Lollapalooza 2021 - Day Three Highlights: Post Malone, Limp Bizkit, Megan Thee Stallion, Young the Giant, Angels and Airwaves, Journey & Marc Rebillet
Photography by: Bobby Talamine
Writing by: Fiza Javid
Welcome to day three of Lollapalooza, where the sun was beating along with the drums. The day was so relaxing that it almost felt like the start to day one. Little did everyone know that the theme would quickly shift from clean and COVID friendly to the world's biggest raunch-themed festival. Believe it or not, that is precisely what made it thrilling.
The lineup today was truly exceptional, with the old and the new, this audience was taken through a journey of hits, with a day that literally ended with Journey.
Love was in the air as The Backseat Lovers flowed through the T-Mobile stage. They rocked their long hair, their amps were turned up to 11, they stomped on the stage as they head-banged and rocked back and forth, letting the music rock the audience with them.
Young the Giant is a rarity and deserves to go to the moon in his career, even with their 10th anniversary approaching, their songs are still timeless. They shocked the audience by not only playing their hits like "Cough Syrup" but shifting to "Hot in Here" by Nelly (remember how I said the theme was raunch?), and "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac. With Sameer's vocals, the audience was in pure bliss, however, as he moonwalked through the stage through the screen visual affects, it was pure art.
I must say, identity is a key aspect of what is driving many artists careers these days, and I couldn't think of a bigger inspiration than Sameer, who commanded the stage with his melodic vocals. Although he is a California native, he is one of the rare Desi frontmen you will find in an industry that had yet to fully represent ethnically south asian artists. Here I am, a Desi writer, in complete awe of that fact, and he is going to pave the way for more diversity.
Megan Thee Stallion was a true badass and a goddess, and it was her set that truly shifted the festival into the "Hot Girl Summer" it needed to be at. She was wearing a powerful corseted bodysuit with patches of rock T-Shirts sewn together ranging from AC/DC, Ramones, and Iron Maiden. She twerked through all her major hits from "Savage" to "WAP" alongside her powerful dancers who truly got to strut their stuff.
During her performance it was also Megan heaven, as Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly strolled past the stage to watch her perform. They were shortly followed by Chance the Rapper and Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why, and frontman for band Wallows).
Watching Limp Bizkit was surreal. I had to pinch myself and figure out if it was 1999, and it was deeply exciting. Building up to the set, it was unnerving to know if today's generation would accept him, but when he opened with "Break Stuff," the response was one of the greatest feats for rock that Lollapalooza hasn't seen in years. Three mosh circles formed, men took off their shirts, crowd-surfers jumped into the crowd and it was an all out rage fest. He played his hits "My Way," "Nookie," but along with DJ Lethal did his classic House of Pain "Jump Around," "DMX's "Up in Here," Naughty by Nature's "Hip Hop Hooray," and Cypress Hill's "Insane in the Brain."
That wasn't the best part. He ended his set with a debut new song "Dad Vibes." He then ran into the audience handing out T-Shirts, running into Marc Rebillet. It was a riot after the crowd watched these two legends hug, and the future was immediately palpable.
Rock is going to come back with major revenge.
Genuinely honorable mentions were Angel's and Airwaves, JBTV Alumni Whitney, Cannons, Cavetown, Jessica, Porches, Michigander, Vnnsa, Jake Wesley Rogers, Vintage Culture, and Tate McRae.
But then there was Marc Rebillet.
Marc Rebillet closed out the GrubHub stage and was the most original, collaborative artist in the entire festival. Rebillet aka "Loop Daddy," who is surely owed a headline at Lollapalooza in the coming years, has made an astronomic rise in the shortest time in the most unprecedented way. He created his career, entirely on his own, starting in 2016, and has since become the king of fan-powered YouTube live-steaming. Within the 5 years, he has garnered nearly 79 million views and 1.7 million subscribers. He is the future of music, and I will tell you why.
What really gets the audience going about him is the fact that he improvises everything, and every single set is unplanned and different. I can't think of any other artist brave enough to man their own stage at one of the biggest festivals in the world, bringing in a true love of music, however, what truly adds the flavor to his performance is his ability to use carnal sexuality as his strength.
