Lollapalooza 2023 I Kick Off Thursday With These Five Bangers

Chicago’s biggest music festival, Lollapalooza, is back in Grant Park from August 3-6. With a bill encompassing an array of genres, music aficionados of all backgrounds can find a steady lineup each day. Here are five songs to prepare for the first day of the festival. 

Carly Rae Jepsen – “Run Away With Me

In 2012, Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe” became the best-selling song in the world, but the best song to prepare for her iconic set is the single “Run Away With Me.” Jepsen graced the pop world with a masterful four-minute track from her 2015 album, Emotion. The track opens with a tuneful 16-second saxophone solo before she relays her story to the audience. She indulges the listener in her long-distance love, evoking a particular nostalgic feeling one gets from a Katy Perry or Taylor Swift song.

Oh baby, every single minute, I’ll be your hero and win it when the lights go out, run away with me,” Jepsen vocalizes, imploring her lover to escape, even if for a weekend. The free spirit of this tune will engage the audience and convince them to submit to the weightlessness of live music.

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Rema – “Calm Down

Rema is a Nigerian artist specializing in Afrorave and rap. The 22-year-old singer is the perfect act to see while easing into the easy-going yet exhausting festival weekend. In “Calm Down,” Rema’s soothing voice and lighthearted lyrics impart an anecdote about a love-at-first-sight incident he experienced at a party. The song leaves listeners swaying along, nodding, and tuning in to his relaxing demeanor. The song comforts the listener through the reliable 4/4 guitar beat, letting them do as the title suggests, and calm down.

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SOFI TUKKER‘s WET TENNIS album is an acronym for When Everyone Tries To Evolve, Nothing Negative Is Safe. What better way to kick off a festival than an optimistic, dance-positive track?

SOFI TUKKER: Meaning Behind ‘WET TENNIS’ & How It Landed Them ESPN Fame

The titular song off of the 2022 album opens with tantalizing trumpet and elements of Brazilian percussion cement a dance floor for the audience as Sophie’s vocals launch onto the track. The lead-up to the chorus urges listeners to groove, “Come play with me. It’s about to get freaky, bring your hips to life.” The hypnotic beat serves as a perfect dance tune for the blazing summer of a Chicago festival.

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Timmy TrumpetNarco

Ever heard a live trumpet accompanying an exhilarating house set? Timmy Trumpet electrifies the audience with enticing trumpet solos and unmatched energy. He collabed with the dutch duo, Blasterjaxx in 2017 to deliver an unforgettable salute used as the walking-out song for Major League Baseball player Edwin Diaz. A syncopated synth beat and Timmy’s triumphant trumpet echo through the song overlaid with rap verses. Trumpets blaring at beat drops is not the most common asset utilized in electronic music, but one that works for Timmy, especially in “Narco.”

The intermission between synth percussion and rap verses allows Timmy’s tenacious trumpet to affect the audience on a grander scale. For anyone looking to branch into electronic music, this exemplary, regal dance track is the perfect place to begin.

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Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever

The 21-year-old picked up seven Grammys for her debut album in 2019, and followed the smash hit with an iconic sophomore album, Happier Than Ever. The song “Happier Than Ever” encompasses the overarching mood of the album, leaving a relationship (or a dark period in life) and entering the closure and cleansing process, thinking, “When I’m away from you, I’m happier than ever.”

The bridge to this song introduces one of Billie’s most metal verses where she unleashes and unveils all the demons pent-up from her past, finally able to breathe, come into her own, and, well, scream. With a simultaneous roar of lyrics from thousands of uproarious festival goers, Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” is the perfect way to conclude the initial day of an iconic festival.

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