CHICAGO — It should come as no surprise that dance music sets at Lollapalooza 2012 were mobbed by thousands of fans every single day this weekend. The dynamic trio of Zedd, Madeon, and Porter Robinson stole late Friday afternoon. And an emergency weather shut-down did little to stop close to 15,000 people from checking out pop-chart king Calvin Harris, nor did it deter mobs of people racing over to catch Swedish hitmaker Avicii’s headlining set.
Perched above Avicii’s enormous LED screen-covered human head stage rig, the Saturday night set was one Florence and the Machine singer Florence Welch told us she wished she could have seen.
On Lolla’s final day the action proved formidable yet again, and flipping Friday’s script bombastic bass began the day. Moombahton architects Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom, known around the world to their legions of fans as Nadastrom — blasted into the afternoon at Perry’s stage, treating the crowd to an hour of bass & Moombah-bangers, including a gem by our good buddies Sazon Booya (with Mad Major Melvin), “Major Booyathon.”
After stellar showings by our new friends Little Dragon, and frequent Flux Pavilion collaborator Doctor P — Hooks and DC of Zeds Dead took the evening up a notch with a gut-wrenching bom-bass-tic set, rallying hands in the air, and highlighter colored shirts to a steady bounce with a remix of Mickey & Sylvia’s 1950′s hit “Love is Strange.” The crowd sang along to Greta Svabo Bech’s exquisite vocals on “Fire Inside” by Gemini, and relished the drop of the Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic” into the mix. Also, it’s probably worth noting that MTV News hasn’t seen a crowd not go ape-s— yet for Knife Party’s, “Sleaze.” Truth.
As the sun set on the final night of an epic Lollapalooza, concert goers literally stormed the North end of Grant Park where Justice took the stage. Digital riffs of the “Star-Spangled Banner” filled the air as the city skyline, which served as a backdrop to the French duo, slowly lit up. Dancing bodies packed every inch of a field draped in neon visors, glow sticks and inflatable toys as the DJs pumped out fan favorites, including “D.A.N.C.E.” and “The Beating of a Million Drums.” Just as everyone thought the 90-minute set came to a close, the guys surprised the crowd with an encore performance that kept the party going all the way out of the venue.
King of Cool Kaskade, a hometown hero who grew up in Chicago (he now calls Los Angeles home) fittingly headlined Perry’s stage Sunday night — unleashing a mash-up onslaught. Bouncing behind the mixers Kaskeezy doled out some pretty banging numbers: his killer Qulinez mash-up “Stars Aligns Troll,” boomed. A European football chant broke out during his Tommy Trash mash-up “Cascade Vs. Empty Streets,” and a female fan seated on a friend’s shoulders, seemingly inspired by the moment, took her top off.
A large dance-off circle formed in front of stage-left during his “Lick It vs. Don’t Stop Dancing,” mash-up, where a young lad whose shoes were packed with blinking lights proved the victor. Notably, Kaskade’s new single, rumored to be a collaboration with Swanky Tunes and vocalist Lights, “No One Knows Who We Are,” also got a spin. Towards the end of his set Raddon commemorated the evening with a touching salute to Chicago.
“I grew up just down the street,” Kaskade told the crowd. “I used to skateboard here. I love you guys! Thank you, Chicago!”