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Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

The 10 best things we saw on Saturday at Lollapalooza

Written by
Time Out Chicago editors

1. The manageable early morning crowds 

We've noticed this in previous years, but for a rather large number of (predominantly younger) Lollapalooza attendees, seeing music is secondary to walking around in search of friends and taking selfies. In the morning, this means there are usually more people walking up and down Columbus Ave or lounging in the shade than standing in front of stages. For those willing to endure the beating sun, it's easier than ever to snag a premium sight line in the A.M. - Zach Long

RECOMMENDED: Check out more photos from Saturday at Lollapalooza 2015

2. Django Django's unwavering harmonies

The British band's warbling synth lines and buoyant rhythms were swell, but the real draw of the early afternoon set were the simple yet delightful harmonies. At a time when backing tracks are the norm, it's a treat to hear a group of musicians that can collectively carry a tune with its own voices. ZL

3. Coors' passive-aggressive advertising

Lollapalooza is a Budweiser-exclusive festival and has been for many years. But that doesn't stop MillerCoors (the massive conglomerate of Miller Brewing Company and Coors Brewing Company) from flying ad planes over the festival grounds with giant Coors Light banners. MillerCoors is headquartered right here in Chicago, and this may be the company's way of suggesting a shift in fest refreshments from Bud to the silver bullet. (Or at least making sure festivalgoers don't forget about them.) Honestly, it's all the same to us. Cheers! - Kate Wertheimer

4. White Sea shines

Mega-babe Morgan Kibby, most well-known for her vocal and keyboard work with M83, has recently been focusing her energy on solo project White Sea (a rough translation of her surname). Today, she took the stage in an incredible, floor-length blue wrap dress covered in sparkling silver polka dots, a mid-afternoon vision with a serious set of pipes. Kibby's soaring voice makes sense–she's performed as part of the chorus of the San Francisco Opera—and she didn't once shy away from holding a note during her set, even the impossibly high ones. She was also endearingly humble, expressing her gratitude at being part of the fest multiple times throughout the show. She's obviously played far bigger stages with M83, but the intimacy of a smaller setting seems to suit her solo stuff just fine. - KW

5. Walk the Moon's walk-on music

The faint sounds of The Lion King's "Circle of Life" could be heard through the crowd at the same time Walk the Moon was set to take the Sprint stage. Confused audience members turned to each other as the music got louder and finally the band emerged as the tune crescendoed "in the cirrrrrrrcle, the circle of life." Yup, the members of Walk the Moon sauntered out and started their dance party with a Disney classic. Minutes after the set, we spotted a guy walking around in a Hakuna Matata shirt, proving that Lollapalooza really is cyclical. - Erin Delahanty 

6. Temporary tie-dye tattoos

If you saw people walking around sporting multi-colored, marbled arm adornments at the festival today, your eyes weren't deceiving you. Fest-goers can visit a booth near the Toyota Down Side Up Twisted tent (just south of Perry's stage) and dip their arms into a bucket of water with paint floating on the surface, creating a striking temporary tie-dye tattoo. If you take the plunge, make sure you hop in the shower the night after—once the paint starts to fade, it begins to look like a weird skin disease. - ZL

7. Tallest Man on Earth's heartfelt early evening set

Tallest Man on Earth, also known as Kristian Matsson, brought his folky tunes to the Bud Light stage for a well-executed and overall pleasant afternoon set. Matsson hails from Sweden, but his voice sounds like a better version of Bob Dylan's. Backed by a small band, he commanded the stage and managed to keep the audience engaged—not an easy feat for a folk artist. The first time Tallest Man on Earth played at a Chicago music festival (at Pitchfork in 2010), he was a squirrelly, 20-something up-and-coming musician. Five years later, he's become a hot, sexy stud with a whole lot of talent to boot. - Clayton Guse

8. Tyler, the Creator's bedroom on the stage

If you could win an award for most creative stage props, Tyler, the Creator would take the trophy and the cake at Lollapalooza on Saturday. Tyler performed his blistering set in his own bedroom, complete with a chair, dresser and bed, with the DJ booth above the headboard. Adding to the domestic theme, fans unfurled rolls of toilet paper about the crowd, which were pilfered from nearby porta-potties. - Nick Kotecki

9. Entering virtual reality with Tame Impala

When Kevin Parker and his band broke into the woozy strains of "Let It Happen," I was standing directly in front of the band onstage. Well, not quite. I was actually at a nearby Samsung Galaxy brand activation with a pair of virtual reality goggles on my head. Festival attendees can experience the immersive live streaming technology by visiting the Samsung Galaxy Owner's Lounge or an activation in the middle of Grant Park. The experience is kind of like sitting directly in front of a giant, domed movie screen—as you move your head, the headset tracks your position and adjusts the view accordingly. I spent some time staring at Parker's expansive array of guitar effects pedals before getting lost in the trippy backing visuals. It almost felt like I was at Lollapalooza... - ZL

10. Metallica sticks to the hits

It’s hard to argue with the live prowess of a band like Metallica. James Hetfield and company are crowd-pleasers who know where their strengths lie, as demonstrated by a setlist that was dominated by songs from the group’s pre-1991 catalog. Flanked by a corral of fist-pumping fans, Metallica's performance was as no frills as it gets. Devil horns were raised, heads were banged and riffs were shredded. The guys who stood around stoically sweating through Metallica T-shirts all day long got what they were waiting for, while anyone who showed up and paid for a ticket helped bail the reportedly-broke band out of bankruptcy. - NK

Photographs by Jaclyn Rivas and Kate Wertheimer

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