Despite heat index levels near 100 degrees, day 3 of Lollapalooza 2018 was largely a big, sweaty dance party.
Thanks to the likes of The Weeknd, Vampire Weekend (yes, Lolla scheduled them opposite each other), Dua Lipa, Pale Waves, Lil Pump and Carly Rae Jepsen, Grant Park was a frolicking wonderland.
The day started with rising alt-rockers Wallows, who gave Tito's Handmade Vodka Stage an early treat in the form of their growing collection of whimsical gems. And they brought a trumpet. How can you go wrong with a trumpet?
Over at the Grant Park Stage, Charlotte Cardin was an angelic wonder. The Canadian songstress delivered an enamoring performance, which may not inspired as much dancing, but it surely had hearts going pitter-patter as she at times channeled Amy Winehouse with her thick, somewhat grainy vocals.
Saturday continued with impressive performances from artists such as Amy Shark, whose new album is an absolute standout, as well as Daya, Pale Waves, Davie, A R I Z O N A and Yungblud, the latter of whom is one of Variance's 2018 FutureSounds picks.
On the Lake Shore Stage, Sir Sly infused the park with energy, attracting a noteworthy bevy of devoted fans enjoying live renditions of the band's new songs. Leading the party was frontman Landon Jacobs, who was frequently airborne and even performed from the crowd.
Later in the day, fans were disappointed as Lil Pump was running late. After the crowd literally called "bullshit" on the excuses coming from the stage, the rapper entered and performed an abbreviated set, as festival organizers apparently shut down the performance because the crowd had become too wild and on the verge of a riot.
GoldLink, however, enjoyed a tamer atmosphere, also performing for a massive audience at the American Eagle Stage, but they were restrained enough for him to go down and join them to perform part of his set, which was an electrifying experience, showcasing why the D.C. artist remains one of hip-hop's most promising acts.
Another friendly crowd was easily that of the always sunny Carly Rae Jepsen, who performed in front of a sea of rainbows, glitter and colorful costume wear. Clearly packed with many longtime fans, the crowd also had the distinct honor of bringing a long-running Carly meme full circle when she was finally presented with a sword, after months of petitioning.
"Oh yeah, sword," Jepsen declared as she performed her set-closer, rather appropriately titled "Cut to the Feeling." Naturally, the crowd erupted in cheers as she was given her rightful honor.
As evening hit, Logic stormed the Grant Park Stage, which had attracted a number of loyal followers as well as the expected casual onlookers. After reminding the audience he represents "peace, love and positivity," the rapper then attempted to weed out the "fuckboys," encouraging everyone to let loose, dance, jump and chant the lyrics back at him.
While some of her songs certainly had the perfect electronic-laced vibe to get the crowd moving, St. Vincent really delivered a vulnerable performance, at times becoming visibly emotional. It was definitely a moving hour, demonstrating her incredible musical prowess, as if there was any doubt.
With most Lolla attendees spread out watching either St. Vincent or Logic, Celia Pavey (aka Vera Blue) was tucked in at the BMI Stage, but that didn't keep the Sydney-based singer from giving an absolutely stunning performance, with out-of-this-world vocals and a glimmering stage persona.
If there was anyone who was sure to inspire dancing on Saturday, it was Dua Lipa. And she came ready. Taking the Lake Shore Stage at sunset, she lit up the crowd with her infectious pop cuts, offering up a performance which could easily serve as a preview of what the singer might look like as a future headliner—and she proved herself more than worthy.
As the end of the night hit, Zedd expectedly created a dance floor environment, taking Perry's Stage with a flurry of lasers and flashing LED lights beaming into the crowd, which was soaking in every one of the producer's EDM hits and remixes.
Of course, The Weeknd's headlining set was instantly electrifying. Sporting a new stage design and a toned physique, Abel Tesfaye drew in a massive crowd as he performed a slew of his countless hits sprinkled in with some fan favorites. Word is he had been discussed as a 2017 headliner before The Killers, but fans seemed to feel the wait was worth it.
Speaking of waits, Vampire Weekend performed at the same time as The Weeknd, but their performance was one many had been awaiting for years. It marked their first North American festival stop in about four years, coming five years after the release of their last album.
The band entered to AC/DC's "Back in Black," and then played "A-Punk" three times in a row, with the crowd roaring as they took the Bud Light Stage to play most of their most familiar songs. To add to the excitement, frontman Ezra Koenig confirmed the band has recently finished their new full-length, noting they would be back in Chicago "soon" to perform new material.
See photos from Lollapalooza day 3 below and follow Variance festival coverage here.