the money game

What Do Metallica, Doja Cat, and the CEO of Goldman Sachs All Have in Common?

Banker and DJ David Solomon playing in L.A. last month. Photo: Jonathan Liebson/Polk Imaging/Shutterstock

This coming July, the artist formerly known as DJ D-Sol (or as you may know him, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon) will head to Chicago in order to drop house tracks for a tent full of sweaty, half-naked youths bumping together beneath the lasers to the deafening sound of digital bass, perhaps throwing up their arms along with each swelling crescendo hoping that the molly kicks in at the moment the beat drops so they can feel the transcendence when mind, body, and capital gains become one with the music. This is all to say that Solomon — again, one of the most powerful bankers in the world — is going to play Lollapalooza, the Gen-Xer festival founded by Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell. There Solomon is on the flyer, fourth line from the bottom, in between DJ Com3t (“I’m from outer space”) and industrial singer Lucille Croft (“was once human, like you.”) and wa-a-a-a-y below the headliners, Metallica, Dua Lipa, and Green Day:

We’ve helpfully circled Solomon’s name. Illustration: Intelligencer/Lollapalooza

What to make of this? Solomon has been pretty open about his night job — he’s called it a hobby — of spinning club music. Here he is playing to a crowd in the Bahamas, before he even got the job. During the pandemic, he opened for the Chainsmokers at a Hamptons event made famous by its violation of COVID protocols. He even co-founded a record label that donates the proceeds of his music to charities helping people with addiction issues. Good for him. But what’s so strikingly weird about this whole thing isn’t that a 60-year-old banker is into playing club music. It’s that he’s very visibly making it in the scene. (In case you are wondering if Solomon is the first investment-bank CEO to ever land a gig at Lollapalooza, Vulture has confirmed that he is.)

This is, at the very least, a natural way to distract from recent, less pleasant conversations that Solomon has been involved in. There’s his bank’s long and complicated history of involvement with Russia, where Solomon is pulling up the company’s stakes. Then the Goldman CEO said that it wasn’t the finance industry’s job to “ostracize Russia.” And this wasn’t some gaffe or hot-mic situation — it was in an interview he gave of his own volition. (He kind of walked it back later). Getting people to talk about your bootleg Fleetwood Mac remix is probably more pleasant.

I have to admit that I don’t follow Solomon’s tour schedule very closely, but I’m pretty sure this is the biggest stage he’s ever hit the decks on. (He also seems to have recently dropped his old nom d’artiste, DJ D-Sol.) Either way, a bank spokesman declined to comment about the gig.

Goldman Sachs’ CEO Is Going to Hit the Decks at Lollapalooza