Blogapalooza Day 1: Chicago-based band Post Animal shares inspirations post Lolla performance; reviews of Kaytranada, Miley Cyrus and more

By Anna Busalacchi, Managing Editor

Grant Park is officially a playground, and there are too many pink cowboy hats to count, paired with the trendy butterfly tops, as predicted by the Chronicle, but hardly any masks in sight.

Day one of Lollapalooza was a surreal experience, witnessing people from the city, suburbs and beyond gathering in Grant Park, where Columbia’s campus is visible from afar.

According to a tweet from Lollapalooza, 90% of attendees showed proof of vaccination, and 8% displayed proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Festival security asks for vaccination cards or a negative test result to be presented at the entrance, and Lollapalooza crew workers receive wristbands signifying they are vaccinated. 

Lollapalooza’s COVID-19 guidelines require patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result within 72 hours of attending, and four-day attendees will need to get tested again. Those who did not comply with guidelines were turned away at the entrance.

Post Animal kicked off day one, with an atmospheric performance at the Tito’s Handmade Vodka stage, rocking out with fans to “How Do You Feel” and “Gelatin Mode.” Their esoteric vocals perfectly complemented the shredded instrumentals. 

In an interview with the Chronicle, the Chicago-based psychedelic alternative-rock band said they missed playing at Lollapalooza, and live shows in general.

“I feel like I haven’t felt that energetic since before the pandemic, so that was a fun feeling to stomp my foot down and do a sudden movement. I feel like I haven’t done any sudden movements for a couple years,” said Javi Reyes, guitarist in Post Animal.

The band released their album “Forward Motion Godyssey” in February 2020, right before the COVID-19 shutdown.

Guitarist Matt Williams said they were fully prepared to tour, with merchandise and comic books, and they even painted drummer Wesley Toledo’s bass drums for shows. 

That being said, Post Animal had the opportunity to share their world with fans live again, saying they plan to record a new album soon at guitarist and keyboardist Jake Hirshland’s family farm in Wisconsin. 

Bassist Dalton Allison described their music evolution as a natural process, since the 2015 release of their first album, “Post Animal Perform the Most Curious Water Activities.”

Out of the band’s arsenal of guitars, they agreed that Reyes’ guitar, a Jimmy Page Telecaster, is the sickest.

When asked what inspires their music, Williams said “vibes.” The other band members laughed but said it is true and that their music stems from energythings they have heard, seen and felt.

“It doesn’t make the cut if it doesn’t give us an epic feeling when we are all together,” Hirshland said.

Allison and Williams added that there is always a visual sense to their music as an accompaniment to the sound.

“When I see a band that has a really cool looking album [cover], I love that stuff almost as much as the music, and sometimes it influences how you hear the music,” Williams said.

Due to their Chicago roots, the band has many favorite spots around the city they love, mentioning the Garfield Park Conservatory, Rogers Park and Andersonville as some of the best. 

“Definitely have a huge appreciation for the outdoor parks of Chicago like Humboldt Park, Montrose Beach, Palmer Square … after living in different cities and coming back, Chicago actually has pretty good parks and greenery,” Allison said.

Post Animal is playing an aftershow at Sleeping Village, 3734 W. Belmont Ave., tonight at 10 p.m.

Later in the day, Flo Milli had her fans singing along to every word, riling up the crowd like no other. 

Ella Niehaus attended the Flo Milli concert and said she was pushed completely over the separation gate in the front row by the momentum of the crowd during the song “Like That B—-.”

Regardless, Niehaus said Flo Milli’s concert was the highlight of her day one Lollapalooza experience. She has a four-day pass and is looking forward to seeing DaBaby the most. 

Over at the Bud Light Seltzer stage, Kaytranada’s entire set felt like a big wave surrounded by the city as each song beautifully flowed into the next, taking the crowd along for the ride. 

The electronic-alt/pop beats were accessorized with eclectic visuals on the jumbo screen. 

He paid tribute to Chicago artists Chance The Rapper with a mash-up of “All Night” and “Gray Area,” by Kaytranada, featuring Mick Jenkins, a Chicago-based rapper. 

Personally, this was an especially emotional performance because Kaytranada’s music served as an outlet for me during the COVID-19 shut down, providing the futuristic, party-vibe we were all lacking. 

Miley Cyrus proved her versatility that night with her closing performance and surprised the audience by sharing the stage with The Kid LAROI, G Herbo and other big-name artists for select songs. 

Cyrus gave a speech about the impact COVID-19 had on her ego, saying it reminded her that concerts have nothing to do with the artist and everything to do with the fans. Cyrus said, “I would not have this custom Gucci jumpsuit if it wasn’t for you guys being so f—— loyal to me.” 

Cyrus also broadcast the message “Free Britney” on the jumbo screens in support of Britney Spears’ ongoing conservatorship battle. 

She started off her set with “We Can’t Stop,” followed by other hit songs, new and old, and throwing some covers into the mix, like “Heart of Glass” by Blondie and “Where is my Mind?” by the Pixies.  She later invited the infamous Billy Idol on stage to sing “White Wedding” with her. Additionally, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J came on to perform the song “23” with Cyrus. 

The night ended at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., for the Mothica and Grandson pre-show. 

Mothica opened the show with her moody alt-rock sound, playing songs from her new EP “forever fifteen” and her 2020 album “Blue Hour.” The connection between Mothica and her band members on stage along with her and the fans was visible in every aspect, with some fans tearing up. 

Before each song, Mothica shared anecdotes of the poetry behind the music, some of them being about body dysmorphia, sexual assault and her suicide attempt at the age of 15, in her songs “buzzkill,” “everything at once” and “forever fifteen.”

Grandson closed the show with an intense mosh pit to his electronic-rock energy. 

Grandson performed at 2:45 p.m. today and Mothica performs at 6:50 p.m.