Words by Marco Denzer | Photos by Marco Denzer + Carlos Mueller
Lollapalooza Chile was celebrated in Parque O’Higgins in the capital city of Santiago on March 19 & 20. The festival was a well-organized event that included a carefully balanced lineup of some of today’s most popular and accomplished musicians, including Alabama Shakes, Florence + The Machine, Jack U, and Munford & Sons, performing alongside top Latin artists like Babasonicos, Aguaturbia, and Todos Tus Muertos.
The site of the festival is aptly suited for an event of this magnitude, and comfortably holds six stages, including one for the Kidzappalooza performances and two indoor dome arenas that provide refuge from the hot summer sun. In spite of the large strip of asphalt that runs through the center of the park, on which the Chilean military holds its annual ceremonial parade, there are plenty of tree shaded and grassy areas where the public can comfortably enjoy listening to their favorite performers without being in the large crowd.
Day One of the festival included a full throttle performance by The Suicide Bitches, currently one of Chile’s most notable English singing bands, the quintet that has steadily risen to notoriety the old fashioned way. They have honed their chops by playing countless gigs during their ten-year career, including performances in SXSW and CBGB’s festivals to support their first album The Farm of the Suicide Bitches. The band’s second production, Semenation, was extremely well received by music critics and fans alike, demonstrating a mature development in composition and sound without compromising the punk spirit and drive that is so characteristic of their style. They thrilled their audience at Lollapaoolza with a set that included songs like “We Hate You”, “Cold Woman”, “Say My Name”, and “Sick”.
It was 3:00 P.M. when The Eagles of Death Metal took over VTR, one of the two main stages in the park, and proceeded to blast the audience with a full-on performance of their unique brand of rock. The large crowd that gathered to see the show didn’t seem to mind the glaring mid-afternoon sun, they danced and sang along with a solid set of songs that included “I Only Want You”, “Speaking in Tongues”, “I Want You So Hard”, and a cover of Duran Duran’s “Save a Prayer”.
Jungle, minus singer Andro Cowperthwaite, followed EODM on the VTR stage and the group immediately changed the pace with a contagious set of dance / soul music that made the audience groove. As the setting sun was now casting long shadows, many more people gathered to see the show and they were clearly ready to dance and have a good time. Josh Lloyd-Watson, front man in the band, commented that audience participation at Lollapalooza Chile is truly impressive in this regard.
At 7:30 P.M. Halsey kicked off her show on the Acer stage located in a well-shaded and grassy corner of the park. And although Acer is a secondary stage, its capacity holds a sizeable audience that quickly filled with several thousand fans of the young singer. Dressed in a bright red jumpsuit that she promptly unzipped and dropped to her waist, Halsey performed a very captivating one-hour set, practically topless. The musical performance was absolutely solid, and even though she experienced technical problems with her monitor mix, she managed to deliver a top-notch show. Halsey’s voice, command of the stage, and connection with the crowd were spot on. All these elements coupled with a set list that included “Gasoline”, “Strange Love”, “Colors”, “New Americana”, and a fair amount of pyrotechnics resulted in an extremely entertaining show.
By the time Jack U hit the stage at 10:00 P.M. a multitude of thousands had gathered at Itau stage, one of the two main stages in the park. At this point of the night the party was definitely on with Skrillex and Diplo at the controls, and they brought the crowd to an absolute frenzy with their elaborate blend of videos, light and laser show, and heart pounding dance mixes. The Jack U performance was an hour and a half high-energy set that made the audience dance until the very end, and they loved every minute of it.
TheWaster.com | Chile