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Perry Farrell’s Lollapalooza audience only perks up for Jane’s Addiction covers

The festival founder’s large, energetic band suffers competing with the simultaneous set by hot ticket Ariana Grande.

Perry Farrell sings with his Kind Heaven Orchestra on Day 4 of Lollapalooza in Grant Park, Aug. 4, 2019.
Santiago Covarrubias/For the Sun-Times

Lollapalooza was created as a farewell tour to Jane’s Addiction created by the band’s members. This year’s festival was closed out by Perry Farrell’s Kind Heaven Orchestra, headed by the Jane’s Addiction frontman.

While certainly not sparse, the audience couldn’t compare to the throng that was at Ariana Grande’s set across the park. Grande’s performance and the roar of the crowd could be heard by those waiting for the group, which began four minutes behind schedule.

The set was ambitious and busy, with the stage boasting two guitarists, one bassist, one keyboardist, two guitarists, one tambourine player, three background singers — all doing coordinated dance moves — and Farrell covering the lead vocals with his wife, Etty Lau Farrell.

While the musicians were talented and energetic, several would-be big moments fell flat. Farrell entered the audience runway several times throughout the performance, and what should have been a monumental moment felt like repeated attempts to amp up the crowd.

The crowd’s energy picked up, however, when the group performed staples by Jane’s Addiction like “Jane Says” and “Stop.”

While the performance wasn’t bad, the small audience and lack of enthusiasm by the crowd highlighted the domination that younger artists currently have over Lollapalooza.