2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Lollapalooza, the celebrated Chicago festival that Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell kicked off well before most of the other big name U.S. fests (Coachella, Bonnaroo) were even a twinkle in their creators' eyes.
With the four days of music kicking off today (July 28-31) in Grant Park, here's what we're looking forward to the most at Lollapalooza 2016.
The Last Shadow Puppets
After eight years of waiting, we saw a brand new album from Alex Turner and Miles Kane's collaborative side project The Last Shadow Puppets. Considering that The Last Shadow Puppets is just a casual commitment and a bit on the side for Turner, who since the release of the first album has put out five albums with Arctic Monkeys, Everything We’ve Come to Expect is a dazzling, arena-sized pop-rock album that’s slick and accessibly smart.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Lolla started as an alt-rock-oriented affair, attracting Gen Xers who wanted a weekend of music outside of the mainstream pop fare. While the fest has expanded in size and stylistic diversity since then -- this year includes pop acts like Ellie Goulding and EDM outfits such as Major Lazer, whether founder Farrell digs that sound or not -- Lolla 2016 still boasts its fair share of alternative music touchstones like RHCP.
Haim took their sweet time writing and recording their sophomore effort. It’s been three years since the Haim sisters floored audiences with Days Are Gone, and with the promise of new music this year, a headlining set at Lollapalooza seems like the perfect time to preview some of what is in the works. Regardless of whether or not we get a taste of what’s to come, there’s no denying that jamming out to “Don’t Save Me” and “My Song 5” will be a highlight of the weekend.
You might know Saba as the voice behind that catchy hook on Chance The Rapper’s “Angels”, but the 20 year-old Chicago native is proving to be much more than that. Appearing on both of Chance’s mixtapes as well as Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment’s Surf, Saba plays a huge role in the wave of up-and-comers that Chicago is currently fostering. Catch this promising young artist’s performance in his hometown for a set you definitely won’t want to miss this year.
Need we say more...
London based 3-piece Haelos have been a festival staple this summer, and for good reason. The group’s unique variety of electro-pop is dizzyingly addictive and fits perfectly into the festival atmosphere. Take a word of advice and skip over to the Petrillo bandshell on Friday for a set that is sure to make you Haelos’s biggest fan.
Some bands craft music that seems made to be heard at a music festival. MGMT and Grouplove, for example, seem to truly shine in the sweaty heat of Coachella or Lollapalooza. M83 is undoubtedly another one of these bands. The French electronic superstars have a catalogue (11 albums!!) of music to choose from, and with a prime set time of Friday at sunset, their performance at this year’s festival will be pretty close to magic.
This has been the year of reunions. LCD Soundsystem being the reunion we've been most excited about. After calling it quits in 2011, James Murphy has announced that he is rebooting LCD Soundsystem in 2016, a year that will see both a reunion tour (including headlining date at Coachella) and a new studio album.
The Los Angeles-based band is as trashy and as thrashy as they come. And while they boast catchy riffs and that fuck-it punk rock party-every-night attitude, FIDLAR actually gets pretty deep on their last record, and is know to play one hell of a show.
Skepta who?? Although billed as a last minute replacement for the English rapper, there will be very few complaints about the Joey Purp joining the line up. The west side Chicago native has caught the eye of music critics this year for his masterful lyricism and quickly rising popularity. His debut “iiiDrops” is already being hailed as one of the best hip hop releases of the year. To see this up and comer in person, make sure to catch his set this weekend.
British producer duo Snakehips have been steadily churning out dancefloor hits since 2010, but they’ve been enjoying recent success after collaborating with Tinashe and Chance the Rapper on the massive 2015 hit, “All My Friends”. With a track featuring Zayn Malik freshly released and sets on Sunday and at the aftershow, Snakehips won’t disappoint at Lolla this year.
Armed with a string of catchy singles and the promise of a full length album set for release in August, all Brooklyn native Tor Miller really needs to do right now is sit back and wait for his music to inevitably blow up. The 22 year-old has a voice straight out of the ‘50s that he delightfully contrasts with a decidedly current blend of soul and indie. Be sure to catch Miller’s set, even if just for future bragging rights once he starts selling out stadiums.
The Black Key’s Dan Auerbach’s side project feels like so much more than just a side project. The garage-rock outfit packs a mean punch on their 2015 effort Yours, Dreamily, and Auerbach’s vocals fit just as well into the heavier style as they do in the signature jangling blues of the Keys. For a high energy set you won’t want to miss, make it a priority to see the Arcs at Lolla this year.
Words: Brighton Lindberg