Running Lollapalooza Power Rankings - Best Sets

Aug. 4, 2017, 8:39 a.m.
Event Track / Lollapalooza / News & Rumors / Running Lollapalooza Power Rankings - Best Sets

We're in beautiful Chicago for Lollapalooza 2017 and thought we'd keep a running power rankings of our favorite performances from this year. Lollapalooza is a monster with over 160 artists so it's impossible to see everyone, but this is how we'd rank the shows we've seen.

Best Sets Of Lollapalooza

#22 - White Reaper

White Reaper kicks ass live; if you love catchy riffs and good old fashion rock and roll they are definitely for you. I enjoyed them yelling at the crowd to wake up for the early set demanding their attention. They played new material as well as their bigger hits like "Judy French" which sounded even better live than they did on Spotify. If you can catch them locally you definitely should - I can only imagine how much fun they are in a smaller venue.



Can't imagine a better way to start our Lollapalooza Weekend than with Chicago Native @kwekucollins!

A post shared by Shawn (@eventtrk) on Aug 3, 2017 at 10:28am PDT

#21 - Kweku Collins

Kweku Collins had a huge crowd for an early Lollapalooza show at the Pepsi stage. He seemed legitimately excited to be there and put on a great set, including his big hits like "Roses" and "Lonely Lullabies". I didn't realize he was from a nearby town so playing Lollapalooza seemed really special to him. I'm sure this will be the last time we see him opening up a stage at Lollapalooza.

#20 - Tegan and Sara

Solid set; not bad, but not amazing. I did really enjoy the constant harping at and making fun of the awkward VIP area Lollapalooza has at the Bud Light Stage. Tegan and Sara have some of the more passionate fans out there and you could tell their massive crowd was really into it. They are my cup of tea but it was an enjoyable set and I'm glad we checked it out.

#19 - Glass Animals

I thought they've been better at other shows but they were still fun at Lollapalooza. There is certainly never a lack of energy with Glass Animals as they ripped through all their most popular tracks.  The highlight is still always when they play "Gooey" and Lollapalooza was no different. We had to leave early but were lucky enough to get that one before we headed off.

#18 - Maggie Rogers

Stunning voice. Of all the artists we saw at Lollapalooza I would say she has the best voice. She also is really great live and it was quite charming to see how excited she was to play on the Lollapalooza main stage. She's just very likeable and her songs play great live. 

#17 - Vance Joy

I'm a sneaky big fan of Vance Joy and it is crazy to see how big his crowds have grown to - I suppose that's what opening for Taylor Swift will do for you. We left Glass Animals early to check out his set, expecting the crowd to be small as everyone was on that side of Lollapalooza for Chance, but it was absolutely packed for Vance Joy as well. It was mostly songs off his first album, but he did sprinkle in some new songs, which was cool to see. Obviously closing with "Riptide" was what everyone was waiting for and he delivered. He really does have an incredible voice that is worth checking out.

#16 - Warpaint

Just a fun set if you are into that hazy alternative rock sound. I've seen Warpaint a few times besides Lollapalooza as they are a SoCal staple and they always put on a good performance.

#15 - Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings have definitely improved live since the last time I saw them at Coachella 2015. The first couple songs were a bit off but once they fixed their sound issues they really did sound fantastic. They played all their big ones and closed with an awesomely loud version of "No Future / No Past" which could easily be heard from Lolla's Tito stage. Their crowd has definitely grown over the years and it's great to see them now getting a huge crowd at Lollapalooza.

#14 - Temples

These guys are special; they really remind me of Tame Impala years ago with how great they sound live.  If you are a fan of that electronic/psychedelic rock sound they are going to be right up your alley. They sounded amazing live and had a great energy to them.

#13 - The O'My's

Even without playing any of their big hits on Spotify this was a special set. The band live is so much fun and lively with the variety of instruments. The lead singer Maceo Haymes' voice is unlike anything you are going to hear elsewhere so I couldn't recommend them enough. Just a unique band that seems really passionate about their music, which really comes across in their live performance.

