Lollapalooza rages on with Avril Lavigne resurgence, Dua Lipa-inspired drone show


Sydney Laput

Machine Gun Kelly, also known as MGK, performs at the Bud Light Seltzer stage during the second day of Lollapalooza on Friday.

By Sydney Wood and Aidan Sadovi

It’s the year of Avril Lavigne at Lollapalooza 2022, with at least four artists performing covers of Lavigne’s tunes, along with her surprise appearance at Machine Gun Kelly’s headlining set at the Bud Light Seltzer stage on Friday.

Other than Lavigne’s popularity, other Friday fashion trends leaned toward all-pink outfits, hyper-revealing clothes and a considerable number of sports jerseys. It was slightly windy with cloud coverage during some of the day’s hotter moments. 

Here’s what concertgoers had to say about the second day of Lollapalooza. 

Flipturn’s set at Discord stage full of firsts 

It’s a year of firsts for indie-rock band, flipturn. 

The Florida natives’ early afternoon set at the Discord stage on Friday was the group’s first time playing at Lollapalooza. In less than a month, the band will release its debut album, “Shadowglow.”

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Katherine Keber and Nina Umanzio traveled from Ohio to be at Lollapalooza this year.   

Dillon Basse, lead vocalist of flipturn, sings during their set at the Discord stage on Friday. (Sydney Laput)

For Keber, seeing flipturn’s set was one of her most-anticipated shows of the day. She said she hoped the band would play one of its more popular tunes, “August.” 

“I just started listening to them, so it’s gonna be all their popular stuff,” she said. “I’m hoping to pick up some new songs that I haven’t heard before and maybe expand my Spotify playlist a little bit.” 

The band kicked off its set with “Six Below,” a high-energy set that had both the band and the crowd headbanging and dancing. The group also promoted its upcoming album, performing newer songs like “Playground” and “Space Cowboy.”

Flipturn also played its hit tune “Chicago,” which evoked frenzied cheers from the crowd. To play “Chicago” at Lollapalooza in Chicago was another of the band’s first-time experiences and a milestone achievement for its members as well. 

“That was, by far, the most people we’ve played that song to, for sure,” said lead singer and guitarist Dillon Basse of flipturn. “Like, and it was in Chicago, so it was pretty cool. When we got into it, people knew immediately what we were doing.”

Del Water Gap entertains with midday set featuring popular tunes, covers 

It’s Justin Armer’s first time attending Lollapalooza, and so far, he said the “vibes are good.” 

Armer danced for most of Del Water Gap’s afternoon set at the Coinbase stage, though he said it was his first time hearing the artist’s music. Fortunately, he said the show was “incredible.”

Del Water Gap looks at the audience while preforming on the Coinbase stage on Friday. (Sydney Laput)

“I have not heard any of their music, but I was dancing to every single song, it was just very high energy,” Armer said. “The performance was also giving energy.”

Del Water Gap walked onto the stage wearing a long, flowy button-up shirt and red-tinted glasses with thick black frames. His set featured tunes like “Bug Bites,” Uh-huh” and “Hurting Kind,” along with a cover of “It’s Complicated” by Avril Lavigne. 

Near the end of his set, Del Water Gap took a second to relish in the moment, thanking his fans for staying by his side and listening to his art.

“I almost quit music two years ago,” he said. “It’s such an honor to be here.”

He ended the set with his fan-favorite tune, “Ode to a Conversation Stuck in Your Throat,” which was met by loud cheers from the audience. 

Cordae’s Lollapalooza set showcases snapshot of his artistic transition

Aidan Wiltshire of Naperville can tell the difference between the two eras of Cordae: the stylistic split between the rapper’s older work, like 2019’s “The Lost Boy” compared to his newer music, like the album “From A Birds Eye View,” released in January. 

In comparing Cordae’s older and newer works at the end of Cordae’s evening show at the T-Mobile stage on Friday, Wiltshire said his older music is “actually good.”

