Howdy! Welcome to our coverage of Lollapalooza 2022. Each day, we’ll be bringing you a recap of the sets we were able to catch the previous day of the festival. Today, we’re sharing our coverage of the first day, Thursday, July 28th. Head to the end of this to check out Emma's photos from the day!
First up was Sam Fender at the Tito’s Stage, who, after thirty minutes of delays - due to no fault of the band, just temperamental electrical equipment - decided to serenade onlookers with a solo rendition of his cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark,” which I had the pleasure of hearing when I first saw him play the Bowery Ballroom back in 2019.
An apologetic Sam and co. were limited in what songs they could choose to play, as half of their equipment still wasn’t working by the time the whole band joined him onstage, so they kind of made their setlist up as they went. They did end up playing a few of his more popular songs, including “Getting Started,” “Spit of You” (which I tried very hard not to cry during), and closing with “Seventeen Going Under,” the song that arguably changed the trajectory of his entire career earlier this year, when it became a trending song on TikTok.
I’ll always love the chance to see Sam Fender play. He’s a true talent, and it’s really incredible to see him gaining popularity outside of the cult following he developed pretty early on in his career, around the release of the Dead Boys EP and his debut album, Hypersonic Missiles. If you get the chance to see him supporting Florence + the Machine or on his short run of American headlining shows, I would highly recommend you take it.
Inhaler took to the Bud Light Seltzer Stage, directly across from Tito’s, pretty much immediately after Sam’s devastatingly-short set ended. We ran over and made it with a few moments to spare, the band’s walk-on song beginning shortly after we staked our claim on a spot a few mere rows from the barrier.
They opened with “It Won’t Always Be Like This,” which I love because I think it really sets the energy for the entire set - plus, it’s a song most casual fans will know and get them excited for the rest of their allotted time. They went on to play a truly fantastic set, including “Totally,” “In My Sleep,” “My King Will Be Kind,” “My Honest Face,” and newest single “These Are The Days.” The sun was hot and it was still pretty early in the day, but they had everyone moving despite the heat.
The boys are playing two shows in Boston next week, rescheduled from when the band had COVID earlier in the year, then heading to Europe for a short run to end their summer tour.
We then hopped up (and by hopped up, I mean hiked roughly a mile down the length of Grant Park) to see Still Woozy at the T-Mobile Stage. I don’t listen to Still Woozy very much, but his set was so unbelievably enjoyable. I stood in the shade of one of the lighting towers a ways back from the stage and just watched the screen and danced. It felt so good to dance! He also brought out Remi Wolf, whose own set was about an hour or so later (and that we did not catch, RIP), to play “Pool,” a song they wrote together, as well as a cover of Drake’s “One Dance.” A pretty cool set, if you ask me. I think it definitely made a Still Woozy fan out of m
The unexpected highlight of our day - besides seeing Sam Fender for the first time in three years (Emily) and ever (Emma) - was Metallica’s headlining set at the T-Mobile Stage. Emma and I managed, somehow, to get about fifteen heads back from the end of the catwalk. The crowd was surprisingly tame, but everyone was clearly having the time of their life. It was really incredible to see so many Metallica fans, old and new, coming together for the band’s third Lollapalooza appearance. The entire set was insane, complete with pyro and fireworks, and a huge display of screens with unique visuals for each song. I didn’t realize just how hot the pyro would be, even though we were so far away from the stage itself.
They played all of the crowd favorites, including “Enter Sandman,” “Nothing Else Matters,” “Sad But True,” and “For Whom The Bells Tolls,” and closed with “Master of Puppets.” The entire crowd lit up when the opening notes played with a video of Eddie fucking Munson playing on the screen behind them. I do have a video of this, but you can hear me screaming bloody murder, so it has been locked into a vault for all of time.
At the end of their set, the whole band came to stand at the edge of the catwalk and thanked the crowd profusely (seriously, it is so heartwarming how grateful they are to still have such dedicated fans forty years into their career) before throwing handfuls of guitar picks that read ‘Metallipalooza’ into the crowd. This incited something of a riot, but Emma did manage to fight some guy off for one.
All in all, it was a pretty cool day (emotionally, not physically - physically it was hot as fuck) in Grant Park. Some other highlights included eating my first authentic Chicago hot dog and selling my soul to Liquid Death for a $4 can of water and access to some AC. We’re really excited for day two - we’re hoping to see flipturn, Del Water Gap, Wet Leg, The Regrettes, Royal Blood, MUNA, and Glass Animals! Check back here tomorrow for more coverage.