#12 - The Shins

I always see The Shins if they are on the lineup - they are one of my all time favorites. They were good at Lollapalooza 2017, not great though. We have definitely seen better performances out of them, but a subpar Shins showing is still better than 95% of bands.

#11 - Barns Courtney

Ever since we saw him at Governors Ball we are on the Barns Courtney bandwagon. He has so much energy he is impossible to not fall in love with live. I am 100% convinced he is going to be a star. For Lollapalooza he had a broken foot but he still played his ass off from a hospital bed. I seriously applaud him for going out there and playing still as most artists I think would of cancelled. I think this set would of been higher if we hadn't seen him at 100%, but it was still great.

#10 - Blossoms

I've wanted to see Blossoms for awhile, but have kept missing them - thiose damn early sets are hard to make it to! We finally made it for Lollapalooza and they were terrific. I was quite impressed with how crisp they sounded live and was never bored through their hour long set. If you can manage to make it up for their inevitably early set they are totally worth it - it's essentially the Britpop dance party you'd expect

#9 - Frenship

We actually caught Frenship at the Toyota Music Den and holy hell did they sound great. If you are unaware Lollapalooza has this little gem of a tent where you can check out artists acoustic with a crowd of about 30 people. If you can make time during Lollapalooza you should absolutely go. Anyways, Frenship was pretty incredible there. They winged most of their set but you couldn't tell as the sound was on point. We weren't able to catch their actual full set later in the day but I can't imagine it got better then this intimate performance.

#8 - Grace Mitchell

Loved her set on Sunday morning. She's playing a lot more new material since we last saw her at Coachella and the new songs sound catchy as hell live. We are really looking forward to her full album being released. She had great energy for an early morning set and closed out with the devilishly catchy "NoLo". 

#7 - Spoon

I love Spoon, and I feel no need to hide it. From classics like "The Underdog" to their best new songs like "Hot Thoughts" and "Can I Sit Next To You" this set had everything a Spoon fan could want. They sounded great and had a packed Lake Shore stage even as the rain came down. They defiinitely sounded the best of any band we saw on Lake Shore on Thursday.

#6 - Run The Jewels

Can Run The Jewels do a bad set? It certainly doesn't seem so as they are solid everytime we see them. One of the most impressive things with an established act is when they bring the energy every performance, even when they have done a song 1000 times. This defines RTJ; they have the passion like it's their first performance despite now opening for the headliners at Lollapalooza.

#5 - Chance The Rapper

Full discretion: I am not a Chance fan. Not trying to hate, it's just not my thing. We got the Live Nation festival passports this year so it feels like we have 20 chances to see him but we always skipped him as we planned to see his hometown show at Lollapalooza. When it was good it was really good. I've never seen someone at a festival own a crowd like Chance did at Lollapalooza. You could quite literally feel the ground shake when he told the crowd to jump. It was quite possibly the largest crowd I have ever seen at any festival, and his fans truly love him. That said, at times it was a slow set with long pauses between songs and it just never seemed to fully get rolling. I'm glad we went because it was cool to see such a massive crowd all in harmony together, but it wasn't the unique, career defining performance I was expecting.


#altj's awesome graphics and use of the screens continued for their entire set! #lollapalooza

A post shared by Shawn (@eventtrk) on Aug 6, 2017 at 8:04am PDT

#4 - Alt-J

Alt-J was pretty incredible at Lollapalooza 2017. I had seen them at Coachella 2015 but was honestly too drunk to remember it. Their show is what you would expect: extreme sound quality and trippy as hell graphics on the screen. This was my first time hearing the new material off the lates album and it was on point. It was a weird mix of a crowd as half were Alt-J fans and half were just camping out for Chance, but when they closed out with "Left Hand Free" and "Breezeblocks"  both camps were rocking out. Alt-J is a spectacle worth seeing, if for nothing else but the crazy show on the screens.



