For the tens of thousands of people who bought 3-day passes to Lollapalooza yesterday without knowing any details about who might be playing, this morning was either a great relief or they felt like Charlie Brown when Sally pulls the football away. Trading on the name alone, Lolla was able to sell out faster than ever this year, AND keep the lid tight on the headliners. Now the cat’s out of the bag and I, personally, am not impressed in the slightest. Not buying tickets blind is the best decision I’ve made all year.
That isn’t to say there’s NO ONE in the lineup I’d pay to see. I counted 12 acts for whom I would gladly plunk down some cash. Not $300, but more than $10. Paul McCartney seems to be where most of the budget went this year. He’s amazing, will put on a great show, and deserves every penny. However, most Lolla-goers probably know him as that guy who features on the new Kanye. Metallica is second. Let me repeat that. It’s 2015 and Metallica is second. They’re also releasing their first record on cassette tape for Record Store Day, so I guess bring that along to Lolla with you and the rest of your posse can hang and slam some Miller Lite whilst reminiscing about the good old days when metal was metal.
After that it’s all kind of a blur. Florence + The Machine? Ok. I guess they have a new album out. Sam Smith? I guess they couldn’t get Tom Petty again. Bassnectar? Filling in that mandatory EDM headlining slot that’s become a tradition the past few years. The Weeknd? I understand he’s popular with the R&B crowd, but on a venn diagram the Lolla circle and the R&B circle barely touch. That kinda just tells me D’Angelo wasn’t available.
The top line of the undercard gets slightly better, with alt-J, Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark, jr. and Flying Lotus. The rest is a hodgepodge of buzz names like FKA Twigs, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Banks, Sylvan Esso, and George Ezra (Can’t book Sam Smith without his bud). It’s a pretty sad showing for hip-hop, with A$AP Rocky and Kid Cudi the highest-billed rappers. No Kanye, Drake, Jay-Z, or Kendrick Lamar this year.
I’m sure everyone will still have a great time getting drunk and bro-ing out with their bros and lady bros just like every other year. I just have a hard time reconciling the hefty price tag with such a lackluster lineup. I paid $100 less for Pitchfork tickets, and that lineup is really good.
Anyway, here are the 12 bands that I would actually pay to see that are playing the fest: Paul McCartney, Flying Lotus, Gary Clark jr, The Tallest Man On Earth, Shakey Graves, Strand Of Oaks, Sturgill Simpson, Night Terrors Of 1927, First Aid Kit, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, and Gogol Bordello.
Find the lineup here if you haven’t already. Single-day passes are on sale today.