Some may call it the big box retailer of music fests, but there’s no denying that Lollapalooza makes it easy to catch a mix of indie darlings, has-been rockers and live rarities in a well-orchestrated string of outdoor shows. The word “easy” is key. With a baby at home, those 11 p.m. shows at the Double Door just aren’t an option anymore.
While tens of thousands of people will pile into Grant Park to watch headliners like Lady Gaga and Green Day, the fests earlier shows can provide some of its finest moments. There are four months left until Lolla returns to Chicago, so now is the time to fire up iTunes and check out some of the lesser known acts on the bill. You just may discover your next favorite band one hot afternoon in Grant Park this August.
Here are a handful of acts (in no particular order) to consider for your Lollapalooza line up:
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – This crunchy, collective band will breathe a cool hippie vibe into Lolla with lead singer Alex Ebert heading this 10-piece group in grand fashion. You’re likely to get swept up by the act and find yourself singing popular track “Home” all the way, well home.
Yeasayer – A dash of world music, a pinch of folk and a helping of atmospheric pop make Yeasayer difficult to peg, and that is what makes them so enjoyable. After seeing them in a small Chicago club, I’m looking forward to experiencing the band’s most recent album “Odd Blood” outdoors.
Cut Copy: Chicago Sun-Times critic and “Sound Opinions” voice Jim DeRogatis has high hopes for this synth-pop band and its vintage, electronic stylings. You should too. Bonus, you may catch them doing a DJ set at the outdoor dance club that is Perry’s Stage.
The xx – The young Brits who make up The xx created a debut album that sounds well beyond their years with neat, captivating tracks. The indie pop band has been a critical darling and is worth a listen to see if “x” marks the spot on all the hype.
Temper Trap – With all of the 80s influence floating around the indie rock scene, Temper Trap seems to deliver some of the moody romance that made the decade’s movies so memorable. You heard them in quirky rom-com “(500) Days of Summer” for that reason. The layered vocals and nostalgic sound could sweep Lolla listeners off their feet.
Metric – Metric’s Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw have been playing together for more than a decade but the band’s mix-up pop sound picked up steam with its 2009 album “Fantasies”. I know I’m curious to see how Emily’s mysteriously sweet vocals will carry along the lakefront.
Didi Gutman of Brazilian Girls – Didi is the keyboardist for the sexy band Brazilian Girls that played a hot set at Lolla in 2008. Check out the band’s self-title album or “Talk to the Bomb” then find out what the seduction is all about during a DJ set at Perry’s Stage.
These are the acts that popped out to me at first glance. Like you, I’m going to spend the next several months digging around the Lolla line up to check out the unfamiliar names on the list. It’s the best way to get your money’s worth. Happy hunting!
Lollapalooza 2010 is billed Aug. 6 – 8 at Grant Park. For tickets and information visit www.lollapalooza.com
Photo Credit: Flickr by Nine Inch Nail Official