Chicago Festivalist

Festivalist ’10: Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL – 8/6-8/8

What: Lollapalooza
When: August 6th-8th
Where: Grant Park, Chicago, IL
Headliners: Soundgarden, Green Day, Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, The Strokes, Phoenix
Line-Up: Social Distortion, MGMT, Jimmy Cliff, Hot Chip, The Black Keys, The National, Spoon, Devo, Cypress Hill, Cut Copy, The New Pornographers, Erykah Badu, Grizzly Bear, Chromeo, Yeasayer, Matt & Kim, The xx, Drive-By Truckers, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Blitzen Trapper, Stars, Raphael Saadiq, Rogue Wave, The Big Pink, The Dodos, B.o.B, Javelin, The Morning Benders, Dan Black, Empire of the Sun, BBU, Vonnegutt and more
Tickets: 3 day passes $215 (plus fees), VIP starts at $850, 1 day passes $TBD (not yet announced)
Accommodations: Hopefully, you know someone in the Windy City and can crash on their couch. There are a plethora of hotels in the city, but I can’t imagine what they would charge for the weekend.
My Take: The Lolla line-up release is always the announcement I look forward to each Spring. Not that I’m going to this year, but it was my first music fest, so I can actually visualize how everything will go down. This year, all I can say is meh.

The headliners really are quite the let down. Take a look at headliners from 2 years ago and you’ll see what I mean. Don’t get me wrong, Green Day are legends that got me thru middle school, fine. Arcade Fire is due with their next album and an already impressive catalog. I love Phoenix, but don’t think they are “major festival headliner material”, yet (They aren’t even headliners at Rites of Spring). Lastly, I think I would be more excited to see Lady Gaga than The Strokes or Soundgarden.

However, its not a complete train wreck. Organizers managed to align another great list of mid level indie/blog bands that is sure to entice many in the Midwest. I’m pretty sure most of these acts have been at Lolla the past 2 summers, but by the time August hits, most people will be blessing new works from The Black Keys, Drive-By Truckers, The New Pornographers, MGMT, Blitzen Trapper and others. Hot Chip, Cut Copy and Chromeo don’t tour the states as frequently as most would like, so I would definitely take this opportunity to catch them.
I’ll second Mr. Barber’s sentiments though, Perry Farell doesn’t care about hip-hop. I’m glad to see B.o.B. make the cut, but talk about alienating an entire genre. Sheesh. Lupe at least has a new album he could promote this summer. Bonnaroo got Jay-Z, Jay Electronica, Wale, Damian Marley & Nas, Kid Cudi…should I go on?
Update: Chicago rappers Kidz In The Hall and Jay-Z’s next young rapper, J.Cole were just added, but this still needs work.

Perry’s stage is also around for another year. I’m not really going to attempt to dissect the dance/electronic sector, but last year’s looks a lot more persuasive. Empire of the Sun, Tiga and Cut Copy’s DJ sets are sure to make noise though. To be positive, props to the guys from Vonnegutt for getting to showcase their electro/pop/hip-hop hits at a major festival. I’m sure this will only be the beginning of their stay on the festival circuit.

On the plus side, Chicago venues have been known to pull some sick night shows together from the Lolla line-ups. If you don’t want to buy a weekend pass, might I suggest a day pass for the headliner of choice (ahem, Arcade Fire) and some night shows in the city?

Burden In My Hand – Soundgarde…

No Cars Go – Arcade Fire

Hand Me Down Your Love – Hot C…

The Harder They Come – Jimmy C…

BBU – Chi Don’t Dance
So whats the deal? Did Lolla get the shaft from releasing their line-up after Coachella and Bonnaroo? Are headliners charging way too much for organizers to align music lovers dreams? Does this validate Rothbury’s cancellation due to not being able assemble a fest with “integrity and high standards” after the first 2 years?
Most importantly, will someone buy me a Lollapalooza koozie?

Speak on it.

By jayelaudio!/jayelaudio