Throughout his performance, the screen behind him had sexually suggestive imagery, and I have never seen a crowd of grown men shout "daddy" or "take it off" to a male artist as much as I have here. They were so hyped that Marc went past curfew, ending his set with a loop called "Let Me in I'm Trying to F***." He let a fan on stage who popped a champagne bottle into the audience and toasted with Marc himself. This man can carry a sea of people into the wildest places with the press of a button and true musicianship.
Be sure to look out for him. With how far he has come in a short period of time, he will be everywhere before we know it, and you don't want to miss a future show.
Post Malone closed the night out at the T-Mobile stage to an audience that was camping since 2pm. He truly proved that you can headline without having to be theatrical, with a trove of dancers or anything. He showed up on stage with his music and his star-power alone, and it was truly satisfying. He opened his set with "Wow" to a jaw dropped crowd, effortlessly flowing through his set.
He got the crowd going when he pulled out his acoustic guitar and teased "Seven Nation Army" sending the crowd into a chanting session like a football game. "Sunflower" was truly the moment everyone was waiting for, as the song was a constant during the pandemic. He ended his set to "congratulations" as the crowd screamed along.
Meanwhile at the Bud Light Seltzer stage was a phenomenal throwback, Journey serenaded an audience that was happy to sing right back. Saturday was truly a beast, and while I was not able to catch every single performance, Bobby was able to get the full story through photographs, immortalizing the most memorable festival night of the year.
Cheers to another successful festival day and night! Until tomorrow, Lollapalooza!
Lollapalooza 2021 - Day Two Highlights: Tyler the Creator, Grandson, Black Pistol Fire, Tai Verdes, Mick Jenkins, Rookie, Giveon, Roddy Ricch and Honorable Mentions
Photography by: Bobby Talamine
Writing by: Fiza Javid
Going into the second day of a major festival starts to feel like a permanent reality, but hey, this one sends you to la la land, or better yet, la la palooza, and day two was the epitome of festivals thanks to all the remarkable performers.
The day started with Rookie, a modern American rock band who gave major Kiss vibes and what they describe as a touch of "cosmic country" and incredible vocals. Their song, particularly "Sunglasses" bring the kind of groove that inspire a generation of musicians to pick up an instrument.
It was so refreshing to hear this sound in Chicago, with hints of blues sounds in a sea of electronic. Although, the remainder of the festival was a truly won by Rap, R&B, Soul and Hip-Hop.
"This is my first time at a concert, I've never even step foot at a festival," said Tai Verdes as he joined the Bud Light Seltzer stage to what would equate to a sold out show. The crowded chanted to his vast array of hits from "Drugs" to "A-O-K." That was when he stated "this is the first song I ever memorized on my iPod," busting out with a cover of "Beverly Hills" by Weezer.
Following Tai at the Tito's Stage, Canadian born, Austin based rock duo, Black Pistol Fire came out like arsons, from "Look Alive" to "Wildfire, they sent their explosive sound over a sea of screaming rock fans, and their diversity of sound was truly remarkable. They even threw in a cover of "Redbone" by Childish Gambino.
That's when the fans truly started camping out by Bud Light Seltzer stage. Legendary Mick Jenkins, an Alabama native whose music career originated in Chicago, came through with his effortlessly irreverent, aggressive rap style analogous to Tyler the Creator. These two, both listed in this top ten MC list, were in a spectrum of incredible rap music presented to Lollapalooza, with Mick opening the day and Tyler anticipated to close it, and it couldn't be more perfect.
Parallel to Mick Jenkins at the T-Mobile stage was JBTV Alumni Grandson, who never fails to get a crowd wild. With elements of what I would call political rock/rap, reminiscent to Rage Against the Machine, he excited the crowd from "In Over My Head" to "Oh No!!!" featuring Chicago's beloved Vic Mensa (Who I remember because I graduated with his original band Kids These Days). Grandson was electric from beginning to end, finishing up his set with "Blood//Water."
