While capacity crowds flocked to Lollapalooza last weekend, some 400 lucky music fans enjoyed a more intimate experience—no sunscreen required—two miles away in Chicago’s West Loop.
On Saturday, July 30, House of Vans hosted Rolling Stone Live: Chicago. Now in its 10th year, the showcase by the 23-year-old pop rocker (and most recently.) was titled Rolling stone digital cover star) King Princess, aka Mikaela Strauss, with additional support by German songwriter Zoe Weiss and DJ Coco & Breezy. Attendees flocked to the massive indoor skate park, collecting House of Vans and Rolling Stone branded tote bags along the way. Once inside, guests can customize their tote (or whatever else they have handy) at the embroidery station, taking in neon-hued fanny packs from sponsor mates, Ticket Bazaar Vivid SeatsNosh on empanadas and tacos from local favorite Café Tola, and drink at the skateboard-studded bar, where Goose Island beer was sipped on tap.
Like Strauss, Wes is a fast-rising pop wonderkind—she turned 20 earlier this year, not like you’d guess from her performance. He captivated the House of Vans crowd with a soulful, ballad-forward set and world-weary vocals from a much older cast. The crowd especially went to the chorus of “Hold Me Like You Used To”, and Weiss closed with her breakout 2020 single “Control”, inspired by her experience growing up with benign Rolandic epilepsy (BRE). was. Between them, Weiss’s heartbreak transformed into rocket fuel for the biggest headbangers of her set: the thunderous “That’s How It Goes” and the up-tempo, supremely danceable “Third Wheel.”
The King Princess took the stage about half an hour later, wearing a gray halter top, pleated plaid skirt and Doc Martens. As she later told the crowd, Strauss was still on cloud nine from a Lola afterparty concert at the House of Blues the previous night, just in time for the release of her sophomore full-length LP, hold on baby (Zelig/Colombia). Many fans of that show also thronged the front row of its Rolling Stone Live set.
“I love seeing you guys,” Strauss said. “You know, it’s been a while [since I was touring and performing], I was like, ‘Oh, s-t, can I still do this?'”
Her set answered that question with a resounding, guitar-streaked yes. Strauss led with a high-octane version of “Little Bother” that immediately sent the crowd leaping onto the stage. And, as always, Strauss skillfully played to his most ardent audience. He scanned the crowd just before “Change the Locks” and flashed a mischievous smile.
“Can we have a little gay moment?” He was greeted with a shout. “Okay. Take out your Diva Cup.” From there, Strauss guided the crowd in a call-and-response to “The Cat Is God”, sawing its falsetto lines down to a sultry contralto, and into “Talia” for “Wake Up Next”. Wake up next you”. To the pussy.”
Just before “1950”, the song that propelled the King Princess to international stardom, a member of the crowd threw on a powder-pink trucker hat with “I”. [HEART] MILFS” is embossed on the front. Strauss gleefully closed the rest of the song and its final song, “Let Us Die,” as his own all-time favorite. hold on baby,
Before, after, and between acts, Coco & Breezy lead attendees with high-energy DJ sets. sporting their signature shadesThe Twin Sisters stripped down disco, Latin beats, and house tracks to snatches of contemporary and classic—including a take on “Get Down Down,” which doubled as a tribute to the late Paul Johnson, a hometown hero. .
Until Rolling Stone Live wraps up at 5 p.m., guests won’t be to blame for putting on their dancing shoes. Luckily, all the attendees went home with the new couple, choosing one of nearly a dozen different styles of vans to take home—or slip before another night of moshing on the festival grounds.