Photo by Jake Osmun
Lollapalooza 2016 has finally come to a close. Thankfully. It was a marathon weekend, now spanning four long days. Four long days filled with lines, surge pricing, inebriated zombie teenagers, people weirdly stalking Malia Obama, awesome after parties, weak after parties, real industry people and real fake industry people. It was a lot to digest.
But it’s always a fun weekend for Chicago which fills up with famous musicians, famous Hollywood types and famous social media personalities who rarely make it through the capital of the Midwest. But with four days full of music on and off sight — Lolla’s most ambitious lineup to date — standing out has become more and more difficult. But one local star who was the talk of the weekend was none other than Vic Mensa.
Vic has performed at Lollapalooza twice before — once as the lead of Kids These Days, as well as a solo set in 2014. I was on hand for both. He also almost died trying to sneak in as a young teen — I was there then as well. But in 2016, Vic was given a headlining spot, as he was the final act to appear on the Pepsi stage on Saturday night. He was put up against two behemoths: Red Hot Chili Peppers and Disclosure, and was still able to draw thousands of fans.
But as Vic’s music has changed, so has his live set. This year’s theme was much more serious — as it should be. The world is in a serious place. It’s been a rough summer for everyone. Racism, sexism, murder, genocide, mass shootings, police killing innocent black men — there’s a lot going on. No pun intended.
Vic used this massive platform to speak up, and let his mostly-white audience know what was really happening in the world. He even clapped at Lollapalooza for making the ticket prices too step for underprivileged children to attend. He found himself circled by a police riot squad, who attacked and roughed up the rapper during the peak of his performance. Two of the riot squad members turned out to be a gay couple, who was subsequently married by collaborator Lucy Stoole.
It was a legendary performance piece — one those in attendance won’t soon forget. In a weekend littered with half-ass performances and mailed in sets, Vic truly set himself apart from the pack. In my opinion, he had the biggest impact on this weekend’s festival.
Watch a bit of what you missed and check out some additional pics below.
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