Just Loud, St. Vincent, + Japanese Breakfast
Chicago Athletic Association // Chicago, IL // August 4th, 2018
The coolest aftershow of Lollapalooza included St. Vincent spinning NIN tracks and Michelle Zauner riding piggyback on a security guard.
FLOODfest was officially the most hip and exciting aftershow of Lollapalooza. Between the musicians, the size of the show, and the free drinks, everyone at FLOODfest officially felt cooler than ever. Starting at 5pm on Saturday evening, fans of St. Vincent and Japanese Breakfast lined up outside the Chicago Athletic Association to see the two acts play an incredibly intimate show. By 9pm, the line was nearly two blocks long. FLOODMagazine hosted the free, RSVP-only aftershow on the fourth floor of the trendy hotel, and only several hundred people were lucky enough to see these incredible women in such a small setting.
Once people grabbed free drinks from Deep Eddy and Red Bull, they made their way to the little stage at the end of the room (which appeared to be a remodeled basketball court) to jam out to Just Loud’s emotional and upbeat show. If you haven’t heard of Just Loud, that is absolutely going to change. The soul singer released “Electrified” in May and is slowly gaining the notoriety that he so rightly deserves. Just Loud told the crowd that this was his first live show in years and bared his soul to those who were there. “Can I get silence for a minute, just for a minute?” he asked as he played one of his slower tracks. Of course, a few people were still talking loudly and ordering drinks, but those up front complied and listened to the ethereal vocals and funky beats. Just Loud’s vocal range is almost unbelievable (think Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” or Steve Wonder’s entire discography), and the passion he puts into every song is palpable. His performance at FLOODfest showed the crowd that his starpower is about to skyrocket.
St. Vincent is arguably the definition of ‘cool’. She’s an artistic genius, a queer icon, and an incredibly down to earth human being. Although she didn’t perform at FLOODfest, she put on a fun and energetic DJ set. Spinning everything from Cardi B to Nine Inch Nails, fans of the mysterious Annie Clark were given a once-in-a-lifetime show that will probably never happen again. Some of the best moments included a sudden shift from industrial techno to 50 Cent’s “In Da Club”, which had Clark cracking up and throwing her hands up in the air in defeat. While a few people were more attached to taking video on Snapchat than actually enjoying the show, most fans got into the groove, dancing along and forming a huge group that shuffled and swayed in unison. After spinning the last song, Clark gave a sheepish smile, took off her headphones, and walked off into a back room. She left just as quietly as she entered.
Just before midnight, Japanese Breakfast piled onto the little stage in front of a now very crowded room. The musical project of Michelle Zauner has skyrocketed since their first album in 2016, and they’re only slated to get bigger. Japanese Breakfast played Pitchfork just several weeks ago, but they came to Chicago special for FLOODfest (they were not playing Lollapalooza!) Instantly diving into fan favorite songs like “In Heaven” and “Road Head”, Zauner made the most of the small space and jumped all over the stage, eventually making her way into the crowd onto the shoulders of one of the security guards. The show went until nearly 1am, and although dozens were exhausted from Lolla (including St. Vincent), FLOODfest could have easily carried on until dawn.