With a 20-plus-year catalog and more than a dozen hits that are part of the backbone of the alternative rock canon, it was justifiable to wonder how the Red Hot Chili Peppers would change up their well-known party funk personas for their Saturday night headlining set.
The answer: they stretched things out, expanding to a seven-piece at one point with two keyboardists and a second bass player joining founding member Flea’s distinctive sound. While there were hits aplenty the band didn’t hold back from running through lesser-known material from its more recent records, showing how singer Anthony Kiedis has grown as a singer who can croon and sustain when needed.
In a savvy move, the band members dropped short instrumental workouts in between several songs, adding intrigue for the crowd and chewing up roughly 20 minutes of their 95 minute set. That could’ve tested the patience of the audience very easily, but when they repeatedly stuck the landing on modern rock classics like “Suck My Kiss” and slightly more rigid take on “Give It Away,” not many of the cheering thousands gathered in front of the American Express stage were complaining.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Chicago-based music festival Lollapalooza and the lineup, announced Wednesday, won’t disappoint.
From headliners like Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers and J. Cole to the smaller acts like Mothers and Potty Mouth, the festival is going big, featuring more than 170 performances. Organizers have added on a fourth day, honoring the years since Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction created Lolla in 1991.
Also on the lineup are a mixture of Texas-made artists and musicians who recently took to Austin stages during South By Southwest 2016. After an adrenaline-inducing performance at Brazos Hall, indie-rock band Bloc Party is sure to give Lolla headliners a run for their money. Joining the list of SXSW transfers are rap superstar Future, electronic duo Adventure Club and rapper Vince Staples, who took more than a couple of shots at streaming services while performing at his Spotify House set.
Austinites looking for some Texan solidarity at Lolla should look out for performances by soul singer and Fort Worth-native Leon Bridges and Austin’s very own inde-pop group Wild Child.
The festival runs from July 28 – 31 at Grant Park, Chicago. Along with the full lineup, Lolla also released the day-by-day schedule, so festival-goers should get to planning. Tickets for general admission went on sale Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. and sold out in less than three hours — people who still want in can get VIP tickets or get crafty.