@thekillers performing A Dustland Fairy Tale

A post shared by Shawn (@eventtrk) on Aug 5, 2017 at 8:44am PDT

#3 - The Killers

I love the Killers and cannot give an unbiased opinion of anything they do. I love everything from Battle Born to "The Man", which generally everyone hates. I ride with The Killers. Thus it is unsuprising that I have them rated so high. I absolutely loved their performance at Lollapalooza. I loved their cover of Muse's "Starlight". I loved their energy. I obviously loved closing with "When You Were Young" and "Mr. Brightside". The only curious thing was the encore involving "This Is Your Life", which just seems like an odd song choice but whatever - it was such a fun set. It was also surprisingly packed. I know The Killers are the headliners and draw a big crowd but this was even more packed than Radiohead's headlining spot. I'm not the only one who loves The Killers apparently.


A post shared by Shawn (@eventtrk) on Aug 4, 2017 at 12:58pm PDT

#2 - Mondo Cozmo

Holy hell the energy! I hadn't seen Mondo Cozmo live before this but I had heard he was fantastic and people were not wrong. Go see him live - this is a special artist. He mentioned that yesterday was the best day of his life with playing Lollapalooza and his new album coming out that day, and he performed like it. He seemed to genuinely want to live in the moment forever and he played his ass off. It took one song and he instantly had the entire crowd. There was no one on their phone, there was no one taking photos - everyone was locked into Mondo Cozmo at Lollapalooza. It was truly an amazing set; one of the best I have ever seen at a festival, not just at Lollapalooza 2017. Mondo Cozmo has now become an absolutle must see for me at any festival.

#1 - Arcade Fire

This is not an unbiased review - Arcade Fire is my favorite band so to see them close out Lollapalooza was something special. It was a set that was heavy on Funeral with a sprinkling of all the other albums at just the right time. At no point did the set lose momentum as the band seamlessly weaved between anthems. Regardless of what you think about Everything Now, and I maintain that album is better than people say, those songs absolutely kick ass live. "Creature Comfort" is special live and the disco'y "Electric Blue" and "Signs of Life" back to back are so much fun to jam out to. The best part about Arcade Fire is they still play their heart out at every show and close with "Wake Up" with the same force as they did 10 years ago. It was an absolutely magnificent way to end the Lollapalooza weekend.

Honorable Mention: Muse

I've wanted to see Muse for a long time and last night was teased with 3 awesome songs before the lightning ended the evening. Muse absolutely kicked ass and it's such a bummer the weather couldn't hold off an hour longer so they could complete their set. If we had gotten a full set I am sure they would of been our best of the day at Lollapalooza - damn you Chicago weather!

Worst Sets Of Lollapalooza

#1 - Liam Gallagher

As usual, Liam Gallagher is an asshole and left the stage early after three songs. I wish we had gotten Noel and not Liam but i still went to the show due to pure love for Oasis and Liam did as Liam does. The only reason I am really sad is I saw a picture of the setlist and "Wonderwall" was indeed the last song.


I saw on Twitter that this girls sign pissed off Liam and edged him to run off the stage like a child. I applaud you random girl who took the time to make this sign just to piss him off. He sounded terrible anyways and would of just butchered "Wonderwall" like he did "Morning Glory".

#2 - George Ezra

I really like George Ezra but goddamn was he quiet. I know you have a booming voice George, I shouldn't be struggling to hear you when I am within 30 feet of the stage. I'm not sure if it was the Lake Shore stage or George Ezra but he and his band were so quiet it was hard to enjoy the show. It was the only show at Lollapalooza I could easily hear and comprehend people talking around me.

#3 - Kaleo

I really like Kaleo and made a point to get a good spot for them. Their crowd has grown immensely since we saw them at Coachella this year; the Tito's stage at Lollapalooza was packed hundreds of rows back. All that said a little sleepy of a performance. They just didn't have the energy or purpose it seemed they played with when we last saw them. We ultimately left 3/4 of the way through the set because it was just not that exciting. I think an hour set is just too much for Kaleo at this point until they have more material.

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