I get it, Lollapalooza. There are only so many slots in a 12-hour day to cram in 100 bands. And I'm not hating on having to choose between Bang Camaro and K'naan, or splitting the difference on Uffie and Jamie Lidell, because, frankly, I couldn't care less about any of them. And I'm even willing to forgive having to choose between Gnarls Barkley and Girl Talk. And Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings or the Toadies is a slam dunk, no offense Toad-heads.
But come Saturday and Sunday night, you're seriously killing me. The daily schedules are finally here, and I get that all air traffic is being cleared to give Radiohead some radio silence for their headlining slot on Friday night. They've earned it — and frankly, who wants to go up against them anyway, right?
But Saturday night? I'm going to have to choose between watching Kanye West land his egogalactic mother ship in his hometown on the shores of Lake Michigan and walking a mile across Grant Park to see Nine Inch Nails unleash a toxic bile spill on the other main stage. That ain't right. Sure, I've seen NIN a few times and I haven't seen the Kanye show yet (the local date here got canceled due to, um, "production" issues), but both promise to be spectacles on a par with last year's totally bananas Daft Punk set.
And Sunday's not much better: The reunited Rage Against the Machine are up against one of my favorite bands (another Chicago-bred act), Wilco. Unless you're a music geek like me, that's not really a hard one, since the bands are different sides of the rock coin. But still, who doesn't want a bit of sweaty-torso bro-thrash mixed with a palate-cleansing bowl of spidery guitar noodle soup? It's just not fair.
Other than those colossal musical Sophie's Choices (oh, and putting the Black Lips on one of the main stages at noon on Friday — c'mon, that's just mean), I'm cool with the rest of the roster choices.
But I can't help wondering how Iron and Wine leader Sam Beam's pastoral acoustic reveries will go over on the Bud Light stage at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, just a few hours before the NIN crowd begins to descend on the area like a drunken black cloud of hormones and terrorist fist jabs. Considering this recent bottling of Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, I'd suggest you bring a helmet, Sam.
Are you feeling conflicted? Tearing your hair out choosing between Booka Shade and DeVotchKa? Tell us about it.