The line-up for this year's Lollapalooza (August 3-5, Grant Park, Chicago) was announced last Wednesday, and it is pretty solid. They have also announced who is playing each day, although the schedule hasn't been released.
Three-day passes are already sold out, so only individual day passes remain for $95 a day. I was one of the lucky bastards to get the $75 souvenir three-day passes, but I would have happily paid full price to see this line-up. It's a nice mix of new and old, and a pretty good mix of genres, from the expected "alternative" and indie rock to soul to garage rock to funk to punk to metal to blues, and just about everything else. The only knock on the lineup this year is that rap and hip hop aren't as well represented as in years past. I would have like to have seen Tupac, now that he can apparently perform again. Also, there are even more electronic, DJ, and dance acts than last year, which is apparently what the kids like. Thankfully, those have their own separate stages, since that doesn't really interest me.
My only real issue is that I want to see all four headliners -- Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Keys, Black Sabbath, and Jack White –- but obviously that will be impossible, since it looks like Black Sabbath and The Black Keys will be playing at the same time Friday night. That means that The Black Keys will be cut, since I've seen them many times, but such is life. Sabbath! Other than the headliners, there a bunch of other bands I want to see. And of course, one of the best things about Lolla is discovering new bands. The Lolla website has streaming songs for every artist, so you can figure out which bands that you've never heard of that may become your next favorites.
Here are the ten bands and artists I'm most excited to see (with the links to their artist page on the Lolla website so you can check out their songs):
I saw these guys at Schuba's late last year, and they put on a great show. They are a soul and R&B band, in the Stax and James Brown vain. It will be cool to see them in a venue bigger than Schuba's.
These guys won the Rolling Stone "Choose the Cover" contest last year, so they were on "the cover of Rolling Stone fucking magazine," to quote Jeff Beebe. They play '70s-inspired rock. That generally goes over well with me. Plus they're from Saskatoon, so that's more interesting than, say, Regina.
I don't have any of their music, but I hope to one day own some. They kind of sound like the Detroit Cobras –- a garage rock version of a '60s girl group. I dig that.
This is another neoclassical soul band, and I only recently found out about them. I don't have any of their music, but I've heard some clips, and they sound pretty good.
I discovered Gary Clark, Jr. last year, and he is a solid blues guitarist. Of course, the night I discovered him and was listening to some clips from his EP, I checked his website and he was playing in Evanston that night, so I didn't get to see him.
These guys were born out of the ashes of a band I liked called Be Your Own Pet (who I saw at Lolla in 2006), and I know they played in Chicago recently supporting the Dead Weather, but I missed that show. They get a lot of noise out of two people, so I'm interested to see them live.
I missed them when they headlined in 2006 because I was attending my first Second City comedy writing class. Thus, the last time I saw them was the Little 500 concert at Assembly Hall in 2000, which was awesome. I know they'll bring some energy.
3. Jack White
I'm excited about Jack White's new album, due out next week. The White Stripes were my favorite band from last decade, and White's side projects have always been good too. It will be interesting to see what his solo stuff sounds like. I'm expecting stripped down blues, and I'm expecting it to be awesome. Anyway, I'd probably have him at #2 if he was joined by his ex-wife on stage (Meg, not Karen).
The Gaslight Anthem is one of my favorite bands from the last few years. I saw them a couple year ago at House of Blues, and as far as I know, they haven't played in Chicago since then, so I'm in need of a fix. They're going to be putting out a new album at some point this year, so that's cool too.
This is supposed to be the original line-up, which should be phenomenal. I know that guitarist Tony Iommi has been going through chemo to battle lymphoma, so hopefully the fact that the band agreed to do Lolla is a sign that his recovery is going well. Also, according to a recent episode of That Metal Show, drummer Bill Ward may not participate because of some impasses in contract negotiations. Hopefully that all gets resolved because I would love to see all four original members on stage while it's still possible.