A year after Lollapalooza made its return with a will-they-or-won't-they comeback in 2021, in the midst of shaky Covid numbers, the Chicago festival kicked off its 2022 event with a much more confident start.
Unlike last year, there was no holding off until the last minute for a lineup announcement. And this year has thus far been free of drama and antics, in contrast to the fiasco around DaBaby, as the rapper stirred up controversy which forced Lolla and other big-name fests to scrap his appearance.
This year, the fest made a smooth, triumphant launch, with the likes of Metallica, Lil Baby and Jazmine Sullivan kicking off a brisk Thursday lineup on a day with relatively mild weather, notwithstanding a brief rainstorm on Wednesday evening, which left some of the grounds slightly muddy.
Otherwise, it was a great start, as up-and-coming act Underscores kicked off the performances on the main T-Mobile stage, delivering an energetic set with a swarm of fans who clearly knew the lyrics to every song. An Avril Lavigne cover also made for a nice surprise.
Despite some frustrating technical issues, Sam Fender offered up a massive, rock-infused performance over on the Tito's Handmade Vodka stage, followed by a rousing performance from musician-comedian Petey, who made a lighthearted debut on the Discord stage. According to the artist, who grew up in Chicago, it was his first time back at Lolla since attending as a fan as a teenager.
The middle of the afternoon proved to offer a wealth of great performances, as pop newcomer Role Model made his return on the Tito's stage after first performing in 2019 on the smaller BMI stage. Next, Oklahoma country crooner Zach Bryan was one of the day's best performers, giving fans at the Discord stage a show rich in old-school country roots.
Meanwhile, pop-rock favorite Still Woozy came ready to party on the T-Mobile stage, giving us an incredible, exciting set as he performed a slew of songs off his wonderful debut album If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is.
The day continued with standout performances from the likes of Pi'erre Bourne, Tove Lo, 100 gecs and Ashnikko, while Maxo Kream absolutely lit up the Discord stage. He's coming off the release this week of his Weight of the World deluxe album.
As the first day came to a close, Jazmine Sullivan delivered a stunning performance on the Bud Light Seltzer stage. The singer is coming off a great first half of the year, after the deluxe release of her standout album Heaux Tales, the original of which was Variance's Best Album of 2021 and earned Best R&B Album earlier this year at the Grammys.
Then came Metallica, which seemed to have the most fans of any of the day's acts, judging based off the overwhelming number of Metallica T-shirts all throughout the day, from young fans and older ones alike.
When the band took the T-Mobile stage to close it out, it was clear the crowd was there to really, thoroughly enjoy the show, singing along and getting rowdy with every song.
Over at the Bud Light stage, Lil Baby brought things to a close with a raucous set, which included a shoutout to Young Thug and Gunna, who have been in jail following an arrest over charges that they are part of a "criminal street gang."
Lil Baby devoted part of his set to the rappers, attracting a loud thunder of cheers of support in the middle of what was an upbeat, victorious headlining set as the emcee has continued to work his way up in the industry.