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Lollapalooza 2022 Day Two: Dua Lipa Levitates, MGK Brings Out Avril Lavigne, Wet Leg Buzz

The second day of Lollapalooza 2022 featured surprise guest spots and artists paying homage to others during a stacked lineup that included headliners Dua Lipa, Machine Gun Kelly, and Bob Moses. While Friday featured an array of international acts, host city Chicago was given props with a dedication to an artist gone too soon, while others acts covered everything from the Beatles (Taipei Houston hit “Eleanor Rigby”), Lily Allen (The Regrettes performed “Smile”), INXS (Bob Moses’ rendition of “Need You Tonight”), and Avril Lavigne, who also made an IRL appearance by night’s end.

Machine Gun Kelly Accepts His Pop-Punk Crown
Before Machine Gun Kelly took the stage, speakers played My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade,” a melodramatic reintroduction that, given his rap-to-pop-punk pivot, he likely idolizes. MGK doubled down on that new persona: In a setlist stuffed with Mainstream Sellout and Tickets to My Downfall songs, he sang into a mannequin hand mic stand by a life-sized pink helicopter while going on tirades against the Internet (“That shit tears at your self-esteem”). After bringing out Avril Lavigne (“Bois Lie”), Iann Dior (“Fake Love Don’t Last”), and Glaive (“More Than Life”), he looked emotional. For him, it appeared to be a dream-turned-headlining set come true.

Time Is a Construct for Baby Tate and Jasiah
There was something endearing about a young crowd whose enthusiasm nearly exceeded even the artist’s own twerk-filled onstage exuberance. That was the case during Baby Tate’s set, where fans patiently waited for her set to begin later than scheduled. It turned out to be a worthwhile delay, as rapper Jasiah worked the crowd from his stage across the field, a frenzied unintentional warmup for Baby Tate that included the rock-loving rapper (who mixed in the Killers and System of a Down’s songs amid his tunes) jumping into the early gathered crowd and snippets of the Killers and System of a Down. Later, Baby Tate turned up the party on her stage, which included her rapping (“Dancing Queen”) and R&B-crooning with equal aplomb as fans clung and sung along to every word, including picking up an unreleased song she shared the hook to only minutes beforehand.

Taipei Houston Are Nepotism Noise Rock at its Finest
Nobody knew what to expect from Taipei Houston because, until two days ago, they had never released a song. With a few gigs opening for Metallica under their belt thanks to nepotism, the noise-rock duo of drummer Myles and singer-bassist Layne — the 23-year-old and 21-year-old sons of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, respectively — had a knack for melodramatic showmanship like their father. Taipei Houston charged through a set of fuzzed-out riffs, their sole track “As the Sun Sets,” and a hard rock cover of “Eleanor Rigby” with undeniable passion.

Wet Leg

Griffin Lotz for IndieLand

Wet Leg: There’s No Secret Handshake
Though it was U.K. buzz band Wet Leg’s U.S. festival debut on Friday, the duo of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers made it all seem so effortless. Their casually synchronized spins and volleyed post-punk melodies and vocals, to their delivery of songs such as “Wet Dream” and “I Want to Be Abducted (By a UFO)” felt instinctual. That’s not to imply that spontaneity wasn’t a part of their flirty, fun set: Teasdale dedicated “Ur Mum” to bandmate Josh Mobaraki who was not in attendance, letting out a hilarious, pealing, backwards bent scream of his name where the audience joined in. By the time they dropped closer “Chaise Longue” the knowing smiles shared between bandmates like a secret onstage was contagious to anyone within earshot.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever Create Illusion of Multiplying Guitarists
Watching Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever is like witnessing an ant colony swarm a piece of fruit. The Melbourne indie rock group perform most of their songs while pacing around the stage, which means their bassist and three guitarists are constantly weaving around, wrists strumming rapid fire, as if on the brink of a jam. Nearly a decade into their career, this is part of their charm. That constant motion and quickening pace meant deceptively nuanced singles “The Way It Shatters” and “Cars in Space” sounded as fleshed out as the studio recordings.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Sacha Lecca for IndieLand

The Regrettes Put Crowd to the Test
Indie pop bands typically approach festival sets as a way to charm new listeners. The Regrettes, however, wanted to put them to the test. Frontperson Lydia Night guided her Los Angeles quartet and their massive crowd through a series of engagement activities, from crouching down and jumping up simultaneously to learning the words to their cover of Lily Allen’s “Smile.” Live, the Regrettes’ hits “California Friends,” “La Di Da,” and “Nowhere” were pleasant enough, but Night’s determination to orchestrate in-person interactions turned a familiar performance into a festival set that got the blood pumping.

