Lollapalooza 2012 | 10 acts we most want to see
Now that I've finished reading all 123 names on the bill, here are the ten I'm most excited to see.
Clearly, this is highly subjective, and largely influenced by brand spanking new records I’ve been spinning a lot this week. Tell us what you are most looking forward to.
1) Jack White
Out of all the headliners, White will know best how to put on a show. In his recent outings, he has been using two backing bands, as he did on SNL. One is bunch of white girls, the other, a black soul attack. His debut solo album, Blunderbuss, is similarly split between pretty country numbers and groovy, proggy rave-ups. I prefer the latter. Regardless, what we all want to hear is his tour through White Stripes, Raconteurs and Dead Weather hits.
2) The Walkmen
I’ve been saying for ages that the Walkmen are the best modern American rock band. The group’s polished, '50s-feeling new one, Heaven, should put them where they belong. Hopefully above the National. The new throwback rockers, like “Heartbreaker” and “Heaven,” are killer.
The bill leans pretty classic rock, with indie and EDM sprinkled in. I hunger for true pop stars at these behemoths. Santi is the closest thing we have in 2012. Her new record delivers, and its fantastic single, “Disparate Youth,” samples our consensus favorite from Lolla 2011, the Joy Formidable.
4) Franz Ferdinand
Alert: I am a Britpop junkie. And Lolla is not bringing Blur nor Pulp nor the Stone Roses. Yeah, Franz’s big hits date back a few years, but this marks the Scots' first Lollapalooza appearance. I’m anxious for a taste of a fourth album.
Yes, it is a poor man’s Daft Punk. I’ll take that over world-fusion brostep. I’m in the minority in that I enjoyed the French duo’s latest, Audio, Video, Disco., and especially its nerdy, dragon-slaying prog elements. As the album title suggests, this is a multimedia sensation. That glowing cross just looks cool high on the stage. In a weird way, Justice makes the most sense leading into Black Sabbath.
Yes, the last time I saw them at Lolla, on the tarmac, the band wore orange harem pants. But the new album, Something, is synth-pop gold. This is the rare case of an act losing a drummer and getting stronger.
7) Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
This is one of those mercurial picks, as I’ve been spinning TEED’s debut, Trouble, over and over today. It's the best electro platter I've heard this year. The record finds a sweet spot between Hot Chip and Underworld. Plus, his real name is Orlando Higginbottom. Plus plus, he wears ornate headdresses and giant feathers.
8) Aloe Blacc
In past years we got Raphael Saadiq, Erykah Badu, Sharon Jones, Fitz & The Tantrums, etc. This year’s bill is relatively light on the soul. Well, perhaps not. The deep and dapper Blacc is fantastic live and can carry the burden on his shoulders.
9) Little Dragon
I could listen to Yukimi Nagano sing all day. This slinky Swedish stuff goes over super well in the sunshine.
10) Black Sabbath
I’ve never cared much about Black Sabbath. Ozzy’s turned into a bit of a farce with his reality shows and Super Bowl ads. Frankly, I’d be more intrigued if Dio tagged along, too, to cover the entire Black Sabbath catalog. However, I think the geezers’ advanced age (look, one is actually named Geezer…) could help the sludge king’s sound. At a 4th of July picnic, a friend dragged a turntable out on the sidewalk and slapped on the first Sabbath record. Yes, this is sadly the kind of thing that happens at a cookout with record industry people. Anyway, we all put down our hotdogs and noted, “Man, this sounds AWESOME.” Somewhere in the second song, we realized it was playing at the wrong speed. Try listening to Sabbath slower and lower. It’s doom as hell. Here’s hoping they can’t hit the same high notes and bpm.
Lollapalooza hits Grant Park August 3–5. Buy tickets here.
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