The fourth and final day of Lollapalooza’s 25th anniversary celebration saw the best weather, and some of the festival’s best sets — namely from Local Natives, Haim and LCD Soundsystem. Local Natives’ late afternoon set marked the third time the indie rockers have played Lollapalooza, each time in promotion or on the heels of a new record. Local Natives’ well-balanced setlist illustrated how each of their albums have a distinct sound, with songs off their upcoming record Sunlit Youth taking a turn towards more uplifting and uptempo than their previous material, while still highlighting their rich harmonies. Prior to playing the band’s anthemic new hit “Fountain of Youth,” Taylor Rice told the overwhelming crowd that despite everything in our country, there’s still a lot to be “optimistic and idealistic” about. The set also featured an appearance from Rice’s new statement-making guitar, which he debuted on Conan, that reads: “Make America Afraid Again.” As a whole, Local Natives’ performance showcased the bands evolution over time, and aligned with Lollapalooza’s underlying notion of growth as it celebrated a quarter-century of history.
While Local Natives are thinking of the future, the trio of sisters that is Haim honored and shared a piece of the past during their set. Halfway though their performance they covered Prince’s “I Would Die 4 You” with the utmost purity, and later shared a story of their first ever Lollapalooza experience back in 2007 when they attended for the first time (except for Alana, who was too young). Danielle recalled how she and Este wanted to see Amy Winehouse and wiggled their way to the front of the stage for her set, which Danielle said was “one of those moments where we were like, ‘we have to f—ing do this.” And so they did — thank goodness for that. While Haim’s set so clearly proved how far they have come, early morning sets showcased bands who still have a ways to go.
The duo of Marian Hill — which is actually composed of two individuals named Jeremy and Samantha — crafted a setlist of their most synth-driven songs, which all sounded similar in both sound and lyrical content. Though they did offer some diversity by tossing in an airy and haunting cover of “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” which showcased Samantha’s vocals more clearly . Marian Hill was later followed by MUNA, a trio of women who topped many “new artists to see” lists from various music publications. Their set also included a cover, the song of choice being Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen.” They otherwise ran through their short discography of alt-pop tunes while vocalist (and Chicago native who attended New Trier High School) Katie Gavin showed off her uniquely compelling dance moves.
But no band or music can get a crowd dancing like LCD Soundsystem. The large mass of attendees seemed to muster up any energy they had left and put it all into dancing throughout the duration of the festival’s final headlining set. Like any good dance party, a disco ball and some cowbell (courtesy of James Murphy who joked, “here comes my solo”) were present as well. The band played their hits like a fine-tuned machine, and even after their five year hiatus there was no evidence of wear or tear — especially not on Murphy’s vocals which still effortlessly slide through scales. All in all, LCD provided just what everybody needed as Lollapalooza’s four day extravaganza approached its final hours — a space to “Dance Yrself Clean.” And as attendees were coming to terms with leaving the alternate reality that is Lolla-land behind, news broke that 2017 will bring a four day festival as well. Whether to rejoice or cry, the choice is yours.