Tinashe’s Back to the Future R&B Bridged Nineties to Now
Singer-actor-dancer … add “best kept secret” to Tinashe’s accolades. Not that she needs reminding, after so many years on the periphery of an industry that just didn’t know what to do with her. Well, Tinashe’s done waiting. With a crew of tightly choreographed dancers backing her, she killed it, her brand of boom-bap Nineties R&B with a contemporary sheen is perhaps better suited to dim clubs, but was more than effective with the sun acting as spotlight. Even the slow jams were slammin’.

Cordae Talks Family Values
Cordae had plenty of fan favorites in his arsenal that he dropped during his set — “Have Mercy” and his head-banging delivered “Broke As Fuck” among them — but he also welcomed the crowd to “vibe” with him as family for some more chill numbers and carved out time to pay respects to late Chicago rapper Juice Wrld. “This was my real brother,” he said, explaining that his first big stage appearances happened when opening for Juice Wrld, and that he swore he’d never touch another stage without paying him respects before delivering “Lucid Dreams” to an appreciative crowd.

King Princess

Sacha Lecca for IndieLand

The Stars Align for King Princess
Mikaela Straus, aka King Princess, was in a particularly celebratory mood Friday, and for good reason: not only had her second album, Hold On Baby, just dropped the day before, but a huge pile of people had gravitated toward her corner of the festival. While Straus did let loose with the crowd-pleasing likes of “Pussy is God,” many songs hinged on darker subjects, with the audience hanging on every cathartic word of “Cursed” and especially “Change the Locks.”

Glass Animals’ Long Climb Pays Off Josh
Whether through alchemy or algorithm, Glass Animals seem to have cracked the pop code, their modest beats, humble pop hooks and singer Dave Bayley’s falsetto slowly but steadily conquering the charts. (Indeed, “Heat Waves” reportedly broke a U.S. record for the longest time to hit Number One). Live, the Oxford, England band aimed to please with the giddiness of contest winners, eagerly offering up songs such as “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” and “Your Love (Déjà Vu)” with dorky charm.

David Solomon Does Bass Drops for Investment Banking
There’s nothing money can’t buy, including an electronic alter-ego. Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon formerly went by the name DJ D-Sol to make generic club remixes and, back in 2018, founded his label Payback Records. Now, under his real name, Solomon spun remixes of ABBA, Walk the Moon, and Queen for a sea of sports jerseys craving mindless clubbing. After shooting out excessive plumes of fog, he invited OneRepublic singer Ryan Tedder onstage to perform “Counting Stars.” There was no explanation for it before or after. On the bright side, all proceeds from Solomon’s appearance will reportedly donated to charity.

Girl in Red at Lollapalooza

Sacha Lecca for IndieLand

Girl in Red Goes Her Own Way
A true DIY success story, Norwegian singer and LGBTQ icon Marie Ulven, better known as Girl in Red, straddles the line between cult and mainstream success, and given her grassroots climb it’s hard to believe she’ll attain even bigger things on anything less than her own terms. Catching her breath between her honest tales of love lost and found, she sometimes seemed a little overwhelmed by her nascent stardom, joking it was all a “fake it ‘til you make it” pose even though the enthusiastic reaction to “We Fell In Love In October,” “Serotonin,” and “Girls” proved she’s doing just fine on the road to fame.

Bob Moses Rewards Festival Explorers
Sacrificed to the gods of headliner counter-programming, the Canadian synth-rock duo Jim Vallance and Tom Howie, who perform as Bob Moses, snuck in a surprisingly solid set nestled into one of the smaller festival nooks. The space was hardly packed, but the group impressed the enthusiastic audience with a big arena-ready sound, seamlessly fusing stylishly gloomy minor-key house music, Eighties pop, and strategically deployed guitars into an evocative confection best exemplified by the set closer “Love Brand New.”

Dua Lipa Levitating From Side Stage to Main
Dua Lipa has been here before, but not like this. By the time the superstar took the main stage for her headlining set, the field was a sea of tightly packed humans all clamoring to see her. Her previous turns were on smaller stages and she thanked those who stood by her during her come-up. She also noted she had not performed in the U.S. since March, before the overturning of Roe v. Wade. “Stand up for women’s rights, stand up against racial injustice,” she told the audience. “Stand up for the LGBTQ community, stand up for each other and I’m here to stand up for you in whatever way I can, I promise.” Dressed in a sparkly tattoo-like, sparkly bodysuit that appeared to change colors with the lights, she and her entourage — which included a band, backup singers, and dancers — got the crowd grooving with Dua’s made-for-the-dancefloor hits, including “Physical,” “New Rules,” “Levitating,” and her collab with Elton John, “Cold Heart.” She closed with “Don’t Start Now.”

Dua Lipa

Sacha Lecca for IndieLand

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