Following an unseasonably stormy March, the clouds miraculously parted for Lollapalooza 2024 in San Isidro Hippodrome. The ninth edition of the US festival attracted 330,000 people to watch a diverse lineup characterized by 1990s “gringo” rock and new-wave Latin urban.

The previous years have brought mainstream pop sensations including Lana del Rey, Miley Cyrus and Billie Eilish. This year, pop was virtually absent from the bill, with headliners Blink-182, Feid and SZA playing alongside Limp Bizkit, The Offspring, Sam Smith and Arcade Fire.

Friday kicked off with 18-year-old Chilean Jere Klein On the Perry’s Stage, spurts of flames rising from the stage to underscore his aggressive style of rap. Argentinian band Rare Fish fused synth rock and electronic beats to rev up the crowd with a commanding set. local hero YSY A‘s sunset slot was among the day’s highlights. Opening with a trap-tango segment, the porteño artist guided the crowd through a set list divided into genres: tango, trap, and electro, inviting Jere on stage for an explosive rendition of their streaming hit ’24/7 6.5′.

Old-school rock acts commanded the night from then on: the Offspring blasted through nostalgic hits from their seminal 1998 “Americana” album including “Original Prankster,” “I Want You Bad,” and, of course, “Pretty Fly For A White Guy.” These tracks are now 26 years old (!) but Dexter and Noodle sound as youthful as ever.

Meanwhile, arcade Fire frontman Win Butler is still weathering the aftermath of sexual abuse allegations that have seen the band’s popularity nosedive in the US and Europe. However, nothing seems to sway the Argentine crowd’s love of the band: they attract mass singalongs with anthemic tracks “Wake Up” and “No Cars Go.”

Headliner Blink-182 won most band shirts of the weekend. They were forced to cancel last year, making the already sky-high expectations stratospheric for their first-ever Argentina gig. Blink fans were euphoric with the generational hits that included “All The Small Things,” “What’s My Age Again,” “Feelin’ This!” and “Miss You,”; but Delonge and Hoppus’ voices sound stretched—thankfully masked under Barker’s booming drums.

Argentine band Miranda! Photo: DF Entertainment

On Saturday, Mexican electro brothers Latin Mafia warmed up the crowd on their early Flow stage slot before UK crowd-pleasers Jungle spread good vibes through their feelgood funk. Beloved Argentine band Miranda! played a triumphant set featuring hits from their 20-year career, with the crowd lapping up pop hits including “Traicion,” “Hola” and “Don,” ending with a fittingly sparkly confetti explosion.

French indie rockers phoenix remain as cool as ever, with an unflinchingly polished set opening with “Lisztomania” and “If I Ever Feel Better” and featuring a strange moment where frontman Thomas Mars kneels to a woman wearing a bird mask and a cape.

The day belonged to Sam Smith, who had the entire crowd crying with the first note of their opening song “I’m Not The Only One”. Smith is smiling, comfortable and commanding, their absolute delight standing in front of the gushing crowd evident from the sheer emotion on their faces. Their most recent hits, “UNHOLY” and “Not Here To Make Friends,” mark an important moment in Smith’s music — queer, loud and free — and proved to translate majestically onstage alongside his older, softer songs.

Poetic lyrics

SZA stole the show, with mesmerizing ocean backgrounds hypnotically entwined with her poetic lyrics and stunning voice. With trap mixed with R’n’B, SZA is a somewhat more downbeat headliner than this year’s rock peers, yet the beauty of her show made it all the more captivating. Performing tracks from last year’s phenomenal S.O.S. record including “Kill Bill” and “Shirt,” she also added a fun salsa rendition of Doja Cat featuring hit “Kiss Me More.” At a Lollapalooza filled with throwback acts, it’s rewarding to see one of the most important artists in the game right now.

Sunday began with a dour-faced Akrilla bringing ground-shaking trap beats to the Perry stage. “Sorry if I look grumpy, it’s all part of the character,” the young Chilean rapper told the crowd. Puerto Rican GALE brought her pop-punk tracks to the Flow Stage, inviting a fan onstage for the fun-feminist track “D-Pic.” It’s hard to fill such a big stage at an early slot, but the fans who were there brought everything. Mexican The Tsar‘s sunny, laid-back indie hits were the perfect vibe to sway under the afternoon sun.

A standout set from the weekend was Jessie Reyez. She’s a masterful performer, quipping with the crowd, joking, crying, and even pretending she can’t speak Spanish (she’s Colombian-Canadian and fully bilingual). She even brings her parents on stage to dance cumbia. Reyez’s music is direct from the heart, navigating toxic relations and industry abusers: she takes time ahead of every song to introduce them properly and make sure the crowd can connect. “Who here has ever been toxic? Who here has been the toxic one?” she asks before tracks like “COFFIN” and “MUTUAL FRIEND.”

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Limp Bizkit perform at Lollapalooza Argentina 2024. Photo: DF Entertainment

Love them or hate them, the energy of Limp Bizkit‘s set was unparalleled. With Fred Durst’s corny but memorable rhymes paired with an explosive chorus, the set got the largest mosh pit of the weekend. “Break Stuff,” “My Way” and “Rollin’” were all part of the frenzied high-energy fun, including a cover of Rage Against The Machine’s anthem “Killing in the Name.” A cathartic, sweat-inducing gig that stands out as a memorable festival moment.

Feid may not attract the same type of fans as Fred, but the energy was matched. With slick reggaeton paired with his characteristic green projections, Feid pulled out all the stops for his festival headliners, including a drone projection of Argentina’s flag, sparking an impromptu rendition of the national anthem. His hit “Luna” was paired with a massive revolving drone-moon. It was n’t all slick production — Feid is an energetic and bombastic performer with an army of young fans singing along to his every word.

Lollapalooza Argentina 2024 had something for everyone — except maybe, fans of pop divas. But at the end of the day, it didn’t seem to matter.

Cover photo: DF Entertainment