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The 7 best things we saw on Sunday at Lollapalooza

Written by
Time Out Chicago editors

1. The ubiquity of "Trap Queen"

We didn't spend a ton of (fine, barely any) time at Perry's stage this year, but we did walk by quite a bit—and almost every time, at least a verse or two of Fetty Wap's breakout hit "Trap Queen" could be heard. A gritty yet melodic hook has made this song a giant success, and its trap percussion and synth chords make it a winner for dance much so that it became the unofficial anthem of Perry's for the weekend. We'll admit to dancing along and trying to ignore the fact that packs of sweaty teens are (perhaps unknowingly) glorifying the domestic drug trade. What's new? - Kate Wertheimer

RECOMMENDED: Check out more photos from Sunday at Lollapalooza 2015

2. The mercifully short evacuation

At around 2:30pm, the music at Lollapalooza stopped and an evacuation announcement was broadcast throughout the festival. At first it seemed like a joke—the sun was shining and dark clouds were distant, but the radar told a different story. Some attendees in front of the Samsung Galaxy stage defiantly stood their ground, only relenting when the festival's security detail forced them to leave. As crowds slowly streamed toward the exits, the scene looked very similar to the Lollapalooza evacuation of 2012: Thousands of kids walking aimlessly through the city's streets, looking for somewhere to take shelter. Thankfully, the worst of the oncoming storm passed north of the Loop and only a few raindrops actually fell to the ground, allowing the festival to reopen its gates at 3:30pm. The mandated exodus may have seemed unnecessary, but we're living in the age of "better safe than sorry." No sets were canceled, the festival was extended by 45 minutes and the show went on. - Zach Long

3. A triumphant set from Strand of Oaks

"Don't worry, it's not gonna rain," Timothy Showalter screamed as returning attendees trickled into the grove surrounding the Pepsi stage. The Strand of Oaks frontman was dead set on making the most of his postponed set, leading his band through a series of weighty folk rock songs (including a heartfelt tribute to the late Jason Molina). When Showalter told a story about watching Lollapalooza on MTV as a kid and dreaming about someday coming to the festival, it made his post-evacuation performance seem all the more predestined. - ZL

4. The better-than-usual cell reception

Lollapalooza is notorious for its shoddy cell phone reception. In past years, completing a call at the festival was all but impossible, and sending a successful text was a miracle. Whether it was a result of improving networks or better preparation on the festival’s end, cell service wasn't as big of an issue this year. Granted, if you were trying to send an email in the midst of a swarm of fans entering the festival or in a mosh pit at a main stage, you were probably shit out of luck. Hopefully this is a trend that will continue—while fans have adapted to using unique signs and balloons to find one another, texting is way easier. - Clayton Guse

5. The geodesic Chicago flag hammock dome

What is a music festival without a precisely engineered dome? Tucked away in a shaded corner of the park was a geodesic dome adorned with Chicago flag hammocks, giving weary attendees the chance to relax with a bite to eat or play around on a dope jungle gym. It's not every day you get a chance to appreciate a beautiful display of geometry by climbing around on it. - CG

6. The Lolla lightning storm

After the anticlimactic evacuation earlier this afternoon, we weren’t expecting much in the way of weather for the headlining sets. Lolla, however, made it abundantly clear (emails, push notifications, scary red Doppler blobs on the jumbotrons) that things might get out of hand. They also couldn’t really make up their minds about set times—first, early evening acts were pushed back to make up for the evac; then headliners were rushed onstage early (er, late…er, on time?) in anticipation of more “severe” weather. Mostly though, it was just severely cool as Florence took the stage to a light show of bolts and flashes illuminating the skyline, providing a grand finale to the fest much more memorable than mere fireworks. - KW

7. A fitting finale by Florence + the Machine

If there was a more hard-working performer than Florence Welch at Lollapalooza, we must not have seen them. Arriving in a shiny pantsuit, the English songstress spent the majority of her set running from one side of the stage to the other, belting out her epic tunes in front of a shimmering, sequined backdrop. To a casual bystander, it probably looked more like a glitzy cardio workout than a rock concert, but Florence is a machine. Dedicating her performance of “St. Jude” to the approaching weather that eventually cut short her already abbreviated set, Flo gave us one hell of a storm soundtrack (and also shed her top—it must be mentioned). - ZL

Photographs by Hallie Duesenberg and Jaclyn Rivas

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