CHICAGO — The highs were glorious and the lows were especially crushing at Lollapalooza’s 2017 edition this weekend.
Regulars at the massive, annual party in Grant Park are used to the storms and forced evacuations by now. This year’s inevitable exodus, though, was especially cruel, the bad weather rolling through the festival just as Thursday night’s headliners — including Lorde, Muse and Lil Uzi Vert — were warming up, forcing an abrupt end on Night One.
But then, two days later, the weather was sublime, a perfect setting for Chicago-artist-done-great Chance the Rapper to command the peak headlining slot in front of what was likely the largest assembled audience in the festival’s history.
Here’s a look back at the best and worst moments of this year’s Lollapalooza.
Best set: Chance the Rapper couldn’t possibly have topped his entrance, a collection of inspiring clips that included a video message from Michelle Obama, followed by a staged motorbike crash. Nevertheless, he owned this moment, destined to be a milestone for his career, Chicago music, and the festival’s history, zigging and zagging from fiery performances (including the use of a Chicago Fire Department’s fire hose) to spiritually soaring renditions of Blessings and Sunday Candy.
Best set that never was: You knew from the moment Lorde launched into Tennis Courts with unstoppable confidence and those jittery dance breaks that this was going to be a best-of-the-fest contender. Until it wasn’t, when Lorde’s set ended just three songs in because of that weather. Based on what we saw, Lorde’s North American “Melodrama” tour, kicking off in Milwaukee March 1, is going to be a must-see.
Worst set: Can you even call what Liam Gallagher did a set? He looked sour from the start, and his dour attitude rubbed off on a quickly disinterested audience, which he abandoned after abruptly fleeing the stage just a few songs in. Was an alleged voice issue from a rough gig the night before really to blame, as Gallagher later suggested? Or was he miffed by a fan in the crowd trolling him with an “I Love Noel” sign, a…