It's the best and worst moment of every U.S. festivalgoer's life: schedule day. On the one hand, you can't wait to see when your favorite bands are playing and then start planning your long weekend. On the other, you dread the sight of two of your absolute faves playing on opposite sides of the mile-long field at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME!
In which case Tuesday (June 7) morning was either a huge relief or a major bummer if you're planning on trekking to Chicago on August 5 for Lollapalooza. First, the good news: With the exception of a few headliner conflicts, the schedule is actually one of the most fan-friendly rundown in years.
Yes, Muse and Coldplay are playing at the same time on Friday night, which will probably cause major headaches for thousands of fans of falsetto-driven, pomp and circumstance English rock. (To say nothing of the fact that party hardy DJ Girl Talk and excellent post rockers Ratatat are also playing at the same time as the headliners, which may pull some Lollers in yet more directions.)
But the rest of the day has a pretty open schedule that allows for some decent stage hopping. If you start the day off with some solid indie rock courtesy of Wye Oak, it's just a hop, skip and jump to latest English lad rock sensations the Vaccines, with perhaps a stop-off for some psychedelic bits from the Delta Spirit, a touch of hippie-pop from Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and new-wave reminiscing with Foster the People, at which point things pile up a bit.
Awesome Smiths-inspired rock from the Smith Westerns, or English rap from Tinie Tempah? Brainy rock from the Mountain Goats or the latest from Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz's new band, Black Cards? Noise avalanche from Sleigh Bells or arty stomp from a Perfect Circle?
The headliner choice on Saturday night is actually one of the easiest in memory. There's almost no cross-over between Eminem's fans and devotees of My Morning Jacket's trippy excursions, so that's a slam dunk. The rest of the day is easygoing as well, allowing for a taste of the Black Lips' transgressive garage, a bit of modern soul from Mayer Hawthorne, beats from the reunited Death From Above 1979 and some sample-tastic bites from the reformed Big Audio Dynamite.
Cee Lo Green has a pretty open lane around dinner, which can be topped off by Lykke Li's beat-fueled Nordic pop.
Sunday's headliner showdown is another fairly easy call, as rocker Foo Fighters face off against headgear-wearing electronic dance music guru Deadmau5, with Kid Cudi providing another alternative on a small stage. Otherwise, it's a nice glide from the modern country of Ryan Bingham to Jay Electronica's outré rap stylings, into the My Bloody Valentine-like noise wash of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, a touch of the Cars' nostalgic new wave, some Irish stomping from Flogging Molly, surf sounds from Best Coast, indie soul with Portugal, the Man and a tough dinnertime choice between lad rockers Arctic Monkeys, Southern rockers Manchester Orchestra and the dynamic duo of Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley and Nas.
What's the toughest call of your Lolla schedule? Let us know in comments below!