near future. -PH

7:45 p.m.
The Grove (Pepsi Stage)

I was with my girlfriend on Saturday so I was peer-pressured into seeing this singer named Banks. Even though her taste in music is a little different, I’m fortunate that my girlfriend has very good taste in music because I’ve been exposed to a lot of new musicians that I would have otherwise never heard of. Anywho, Banks (aka Jillian Rose Banks) was very impressive. -KG

8 p.m.
Samsung Galaxy Stage

Everything I could have expected from a Metallica show and more. James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett were absolutely brilliant, and the band that redefined heavy metal played just about every hit they have.

It was cool to cross them off the bucket list while in the midst of “the Metallica family” (as Hetfield put it), and I haven’t seen that many mosh pits since Rage Against The Machine at Lolla ’08. My only regret was not drinking more whiskey before. -PH

8 p.m.
The Grove (Pepsi Stage)

I had only heard of G-Eazy, but never listened to his music before Saturday. I was told by a friend that this Oakland-based rapper throws down, and he was correct. He had the crowd at his fingertips the entire show, swaying them whichever direction he wanted.

G-Eazy’s performance was violent, but groovy. It was stupid, but sophisticated.  

Needless to say, G-Eazy definitely left his footprint on Lollapalooza 2015. -KG

Sam Smith
8:45 p.m.
Bud Light Stage

Whether it was peer-pressure from my girlfriend or an honest desire to watch Sam Smith, I decided to leave G-Eazy early and check out this British phenomenon.

On the stage or the radio, this guy is an absolute performer. Yes, there’s a good reason he won all of those Grammy’s. And I’d be lying if I didn’t sing along and swing-dance at his show on Saturday night.

It wasn’t one of the weekend’s biggest highlights, but Sam Smith definitely verified why he’s (now) a superstar. -KG

Day 3 | Lollapalooza Recap
Sunday, August 2nd

Lollapalooza Recap

Weird weather on Day 3

Alison Wonderland
1:30 p.m.
Perry’s Stage

Only having the ability to choose a single day to attend this year, Sunday was the obvious choice for my taste of music – and seeing that the beautiful Australian producer/DJ was on the schedule, I made it my #1 must-see set of the entire day.

Despite having hurt her foot only a few days prior to her Lolla debut, she went wild on stage, trapping out many old school classics ranging from Rick Ross to The Spice Girls. -CP

4 p.m.
Perry’s Stage

Besides a little taste of RL Grime before Tame Impala, I hadn’t stopped at Perry’s all weekend – and there was no better time than right after the awkward period when everyone was let back into the festival on Sunday.

We only watched about 20 minutes of the American duo, but it was all we needed to get over the hump and kick off Day 3. And judging by their Facebook, it looks they had some fun too. -PH

5:10 p.m.
Perry’s Stage

Galantis got the party started again after the evacuation. From “Peanut Butter Jelly” to “Runaway” (which they closed with) – these Swedish up-and-comers solidified their deserved spot at Lollapalooza 2015. -KG

5:30 p.m.
Bud Light Stage

It’s always a good sign when a primarily electronic act is put on a headliner stage during the afternoon, and the Seattle duo again proved that. Rolling out in custom Bulls jerseys to big applause, Clayton Knight and Harrison Mills had the crowd from the beginning.

That’s also because their music – featuring the Chicago Bulls drum line and a huge Tuba at one point – is an insanely catchy mix of jazz, hip-hop and dance. It’s hard to believe these two have only been making music for three years. -PH

A$AP Rocky
7:30 p.m.
Bud Light Stage

Probably the craziest show of the weekend. One of the craziest shows I’ve ever seen. -KG

8:30 p.m.
Palladia Stage

We were lucky enough to interview NGHTMRE before his show, and will have more from this up-and-coming bass producer later this month. For now, check out the video that RaveFaced posted from his memorable set at the Palladia before Bassnectar. -KG

9 p.m.
Bud Light Stage

We can’t be positive, but we’re pretty sure the festival turned his speakers down. Maybe not all the way, or maybe not at all, but it just seemed like there was something holding Lorin Ashton back a little bit.

I wasn’t much further back for Bassnectar than I was for A$AP Rocky, and I assure you that A$AP was much louder. It wasn’t an awful show for Bassnectar, but the elements definitely need to go his way for the full experience. Not disappointed about his anticipated set for Lollapalooza 2015, just not exactly blown away by it either. -KG

9:30 p.m.
The Grove (Pepsi Stage) 

I left Bassnectar halfway through to check out the rest of Kygo, and glad that I did. The setting (and timing) of his set went perfectly with his sound, but I was also surprised to see that Kygo was only playing a DJ set and not any live instrumentals. -KG

All shows reviewed by Keegan Goudie and Peter Hahn. 

Lollapalooza 2015 Awards & Superlatives

Best Cameo Swag: Three-way tie.

1a) Dillon Francis bringing out Vic Mensa and Kygo.
1b) A$AP Rocky bringing out Mensa.
1c) Paul McCartney bringing out Brittany Howard.

Worst Crowd: Kaskade. Just way too many rave babies.

Best Crowd: A$AP Rocky. See video posted above.

Weirdest “Lolla” moment: Travis Scott getting arrested for encouraging fans to rush the stage.

Coolest “Lolla” moment: Paul McCartney + fireworks + Chicago skyline.

Best Show before 4 pm: St. Paul & The Broken Bones.

Worst Performance: Kygo. Solely because it was not made clear whatsoever he wouldn’t be playing a live set. If you saw his set at Ultra, and thought it was going to be the same thing, you were brutally mistaken.

Best Performance: Tame Impala. Absolutely brilliant.

Lollapalooza 2016 Headliner Predictions: Disclosure, Daft Punk, Vampire Weekend, The Rolling Stones, and Jesus Christ.