boy pablo gives one of Lollapalooza’s most impressive sets despite solo performance

boy pablo gives one of Lollapalooza’s most impressive sets despite solo performance

By Carolina Garibay

Performing live in front of hundreds of people can be scary, but something that often makes that experience easier for artists is having band members there to back you up both musically and emotionally.

But boy pablo didn’t have that at his Friday performance at Lollapalooza. The 22-year-old Norwegian-Chilean indie-pop artist was the only one in his band to obtain a visa (the crowd booed in unison when he told them this), so he took the Grubhub Stage alone.

Despite this unfortunate circumstance that resulted in the lack of live music, boy pablo, or Nicolas Pablo Rivera Muñoz, performed exceptionally well –– so well that you forgot there was even supposed to be a band on stage.

You would think that not having your friends/bandmates with you to play live music would take away from your energy, but this wasn’t the case for boy pablo on Friday. From the very first song of his set, which was “I Hope She Loves Me Back,” boy pablo was feeling the music and dancing around the entire stage, proving that he wasn’t going to let the lack of a live band stop him from giving his all.

His high energy continued into the next song, “hey girl,” a chill but upbeat track from boy pablo’s recent album “Wachito Rico” about falling in love for the first time. It’s one of his more popular songs, so it was surprising to hear the song so early in the set. But the crowd wasn’t complaining. They cheered loudly immediately upon hearing the distinct guitar intro of the song, screaming along to boy pablo’s one-of-a-kind voice that really stood out during “hey girl.”

The next highlight of boy pablo’s set was his performance of “Feeling Lonely,” another favorite that’s meaning is pretty self-explanatory. It features a catchy chorus with lyrics like “Can’t help it, I just miss you / How did I lose you now again?” which is almost impossible to not sing along to. The song features an impressive belt in the second chorus, which boy pablo hit flawlessly, making this performance even more enjoyable.

He moved onto “honey” from “Wachito Rico” and “Sick Feeling” from “Soy Pablo.” “Honey” is a cute, more laid-back song that boy pablo said was about “his honey back at home.”

He took a moment in between songs to admit how nervous he was and to thank the crowd for giving him so much love. It really showed how humble of a person boy pablo is, and the crowd’s supportive, affirming claps created a positive environment that you could tell boy pablo really appreciated.

“Sick Feeling” is another more-celebrated song in boy pablo’s discography that’s about that physically sick feeling someone might get when thinking about past relationships. It’s a beautiful song and has a peaceful, dreamy chorus that the whole crowd was singing, which made me forgot how actually kind of sad the song is.

The only technical difficulty of the show came when boy pablo introduced “Ready/problems” but couldn’t get the song to play from his laptop. He didn’t get too hung up on that small bump, though, and moved onto the next song “tkm” instead.

Then, boy pablo played “Everytime,” one of his breakout songs and most popular songs. The song is about a girl desperately trying to get the attention of a boy who is just not interested in her. It’s a classic alternative-indie song that had everyone swaying and singing. It’s always great to see an artist’s hit songs being performed live at a massive festival, and “Everytime” was no exception.

One of the set’s best moments was boy pablo’s performance of “Watchito Rico,” the title track of his album that came out in 2020. It means “handsome boy” in Chilean slang, boy pablo said as he introduced the song. He also said it’s ironic that he’s singing it, which the audience was quick to disagree with. This song is livelier and dance-inducing, and it was really the first time the audience jumped up and down during the set, which was really awesome to see.

The best moment of boy pablo’s set in terms of energy and overall fun was his performance of “Dance, Baby!” This song on its own is enough to make you sing along and dance to (I mean, read its title), and this performance took that urge to a new level. The lyrics “Dance with me, baby / Dance with me, baby let’s get lost right here” are basically an invitation from boy pablo to get up and dance, and everyone did just that.

Boy pablo was definitely a highlight of Friday at Lollapalooza, and the fact that he was able to garner so much energy and so many responses from the crowd while simultaneously delivering strong vocals while being the only one on stage was incredibly impressive.