Lana Del Rey, Nine Inch Nails Kick Off Lollapalooza With Swooning, Thrashing

While Del Rey lulled Friday's audience, Trent Reznor amped them up to close out the festival's first day.

CHICAGO — Lollapalooza is always a study in contrasts. In any given hour you can go from hardcore EDM to folk to country, hip-hop and indie rock, all within a mile on the scenic Chicago lakefront.

But the final two hours of Friday night’s kickoff of the 2013 festival was as stark an example of musical night and day as you’re likely to get. While polarizing crooner Lana Del Rey was soothing the audience’s tired minds and feet with her throwback lounge pop at a small stage set among trees, rebooted Lolla veterans Nine Inch Nails were sowing their legendary path of destruction just a few hundred yards away on the main stage.

Photos From Lollapalooza Day One.

On a day when attendees slogged through the muddy fields to hear the dark techno throb of Crystal Castles, the plaintive folk of Father John Misty, Icona Pop’s grin-inducing “I Love It” and Imagine Dragons’ thundering rock anthems, the strange thing was that both Del Rey and NIN appeared to have a similar effect on fans. They each found a way to lull (or shove) their admirers into a sing-along trance to lyrics about love, hate, dreams and destruction.

NIN’s Trent Reznor got things started by casually strolling onto the stage in shorts and a cut-off black t-shirt and plunking out the simple beat of the new song “Copy of A.” The beats and keyboard clatter amped up for “Sanctified,” with tall, spooky images of the players projected as shadows on the moving screens behind them.

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