Once the second day of Lollapalooza was underway, it didn’t stop until Radiohead decided it should — which was nearly ten minutes past the festival’s official closing time of 10 p.m. The indie rock icons headlined the festival’s main stage and delivered a staggering set that spanned their impressive, and highly acclaimed, discography. Though the set started with the band’s latest hits, “Burn The Witch” and “Daydreaming” off A Moon Shaped Pool, the rest veered away from the obvious choices that many had hoped to hear — though for any fans left feeling bitter, the double encore should have served as remedy. Recently, frontman Thom Yorke made headlines for curating a “bedtime mix” of sleepy songs, but for his headlining show he delivered a proper rock performance complete with an impressive light show and a roller coaster ride through the band’s tracks of varying tempos.
Radiohead’s songs, for lack of a better comparison, are much like an onion in the sense that there are several layers. And in a live setting, the audience could witness some of the behind-the-scenes mystique, all while watching Yorke’s manic genius come to life. Throughout the day, Radiohead’s influence was made clear by a handful of bands — both explicitly, as Saint Motel’s frontman noted how “insane” it was to play in the same day as the band, and implicitly as so many others illustrated a form of flattery by way of imitation such as indie and alternative rock acts Wolf Alice, Frightened Rabbit, and Foals — all of which delivered clear, crisp and compelling performances.
Wolf Alice’s rip-roaring rock was fleshed out by instrumental collisions, while Foals also proved capable of conjuring a crowd with raucous rock. Meanwhile, Frightened Rabbit offered a more placid performance filled with warm and inviting undertones, just what the rain soaked crowd needed as the clouds began to clear out.
Prior to the rain, day two had started out with sunshine, which suited soul rockers Con Brio who came out swinging with swaggering soul and incredible early morning energy. The colorful performance was led by Ziek McCarter, the band’s frontman whose charisma poured out as he swung his hips and even dipped into the splits. And while Con Brio’s set surged with energy, it was no match for what The Struts later brought. The English glam rock band brought the audience back in time and performed as if it were their own arena rock show rather than a midday set at a music festival. The pulsating and thunderous heartbeat of the band can be traced to frontman Luke Spiller, who addressed the crowd as “baby” and bears physical resemblance to that of a more glamorous Ramone and shares sonic similarities with David Bowie.
The aforementioned rainfall started soon after their set ended, and it’s within reason to assume their resounding set is what shook it loose. But the rain only lasted for a couple hours and the skies cleared up in the early evening, allowing for Radiohead to carry on with “no surprises” — save for their double encore that still left fans desiring more. Though at some point, they had no choice but to come to a “ful stop” and put day two to rest.