One of the great aspects of Lollapalooza, at least if you’re a parent, is Kidzapalooza. An area designated for kids, with a stage on its own, a playground, and various activities. As Sweden has rather strict age limits at festivals, 13 years, it seemed pretty far of to be able to bring kids to a major festival any time soon, and even though the concept is implemented at the other Lollapalooza-festivals around the world, it was up in the air for some time whether it would also be the case in Stockholm. But it seems like quite some negotiations have gone into it, and Stockholm could thus also host its Kidzapalooza.
As a father of two little thugs this was great news, and I could become the golden parent I’ve achieved for, to make sure that my oldest son could make his festival debut at the age of four. I feel bad that I have not been able to do it before, really bad.
This meant that the Saturday was spent moving between the main festival site and the kids area, and it was a pretty pleasant experience. The area was very calm and clean, with its own set of bathrooms, and plenty of activities to keep the smaller ones happy. Perhaps it will need one more year for even more people to discover the possibility, but it was several in my age that saw it as an opportunity to attend the festival at all, to be honest. Often that is the case, and this provides an opportunity even for the parents, both to attend the festival but of course mainly to experience music with their children.
At the kids stage there were 4 acts per day, and my son really enjoyed it (his review will be posted later), especially Magiska Skogen and Mumin-disco. I feel bad for the poor bastard to wear a Mumin-trollet costume in the heatwave though. But s/he did it as a pro, kudos! The acts were really interacting with the kids and making sure they had a great time, as one of course would expect, but it is not always a given.
If the Friday at the main site had a strong lineup, the Saturday was a bit more mixed, but the main headliner of the festival, Foo Fighters, played and that was enough of course. There were LOADS of old and new Foo Fighters-shirts in the crowd, so no mistake, they were anticipated.
Even though it was great to bring my son to the festival, it was generated a very different experience while keeping him happy and at the same time seeing some bands. But it was so fun to see his, and other kids, fascination of the big stages, and massive screens. The tent stage, Perrys Stage, had huge LED-screens showing visuals, and at times it felt like there were just as much kids as non-kids in there; that seemed to be the main attraction for many youngsters.
I had hyped Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes for my son as “punk rockers, and punks push each other in the crowd when they are happy” . That was almost too much for him to wrap his head around, that they were allowed to push others and get away with it. So we were two happy campers heading over to the Park Stage, to see former Gallows singer and his Rattlesnakes, as one of the first acts out for the day. And boy, we were not disappointed! Carter started out full throttle, straight into the crowd and moving around like a maniac. Between songs he asks almost half of the crowd to move from one side to the other, meaning that they had to walk back around the sound booth and over to the other side. “I can’t believe that worked”, Carter laughed.
Love Games sounds as heavy as anything else, and oftentimes the songs seem closer to how Arctic Monkeys sounds nowadays, less speed and punk, and more depth and weight. And it sounds really good. Crowbar and Lullaby, of course, are among the peaks of the show, and Carter also reveals that they will be back in Sweden in November. Can’t wait!
After a few hours back in the Kidzapalooza-area, going around on cars, eating ice cream and making kazoos, we see half of the Denzel Curry-show. If Travis Scott was full throttle, Curry puts on a more dynamic show, but entering the stage to ZUU followed by RICKY, and the smart phones are in the air. The Florida-rapper seem at times pretty far from many of his peers today, moving between different soundscapes, but always interesting.
Next up for us were The 1975, sometimes hyped over the top, but I was surprised to see that the crowd was not as large as I expected. There are of course dedicated fans and quite a lot of them, but I was expected Beatles-mania. But I’m also an idiot, so… Well, Jr really enjoyed them, their well-produced, rather slick, pop-sound, and it seems like made for the late afternoon slot, a warm summer day like this. They started out with Give Yourself A Try, the sort of opener from latest release. They move gently into the set, it feels like they are dipping there fit a bit, and the concert really lifts with Robbers from debut album, and from then on it’s smooth sailing. The crowd goes bananas, of course, for the end of the show, with triple-threat Chocolate, Sex, and The Sound.
The Hives is probably the best live rock act in Sweden, still. It can seem lazy, but seeing them live is always so entertaining and rewarding. The show opens with in a familiar way, with Come On!, Walk Idiot Walk and Main Offender, but why change a winning concept? We got the latest release, Good Samaritan, with a more punk oriented sound, including a tempo-shift, and the usual suspects of Hate to Say I Told You So and Tick Tick Boom. Not too shabby!
Bring Me The Horizon have moved somewhat in a different direction. I remember seeing them for the first time at Reading a few years ago, and well, it has never been my cup of tea. But something has changed, if it was mainly full gas before, the songs moves more between genres and with electronic-oriented sounds, and that is more interesting live, in my (humble?) opinion. They play the smaller Park Stage, and they truly have dedicated fans, from show opener Mantra to final song, Throne, they give everything.
Photographer Wilson managed to pass by several other bands during me and Jrs trips to Kidzapalooza. British hip hop-artist IAMDDB, Swedish Hov1, Swedish Laleh, the siblings in Greta Van Fleet, and the DJ-set from Swedish electro Rebecca & Fiona.
Foo Fighters then? Well, they are among the biggest rock bands in the world, and it is well-deserved. Dave Grohl is of course a great front man, who seem genuinely sympathetic, and they have an abundance of hits. Learn to Fly comes early on, I really think it is a master-piece, how much polished rock radio-station it might sound. Times Like These sounds equally good and it is of course a heart-warming moment when Grohl, in the middle of My Hero, finds the doctor that treated him after his injury in Gothenburg in 2015 in the audience. Grohl invites him on stage and they share a moment, it’s nice, it’s nice. Everlong rounds of the show, and it sounds as good as ever. Great end to a great day at Lollapalooza.
Photos: All photos, except Foo Fighters, Martin Wilson. Foo Fighters: Pax Engström.