It’s done. The fourth and final day of Lollapalooza 2022 began on Sunday in Chicago’s Grant Park, and it was a day that actually changed the course of history. J-Hope, Green Day, and Denzel Curry served as the event’s headliners, and Billy Corgan, Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, and Becky G also made surprise appearances throughout the day.
Pictured are Steven Nunez and Rolling Stone.
Fans of BTS member J-Hope began securing positions for his main performance at 8:50 p.m. almost as soon as the festival’s gates opened at 11 a.m. Army doesn’t perform, but they weren’t going to miss J-Hope making history by being the first South Korean performer to perform on the mainstage of a significant American festival. He expressed excitement to perform his new singles More and Arson, difficult songs because they are styles that I haven’t sung before, in an interview with Rolling Stone backstage before his performance. Still, he was in his element as he demonstrated his range and versatility, whether he was charismatically delivering the fiery More or the ominous Arson from his brand-new debut concept album, Jack in the Box, or tapping into his arsenal spanning mixtape material like P.O.P (Piece of Peace), Pt. 1, and well-known jams like BTS’ vibrant Dynamite. He concluded his stirring set with Chicken Noodle Soup, which featured Future and a special appearance by Becky G.
Steven Nunez for Rolling Stone, images 3 and 4
Djo Beams in an Exciting Set
On Day One, Metallica played footage from Stranger Things throughout its performance, and a few days later, Djo brought a real Stranger Things star to the festival. It doesn’t matter that Joe Keery’s band Djo comes out as a rather low-stakes affair because Steve, also known as Joe Keery, is one of the best aspects of the popular Netflix series. Songs like Tentpole Shangrila flowed just right in the hot summer air, with the light funk of Keep Your Head Up serving as a welcome alternative to Djo’s primarily midtempo relaxation. The group’s extremely soft psychedelia coasted on elegantly stoned vibes that were a little self-indulgent.
Griffin Lotz for Rolling Stone, images 5 and 6.
Chicago’s local music scene is proud of Horsegirl.
A rather uncommon band on the Lollapalooza lineup, Horsegirl had amassed fans via persistent work and genuine DIY performances. Songs from their recent debut, Versions of Modern Performance, featured the guitar duo of Penelope Lowenstein and Nora Cheng singing beautiful vocal harmonies with a sophisticated aura and drummer Gigi Reece adding flair. As a cloud of fog engulfed the Chicago indie rock group, fans cheered for Sea Life Sandwich Boy and Electrolocation 2. At the conclusion of their performance, Horsegirl invited local musicians to play Billy on tambourines and floor toms. Together, they created an emotional, historic crescendo that brought pride to Chicago.
Full-Fledged Pop Star Charli XCX
Charli XCX performed through Crash cuts like Beg for You and Baby while adroitly executing nonstop dance choreography with two trained dancers by her side on a white, Roman-style platform onstage. The older tracks Boys, Vroom Vroom, and her Icona Pop collaboration I Love It received very positive responses, but Charlis’ extraordinary breath control stole the show. She never missed a note despite her quick verses and dance routines.
Steven Nunez for Rolling Stone, images 7 and 8.
The Marias’ Hazy Indie Pop Illusion
The Marias were prepared to advance following their appearance on Bad Bunny’s most recent album. The Los Angeles band’s jazzy, rich, and smoky take on indie pop surprised with how nicely it blended with festival-volume bass. Additional band members joined singer Mara Zardoya and drummer Josh Conway, giving them room to concentrate on their hazy delivery as they switched between English and Spanish songs rather than stressing how to duplicate their tiny sound live. The outcome? Spin Me Around and Hush, two selections from their Cinema debut album from 2021, were equally captivating as their Britney Spears rendition.
Griffin Lotz for Rolling Stone, images 9 and 10.
Blue Day Before everyone heads home, go big Even while it shouldn’t be a surprise that rock legends like Green Day know how to put on a performance, it nonetheless seemed like a welcome treat after a weekend of mixed results. The East Bay pop-punk legends tore through American Idiot songs and Nineties classics like a well-oiled machine following their already lauded Metro aftershow as pyrotechnics and fireworks shot from the stage. Armstrong asked an audience member named Abby to play guitar and lead the crowd in screaming her name midway through Operation Ivys Knowledge. It was a unique high point in a headlining performance that was generally enormous.
Griffin Lotz for Rolling Stone, images 11 and 12.
