Festival Preview: Lollapalooza

(or this could also be affectionately called I should have got my arse in gear and got tickets).

For the 20th anniversary of this legendary Chicago festival, all the stops have been pulled to get a bloody brilliant line up that manages to include something for everyone. And with that I seriously do mean everyone with an especially fantastic Kidapalooza stage, Lollapalooza 2011 has it all.

Taking it from Friday Aug 5th,we have a morbidly depressingly generic headliners Muse and Coldplay, but dig a bit further and there’s an incredible mix of new acts and festival heroes alike. Personal favourites (and local boys) Smith Westerns and The Kills show up (I’m still angry at myself for not having seen them since 2004), and The Vaccines herald a great deal of Brit artists on the roster. These also include Two Door Cinema Club, Tinie Tempah and sadly the ever-so generic doom pop of White Lies. Buzz bands also roam free on the bill, with Foster The People, Tennis and Cults, not forgetting festival veterans either, with Bright Eyes and Crystal Castles both taking prime spots. And all this is just one day, and I’ve not nearly mentioned everything.

Saturday sees the fantastic Grouplove taking to the stage, along with summer soundtracking favourites The Drums and Friendly Fires. We also see the return of Death From Above 1979 after storming this summer’s festivals, and incredibly we’re treated to a headline set from Eminem (hmmmm, I would give that one a miss).  Not forgetting that Cee Lo Green is bringing his fantastic album The Lady Killer to the stage, we also have an onslaught of women completing the line up, including a relatively substandard Ellie Goulding, the abysmal drivel of Taylor Momsen and The Pretty Reckless and and the fantastic Lykke Li.

Sunday sees a step to a more traditional festival line up, with sets from The Joy Formidable and Titus Andronicus early in the day. There’s some early afternoon twee delights in the form of Noah And The Whale and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, swiftly beefing up with Best Coast and Cage The Elephant, whose recent album sits very high on my list of releases this year. Not forgetting sets from Manchester Orchestra, DeadMau5, Cold War Kids and Kid Cudi, the night however belongs to a certain bunch of cold primates and the ‘Nicest Man In Rock’. Arctic Monkeys are here promoting the release of fantastic fourth album Suck It And See (if you see me around the general Chicago area this weekend I swear I’m not stalking Alex Turner) and you can’t have a good festival without Foo Fighters.

Even if you didn’t manage to get tickets, you won’t miss out. Unlike British festival where you’re stuck in a field for 3 or 4 days, over here in  America, it’s another story. City festivals allow the concept of after parties allow anyone to pop along and see their favourite band without having to drop their entire paycheck to see absolutely everyone on the bill. Highlights have to be the pre-Lolla (and sadly sold out) Smith Westerns show at Schubas, followed a day later by yet another sold out show at the same venue by The Vaccines, and on the 5th a headline set from the Arctic Monkeys at The House Of Blues (if anyone wants to send me to any of these drop me a line, she begs furiously!)


I’m gonna throw in a quick edit here (I wrote this 2 days ago) but if you head over to Lollapalooza’s YouTube channel, they’ll be live streaming certain sets. The schedule’s up there, and you can can join me in the closest I’m going to get to a festival this summer!


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