I won’t be attending Lollapalooza this year. No one on the bill jumped out at me as being worth buying a three-day pass, and the one-day pass system is just silly to me. Why would I pay $90 to see three or four bands I could see for $8-10 each in an air conditioned club? However, a hundred thousand or so of you WILL be attending, so this list is for you. This list will also take place of my normal Friday list, as I have something better to write about this week.
I’m trying not to put anything obvious in here. No headliners because you’ve already made up your mind on those. Maybe you haven’t even heard of these bands, but trust me, they’re good. I’ll throw in the day and showtime for you, so they’re easy to add to your custom schedule. Here are a couple obvious ones just so I don’t feel like you’re going to skip them because I didn’t say anything: Mountain Goats at 5:30 on Friday playing the PlayStation Stage and Bright Eyes at 6:30 Friday on the Bud Light Stage, Atmosphere on Saturday at 7:30 on the Sony stage, and Cage The Elephant at 5:15 on the PlayStation stage Sunday. Now let’s get on with it (and I’ll put these in order of necessity):
Titus Andronicus at 12:45 Sunday on the Music Unlimited stage-How they end up playing so early every time is a mystery to me, but you probably won’t see a better performance all day (hell, maybe not the whole weekend).
The Vaccines at 1 Friday on the Music Unlimited stage-I guess make sure you get to the park early every day. Some of the best shows happen right at the start to set the mood for the day. I’ll be seeing these guys at Schubas Friday night, so I hope they don’t kill themselves putting on a spectacular performance.
Beirut at 8:45 on the Google+ stage Saturday-Technically they are headlining this stage on Saturday, but they aren’t My Morning Jacket or Eminem (they’re better).
Grouplove at noon Saturday on the Sony stage-Should be fun, and you’ll be able to enjoy it even if you’re a little hungover from the night before.
Reptar at 2:15 Friday on the Google+ stage-After you finish being inoculated by The Vaccines, run over to this stage and check out indie darlings Reptar. Many say Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr is the show that can’t be missed, but I’m putting my money on these guys.
While we’re talking about Friday, why not jump over to the PlayStation stage right after Reptar and check out Chicago’s own Smith Westerns! After Lolla I guess they’re heading out to tour the world with Arctic Monkeys, so this is your last chance to see them around for a while.
If you don’t care for Ween, and have had it up to here with Local Natives, a nice alternative would be Ellie Goulding at 6 Saturday on the Google+ stage. She’s huge in the UK, and starting to make her way in the US…get in now before your friends all say, “Oh whatever. She was cool like four days ago.”
To get you in the mood for your final show of the weekend (which will be Foo Fighters), check out Manchester Orchestra on the Google+ stage at 7 on Sunday. They should be just the right amount of rock to get you in the mood for “Monkeywrench.”
If you’re looking to cool yourself down after that amazing Titus set, check out Imelda May at 1:30 Sunday on the Sony stage. Her last release, Mayhem, came out last year. It’s a nice mix of country/60’s pop/rockabilly/jazz. For some reason it reminds me of Jet, but with a lady singer and way cooler.
Friendly Fires are playing Saturday afternoon at 2:15 on the Bud Light stage. Hardly a new act, they’ve somehow flown under the radar of a lot of folks. If you dig UK dance-rock, you’ll love these cats.
So that’s 10 to see. Now, who should you avoid (and these I’ll just do by day):
Friday-The Kills, Tinie Tempah, Cults, and Christina Perri (because she’s able to sing the line “You’re gonna catch a cold/from the ice inside your soul” with a straight face)
Saturday-Typhoon (a thousand times, Typhoon), Fitz & The Tantrums (and any other band that has a song in an iPod commercial), Deftones (because it’s not Lollapalooza 1998).
Sunday-Best Coast (I’m sorry if you’re a fan, but I find Beth Cosentino to be the most annoying person on Earth), Explosions In The Sky (because by Sunday night you’re already exhausted. You don’t need to be lulled to sleep by boring instrumentals that never end), The Cars (if you didn’t see them in the 80’s why would you ever want to see them now?).