Ah yes, it’s finally the time of year when random internet trolls that possess zero authority meticulously pick apart festival lineups because they think their opinion matters. Ope! Guess what? I’m still going to do just that and—if you’re here—you’re still going to read it. Lollapalooza announced its 2023 lineup last Tuesday, and there are some bops and some flops. Let’s start with the bops.
First off, Kendrick Lamar has the task of being the only rapper headlining this year. He has just come off of his Big Stepper Tour (which was absolutely phenomenal, might I add) and is sure to give an outstanding performance. I’m expecting to see Baby Keem make a guest appearance to perform “family ties,” “vent,” and “range brothers.” Kendrick’s live shows have hit the level of performance art with their precise choreography, light and set design, and storytelling. Can you tell he was my top-played Spotify artist of 2022?
Moving on down, you have Billie Eilish who—as we all know—will give a great performance thanks to her insane stage presence and light show. She has dominated the music industry for the past five years, and based on her previous festival headline performances, this is one you don’t want to miss. Back at Lollapalooza for the first time since 2018, Odesza will bring great vibes to the 2023 lineup.
Having Lana Del Rey and The 1975 as headliners feels like a resurgence of 2012 Tumblr. Excuse me while I look for my flower crown and “I hate Matty Healy” t-shirt. Lana Del Rey just released her latest album, which, if you haven’t listened to yet, please do so immediately. Lana and Father John Misty’s voices are absolutely gorgeous on “Let the Light In,” which I’ve had on repeat for the past 24 hours. The 1975 has had a crazy year since releasing their album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language, completing their At Their Very Best tour, and experiencing the TikTok-ification of their song “About You”—and subsequently getting canceled about three different times.
An artist you likely need to become more familiar with is Tomorrow X Together. Tomorrow X Together (or TXT for short) is a K-Pop group that performed last year along with headliner J-Hope. When I tell you I had the most fun at Lolla last year watching TXT, that is not an exaggeration. I know, don’t roll your eyes. This group has insane vocals, great choreography, and an enthusiastic fanbase that just elevates the atmosphere even more. The energy they bring is unparalleled, and I’m excited to see what they bring this year.
Now that we’ve covered the bops, let’s get into the flops.
Taking the spot of the “Hey, this is a band my parents listen to!” are the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Don’t get me wrong, they will put on a sick show; however, I would’ve loved to see Foo Fighters take this spot. Since the tragic passing of Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters has announced several festival headlines across the U.S. I was fully expecting to see them headline this year. Taking the final headlining spot is Karol G. Listen, Karol G performing at Lolla makes sense. With that said, Rosalía or Bad Bunny would’ve been a better move here.
Another major flop is the Lineup by Day. Please explain to me why they have Kendrick and The 1975 playing on the same day (I think they were targeting me specifically with this decision). They also have Kendrick, J.I.D., and Joey Bada$$ split up on different days, which I understand because you need to sell the 4-Day Tickets; however, my bank account doesn’t agree. Additionally, outside of the headliners, the entire Saturday lineup looks mid at best. I’d be excited to see Maggie Rogers, J.I.D., Pusha T, and Suki Waterhouse but outside of that, there’s nothing exciting. If you asked me, my perfect headliner schedule would be Billie Eilish/The 1975 on Thursday, Kendrick Lamar/Tomorrow X Together on Friday, Odesza/Lana Del Rey on Saturday, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers/Karol G on Sunday.
Let me tell you, the best part of the Lollapalooza 2023 lineup is that we don’t have to deal with Machine Gun Kelly. The worst part? We need to deal with Yung Gravy. As they say, you can’t win them all. This year’s Lolla also majorly lacks in the rap genre. Outside of Kendrick, the other rappers include Joey Bada$$, Pusha T, J.I.D., Lil Yachty, and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. I would’ve preferred to see Lil Uzi Vert, but he’s off doing side quests like taking pics with Charli Damelio at the Kid’s Choice Awards.
Where the 2023 Lollapalooza lineup really excels is the sad girl indie music category (aka every playlist in my Spotify at the moment). Maggie Rogers, Men I Trust, Peach Pit, Suki Waterhouse, Holly Humberstone, Matt Maltese, and Sarah Kinsley are just a few artists I am fully ready to sob to during their sets. I was looking forward to a potential boygenius appearance at this year’s Lollapalooza, especially with their full length-LP The Record releasing in just a few days. If you’re a fan like me, you can see them perform this summer at the Re:set Concert Series on June 24th at Riis Park.
Now the question arises: Do I spend nearly $500 to potentially get a heatstroke, eat overpriced food, pee in a porta potty and fight high schoolers for a decent view of the stage? If you’re like me, you’ll think about it for a few days, decide not to waste the money, have insane FOMO, and then purchase the tickets.
Lollapalooza 2023 will be held at Grant Park from August 3-6. You can buy 4-Day, 2-Day, and 1-Day Tickets at the festival website now.