Predicting the headliners for Lollapalooza 2012
What the hell, it's never too early. Bands are booking summer tours. British festivals are lining up acts. In fact, there's a good chance Lollapalooza has already booked its headliners and locked the names away in a secret vault underneath Perry's jacuzzi. I'll take a crack at which six field-fillers we'll see at the 2012 festival.
Predictions and odds after the jump
The Red Hot Chili Peppers
The closest thing to a sure bet, the Peppers have yet to wheel out their new material and guitarist on the road. A global arena trek has been plotted, and Chicago is absent. Note the big hole in early August. With a slight dip in sales and a iconic guitarist in retirement, they need a big bill to lean on. Seems like a no-brainer. Hopefully Flea multitasks and bring along his new projects, Rocketjuice and the Moon and Atoms for Peace. Speaking of which…
Another rock titan belatedly touring a 2011 album, Radiohead has also announced a tour with no Chicago stop (yet). Yeah, RCHP and Radiohead have both played the festival, but nobody said Lolla was creative. Besides, theren't aren't exactly a lot of rock bands going around that merit six-figure appearance fees. I think the repeat appearance would bother the band more than the bookers.
Why? She's headlining Lollapalooza Chilé around April Fool's Day. You don't think C3 locks these acts into multiple appearances? The South American bills are filled with acts from Lolla 2011. Pencil her in for a night on the smaller north field.
The Black Keys
Is there a bigger rock band in America right now? The Keys hit the United Center in the Spring. They have played Lolla before (as has singer Dan Auerbach solo).
Perry is set on working in more electronic acts (not that the latest Justice was particularly electronic). Problem is, all the hot ones—Skrillex, deadmau5—were just there. That being said, I don't think this French duo is big enough to top anything but Perry's Stage. Now, that other French duo…
The Beasties will undoubtedly make up that canceled 2009 booking. The big question is: Will Yauch be healthy enough? I'm hoping so, for several reasons. With the B-Boys headlining, there's less a chance of a lamer rap act filling the token hip-hop slot. Like Drake.
Kayne headlined, then Eminem. C3 seeks chart-topping MCs with critical cred. The only problem is that Drake's tunes are more suited to bubblebaths than big tops.
Because there has to be something that makes everyone in our office groan.
Just a hunch. The moody Londoners drew a massive crowd (as did Mumford & Sons), larger than some headliners have (looking at you, Yim Yames). This week, the trio has hinted at festival plans for 2012, to promote a "clubbier" sophomore album. Call this the Phoenix pick.
Though he's produced albums for Charlotte Gainsbourg, Malkmus & The Jicks and Thurston Moore, and released a handful of free covers albums online, the breakdancin' Dylan has done little on his own lately. Recently, he's played a few charity gigs in California, reunited with killer band-members of the past like Justin Meldal-Johnsen. He just seems overdue.
The Stone Roses
It's the biggest reunion of the decade. If you're British. As much as I love the Roses, I don't see the American demand putting them any later than 7pm at Lollapalooza. I'm sure they don't mind as they rake in tens of millions of pounds in Europe.
Could the formula reverse? Could Madonna follow in Gaga's footsteps for once? Look, Lolla is too big now to not have a massive pop star. And I don't see Katy Perry having enough traction with this demographic. Madge has the Super Bowl locked up and a hipster-baiting new single with M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj coming soon.
Enough of a spectacle, certainly, but are there enough hits to even fill a set? Most of her acclaim has come from guest spots. Still, there is a new record out in February.
Again, wishful thinking on my part. However, the band is rumored to be playing big gigs around the same time at the London Olympics. They'll be practiced and back in action in 2012. And Damon Albarn has recently mentioned he'd like another crack at America. Plus, he's tight with Flea now.
Guns N' Roses
Recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees (along with RHCP and the Beasties, come to think of it), the Gunners will never appear with Slash, Duff and Adler. Those odds are millions to one. But Axl has been on his best behavior and winning over crowds lately. Few dinosaur nostalgia acts could draw more bodies out of sheer curiousity. But is there any way these kooks would ever hit the stage on time?
While I'm at it, here a list of some other acts I would expect to see lower on the bill this year: Passion Pit, Mac Miller, Childish Gambino, Duck Sauce, Lana Del Rey, Major Lazer, Kasabian, Metronomy, Noel Gallagher, Weezer, Franz Ferdinand, Odd Future… I'll end with that debate.