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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Sabrina Carpenter and The 1975: Lollapalooza’s two stand-out acts

The festival produced two true showstoppers in its latest iteration


Sabrina Carpenter is pictured.

There’s something about Lollapalooza that attracts thousands of attendees every year and stands out among other festivals like Coachella and The Governor’s Ball. Perhaps it’s the ease of getting to the festival, which takes place right in the heart of the city, or maybe it’s the diverse lineup which includes artists from a wide range of genres. It is safe to say Lollapalooza is a unique festival and one that all music lovers should experience at least once in their lives. The immense talent of the artists who take the stage at Lollapalooza is undeniable, but this year, two artists stood out.

Sabrina Carpenter

It cannot have been easy for Sabrina Carpenter to return to music in the last few years. Although she’d released a couple singles here and there, Carpenter had not released an album since 2019. Additionally, when Carpenter moved from Hollywood Records to Island Records, her first single under her new label, “Skin” (2021), was shrouded with the alleged drama between singers Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett. Over a year after the ordeal, in the summer of 2022, Carpenter released her fifth studio album, “emails i can’t send.” The album led to a world tour, which brings us to her performance at Lollapalooza.

When watching Carpenter perform, one has to acknowledge her powerful stage presence. Usually taking the stage in a short dress or sparkly mini-skirt, she immediately commands attention with what can be described as a modern-day diva look. Her sass and charisma are apparent the second she walks on stage, and make her performance even more enjoyable to watch, even when the songs aren’t the most memorable.

There is also a certain virality to Carpenter that has greatly contributed to her recent success. From her tongue-in-cheek “Nonsense” outros catered to each city she performs, to her song covers, it is no wonder why some fans consistently flock to TikTok to post videos of her concerts. At Lollapalooza, Carpenter’s surprise cover was ABBA’s “Lay All Your Love on Me” (1980), the perfect summer festival song to get non-fans and fans alike dancing and singing along with her.

Of course, no Sabrina Carpenter concert is complete without hundreds of attendees screaming the lyric, “I’m a homewrecker, I’m a slut” at the top of their lungs. The amusing and electrifying “because i liked a boy” (2022) proved that even if the internet may hate you and call you names at one point, a couple years later, they might all be screaming your lyrics.

The 1975

Despite some controversial incidents in the past few months, The 1975 are certainly, as their most recent tour states, “At Their Very Best.” Frontrunner Matty Healy has come under criticism for problematic comments and actions, and yet hundreds of fans flock to their concerts, as seen at Lollapalooza. The band is even going back on tour in late September as addition to their tour’s success, with the upcoming one being aptly named, “Still At Their Very Best.”

Closing out the Bud Light Stage on the second day of Lollapalooza, it was clear from the crowd that their show would be a memorable one before the concert even started. Opening with “Looking for Somebody (To Love)” (2022) the crowd was immediately energized, with countless fans screaming the lyrics and cheering for Healy. Unlike their tour, where Healy has behaved strangely — eating a raw steak on stage, for example — their Lollapalooza set had little to no weird moments, which truly allowed the band’s musical abilities to shine.

While songs like “Chocolate” (2013) and “Oh Caroline” (2022) were entertaining and fun to sing along to, “About You” (2022), which marked the end of the first half of the show, was undeniably the best vocal performance of the show. Much of the credit for “About You” has to go to backup singer Polly Money, who sang the viral bridge, originally recorded by band member Adam Hann’s wife, Carly Holt. The bridge is already known for being extremely poetic and emotional, and Holt did it justice. Perhaps it is the emotional aspect of “About You” that makes the song so impactful, especially to those who gravitate to those kinds of songs, but without Holt and Healy pouring their heart into each lyric, the live version would not live up to the recorded one. Other fan-favorite songs like “The Sound” (2016) and “Robbers” (2013) were just as noteworthy, which is likely why Healy chose to perform them one after the other in the middle of the set.

Watching The 1975 perform live is an unforgettable experience. Is Healy out-of-pocket sometimes? Absolutely, but that does not take away from his captivating vocals and ability to connect with the audience. At the barricade, there were 12-year-olds and 40-year-olds, all just waiting to hear the band live. Somehow, no matter how controversial, The 1975 attracts a crowd from a variety of backgrounds: a demonstration of the beauty of their music.