I could go on for hours about day two. Honorable mentions were Elephant Heart, White Reaper, Boy Pablo, Oston and Njomza.
Giveon serenaded the crowd and I've never seen an audience swoon more. He is a heartbreaker as well as a rising R&B artist who is on the path to a headlining sooner than we can imagine.
Roddy Ricch put on an award worthy performance with special guest DJ Mustard. With his diamond studded necklace and equally star studded perfomance on top of a high rise stage. He gave an ode to Nipsey Hussle to an adoring crowd. "Lemonade" was a genuine crowd favorite and through each song he was surrounded by hip-hop dancers as well as pyrotechnics. He was the perfect opener for what was to come.
Tyler the Creator was the performance of a lifetime. One that you would want to relive over and over again, and it would still feel like the first time.
Super-fans camped out for Tyler the Creator, whose team worked hard building his set prior to his headlining performance. The crowd watched in awe as they added a boat, a deck, and what looked like one of those luggage carts you see at a hotel. The full theatrical display only made the suspense more nerve-wracking. There was also a sign on the stage with his album title "Call Me if you Get Lost."
When "Sir Baudelaire" started, Tyler came out pushing the full luggage cart dressed as a bellhop, full get-up and all. He opened one of the suitcases, changed his clothes into his classic white fur 'ushanka' hat and comfy tee and leopard button up, with a diamond studded necklace.
The transition between each song flowed as smooth as butter. His theatrical timing added to the experience of the music x10. From "Corso" to the throwback to "She" and "Yonkers." That wasn't even the best part. He jumped on top of his rocking boat as he performed "Lemonhead," and moonwalked through pyrotechnics. He even made a costume change to his unforgettable Grammy's performance outfit with the wig and send the crowd flying to "New Magic Wand." He also told a story about going to a Starbucks drive-thru in a Rolls Royce that flowed right into "Lumberjack."
I hate to be the one to say 'you had to be there,' but the best part about festivals like Lollapalooza is that it gives you a sneak peak into what you can see in the major tours of a wide variety of artists. Highlights here are enough to set you for life.
Until day three, Keep on rockin'!
Lollapalooza 2021 - Day One Highlights - Miley Cyrus, Orville Peck, Aly & AJ, Post Animal, Black Pumas, and Christian French
Photography by: Bobby Talamine
Writing by: Fiza Javid
Lollapalooza, it feels so good to be back.
"You are attending the largest music festival in the world, in Chicago, the greatest music capital in the world," said Lori Lightfoot to a delighted audience, right before presenting Black Pumas.
Day one of Lollapalooza 2021, in the heart of the Windy City, kicked off with clear blue skies, a beautiful lakefront breeze and music in the air.
JBTV Alumni, Post Animal, began their soundcheck 11:30am at the Tito's stage to a crowd with rock n roll getup and colorful hair. There were sleepy eyes when 12:30 rolled around. Suddenly "Gelatin Mode" started, and the crowd started pushing to the front. This band stays true to their roots and utilizes the power of their instruments in creating that raging vibe this crowd needed.
Who said rock n roll was dead?
Christian French was a real crowd pleaser and a genuine pop-star. At 12:15pm at the Lakeshore Drive stage. Adoring fans ran from Tito's to the other side. He grooved through the stage and worked the front row as he performed a notable new hit "Avalanche" and "Good Things Take Time" among many.
Former Disney stars were coincidentally a focal point of day one of Lolla. The T-Mobile stage laid vacant until Aly & AJ hit the stage. They played through songs off their new album that sets the record for longest title, "a touch of the beat gets you up on your feet gets you out and then into the sun." The beachy, indie vibes of this album swayed through the crowd. It was clear that the audience was new to the music, but they responded with genuine admiration. A highlight of their new album was "Personal Cathedrals," which felt holy and peaceful in the midst of all the festival chaos. The bliss was broken as the crowd screamed into a frenzy as they ended their set with the explicit version of "Potential Breakup Song.
The audience proved to be incredibly diverse. Talking to audience members, there were fans that came from Texas, New Orleans, Baltimore, Southern Illinois, Florida, Seattle, etc, and T-Mobile was their hot spot for the night.
