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

Kendrick Lamar headlines Lollapalooza night two with electric rap performance

James Hoeck
Kendrick Lamar attendee watches T-Mobile set performance wearing Kendrick Lamar “What happens on earth stays on earth” merch amongst crowd on Friday night.

Kendrick Lamar, a Lollapalooza 2023 headliner, performed Friday night to one of the most enormous crowds of the festival so far.

All areas surrounding the T-Mobile stage were packed as fans anticipating the performance arrived well in advance to secure a good spot to see the rapper. 

However, fans were left waiting slightly longer than expected, as Lamar did not take the stage until 9:00p.m., a full 15 minutes after his set start time.

Delay aside, the crowd still exploded with excitement as the theme from Lamar’s hit “The Heart Part 5” began to play, introducing the rapper to the stage.

Lamar wore an entirely navy outfit, letting his lyrics and music be the main focus of the performance. 

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Lamar’s backup dancers additionally dressed simply in matching dark aprons over white shirts. With matching sunglasses, the dancers appeared nearly completely identical.

The show opened with a bang, using pyrotechnics and fog machines during the opening numbers. Lamar got the crowd moving with “ELEMENT” from his Grammy Award winning album “DAMN.”

Lamar performed a multitude of songs from the album, including “LOYALTY,” “DNA,” “HUMBLE” and “LOVE,” which Lamar said on stage is one of his favorite records.

The rapper additionally performed older songs such as “King Kunta” from his 2015 album “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

The gigantic crowd fed even more energy into Lamar’s electric performance, shouting along to the rap star’s lyrics.

“Chi-town, you could be anywhere in the world tonight, but you’re here with us,” Lamar said in appreciation for his fans.

One enthusiastic crowd member climbed midway up a large pole at the side of the park, prompting loud cheers of support from the crowd. 

A standout moment of the performance was when Lamar brought the stage completely dark for a few seconds before igniting the speakers with the opening notes of “HUMBLE.” The crowd went wild for the rapper’s biggest hit, which currently sits at nearly two billion streams on Spotify.

Lamar performed some songs from his most recent record, “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.” 

For one of these, “Count Me Out,” Lamar turned the screens on either side of the stage black and white. The color display returned for the next song, “Money Trees.”

Lamar later performed another one of his newer songs, “Die Hard.” The song is one of the most popular on “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” with over 200 million streams on Spotify.

The stage went dark around 10:00p.m. Assuming that the concert was over, many fans began to leave the T-Mobile stage area. But Lamar brought the lights back and returned with “Alright.”

Nevertheless, many festival goers continued to leave after 10:00p.m, as Lamar’s set began late and was likely intended to be over by that time. However, the rapper continued on for another ten minutes, playing a few more songs for the crowd.

“Until next time Chi-town, I love you,” Lamar said. “I will be back.”

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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.
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