More than 300,000 people (including us) enjoyed the sixth Lollapalooza Music Festival in Argentina. We saw bands we know and bands that were new to us and Eric shot more than 5,000 photos. Here are our favorite shots and top highlights from Day 2 of the Lollapalooza music festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina including very diverse musical performances from Foals, Fito Paez, St. Vincent, Sam Smith, Arctic Monkeys, Macklemore, and Tiesto. You know we love live music and we’re willing to travel for it, so let’s go.
Highlights of Lollapalooza Argentina Day 2
Hotter temperatures and larger crowds were hallmarks of the second day of the 3-day Lollapalooza Argentina music festival.
Meh: Honestly, the most memorable thing about British indie/alt/art rock band Foals was that they broke with tradition and allowed photographers into the pit at the front of the stage to shoot the last three songs of their set instead of the first three songs which is the usual practice. Fun fact: this band was once on Sub Pop Records and so was a band called Chia Pet which Karen was a part of in the ’80s.
Latin legend: Festival-goers from all generations rocked out during the packed performance by Argentinean Fito Páez.
Anger incarnate: We were excited to see St. Vincent (real name: Anne Clark) live for the first time and it was an intense introduction to this art-pop singer from Oklahoma. Her one woman (and many guitars) show was pointedly provocative and enjoyable, in a cringy sort of a way as lyrics took us through a particularly twisted view of her view of the politics and power of romance, sex, and love.
Ultimately, St. Vincent reminded us of a more visibly damaged and even more aggressively angry version of Siouxsie Sioux (Google her, youngins). Siouxsie was a ground-breaking British singer who also performed using a quirky stage name, also played guitar, also dominated the stage, and was also very fond of extremes in lyrics and in looks including extremely sexual outfits.
Supersmooth superstar: Sam Smith is not our style, but boy did he have the crowd in his pocket at Lollapalooza Argentina. Also, we very much appreciated his enthusiastic nod to the many gay pride flags in the audience.
Finally, some hard driving rock: Arctic Monkeys is a British band that’s very fond of odd names (they’re also sometimes known as Death Ramps). But they are an actual band with fully-fledged members playing real guitars, backing singers, and no track (or annoying Auto-Tune). Lead singer Alex Turner really brought it as well, somehow channeling the Stray Cats and Ozzy Osborne at the same time.
The Arctic Monkeys also got the day’s award for Most Awkward Gratuitous Spanish for Turner’s constant mumbling of “Muchas gracias por favor” a phrase which, literally, no native Spanish speaker has ever uttered.
Hardest working band of the festival: Showmanship was fully on display during the Macklemore performance including a posse of lycra-clad dancers and singers, a horn section that did aerobics while playing, and, of course, Macklemore (aka Benjamin Hammond Haggerty) himself who was rarely not in motion. Choreography, spontaneous jumping, and general horsing around filled the whole set and the crowd loved it.
The Spanish-speaking fans also knew the words to every single song and sang the hysterically clever lyrics in English. And, yes, we now have “Thrift Shop”, Macklemore’s smash hit from 2012, stuck in our heads.
The (grand) father of EDM: Tiesto, a DJ from the Netherlands, is widely regarded as the godfather of electronic dance music. Red alert: the 50-year-old still actually works for a living and was really spinning and mixing, not just pushing buttons and posing (looking at you Steve Aoki).
Hits and misses of Lollapalooza Argentina
Hit and miss: The festival was cashless, which meant that festival-goers had a chip in their wristband which could be loaded via cash or credit card. That sounds great, but it meant standing in a sometimes long line to charge up your chip with cash, then waiting in more lines to buy things with that cash. Also, if you didn’t use all of the cash you put on your chip you had to stand in another line to get your money back. Also, 150 ARS (about US$3.50) somehow disappeared from Karen’s chip.
Hit: Huge black pillows were arranged in circles in a few spots around the venue and they were perfect for resting and napping.
Hit: The massive side-stage screens were very, very high quality so even if you ended up standing in the back you could see the onstage action.
Hit: The festival venue, the Hipodromo de San Isidro, has the greatest grass (soft yet durable) and plenty of space, though there was very little shade.
Hit: There was a “green” area with meditation, vegetarian food, etc.
Hit and miss: A wide variety of food vendors had stalls at the festival, sadly they all had jacked-up festival prices.
Hit: Staff members were ready with free water at stations all over the venue, including water available on the rail at all stages, and festival-goers were allowed to bring in an empty bottle.
Hit: Lots of folks were officially collecting trash and there was a program that gave food vouchers to anyone turning in a bag of garbage.
Hit: The two main stages at this venue are too close to each other to operate live in tandem, so you never had to worry about missing something on stage 1 while you watched a different act on stage 2.
Big, giant, stinking miss: Lollapalooza Argentina has a limit of two beers per person per day and the only beer available was Budweiser. Boo. Hiss. Boo.
Also: we will not stop mentioning the tiny, tiny number of women on the lineup for this festival. Do better Lollapalooza.
Don’t miss our coverage of Day 1 of the Lollapalooza music festival in Argentina including Portugal. The Man, Post Malone, Steve Aoki, and an epic moment of drum kit crowd surfing from Twenty One Pilots (yes, we’ve got video). And here’s our coverage of Day 3 of Lollapalooza Argentina with photos and video of Greta Van Fleet, Lenny Kravitz, Kendrick Lamar, Odesza, and much more.
Here’s more about travel in Argentina