Following Aly & AJ there was Orville Peck, who switched all the pop vibes from the early day to a real country croon. I wasn't sure how well Chicago would respond to country music, but his stage presence, powerful voice and showmanship proved earned him the title as one of the major favorites of the festival season. I watched an audience member cry as he performed "Roses are Falling."
That was when Lori Lightfoot came out and did a speech, before declaring Black Pumas the greatest artist of Lollapalooza who "has a mix of Rock, R&B, Jazz, and everything." She was not wrong in the slightest. Black Pumas carried through his set with the single most powerful voice that reverberated from a mile away. From "Next to You" to "Mrs. Postman" and "Black Moon Rising," it was impossible to pick a favorite.
Throughout the festival day, it was impossible to know who the best artist was, not that there should be. Until Miley Cyrus went on, that fact was indisputable. She shined on stage, literally, in her custom made Gucci romper, covered in red rhinestones, with knee high boots that looked covered in diamonds on stage. Miley was reminiscent to Joan Jett with her rocker attitude, but she also shined like a true queen superstar.
It is impossible to describe which part of her set was the best because it was riveting through and through. She opened her set with "Can't Stop" to an audience genuinely shocked to see her. Other notable originals were "Malibu" and "See You Again, " but you can't be Miley without equally chart topping covers. She covered "Where is my Mind" by the Pixies, "Heart of Glass" by Blondie and "Bang Bang" by Nancy Sinatra.
To a stunned audience, in came Billy Idol to help Miley perform "White Wedding." The star-power alone was phenomenal. But she could not perform in front of Chicago without performing "23," alongside special guest Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa, with a tweking Benny the Bull dancing in front of a screaming audience. Through the flash of her songs there were also a promise that she kept for her Instagram fans that she fulfilled: showing undying support for Britney Spears and the #freebritney movement. The words flashed across the screen right as she performed "SMS (Bangerz)".
It all sounds crazy, but that didn't even cover all the details of her set, not to mention that this was only day one. The diversity of fans and music genres is what made Thursday truly special, and the chart topping performances set an incredibly high standard for the remainder of the weekend.
Until tomorrow, Chicago!
Lollapalooza 2018 highlights - Billie Eilish, Clairo, Taylor Bennett, Tyler, The Creator, Greta Van Fleet
Photography by Bobby Talamine
Writing by Fiza Javid
Friday August 2-3rd, 2018
Grant Park, Chicago
The sun was shining, the skyline was beaming, and the stars were rocking away, showcasing some notable favorites and paving away for a new generation of music.
At JBTV, we are all about spotlighting the up-and-coming artists, and this festival season couldn't have kicked off with a better start, with none other than Billie Eilish.
This young artist put her heart on the stage, performing her new hits "Bellyache" and Copycat," she rocked out with mixed hip-hop and pop elements, and the crowd had a reason to keep jumping. Her energy and passion could be felt from far away. The crowd was laden in Billie crowns while she commanded the stage.
Off to Tito’s stage, JBTV caught some of the remaining set of Clairo, who kept the crowd vibing. Another incredible artist who is also setting the standard for a new generation of music.
By the Perry’s Stage, we caught 5x JBTV Alumni, Taylor Bennett, from the crowd. Crowd certainly adored him and his Chicago Bulls jersey, as he worked the crowd into a fever pitch.
Having witnessed Taylor performing live a few times now, and I have to say, it’s definitely celebratory and he is a Chicago staple.
At the Grant Park Stage all the way south to catch the one and only Tyler, the Creator. JBTV was looking forward to Tyler’s set for weeks prior to Lollapalooza. He’s such a forward thinking rapper, who crosses over genres at a moment’s notice, working the massive Grant Park Stage left to right, enticing the crowd for sing alongs and chants, dressed in a tropical and flowery shirt and shorts, he is a truly accomplished artist with cool vibes. Tyler is one of the coolest acts at Lollapalooza day two.