Alhough the crowd was on board and having a good time even when Cordae played newer, vibier tracks like the R&B-inflected “C Carter,” the real energy came when older songs interspersed throughout the set like “Kung Fu” and “Broke As F***” came on. 

Cordae dances as he enters the T-Mobile stage at the beginning of his set on Friday. (Sydney Laput)

Cordae often asked the audience — whom he referred to as one big “family” — if they minded if he played his newer music, possibly revealing insecurity about newer tracks. It’s not the first time that Cordae has doubted his talent, like when the artist publicly admitted on his Instagram earlier this year that “From A Birds Eye View” was not his best work. 

Cordae also shared his personal life with festivalgoers — even after briefly wondering whether he should share such information to hundreds of people — telling them how an ex-girlfriend asked the North Carolina rapper for backstage Lollapalooza tickets, which he took as an opportunity to teach the crowd the lesson of not being pushed around. 

“F*** that b****! F*** that b****,” the rapper and crowd chanted in unison, right before he launched into a freestyle rap lambasting the ex-lover with some deeply hurtful bars.

Cordae, radiant in a green windbreaker as the evening Chicago sun gleamed off him, smugly smiled and beamed at the chanting crowd, evidently proud of what he created. 

Machine Gun Kelly performs at Bud Light Seltzer stage, features Avril Lavigne

Machine Gun Kelly seems to love the pop-punk direction he’s taking with his music, but he doesn’t care if the internet does. 

Such was the prevailing theme of an electric and full-throttle set that could maybe be more accurately described as a grand and sweeping hair metal or glam pop show — one that he said he performed under the influence of magic mushrooms. 

“I planned these mushrooms terribly,” he said, before adding that the audience looked like the cartoon minions from the “Despicable Me” franchise. 

Machine Gun Kelly, also known as MGK, performs at the Bud Light Seltzer stage during the second day of Lollapalooza on Friday.

MGK wore tight leather pants, a studded pink leather jacket and donned pink dyed hair. He was supported by a band just as suited to the musical direction as he was, many of having tattoos and long hair, which they headbanged with while performing long instrumental solos to introduce themselves and show off their chops. 

Along with playing newer pop-punk staples like the sweeping and melodramatic “Tickets to My Downfall,” MGK and his band also brought out several guest artists to help perform with him, namely iann dior, Glaive and arguably the most well-received of them all: Avril Lavigne. 

As theatrics are concerned, a well-choreographed show was studded with moments that harkened back to the “f*** the internet” theme, which MGK said was the tour’s main idea. 

A small boxy screen at the top of the stage would sputter out distorted voices of disapproval, acting as a comment section of sorts, which MGK used to encourage others to rebuff the doubters of the world. 

“If you ever feel alone, press play, and I’m always there,” he told the crowd before getting ready to wail on a pink guitar with black graffiti. 

Dua Lipa satiates T-Mobile audience with killer vocals, drone show 

For self-proclaimed “pop girlie” Dana Navarro, Dua Lipa is one of her favorite artists. 

“I would say I’m a pop girlie,” Navarro said. “I just love, like, any pop music. I love how fun she (Dua Lipa) is, but also she’s down to earth, so I just love her overall vibe.”  

Friday night’s set was Navarro’s second time seeing Lipa perform live, and she hoped the artist would play her favorite tunes, like “Levitating,” “Pretty Please” and “Good in Bed.” Luckily for Navarro, Lipa played all those songs and more, including “One Kiss,” “Future Nostalgia” and “Boys Will Be Boys.” 

Near the end of the set, the T-Mobile drone show began, and together, the drones formed into the shape of an alien ship, cassette, the Chicago flag and skyline, a heart and a rainbow. One of it’s last messages read, “See you tomorrow Chicago,” before thanking T-Mobile and Google Pixel for the collaboration. 

Lipa ended her set with “Don’t Start Now” and a fireworks display, a risky move after her recent appearance in Toronto where three people were injured after unauthorized fireworks were set off on the venue floor


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