Lollapalooza 2022 Day Two: Taipei Houston, Glass Animals, The Regrettes, Gata, Wet leg, Rezz, royal blood, Machine Gun Kelly, Dua lipa & more
Photography by Bobby Talamine
Writing by Fiza Javid
Grant Park - July 29, 2022
Lollapalooza day two, still reeling from the incredible acts of day one, went from metal themed to disco in a groovy heartbeat. There were so many incredible acts to cover, and while not everyone could be photographed, the impression they made deems your favorite pair of headphones and genuine appreciation.
Could not have thought of a better way to start this review than to give accolades to Taipei Houston. While it is true that they are Lars Ulrich's kids, holy rock n roll they certainly caught an original rock bug of their own. While they inherited a deep rooted talent from their father, which I could see from the drumming style of Myles Ulrich, it was their charisma and originality that blew the audience's hair back. While the pair have only just released their debut single "As the Sun Sets," a few days and they showcase the showmanship and talent of a band that has toured for decades.
Layne Ulrich, the band's frontman and bassist, has a truly distinctive voice. He was doing what many front men have not done, which is rock a bass. Sure we can also put Paul McCartney and Thundercat in that list, but Layne is quickly settling into that family like its a walk in the park, alongside looping to add extra dynamic effect. It is almost as though their live set could ease into a mixed record in a matter of minutes. Myles is already making a name for himself as a machine of a drummer, with Layne stating that Myles is also a skilled guitarist. They played songs their single word titled songs "Respector," "Jellybean," and "Welder," but they may be the only band with a full noise cover of Eleanor Rigby. This is the edge that the Beatles may have always craved for, but if only the Beatles were raised by one of the most legendary metal drummers in music history.
Wet leg had a massive crowd upon arrival. They began with Lord of the Rings score induced entrance.
This British indi-rock duo, whose hit song "Chaise Lung" hit 3 million streams which truly set their career on a powerful trajectory. Lollapalooza was graced with the first taste on U.S. grounds.
“We’re called Wet Leg, and this is our first festival in the states" they said, as they played through uniquely titled songs "I Want to be Abducted (By a UFO)." Well we were abducted by your sound, and along with Taipei Houston, they truly deserve the main stage. Their eclectic sound, their doll-like presence is simple enough, and their music is lively.
Next, I managed to catch Gata at the BMI stage, who is widely known as the hype man for Lil Dicky on the popular Hulu series "Dave." However, Dave has allowed himself to showcase his presence and musical abilities that not that many artists get the opportunity to do. Not only was it apparent that Lollapalooza festival goers have a Hulu subscription, but that they are definitely in it to watch him. The show aside, he has managed to carve artistry out of equally authentic acting chops. He just got off doing a film with Machine Gun Kelly in "Good Mourning", and Lollapalooza was the perfect opportunity for him to showcase his musical abilities, and he delivered MAJOR fun.
“It’s my first time at Lollapalooza, I’m really geeked out. Being an artist has been a dream of mine for a long time, so I appreciate you all showing out.”
His audience members included notable band The Untold. Another audience member started a “Gata” chant, as Gata's team threw inflatable alligators into the audience.
“Life can get real sometimes, so this song is called real life.”
With the lyrics, “I’m stressed, I’m blessed,” we couldn't think of a better mantra for the times we are living in. He humbly showcased his appreciation for the audience while he also provided a moment of silence for Highland Park victims. All in all, this crowd adored him so much that he did a second set at the Toyota stage.
JBTV Alumni the Regrettes shined at the Tito's stage, with originals and a cover of Lily Allen's "Smile." They have a particular way of having so much fun on stage, that their energy is intoxicating and addictive to watch. When their songs like "Dress Up," Monday," or "Rosy," played, their punk sound and Los Angeles attitude shined through. Lollapalooza offered a wide-variety of talented British artists, so seeing artists like the Regrettes continue to make their mark, particularly in a genre that is seldom discussed these days, is its own joy. They had the audience dancing like no other. Lydia, Genessa, Brooke and Drew, we love you.
The dance moves then made way for head banging as Royal Blood took the stage. Everyone took notice of a massive gong on stage, and did not know what to expect, or how they may manage to fit that into a song. They game our like renegades, with a Hard British rock sound, and a crowd screaming to "Lights Out" which was certainly their powerful hit of their set, alongside, "Boilermaker" and Little Monster." Mike Kerr held down the vocals and bass with his wayfarers, and he looked as cool as ever. But the real kicker came in the form of the drummer, Ben Thatcher, taking swigs out of a bottle of Patron, giving the audience the most perfect "drum solo of life" (as referenced by Aqua Teen Hunger Force for LIFE CHANGING drum solos), while then led to a countdown.
"FIVE-Four-Three-two-one...." *gong smash* and the crowd just became a roar of joy. Loud noise and rugged excitement is what Lollapalooza is all about.
