The Daily’s guide to Lollapalooza 2019


Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Ariana Grande is one of the most anticipated acts at this year’s Lollapalooza.

Andrea Bian, Summer Managing Editor

It’s here — the weekend every Chicagoan knows well.

Lollapalooza, the four-day annual music festival that takes place every August in Grant Park, is known for boasting a star-studded lineup. This year is no different, but the list of performers also includes lesser-known artists who are worth checking out. Over the next few days, there should be decent weather in the background of their acts, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s and 80s — a nice change in pace from the rain delays and blazing hot days of previous years.

If you’re planning on going to Grant Park in the summer heat to catch a glimpse of the action, this guide is for you.

Thursday, August 1

The Strokes and The Chainsmokers headline the festival’s first day, joined by Hozier, H.E.R., King Princess, and Fitz and the Tantrums. The Strokes, who haven’t released a full album since 2013’s “Comeback Machine,” are reportedly gearing up to release new music, according to their booking agent.

King Princess has had a breakout year, after her hit “1950” gained popularity last year. Dropping a new single, “Prophet,” on July 19, the artist finally announced her highly anticipated debut album, “Cheap Queen,” due out in the fall. The Strokes play the T-Mobile Stage at 8:45 p.m., and King Princess plays the Lake Shore Stage at 7:45 p.m.

Some up-and-coming artists performing Thursday include Cautious Clay, a soul singer who gained popularity with his singles and EPs on SoundCloud, and Jeremy Zucker, whose EP with Chelsea Cutler, “brent,” dropped earlier this year. Filled with reflective, tender tracks, the collection is a collaborative work with Cutler, who performs at the festival on Saturday. Cautious Clay plays the American Eagle Stage at 5:15 p.m. and Jeremy Zucker will play the set before on the same stage at 4 p.m.

For Chicago talent, be sure to check out Alexander 23, who released his new single, “Sad,” on July 12. Born and raised in Chicago, the artist is now based in Los Angeles. Alexander is set to perform on the BMI Stage at 1 p.m. Chicago-based electronic pop duo Win and Woo released their most recent single, Here U R (featuring Sara Skinner), July 26. They play the Tito’s Stage at 7:45 p.m.

Friday, August 2

Friday sees headlining sets from Childish Gambino and Tame Impala, with Janelle Monáe, 21 Savage, and Maggie Rogers performing as well. Childish Gambino’s last full studio album was 2016’s “Awaken, My Love!”, but he has produced recent popular singles — “This Is America” and “Summertime Magic” both charted in 2018. Maggie Rogers made waves with her indie-pop, beat-punching debut album, “Heard It In A Past Life,” at the beginning of 2019. The album features “Alaska,” a song producer Pharrell praised in 2016 in a masterclass at New York University, where Rogers was a student at the time. Childish Gambino plays the T-Mobile Stage at 8:45 p.m. and Rogers plays the Bud Light Stage at 4:45 p.m.

Don’t miss Tierra Whack, a member of the XXL Freshman Class, whose 2018 album “Whack World” strikes a balance between imaginative euphoria and bold self-assurance. Whack performed at Coachella in April, and her set is sure to feature some of her newer tracks, including “Unemployed,” released in March of this year. Whack is set to perform on the American Eagle Stage at 4 p.m. Also stop by retro-influenced pop artist Tessa Violet, who plays the BMI Stage at 3:20 p.m. Last week, Violet dropped her first album, “Bad Ideas (Act One),” the songs of which she released one by one over the course of a year.

Whethan, a 20-year-old producer who grew up in Chicago, will return to his hometown to play the American Eagle Stage at 6:30 p.m. Taking a break from touring with The Chainsmokers to graduate from high school, the young producer’s set will feature tracks from “Life of a Wallflower Vol. 1,” which he released in 2018.

Saturday, August 3

J Balvin continues the prominence of Latin music with a headlining spot on Saturday, and Twenty One Pilots will join him as headliners. Lil Wayne, RL Grime, and 6lack also are set to perform Saturday.

Balvin has been central in leading the rise of reggaetón music on worldwide charts, and will undoubtedly perform hits such as “Mi Gente” featuring Willy William, and the recent “Con Altura” with ROSALÍA featuring El Guincho. ROSALÍA is set to perform Sunday. Balvin performs on the Bud Light Stage at 8:45 p.m.

Daytime sets to check out include Pink Sweat$, who performs on the American Eagle Stage at 4 p.m., and Bad Suns, who play the Bud Light Stage at 3 p.m. Pink Sweat$, a unique artist mixing acoustic sounds with R&B, has scored over 73 million Spotify plays on last year’s “Honesty.” Rock band Bad Suns, whose 2019 album “Mystic Truth” helped further propel them into the spotlight, are likely to perform some of their older yet still popular songs, such as “Cardiac Arrest” and “Daft Pretty Boys.”

Houses, the project spearheaded by Chicago native Dexter Tortoriello, will feature remixes from their most recent release, 2019’s “Drugstore Heaven.” Houses will play the Lake Shore Stage at 12:15 p.m.

Sunday, August 4

Closing out the festival is Ariana Grande, joined by Flume and Kacey Musgraves. Grande’s personal life has taken center stage in arguably the peak of her career — with her two albums in the past year seeing major chart success. Grande also tweeted that she would drop a new single, “Boyfriend,” August 2. Musgraves, a genre-defying country singer, has had a breakout year, winning the Album of the Year Grammy for “Golden Hour” and performing at Coachella. Musgraves’ dreamy style should make for a great early evening set, as she performs on the T-Mobile Stage at 6:30 p.m. Grande plays the next set on the same stage at 8:30 p.m.

Tayla Parx, a successful songwriter credited with Ariana Grande’s hits “7 rings” and “thank u, next,” will perform a set of her own, the music of which has its own individual style compared to the pure pop she writes. Her latest album, “We Need To Talk,” released in April, is a fresh, charismatic effort to define her unique style. Parx plays the BMI stage at 4:30 p.m. Also, don’t miss Still Woozy, whose May EP, “Lately,” has helped him gain almost 2.8 million monthly listeners on Spotify. With a laid-back, acoustic-yet-electronic sound, the artist began making music out of his garage in Oakland, California. Still Woozy is set to perform on the Tito’s Stage at 2 p.m.

Louis the Child, a Chicago-area production duo who attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, have seen chart success this year and last, especially with their most popular track, “Better Not” featuring Wafia. Chicago-based producer Manic Focus will also add a set — he performs with a live band, which isn’t common in electronic music. Louis the Child performs on the Bud Light Stage at 5 p.m., and Manic Focus will take to the Perry’s Stage at 6:30 p.m.

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Twitter: @andreabian_