The weather is starting to warm up and the days are getting longer, which means we are inching that much closer to the summer festival season. Coachella and Bonnaroo have been booked for months, and now the final member of the three biggest summer fests has finally announced its lineup. They certainly saved the best for last, as Lollapalooza 2010 has an incredible lineup. The festival, which will take place in Chicago’s Grant Park on August 6-8, features the likes of Lady Gaga, Soundgarden, Green Day and the newly-reunited Strokes.
Of all the summer festivals, Lollapalooza tends to be the best. It’s incredibly well-run, the lineup is always incredibly varied, the venue is large enough to feel remote but still, of course, in downtown Chicago. It’s a little cost-prohibitive (there’s no camping, which forces everybody into hotels) and always unbearably hot, but it often ends up being the finest three days of music all year. How does this year’s collection of acts stack up? Here are the artists we’re most excited about.
Festivals don’t always lend themselves to theatricality, but Lollapalooza has been open to larger-scale productions (both Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails brought their full-scale visual spectacles to their sets in 2008). That could mean that Gaga can bring the whole Monster Ball to Grant Park (and even if she doesn’t, it’ll be total lunacy during her set anyway).
Heavy music rarely works at outdoor shows (and especially at festivals like Lollapalooza), but the recently-reunited Seattle legends always managed to deliver in the open air. It seems like any time a band who was on the old Lollapalooza tours in the ’90s comes back for a big set (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine and the like), it’s always a big deal.
The band hasn’t been on stage together in four years, so this will be a good test to see if they still have the magic. Considering how much re-assessment their albums have gotten since their hiatus began (especially their debut Is This It, which ended up near the top of a lot of best-of-the-decade lists), the crowd will probably be extremely rabid for this set. With a good set, the New Yorkers can consider this a coronation.
Another group that has been gone for a minute, the Arcade Fire will have new epics to roll out in Grant Park. You wouldn’t think that their brand of ethereal pop would make sense at a festival, but once the sun sets, their haunting hymns will provide a cathartic comedown after hours of sweating and swaying.
The Chicago Tent
Lollapalooza has done a lot to embrace the city that hosts it, which is why they are setting aside some space specifically for Chicago acts. It should be a great cross-section of the city’s musical personality, and at the very least, you’ll get to hear Mavis Staples.
The Black Keys
They’re only two guys, but they are surprisingly savage, especially in a wide open space. When they last played the festival in 2008, they got a mostly-seated crowd on their feet in the middle of a sweltering afternoon. That’s how good these guys are.
In a nod to old-school Lollapalooza lineups (where hip-hop used to be a staple), one of the defining hip-hop groups of the ’90s should provide some fantastic vibes surrounding both classics and great cuts from their awesome new album Rise Up.
He seems to only exist at festivals as the guy you just can’t walk past while he’s on stage. If there is an award for walk-up crowds in the middle of a park, Saadiq would be in the hall of fame.
They’re responsible for the theme song for “WWE NXT,” so what’s not to love?
Who are you most looking forward to seeing at Lollapalooza? Let us know in the comments!