With an eclectic lineup that included Rosalía’s awaited local debut, Lollapalooza Argentina opened the doors to its sixth edition on Friday (March 29). Khea, Duki, Post Malone, Twenty One Pilots and Steve Aoki, among others, also performed.
"We're all beautiful, all of us, all of them. Diversity is something to be celebrated!" said jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington as the sun shone over his band at four in the afternoon on Main Stage 1. Although it sounded like a political statement, it highlights what Lollapalooza is all about these days. Its sixth Argentinean edition was anticipated as one of the most eclectic so far, covering many genres that almost didn’t make the cut on previous versions. Jazz is a prime example of that.
Still battling with sound issues across his show, Washington knew what to make of his audience, leaving aside traditionalism in favor of a more Afro-funk repertoire. Brilliant sidekicks like Miles Mosley on standup bass and vocals and Patrice Quinn on vocals gave the Los Angeles saxophonist enough resources to make this first Argentinean visit one for the books.
On the same stage but earlier, Astor Piazzolla’s grandson Pipi brought jazz into the context of the festival with his band Escalandrum. At the same time, The Fever 333’s performance got people running to the Alternative Stage, where it was impossible to avoid the spastic arsenal of tricks frontman Jason Butler brought to Buenos Aires. Washing himself with a water drum (that he diligently threw to the floor), swinging monitor speakers and pushing the drum’s raiser to the front, Letlive’s former singer knows no boundaries.
And if eclecticism is what Lolla’s all about, British alt outfit Bring Me the Horizon found a rival on the other side of the San Isidro municipal horse racetrack field in Rosalía.
The Spanish singer couldn’t get to the second line of the opening “Pienso en tu mirá” without the crowd’s screams all but covering the sound. Rosalía smiled, but she didn’t take the reaction for granted. With a small dance troupe, two sets of flamenco vocalists and El Guincho on samples and programming, one hour was enough to showcase her meteoric rise to fame. The fact is that Rosalía succeeds at all of her stage antics: keeping the pace of her group’s choreography, playing with her producer’s sampler and singing with that flamenco technique that pushes the song into the deepest corners of the listeners’ gut.
“Argentina, thank you for being so kind to me,” she said.
Other notables of the day included Interpol -- who returned to the fest, but this time on a prime time slot -- and Twenty One Pilots, who took the Main Stage with a car engulfed in flames.
Beyond Rosalía, rap was represented by an austere but audience-pleasing Post Malone. Before that, upcoming rapper Khea mixed smoke with spastic visuals while celebrating the unstoppable growth trap has been enjoying since last year. The unexpected appearance of popular trapper cohort Duki at the end of the set (they played the massive hit “Loca,” among others) seemed to tacitly prove that what matters is here. And it’s just beginning.