Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Lollapalooza Lineup

As I'm sure many of you have seen by now, the majority of the Lollapalooza 2008 lineup has been revealed. Thankfully, it lives up to my expectations, which are pretty high to start with. By my current count, there are 21 bands that I am going to make a major effort to see, and another 9 or 10 who I would like to see if the scheduling works out (which will be revealed in June). Since I paid $175 for the weekend ticket, that works out to a little less than $6 per band, not counting all the other bands I could see. Not bad, seeing Radiohead for $6.

It looks right now like Friday's headliner is Radiohead, and I'm sure they won't have anyone playing against them on the north stage, since that would be a pretty empty crowd. Rage Against the Machine will most likely headline Saturday night, and then the festival will most likely close with Nine Inch Nails on Sunday night. The big question is where and when they will put Kanye West, since he is pretty much the other biggest name, and will have the biggest stage show to set up, so hopefully they will not have him on at the same time as any of those bands.

Here are the other bands worth making an effort to check out that weekend:
  • Wilco - Of course. Every one of their shows has the potential of being the best shows they've ever done. Always a great live act.
  • Bloc Party - They've had two fantastic albums over the last few years, this is somehow my first chance to see them live.
  • Broken Social Scene - A fantastic Canadian collective, they put on one of the standout sets of Lolla 2006, which was only 45 minutes long unfortunately since they played right before the closers the Red Hot Chili Peppers, leading many in the crowd (myself included) to change "f--k the Peppers!" Very anxious to see them again.
  • The National - As my avid readers are aware, they scored the incredibly valuable prize of Scott Pacyna's Favorite Album of the Year for 2007. Their show at the Vic was also the best show of the year as well. They've been touring for quite a long time now, but this should still be a can't miss set.
  • Explosions in the Sky - A Texas all-instrumental group, I got to see them perform last week, they are mesmerizing, powerful and precise. It'll be good for a mid-day set to rest on the lawn and relax from all the walking (and to digest a rib sandwich of course).
  • Brand New - Their last album, "The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me," was by far one of the best of 2006, and I'm expecting a very energetic and powerful set from them to back it up.
  • CSS - They missed out on Lolla 2007 due to flight problems (somehow I don't think they'll be flying on United as a result of it), so hopefully they'll make it as planned this year and put on a great set of high energy dance rock.
  • Battles - By far the standout band of the Pitchfork 2007 Festival, I'm really looking forward to seeing these guys live again and watching quite a few jaws in the audience hitting the floor.
  • Butch Walker - Always a great live performer, his newer material is finally getting back to some of the greatness of his Marvelous 3 days, so this should be an even better set than usual, which is saying quite alot.
  • The Gutter Twins - Featuring one of my favorite frontmen of all time, Greg Dulli from the late and lamented Afghan Whigs, along with Mark Lannegan from the Screaming Trees, this should be a pretty solid set, despite the fact that Dulli barely ever plays a set before 1 AM normally.
  • MGMT and The Whigs - Two of the best and brightest new bands from 2008 so far, these bands will hopefully back up their excellent cd's live.

More bands will be announced in the coming weeks, but I'm extremely happy with this lineup already. With any luck, we may be able to Michele and Bella out on the day Butch Walker will be playing, since I know Michele will not want to miss that.