Hundreds of thousands flocked to Chicago over the weekend for Lollapalooza, one of the country’s biggest musical festivals. This year’s event featured performances from The Weeknd, Jack White, Travis Scott, Post Malone, Vampire Weekend, Carly Rae Jepsen, Logic, Bruno Mars, and many more.
EW was on the scene for the wild (and hot) four-day event, so read on for the 24 best things we saw.
1. All Time Low guitarist Jack Barakat getting the crowd surfing going early during the band’s Thursday afternoon set.
2. So many jerseys. It was like a four-day competition of who could have the coolest/most niche one. The roster featured too many impressive throwbacks and impressively quick purchases (a lot of Laker LeBrons) to count, but the best was the pop culture collection. While it was actually comical how many Space Jam jerseys there were, others spotted were G-Baby from Hardball, One Tree Hill‘s Nathan Scott, several Jackie Moons (Semi-Pro), Carlton and Will from Fresh Prince, and Black Panther‘s T’Challa.
3. Did I go see Jaden Smith on the off chance that Will would make an appearance? Maybe. Alas, Big Willie didn’t show up — but Jaden did play “Icon” twice.
4. 20-year-old Khalid performing on the Bud Light Stage.
5. 20-year-old Khalid hilariously forgetting his own lyrics.
6. Mere hours before the release of his long-awaited album, Travis Scott welcomed festivalgoers to Astroworld. The Chicago crowd went wild for the entire 90-minute set — well, almost everyone. Scott scolded the VIP audience for not raging and threatened to kick them out if they didn’t step it up on the next song.
7. Early in his set, Scott allowed a fan to come up on stage. It was unclear what Scott wanted him to do, but it was clear what the fan wanted to do: Take a selfie with the rapper. But Scott kept knocking the phone down and saying he hates phones, eventually leading him to have the kid removed. Luckily, the next fan had more success: Scott gave him the stage to propose to his girlfriend in the crowd. It was a few minutes before she could be located — which left many awkwardly wondering if she’d ever come — but thankfully she did and said yes, to the great delight of Scott.
8. Friday was a Post-filled day. Just hours before the much-anticipated Post Malone performance, Post Animal rocked out on a slightly smaller stage (even though the band said it was the biggest stage they had ever played). They also said they’ve performed in Chicago before in front of zero people. I’m glad to report that their Lolla set had well over zero people.
9. “I’ve always wanted to play for a confused and disgusted group of Post Malone fans,” cracked Parquet Courts lead singer A. Savage to those who were clearly camping out all day for the “Congratulations” rapper.
10. Being in the fourth row for Post Malone can drive someone to go full Danny Glover and declare, “I’m getting too old for this s—.” The dedicated Posteys were out in full force, as they shoved their way through the crowd, leading to a tightly-packed show. But the rapper delivered a set that lived up to the atmosphere. One low point: The crowd chanting “F— that b—” in reference to the girl that broke Post’s heart and inspired “I Fall Apart.”
11. Unsurprisingly, the true highlight of the weekend was Bruno Mars. The singer closed down Friday’s festivities with a firework-fueled dance party. He also appeared to end his set before playing “Uptown Funk.” Watching people leave right then was like seeing moviegoers leave a Marvel film before the end credits. Like, have you ever seen a Marvel movie? Of course, Mars came out to perform the hit song as an encore.
12. Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why leading man
Clay Jensen Dylan Minnette took the stage early Saturday for a set with his band, Wallows. Unfortunately for him, everyone in the crowd were just referring to him as Clay.
13. While Lil Pump’s show was delayed and eventually cut short due to pushing in the crowd, he did have enough time to lead a “F— Trump” chant.
14. A preteen attempting to explain Lil Pump to his parents (I listened in and could still use further lessons).
15. While he’s cornered the CBS crowd, LL Cool J returned to his roots on Saturday to perform for a much younger demographic.
16. LL also tried a little stand-up. After a cover of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa,” and having referenced the line, “‘Cause I see some ladies tonight that should be havin’ my baby, baby,” LL cracked, “That sounds expensive.” Next, he burned himself when he joked about people in the audience being confused about what he’s doing up onstage. “‘He’s a rapper? Isn’t he with Chris O’Donnell?'”
18. After an hour of Logic preaching “peace, love, and positivity” he officially ended his performance with a shot of whiskey and throwing free merch to fans.
19. It was a battle of the weekends on Saturday night as The Weeknd and Vampire Weekend played at the same time on opposite sides of the festival. The Weeknd won out for your writer. The singer had a tough act to follow after Bruno slayed the same stage the night before, but The Weeknd still had thousands gleefully calling out his name.
20. While LL Cool J threw flowers into the crowd on Saturday, Rex Orange County had flowers thrown to him on Sunday. Maybe a name change to LL Cool ROC is in order?
21. It’s 2 p.m. on Sunday in Chicago, do you know where your children are? Well, they could be sneaking into Lollapalooza by running through an emergency exit gate.
22. Sunday was an evening of disappointingly short sets from rappers. First up was Gucci Mane (or at least who we think was Gucci Mane). Despite being scheduled for an hour, the “Lemonade” rapper performed for just 30 minutes.
23.Though Lil Uzi Vert didn’t perform his full hour set, he still delivered a crowd pleasing performance. The mosh pit heavy set ended with Lil Uzi playing “XO Tour Llif3” for a second time and asking who wanted to sing it. He proceeded to throw the mic in the crowd before walking off.
24. Thousands, nay millions, of staged Instagram pics.