What a difference a day makes.
Following a slow start in terms of attendance Thursday on day one of Lollapalooza 2018 in Chicago’s Grant Park, day two did brisk business early, with a massive crowd gathered on the festival’s south end by 4PM central Friday.
All of that can be credited to headliner Bruno Mars. Lollapalooza is the only American festival date Mars has booked and was easily the weekend’s most anticipated concert performance.
A massive throng gathering at the Grant Park main stage more than four hours before Mars’ 8:30PM slot.
Large crowds moved south, seemingly en masse, following sets by Post Malone and Texas pop-rap collective Brockhampton for not just the biggest performance of the weekend, but in recent Lollapalooza history: Bruno Mars.
A giant crowd on the festival’s south end turned out for Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2016. That crowd was topped during a Lollapalooza Chicago homecoming set by Chance the Rapper last summer. But both of those gatherings were easily eclipsed by the one assembled Friday night for Bruno Mars.
Mars is the rare pop star whose appeal spans generations, conjuring up images of Prince for fans on the older end alongside an unquestionable charisma that’s ageless.
“Is Chi-Town in da house?” asked the star rhetorically following “24K Magic” second in his set. Fireworks soared above the stage, interacting with the Chicago skyline to provide a virtually unparalleled urban festival backdrop.
Mars, who barred photographers from his set, continued to roll out the hits, following quickly with “Treasure.”
“Chi-Town, I wanna see y’all movin’!” he declared, working the immense crowd into a frenzy with “Perm.”