Cage the Elephant, The xx & Grouplove remember their first Lollapalooza

LollapaloozaLollapalooza kicks off today in Chicago’s Grant Park. Cage the Elephant is on this year’s lineup, and the band has come a long way since they played Lolla for the first time in 2007. At that festival, Cage actually played on the same stage that a then-unknown Lady Gaga played earlier that day.

“It is kinda crazy that Lady Gaga was playing right before us,” guitarist Brad Shultz tells ABC Radio. “It was like the smallest stage at Lollapalooza.”

The show ended up giving Cage the biggest crowd of their young career.

“We were like, ‘Oh my god, this is huge!’ It was probably like a thousand people,” Shultz laughs.

Along with Lady Gaga basically opening for them, that Lolla 07 set was a milestone show for Cage for another reason.

“That was actually the first time [frontman] Matt [Shultz] ever stood on a crowd,” Brad says.

The xx, who are also on this year’s lineup, first played Lolla in 2010. Back then, playing festivals, especially in the daylight, was a brand new experience for the British trio.

“I remember that Lollapalooza show, and feeling just maybe a bit uncomfortable,” laughs bassist/vocalist Oliver Sim. “We’re used to…having smoke and dark lights, and to not have that for that show was pretty arresting, but a learning experience.”

Grouplove guitarist Andrew Wessen remembers their fist Lolla in 2011 having a very small, but heartfelt, visual component.

“[Vocalist] Hannah [Hooper] had done a hand-painted Grouplove backdrop and it literally was like the size of a postage stamp,” Wessen says. “It literally was like 6×6, and they raised it on the giant scaffolding.” 

The Lollapalooza 2017 lineup also includes Muse, The Killers, Arcade Fire, Lorde and Blink-182. Select sets will stream live online via

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