At the American Eagle Stage, the one and only Greta Van Fleet, came bearing wings with legendary classic sound, ready to rock to the masses. Crazy band equals equally crazy fans, from the first note forward. This band is one of the most anticipated acts to appear at Lollapalooza this year. Simply look at the amount of photographers covering Greta: must be 30 in the packed pit waiting for them to hit the stage, and they do not disappoint. Greta Van Fleet is ready to rock, and then some.
The Kiszka brothers- Josh Kiszka on Lead Vocal, Jake Kiszka on Guitar, Sam Kiszka on Bass, and Danny Wagner on Drums. These guys are incredible and unveiling a classic rock sound to a new generation. Their set is a barnburner, all the way to Josh flaying around with a Tambourine for a song, then breaking it into pieces and tossing them into the crowd. All band members dressed as if they were cloned from 1976, bare midriffs and all. These Michigan artists know how to rock. An anticipated set equals a great set, and the crowd loved it.
This is JBTV with the exclusive coverage, stay tuned for updates from day three!
Writing and Photography by Bobby Talamine
I have to say, when the band Ganser announced their three night residency at the Empty Bottle back in May, the news couldn't have come at a more opportune time to officially christen witnessing and appreciating live music again, especially in an intimate and iconic venue such as the Empty Bottle.
But the nagging questions up to the event: will everyone entering be vaccinated? How are the shows going to be socially distanced- chairs or no chairs? And the capacity limits? You can go on from there with the 2am questions while trying to get a good nights sleep, and thinking things through to the benefit of the band, the Empty Bottle, and to this review and the pictures.
You want to do right by all. You want to not be intrusive, get quality images, and also soak it all in, but with such a good band as Ganser- a band that's going places that's solid. A band that is fighting the fight through a pandemic and some unfortunate circumstances that have put them behind the eight ball on more than one occasion over the past year.
And yet--here we are--on night one of their three night residency. Everything is well and good. Easy going, with a protocol of soundcheck, the Empty Bottle staff going about their business as if it's business as usual; the past year as a blip on the radar and nothing more.
Make no mistake- witnessing live music again in an intimate venue such as the Bottle was so gratifying, even on a Thursday night, and Ganser did not disappoint. The doors opened at 7:30pm, and the show beginning at around 9:30pm.
The real buildup for the show for me was documenting Zoe- the Production Manager of the Bottle, writing out the Thursday night event on the front door chalkboard of the Bottle- and knowing that this show is official, and it's going to happen.
So it's Ganser for tonight's show, and only Ganser, with no opening acts.
Ganser played a little over an hour's set- 16 songs in total- highlighting last year's release of there 2nd album- "Just Look at that Sky". They opened with "Pyrrhic Victory", and going into "Self Service"- a one- two punch of '90's style art punk, with guitar jabs and shreds and sounds coming in waves from Charlie Landsman, sonic metronome beats from Brian Cundiff, restrained and sustained vocals with an added flair of synth and keyboard from Nadia Garofalo, and the much needed propulsive and complete bass grooves with additional vocal from Alicia Gaines.
Ganser performing live: rhythmically driven and focused, they are a band that commands your attention. They share in a powerful kind of communion that makes you wonder if things are going to go off the rails mid whichever song, and yet with all the ying and yangs that come from all four committed band members, everything stays intact and spot on, time and time again. Most of the songs performed live from "Just Look at That Sky" are performed with an edge, sharing with the audience some raw and basic emotions, but delivered in such a way that's kind of like a brush off, like their perceptions on viewing their world are magnified and you should pay attention, but also let's view some of this observance from the sidelines and document the craziness of living and surviving and all.
I can go on and on with the outward explanations, but that belittles the point about Ganser, and what they each individually bring to the table in constructing these songs they create, and quite identifiably going about them that makes them kind of unclassifiable.
It's not as easy as it sounds, I suppose, when crafting these songs from scratch.
Suffice it to say, that Ganser on record requires repeated listens. As for performing live- Ganser requires repeated viewing and attendance- and then some.
As for me- you can't get more cooler than that. You'll want to see a band like Ganser succeed, even in the more dire of times, and you'll keep coming back for more.