It's been a tumultuous few months for Frank Ocean. The R&B-alternative singer-songwriter has risen on a wave of fame that's been both beneficial and unkind. After announcing his bisexuality online on July 4, Ocean's received overwhelming support as well as hateful homophobic tweets. The polarized reactions to his lifestyle have created a buzz around his debut album, Channel Orange, released last month, and his performance in this weekend's Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. Known for emotional lyrics, Ocean managed to turn the sweaty, muddy outdoor show, into an intimate gathering for music lovers, reports MTV News.
Part of that was due to the (relatively) small stage he performed on, but give credit where credit is due, Ocean knows how to play to his strengths: namely, his cracking live band and the fact that he can sing the bejeezus out of anything. He flexed his lithe falsetto on "Thinking About You" and nailed the chorus on a swooning, shattering version of "Bad Religion," and his band added muscle to songs like "Summer Remains" and a head-bobbing "Swim Good."
And when both sides came together, look out. "Novacane" rushed and crashed, with Ocean's voice providing the depth, "American Wedding" was a dramatic multi-part affair that culminated in a thunderous guitar solo, and "Crack Rock" saw Ocean delivering lines while crouched at the lip of the stage, as hands clapped and drums snapped.
And though he was jovial throughout, Ocean wasn't afraid to get emotional, either. He introduced "Bad Religion" by telling the audience that the song was "important … for all the things I've said in the past month," and added "I'm just taking some freedom for myself," before singing the song with his eyes shut tight.
Read more at MTV News.