The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Annie DiRusso lights up BMI stage in Lollapalooza debut

James Hoeck
Annie DiRusso performs under the shade at the BMI stage today during Lollapalooza.

Annie DiRusso took the BMI stage for a 40-minute performance this afternoon in one of the few shaded areas of the Lollapalooza festival.

The New York native indie rock artist played a combination of her newer and older releases for a large crowd.

DiRusso couldn’t contain her enthusiasm at performing as a part of the huge festival.

“Couldn’t be more excited to be here, this is our first time playing Lolla,” DiRusso said to loud cheers.

DiRusso’s pink hair and eye makeup stood out from a distance as she banged her head along to her set of rock songs.

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DiRusso’s backing band, consisting of two guitarists and a drummer, also showed high energy, dancing along with DiRusso in their matching black and white dresses.

Though DiRusso was born in New York, the band is based in Nashville, Tennessee. She openly addressed her opinions on the recent controversy regarding abortion in the state.

“We live in Tennessee, which can be a pretty scary place for reproductive rights,” DiRusso said. “So please vote.”

The band had an explicit message for the conservative state governor, as “F— Bill Lee” was written across one of the drums on stage. 

DiRusso expressed in a conversation with the DI before her set that she felt “very calm” before the performance and was confident in performing at the festival after a two month long tour.

This confidence was evident on stage, as DiRusso continuously made the crowd go wild by fully screaming into the microphone or showing impressively strong vocals.

British artist Declan McKenna, a fellow Lollapalooza performer who DiRusso has accompanied on tour in the past, was present in the crowd to show support during her performance.

DiRusso performed many songs from her most recent EP “God I Hate This Place,” including  “Body,” “Hybrid” and “Emerson.”

Additionally, DiRusso performed “9 months” towards the end of her set, which gained wide popularity across the social media app TikTok.

The singer explained on stage the mature themes behind some of her songs. “Emerson,” DiRusso explained, is about moving out of your parents house and “regressing to your 14-year-old self.”

DiRusso additionally said that “Hybrid” is about “friendships falling apart,” and “Body” centers around negative emotions relating to body image.

The artist’s closing song, “Coming Soon,” was written while she was in college, she said.

“I wrote this last song when I thought I was going to fail out of college, and everyone in my band dropped out of college,” DiRusso said. “So this one’s for them…I love you all so much.”

The set ended with a bang as DiRusso’s backing band played their guitars behind their heads before the entire group collapsed on the floor at the final note.

“This has been a dream,” DiRusso said. “Thank you for coming to my first ever Lollapalooza set.”

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About the Contributors
Maaike Niekerk
Maaike Niekerk, Arts & Entertainment Editor
My name is Maaike Niekerk, and I am a sophomore majoring in English with minors in music and journalism. I began working with The Daily Illini during the fall semester of my freshman year as a buzz staff writer, and joined the editorial team last summer. I love bringing live event coverage to you from Champaign-Urbana’s vibrant music scene and sharing stories of local artists and musicians. Outside of The Daily Illini, you’ll find me performing at every football game with the Marching Illini or cycling with the 2024 Illini 4000 bike America team.
James Hoeck
James Hoeck, Photo Editor
Heyo! I am James Hoeck, a third-year undergraduate student in photography with a minor in media. I have been a part of Illini Media for two years, starting back in fall 2021. I hold the position of Photo Editor here at The Daily Illini. I also work as Photo Editor for Illini Media’s Illio Yearbook. There is a good chance you will see me out and about on campus taking photos for my personal work or for The DI and/or Illio! If you want to check out more of my work, visit my socials linked below.
ILLordle: Play now