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  1. Photograph:

    Miley Cyrus humped a car and sparkled in her weed swimsuit at Allstate Arena, Mar 7, 2014.

  2. Photograph:

    Lorde proved she was indeed royalty at Aragon, March 18, 2014.

  3. Photograph:

    Cage the Elephant hits the stage in Grant Park to play a sold-out Lollapalooza Music Festival 2014.

  4. Photograph:

    Sam Smith seduced the crowd at the Vic on April 22, 2014. The crooner has moved on to much bigger venues. He'll headline UIC Pavilion on January 23.

  5. Photograph: Joshua Mellin
    Photograph: Joshua Mellin

    Usher brought his UR Experience tour to the United Center on November 17, 2014.

  6. Photograph: Bill Whitmire
    Photograph: Bill Whitmire

    Justin Timberlake wooed lovers on Valentine's week, February 17, 2014. He brings his suit and tie shit to Chicago again on December 8.

  7. Photograph:

    The Knife delivered a feast for the eyes at Aragon on April 23, before breaking up later in the year.

  8. Photograph:

    Este gave good bass face when Haim hit the Riv on May 17.

  9. Photograph:

    Die Antwoord was as surreal and bonkers as always at the Riv, June 3, 2014.

  10. Photograph: Hallie Duesenberg
    Photograph: Hallie Duesenberg

    Iggy Azalea did "Work" at House of Blues on April 27, before dominating the summer charts.

  11. Photograph:

    A grown man in a Pokemon costume cannot believe his eyes at the Riv, June 3, 2014.

  12. Kings of Leon rode their "Mechanical Bull" into the home of the Bulls, March 8, 2014.

  13. Photograph:

    Dave Grohl launched a new Foo Fighters album and HBO series at Cubby Bear, the site of his very first concert, October 17.

  14. It's always a crazy scene on Halloween night at React Presents' Freaky Deaky party in the Aragon.

  15. Photograph:

    Always sharply dressed, the National broughts its brooding, moody rock to Chicago Theatre, with appropriate lighting, April 15, 2014, the first evening of a four-night stand.

  16. Photographer:
    Photographer: cousindaniel.comFKA Twigs wows the Pitchfork Music Festival crowd with her dance moves and tunes, Saturday, July 19, 2014.
  17. Photograph: Hallie Duesenberg
    Photograph: Hallie Duesenberg

    Arctic Monkeys hit the stage in Grant Park to play a sold-out Lollapalooza Music Festival 2014.

  18. Photograph: Martha Williams
    Photograph: Martha WilliamsSpring Awakening Music Festival 2014, ravers head to Soldier Field for the EDM fest's final day.
  19. Photograph: Matthew Sperzel
    Photograph: Matthew SperzelIt was an explosion of neon and masks as festivalgoers donned their best costumes at North Coast Music Festival 2014.
  20. Photograph:

    Sarah Barthel of Phantogram slips into white jeans, white light at the Riv, April 10, 2014.

  21. Photograph: Max Herman
    Photograph: Max Herman

    "Titty, ass, hands in the air." Schoolboy Q was hip-hop's man of the year, as he proved at Metro, April 23, 2014.

  22. Photograph:

    Punks and rockers check out bands and carnival attractions at Riot Fest Chicago on September 12, 2014.

  23. Photograph:

    Vampire Weekend delivered its modern update on Paul Simon's style at UIC Pavilion, June 5, 2014.

  24. Photograph: Hallie Duesenberg
    Photograph: Hallie DuesenbergFestival-goers brave the rain and mud on a stormy day three of Lollapalooza 2014, Aug 3.

The best concert and music fest pictures of 2014

Weed leotards! Adults dressed as Pikachu! Mud! Good Lorde (and Miley and Iggy)! See it all in our favorite concert pictures and festival people of the year


Y'all would rather look at the crazy costumes in the crowd at a concert than the acts onstage, and we have the data to prove it. That being said, there is still something gorgeous and magical about an image of a musician lost in the moment, caught in a spotlight, diving into the audience… or humping a gold car. We shot dozens of gigs in 2014, from pop stars to music festivals to punk shows, in arenas and in bars.

So, we looked through the archive for our favorite concert pictures and festival people of the year. Check out Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, Schoolboy Q and more, before they hit it really big. Plus, see fans covered in mud, streamers and neon light.

RECOMMENDED: Complete list of the best of 2014

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