J Balvin, by Keenan Hairston

The halfway point of Lollapalooza saw a surge in crowd size and energy levels, as Chicago's Grant Park was much more full—with people and with great energy.

Earlier in the day, standout sets included Jade Bird, Mondo Cozmo, and Smino, all with electric performances. By mid-afternoon, 6LACK delivered a massive set on the main Bud Light stage, proving worthy of such a prominent placement, even if it was an earlier time slot.

By 5 o'clock, the grounds between the T-Mobile and Lake Shore stages were flooded with festivalgoers as a sea of fans for Gary Clark Jr. and Lil Skies bled into each other, even carrying over into the later upcoming set from Lil Wayne.

Perhaps the most unpredictable showing was from Skies, who definitely exceed expectations, both in performance and in crowd size. While some of his peers this weekend have turned in some less-than-stellar performances, his was lively and authentic. He was constantly engaging with the crowd and it was clear the majority of those surrounding the Lake Shore stage knew the lyrics to his songs already.

By the time Lil Wayne took the T-Mobile stage across the way, the crowd had already spilled over in that direction, blending with the enormous audience surrounding the stage. And as Weezy made his grand entrance, fans were literally running toward the stage to get closer. For an emcee more than two decades into his career, who's not even a headliner, it was quite amazing to see so much excitement.

Granted, Weezy doesn't sound as strong as he once did. But he was keenly aware of the moment, telling the crowd at one point, "Without you, I ain't shit." 

RELATED: Watch Lollapalooza 2019 live

As nighttime approached, the good vibes continued into Judah and the Lion's set at the Lake Shore stage, where the Nashville trio delivered one of the weekend's most uplifting and good-spirited performances, which included a cover of blink-182's "All the Small Things" before launching into their own rowdy cut "Don't Mess with My Mama" and then set-closer "Take It All Back," which finished with two minutes of blissful jamming, which frontman Judah Akers said was how they prefer to end all their shows.

For the night's finales, co-headliner twenty one pilots took over the T-Mobile stage and offered up one of the most seamless and exciting performances of the weekend, opening with "Jumpsuit" meshed with "Heavydirtysoul." With a car on fire as the backdrop, the performance was definitely full of the familiar theatrics fans have come to love, but the vibe in general was such a great one.

From the moment, the duo took the stage, the feeling in the air was one of positivity. Instead of the sometimes hostile, overpopulated crowds drawn to headlining stages, the audience gathered for twenty one pilots seemed to be a mostly friendly one and one filled with fans who knew most or all the words to the band's songs, including the less radio-friendly Trench, their latest release.

Over at the Bud Light, J Balvin was making Lolla history, as the first Latin artist to headline the Chicago festival. And he absolutely came prepared. With bright-colored staging, supported by dancers, it was easily the most thrilling performance of the night.

"This is our time, this is our moment," he told the audience, a nod to the historical nature of his time slot, as the cheering crowd surrounding the stage erupted with salsa dancing and club-worthy excitement. There is no doubt J Balvin will eventually return to Grant Park, after such a mammoth debut as he delivered Saturday night.



# Landon 2019-08-05 10:15
Did you mean "opening with 'Jumpsuit' meshed with 'Heavydirtysoul.'?
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# Landon 2019-08-05 10:17
Sorry, worded that wrong. When you said "opening with 'Jumpsuit' meshed with 'Heavydirtysoul.'" Did you mean "Jumpsuit" meshed with "Levitate."
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# Variance 2019-08-06 16:03
We believe elements of "Heavydirtysoul" were part of the first song, prior to the start of "Levitate."
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