I gotttttta talk more about Glass Animals. We all were a little relieved that they couldn't throw their signature pineapple into the audience, but hands down, Lollapalooza has never seen an artist have more fun on stage than Dave Bayley.
“Lollapalooza is always the best one,” he said to the crowd, who was just losing it. Their music is almost like a trance, as you don't realize how quickly time as gone by when they perform, because songs like "Deja Vu" just beg to be danced to. The crowd was damn near praying to have more space to spin-dance and jam out the way he gets to on stage, but watching him may have been enough.
The Chicago sun, while it was mostly chill weather throughout the day, suddenly began to beat down some serious heat during this set, and Dave was definitely one to mention it, but its almost like mother nature wanted the perfect transition into the song "Heatwaves." Rest assured, his cool attitude made it worth sweating bullets and the heart pounding to.
Before I mention the primary artists that JBTV covered, I gotta talk about Machine Gun Kelly achieving the rock star status he has been fighting for on the Bud Light main stage. While his performance referenced the hate he gets as an artist, from his switch from rap to rock, the question of his ability to play guitar, and whatever other insults have been thrown his way, he managed to squash all of it with his persona alone. He doesn't need to be a virtuoso, he has some of the most talent artists on stage alongside him, one being his childhood friend as his keyboard player, who excited the audience with a quick nod to "Still Dre" by Dr. Dre. It was the outfit changes, the appearance of Avril Lavigne, and the moment where he
"Creed at the MTV Movie Awards" CLIMBED THE SOUND STAGE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AUDIENCE to perform for the entire audience, where he truly won any skeptical minds over. Beyond that moment, it was the moment that he had an outfit change, covered the eyes of his drummer, all while casually smoking a cigarette that was when he achieved the rock star status that Travis Barker described of him. While some may like it or not, he IS the rock star of today's generation, while still being the 90s kid at heart who truly understands what it was like to grow up with the first real wave of emo-punk rock. He is managing to do this while adding the controversial flare that existed predominately in the 80s, with the inability to predict what he might do next.
I must say though I am amazed that he does not include his original rap song "Till I Die" or "Breaking News." If he burst out into any of those songs, there is no doubt that Chicago would have absolutely lost it. He did have a brief moment where he fast-rapped enough to, in my honest opinion, blow Eminem out of the water. I am a die hard Eminem fan, but MGK deserves way more credit for being the wildly talented freestyle rapper that he is, and there are hints in his rock persona that point to this, particularly in his swag. MGK, for the love of god, we love the "I'm a rockstar" situation he has going, but he can rap like no other, and its about time he stopped throwing that image away. He has managed to break into multi-genre audiences, while scoring the fans of Megan Fox, so as far as music goes, he might as well strut where his musical talent is, along with bopping the audience into "Tickets to My Downfall." Everyone knows he can act too, and while he continues to be an image, he needs to embrace where his respect is, and the respect can only come from the music. He put on an unforgettable show at Lollapalooza and people should be jealous if they missed this one.
I caught major moments of Dua Lipa, who was a walking star. Her skin tight glimmering body suit, as she cat-walked through the stage, was a power move. Her disco-style "Nostalgia" hits may seem on the nose, but she provides an anthem for women and girls of all ages. With "New Rules" and "Levitating" it almost feels like everyone is back in the 70s disco era, while simultaneously experiencing 80s nostalgia. It was a true gift for many of the crowd to close the night feeling as though they were at the Grammys.
"Boys will be boys, but girls will be women" were the lyrics this audience danced to, as Dua also announced how important it is to support women during the tumultuous times in America. Rest assured, she provided the perfect cathartic escape, paradoxically.
Finally the major highlights go to Girl in Red and Rezz.
Girl in Red was definitely the opposite of Dua in stage presence, and she come out with "You Stupid Bitch" which was so perfectly edgy, She was so direct in her style, and with songs like "Did You Come?" and "Serotonin" she gave the audience less persona and more authenticity in terms of a "this is my music, and you don't need to know anything more from me to love me" perspective. Well they loved her, and she will go far.
Rezz was the DJ set of a lifetime. Mentored by Dead Mau5, Rezz came out with a cryptic backdrop that stated "They will understand, they will communicate in the same way." Which made the front row a little scared, but also curious if we were about to be abducted. This Canadian DJ has the look of the "Limbo" video games series, which is so freaking exciting, and then the music blasts in your face. The opening song "Menace" was electric, with a backdrop that looked like it was hacked. Rezz paced the stage looking like a cartoon silhouette. The songs "Edge" and "Hypocurrency" had everyone on the edge of insanity, and it was the most mind blowing way to finish out Friday night.
I couldn't be more excited for the rest of the weekend. Until then,
Fiza Javid - JBTV Music Television