The penultimate day of Lollapalooza 2022 came to a close with performances by J. Cole and Willow. Day Three of the festival in Chicago’s Grant Park also featured performances by South Korean K-pop group Together x Tomorrow and Chicago-born Lil Durk, two performers that were just added to the roster.

Alexander 23 Returns Home with His Music

I’m from Chicago, declared Alexander Glantz, a popular industry collaborator who goes by the stage name Alexander 23. For me, this is particularly special. Funny, Glantz’s amiably banal pop-rock didn’t feel all that unique. Glantz was at his finest when performing heartfelt power ballads like Cry Over Boys and Somebody’s Nobody, but his safe renditions of Tears for Fears’ Everybody Wants to Rule the World and Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone provided the most memorable parts of his performance.

Meeting Point: Altar Bring in the New Pop-Punk Generation Meet Me At the Altar demonstrated that pop-punk isn’t just for major label headliners in a roster that included Willow and Machine Gun Kelly. The vibrant emo band got its start online in 2015, writing songs while the members were spread out throughout Florida, Georgia, and New Jersey. On stage, Edith Victoria’s natural chemistry with guitarist-bassist Ta Campbell and drummer Ada Juarez, as well as the upbeat energy of their 2021 EP Model Citizen, allowed them to shine. Victoria was the star of the performance, with crystal-clear vocals that avoided the whining tone that permeates the genre and an updo in vibrant green and turquoise that blurred as she moved.

Pictured are Steven Nunez and Rolling Stone.
Fletcher Proves His Talent With Powerful Pop Vocals

Can sing, Fletcher. The rising pop diva from New Jersey might have been able to coast on the intensity with which the crowd sang along to Becky’s So Hot and Undrunk. Instead, she performed a cover of Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever and Fuck You for Ruinin’ NYC for Me to earn a slot on the main stage. Fletcher battled Eilish vocally as she reached the single’s vocal apex, letting her voice soar in power and tenor. She undoubtedly raised interest in her impending first album, Girl of My Dreams, with her heated cheeks and humble amazement at the size of her audience.

Console Confessional Play with nostalgia Dashboard Confessional are accustomed to savoring nostalgia as a well-liked emo band. The Florida band’s frontman Chris Carrabba guided them through a number of well-known singles (Vindicated, Stolen, Screaming Infidelities) and deep cuts (The Brilliant Dance, Again I Go Unnoticed), and at the conclusion of the set, the audience joined in, the words now ingrained in their minds. Carrabba remarked, “I guess some of you are simply too young to know these tunes. The crowd enthusiastically sung along to previous hits, including as the fan-requested Saints and Sailors and closer Hands Down, as though trying to disprove him. Both young and old fans swooned.

Returning to His Roots, Lil Durk

Lil Durk had a lifetime of experiences to draw from as a result of growing up on Chicago’s South Side. Now, many years later, the rapper’s latest album, 7220, records a number of personal tragedies and failures and examines how challenging it can be to flee the streets. The event had to be paused multiple times to give the stifled crowd some breathing room because to the sheer volume of people pressing in to hear songs like Shootout @ My Crib and What Happened to Virgil?, both of which relied on Durk’s distinctive auto-tuned blend of singing and rapping.

Wallows Offer Up Winning IndieDylan Minnette and Braeden Lemasters of Wallows have been working together on music for a good deal longer than they have been working in Hollywood. If all you knew about the band was its confident set of hooky California indie-rock gems like Scrawny and Pictures of Girls, you probably wouldn’t guess the group still has day jobs. However, a recent hit like 13 Reasons Why (Minnette starred in the series of the same name) plus the necessary TikTok magic certainly doesn’t hurt prospects.

YG Loves a Doubtful Peepshow YG alternated between rapping hit songs and urging women to flash him during his show. The rapper from Compton released the songs Big Bank, Fuck Donald Trump, and BPT. However, if minutes went by with only music playing, YG demanded more titties. We love to see it, he added, but he turned down one female because she had mosquito bites and made fun of another by remarking that her shit looked like it was about to be milked. High school students make up one of the largest segments in Lollapalooza’s demographic pie chart. A shirtless man shouted, “Dude, mine are out!” after a lengthy period of yelling for boobs. Then, YG made it clear that he had no interest in male nipples.

Idleness Creates a Climate for Revolution

Before the band had started playing, Idle singer Joe Talbot appeared to be in the mood for a brawl. There is little doubt that the U.K. group enjoys its reputation for being combative and enjoys making a big scene that occasionally seems to be on the verge of chaos. In fact, the majority of the band was already covered in sweat after just a few songs, and the small but spirited audience was moving around in front of the stage. Between songs, Talbot took the time to emphasize the political undertones and agonizing fight-for-your-life sentiments running through the continuously savage post-punk attack. He appeared to truly appreciate the eyes and ears.

Turnstile Continued to Carry the Hardcore Torch

Major music festivals hardly ever have a hardcore section. Turnstile carried the torch as the selected crossover artist with composure and zeal to capitalize on the chance. Unexpectedly many people sang along to the Glow On songs, and there were mosh pits that morphed into pogo pits where drinks burst mid-air like volcanoes. Singer Brendan Yates threw the mike stand in the air and urged listeners to dance as his bandmates transitioned between songs with shoegaze drones. The most noteworthy moment was when Turnstile performed Canned Heat from their 2013 EP Step 2 Rhythm, possibly as a deliberate gesture to further acquaint newcomers with the hardcore scene.

Steven Nunez for Rolling Stone, images 1 and 4.
TXT Launch

Right on schedule, the cries came before Tomorrow x Together. Tomorrow x Together have been testing the waters to see if there is room for another Korean boy band in America. Their brief tease of a set came just weeks after the group launched a whirlwind U.S. tour in Chicago. Although not as well known in America as their friends BTS (member J-Hope headlines on Sunday), they have been testing the waters. The five-member group’s flawlessly timed Lolla performance, which contained wholesome, ready-to-wear want tobe pop juggernauts like Good Boy Gone Bad, the English-language Magic, and Valley of Lies (which featured guest Iann Dior), felt more like a brand launch than a live performance.

Fans of Willow Leaves Want More (Literally)

Willow began her headlining act with Transparent Soul as the audience greeted her with a chant of her name. The Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s 21-year-old daughter exuded the confidence of a performer twice her age, which she should because she has a beautiful voice. Despite having four albums in her discography, Willow ended her set 15 minutes early after performing songs from her back catalog (Lipstick, Wait a Minute, and Maybe It’s My Fault) and entertaining the audience with jokes (Governments coming! I knew they would! she laughed when a helicopter flew overhead). She performed like an opener but had the presence of a headliner.

Griffin Lotz for Rolling Stone, images 1 and 5
Season of J. Cole Takes Center Stage

With six studio albums under his belt, all of which peaked at Number One, J. Cole has a solid track record as a headliner for Lollapalooza. He hasn’t forgotten where he came from, though, much like the sources of inspiration for much of his songs. J. Cole recalls appearing on a side stage at the festival, a unique location where young musicians and fans connect and Day Ones are established, similar to fellow headliner Dua Lipa the previous evening. His modest leaping as he dropped his lines resembled an athlete warming up, suiting the themes of the LP. He started off with a run of songs from his most recent album, The Off-Season, which was released in 2021. Along with bringing out Bas for, he also shared the spotlight with his fellow Dreamville members, who later joined them for Down Bad and Stick with J.I.D. Other highlights included his performances of Nobodys Perfect, Power Trip, and the stirring closing No Role Modelz for the Day Ones, who filled the main stage field.

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