The Schedule for the 20-year Anniversary of Lollapalooza (June 5-7) is out. Based upon what I heard the day that the initial lineup was release, reactions today will be undoubtedly mixed. On one hand, there are some real titans amongst the headliners (Eminem, My Morning Jacket, Coldplay, Muse, and Foo Fighters). On the other hand, the bands that fall just below headliner status mostly lack the sort of buzz we’ve seen in years past. Nevertheless, here are my thoughts on some of the bands to check out.
Friday shapes up good but not great. Here’s Friday’s highlights:
2:15 – 3:00- Delta Spirit. Roots-based Americana rock. Think Wilco with a touch more blues.
3:00 – 4:00- Foster the People. Fun, electro-pop. Think MGMT, without any ambition or pretense.
6:00 – 6:45- Sleigh Bells. Loud, head-banging techno-pop. These folks bring it. Really. I might even call it a crime that they’re only playing for 45 minutes; definitely a must-watch.
8:00 – 10:00- Coldplay/Muse/Girl Talk. Here’s where it gets tricky. Coldplay & Muse are self-explanatory, so choosing between these two is simply a matter of taste. I’ve never seen either, but I’m a bigger Coldplay fan so I would opt in that direction. However, Girl Talk, playing in Perry’s tent might be the call if you’re unimpressed with either. He’s a DJ that’s become famous for his Rock/Pop/Rap music mashups. The music’s a lot of fun, and I would imagine the scene in there will be pretty wild.
If you were contemplating skipping any of the days, Saturday would be the day to do it. Unless you’re a big Eminem or My Morning Jacket fan(of which I am), pickings are a bit slim.
3:30 – 4:30- Mayer Hawthorne & the County. A sentimental favorite of mine. Lead singer Andrew Mayer Cohen (along with most of his band) hails from my hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan. And I know bass player Joe Abrams and drummer Quintin Joseph personally, so I’ll definitely check these guys out. Oh and they’re pretty damn good. Old school soul in the tradition of Curtis Mayfield.
6:00 – 7:00- Ween. I’m not a big fan, but I know many folks that swear by them.
6:30 – 7:30- Cee Lo. If his duet with Gwyneth Paltrow at the Grammy’s was any indication, this show might be a lot of fun.
8:00 – 10:00- My Morning Jacket. Quasi-jam band/alt rock giants put on one of the best live shows around.
8:30 – 10:00- Eminem. Detroit’s very own Marshall Mathers, in the flesh. Any chance there’s a Dr. Dre cameo?
I think Sunday probably gives the best bang for your buck. Aside from those listed below, The Cars, and Damian Marley & Nas, might be worth a look.
1:00 – 1:45- The Joy Formidable. Noise/shoegazy rock. They are a power trio in every sense of the word.
1:45 – 2:30- Rival Schools. 90’s influenced post-grunge.
3:00 – 4:00- The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. 80’s inspired pop. It’s a bit derivative but very good; especially live.
4:45 – 5:30- Best Coast. Surf influenced, west coast rock.
6:00 – 7: 00- Manchester Orchestra. Prog-Rock with hooks.
8:00 – 10:00- Foo Fighters. Grunge behemoths; nuff said.