Breaking down the Lollapalooza 2011 schedule
This morning, Lollapalooza released the schedule for its 20th anniversary festival in Grant Park.
The top of the bill pits Coldplay against Muse on Friday, Eminem against My Morning Jacket on Saturday, and the Foo Fighters against Deadmau5 on Sunday.
Friday, August 5
Slotting two British rock acts that rip off Radiohead against each other on Friday might seem odd. The two acts undoubtedly share fans. But with four rock acts headlining, two of them were going to have to square off. At least this way, someone who likes Coldplay and Muse can nab a single-day ticket for $90 (they went on sale today) and see a bit of both. But both groups should face stiff competition from Girl Talk in the expanded Perry's tent, which will now hold 15,000 sweating bodies.
Indie fans looking for one-day passes should stick to Friday. The first day packs the buzziest newcomers—Cults, Foster the People, Sleigh Bells, the Naked and Famous, the Vaccines, Smith Westerns, Tennis and Two Door Cinema Club. The dance slate is strong that day as well, with Ratatat, Girl Talk, Crystal Castles, Afrojack and Bloody Beetroots. Not only does it read like the strongest of the three days on paper, you can take a day off work.
Saturday, August 6
Saturday smells like a day to skip, unless you're going to just see Eminem. Considering how infrequently the rapper plays Chicago, this will be a popular decision. To reward Slim Shady fans, Lolla has lined up Atmosphere and Cee Lo on the main stage before Em grabs the mic. Big Audio Dynamite and Ween, two veteran curveballs, pique my interest.
Sunday, August 7
I'm most disappointed to see Deadmau5 and Foo Fighters go head to head. Sure, one is a throbbing techno act and the other a burly arena band, but these two performances promise to be the most high-energy headlining gigs. Recently, I sat down with Perry Ferrell who lit up when talking about Deadmau5. The computer geek in the mouse mask is unveiling a new stage show. He vows to outdo the spectacle of the legendary Daft Punk performance in 2007. Even if I don't care about Deadmau5's records, that'll surely be more interesting to watch than My Morning Jacket. I mean, lasers! Coincidentally, Deadmau5 remixed Foo Fighters' recent single, "Rope." You might hear Grohl on both ends of Grant Park.
Sunday is for rockers. The Joy Formidable, Rival Schools, Titus Andronicus, the Cars, Cage the Elephant, Portugal. The Man, Manchester Orchestra, Cold War Kids and Foo Fighters all crank up their guitars. Best Coast, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. tickle the fancy of Pitchfork readers. Two of the day's stronger options are Jay Electronica and Modeselektor at Perry's.
There are some great reasons to show up early as well. Ryan Leslie kicks things off at noon on Friday. His new song is rather cranky and horrible, but I loved the R&B producer's prior two Neptunes-like solo outings. Afterward, head over to see the Vaccines blend the Strokes, Ramones and pinches of Coldplay. The following day, Grouplove gets the unfortunate nooner booking. When the group opened for Foster the People at Schubas this spring, the L.A. combo struck me as the next Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes. And Sharpe thrilled a massive crowd last year. On Sunday, Titus Andronicus and the Joy Formidable will reward Foo Fighters fans who want a dose of power chords and thrashing with their Cheerios.