Lollapalooza, Day One

  • Lady Gaga performs at Lollapalooza on Aug. 6
    Photo: Kevin Mazur/

Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.

By Emily Lyle

After three years in Chicago it's almost embarrassing to admit that I've never attended Lollapalooza. Luckily, my experience at the three-day music festival on Aug. 6 was a great introduction. I have my friends at The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter and GRAMMY U to thank for the opportunity to get a nice mixture of typical concertgoer and behind-the-scenes experiences.

One of the first sets I caught was from pop music veterans Devo. I caught them on the Parkways Foundation stage and from afar I couldn't believe these were the same people I had the opportunity to meet just hours before. These wise men in their 50s and 60s were rocking the stage and engaging the crowd better than many 20-somethings on the scene today. It just goes to show — pure talent and passion will always outlive trends.

Next up were rising rock stars Neon Trees. I just don't have enough nice things to say about this band. Coming into Lollapalooza, my knowledge of Neon Trees didn't extend far beyond their hit "Animal," and some basic background on the band. As soon as they took the stage I knew exactly where they were meant to be. In a set filled with great music, eye-popping high kicks and elusive onstage banter, Neon Trees definitely earned some new fans, myself included.

I later got to see festival veterans the Black Keys, who proved to be in their element onstage. I understood why their live shows are so lauded and why their latest album Brothers, was such a critical and commercial success. In a world filled with short attention spans and countless distractions, these Midwesterners managed to captivate thousands of concertgoers.

Finally, the day culminated in a grand finale by Lady Gaga. Let's be honest, I had been waiting for this moment for weeks. I love a spectacle and I knew Gaga would deliver. After all, her intention to put on the full show that she performs on her Monster Ball tour demanded that Lollapalooza construct a bigger stage than they've ever had before. With 80,000 people congregating for the Church of Gaga, the singer transformed into a high priestess, delivering a two-hour sermon that preached the importance of loving oneself and one another. With a set list that delivered memorable renditions of her biggest hits and a fireworks show to accompany "Monster," Gaga showed that this night was as much for her "little monsters" as it was for her.

By the end of the night I felt exhausted, but exhilarated. That's exactly how I knew I'd had a successful first Lolla experience. I'm quick to say that I couldn't imagine doing the festival for three straight days, but after being a part of the masses, the congregation and the movement that is Lollapalooza, I happily look forward to braving the full three days next year.

(For more Lollapalooza coverage, view highlights from day one; read more about Lollapalooza day two and day three; and check out video interviews with Neon Hitch, Mutemath, the National, and Switchfoot.)

(Emily Lyle is a Chicago Chapter GRAMMY U member and senior at Columbia College Chicago majoring in arts, entertainment and media management with a focus on music business. In addition to her internship experience at well-respected Chicago music venues, Lyle is a freelance journalist and photographer.)

(Photo Information: Lady Gaga performs at Lollapalooza on Aug. 6 | Photo: Kevin Mazur/

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