Charms of the Beach Bunny at Homecoming
Beach Bunny’s frontwoman Lili Trifilio claimed it was likely their biggest performance to date as the Chicago band made their second appearance at Lollapalooza. The band acknowledged their family members who were present, and Trifilios’ brother Steve even joined them on stage for a few guitar solos. It was also a family affair. Beach Bunny delighted the audience, with enthusiastic fans chanting along to Trifilio’s open-hearted lyrics on songs like Promises, Rearview, and Six Weeks, and mining those moments between crushing-out and crushing sadness and wrapping them in upbeat melodies. The festival atmosphere probably brought them well-deserved new fans as passersby stopped to listen.
Sacha Lecca for Rolling Stone, images 13 and 14.
Erica Banks Uses Drugs
Never undervalue the influence of a popular TikTok video. Erica Banks gained notoriety thanks to the joyously explicit sex rap Buss It (and the accompanying challenge), and at Lolla the Texas rapper embraced the strangeness. Her brief performance came across as little more than a layup for an epic twerk-off. It was undoubtedly a humorous, self-described nasty contrast to some of the festival’s more modest performances.
Steven Nunez for Rolling Stone, images 15 and 16.
Peter CottonTale Invites Friends Over Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper I’ve never actually seen a gospel performance at Lolla, Peter CottonTale remarked as he turned to face the audience. He is probably not mistaken. Think of his spiritual (if a little meandering) set, which made wonderful use of horns and an actual choir, as making up for that oversight. Oh, and good friends Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper, who made quick appearances to pay honor to the Chicago-based collaborator, dropping a few verses of Family For from Chance.
Ll Continues the TikTok Trend
By Sunday, the BMI stage had become known as the spot where TikTok teens and the offspring of celebrities went to dress up and showcase their talent. Ll belongs to the first group. Reimagined renditions of well-known songs helped the Canadian singer-songwriter gain popularity online. However, Ll concentrated on performing original songs at the event, singing tunes like The Floor Is Lava!!, Death Wish, and Debbie Downer with memorable but unremarkable hooks. I’m going to provide a lot of information for the next 35 minutes. That’s cool, she questioned. Naturally, the audience responded that it was.
Sacha Lecca for Rolling Stone, images 17 and 18.
Lollas is ostensibly Perry Farrell’s party, therefore a prominent location for one of his projects was never in doubt. Perry’s Porno for Pyros Returns Porno for Pyros is certainly not Janes Addiction (who will be on tour with Smashing Pumpkins later this year), but the band’s unexpected reunion merited the stage, despite the unexpectedly low attendance. Those who made it were fortunate enough to witness Billy Corgan play guitar during a performance of the band’s cover of When the Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin.
Steven Nunez for Rolling Stone, images 19 and 20
From the bedroom to the festival stage, PinkPantheress
Azealia Banks, Rosala, and the Dracula organ theme were among the songs that an opening DJ played to energize the crowd before PinkPantheress took the stage. The U.K. artist’s blend of bedroom pop, jungle, and hyperpop—a combination that is quiet and concentrated rather than frenetic and aggressive—was confusing in its introduction. It turned out to be a fairly accurate preview of PinkPantheress’ performance, which focused more on festival-style crowd movement than the subdued, inward-looking groove that gives songs like Break It Off, Pain, and All My Friends Know their mesmerizing quality. While in Lolla
Steven Nunez for Rolling Stone, images 21 and 22
The Kid Laroi Develops Into a Star
Young Australian rapper and musician Charlton Howard, sometimes known as the Kid Laroi, has amassed a large following as a result of the company he keeps, including Justin Bieber and the late Juice Wrld. Past guest appearances and partnerships can only get you so far when you’re on your own, yet the Kid Laroi held court by himself quite fine. Savage and F*ck You, Goodbye successfully carried on his mentor Juice’s wounded emo-rap mantle, and of course Stay elicited a massive response even without his friend Biebs for help.
Sacha Lecca for Rolling Stone, images 23 and 24
Curry, Denzel Burns Bright
Mumble rap can be difficult to define precisely, but in the end, individuality comes through in the delivery and flow of the music. Given this context, is it surprising Florida rapper Denzel Curry has reached the pinnacle of his own pyramid? Midway through his performance, he yelled loudly, “Give me your energy!” But Curry was already burning brighter than a light, playing songs like Black Balloons, Walkin, and Clout Cobain with such focus and passion that the set’s required end time caught him off guard. And I’m done, he added, sounding a little dejected, for Curry knew better than anyone that he was only getting warmed up.