Lollapalooza Has Something For Everyone
Let's Be Smart About This The schedule for Lollapalooza was released a few weeks ago, and I join my peers in frustration as we try to plan out our ideal routes to see all the bands that we want to see. For the last few years I have heard the opinions and criticisms of many fans that want to go to Lollapalooza and see all their favorite musicians. I have heard the cries of those who realize that two bands they want to see are overlapping. I have experienced the agony of having to run across Grant Park in its entirety to catch a band who is starting 5 minutes after the band I am currently watching. But I am here to tell you that there is hope people! There are ways to get the most out of this musical week. Yes it sucks we can't catch everyone, but let's be smart about this shall we? With so many aftershows (starting with Cold War Kids at The Metro on Wednesday August 3rd), why not just throw caution to the wind and feed your mind the biggest onslaught of music it will experience all summer. You'll be better off for it later. The list of aftershows is vast, but using them to your advantage is the key to being able to extend your music experience to its limits. You can see everyone you want to see, but it is going to take planning, concentration, some decent running shoes, and a lot of water. Check out the pre-lolla shows and post-lolla shows here. Yes that is a TON of music to take in, and you can only choose 1 per night, but these shows make your schedule more flexible. Besides, indoor venues make the experience way more intimate and personal, especially when the choice is seeing an artist in Grant Park or seeing them indoors. The crowd will also consist of more diehard fans as they are paying extra to see the performer in a smaller, more private display. If you are a Lolla vet I am sure you have been scribbling away and planning your route for the upcoming weekend. You know who you want to see and when you want to see them, but I have also put together a compilation of artists that I think you should check out when you are at Grant Park (or at a pre/post party). If Hip Hop Is The Love Of Your Life... It is a given that you won't miss Eminem, he's been on the scene for almost 20 years and completely changed the rap game with his provoking lyrics and anger-induced rhymes. Sure he has toned it down over the last couple years, but this will be one of the biggest stages he has been on this summer, and in front of Chicago no less. The energy is going to be high. Another extremely talented group in the hip hop game is Atmosphere. I've had the pleasure of seeing our guys from Minnesota a couple of times and they bring it hard. Long time indie emcee Slug fronts this collective, and his lyrics preach urban love and paint pictures of city life in your head - I wouldn't miss them. Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley and Nas are a powerful collaboration that will surely fuel a high energy show. Both artists bring light to problems plaguing their countries and effectively send messages through their lyrics. Last, but certainly not least, Kid Cudi will be performing at Perry's Stage at some point, presumably with some guest MC's by his side. That is bound to be an entertaining display of light and sound. Are You An Indie/Alternative Rock Enthusiast? If you answered yes to the above, good luck catching all the bands you want to see. It's going to take some strategy and planning with which only expert Risk players are blessed (Risk is awesome by the way). If you answered no but would like some recommendations I have a few. New Zealand product The Naked and The Famous is high on my list of bands to see. They have taken New Zealand by storm and hit the world stage with their release of "Young Blood" in 2008. Cleveland's Foster The People is the most exciting thing to come out of that city since LeBron, and their big hit "Pumped Up Kicks" went viral shortly after its release in 2010. They are fairly new to the scene, but they are already selling out venues everywhere they go. Two products from across the pond that I'm really excited about seeing for the first time are Two Door Cinema Club and Friendly Fires. Both bands have unique electro-pop sounds that will have the indie rockers and clubbers of Grant Park dancing in harmony. Also try to see Best Coast, Cold War Kids, Sleigh Bells, Lykke Li, Local Natives and Cage The Elephant... I can list for hours people, my head is spinning. Does Electronica And Bass Do It For You? Although I am a very big fan of electronic and house, I'm not quite sold on dubstep, though I like it in the right atmosphere. How one listen to it recreationally I just don't understand. That is only my opinion!!! You bass heads keep it going, I'm not hating. There is no shortage of performers in this regard at Lollapalooza this year. Not only are they on Perry's Stage, but they have moved onto the bigger stages as well. For those of you who are newer to this scene or intrigued by it, I'll tell you who to check out. First and foremost, you simply must start with Deadmau5. Canadian producer Joel Zimmerman has pretty much dominated the scene for the last 3 years and recently released a new album with some dubstep infusion, something that is new for him. His perfomances are nothing short of jaw-dropping with incredible visuals and sounds that will make your ears smile (make sure you bring some glow sticks). Skrillex is another name you shouldn't miss. In case you're confused as to what dubstep actually is, he'll give you a nice lesson. Pretty Lights and Girl Talk are a couple of other obvious names from this genre to check out. If you haven't seen them, they both offer unique experiences in their own rights and bring a high intensity dance party. For you electro heads that have already caught the visits from the above artists in Chicago in the last year or two, here is who I am very excited to see for the first time. Beats Antique, Ratatat, Bloody Beatroots, Afrojack and Savoy. Afrojack has come to Chicago countless times in the last few years, but I've missed him every time. Glitch Mob is also frequently in Chicago and I've seen them a couple times, but it is always different and therefore a must see. They also recently dropped a new album so it is going to be a lot of fun seeing them. Have fun out there with the sweaty dance mob my friends, and stay hydrated!!! Be Safe And Take Care Of Each Other So as I said, whatever happens to be your cup of tea you'll find it this year at the 20th anniversary of the festival. In addition to several other cups of tea you may want to try. There is something for everyone and there is nothing quite like catching some great music with your fellow fans under the great skyline of Chicago. Before I sign off I just want to say that Lollapalooza is a wonderful gathering of music lovers and we should try to take responsibility for our fellow fans. It gets real hot out there so drink plenty of water and help others who may not have prepared as well as you. This will surely be a weekend that won't be forgotten for some time!