In late February, we had some fun daydreaming about what hot bands — translation: the bands that had new albums out or coming out in the next couple months — might be included in this year’s Lollapalooza lineup…and we went hitless. So much for our dream to see Lemmy and Motorhead wipe the floor with the kids a third their age. Likewise, so much for seeing 2011 comback band of the year Duran Duran show the kids how to put on a show. Pity.
We get the sense that the festival organizers received a lot of criticism about last year’s lineup, because this year’s batch of bands skews decidedly younger and, dare we say, hipper than years past. Sure, it has the token appearance by this or that modern rock trailblazer — namely, the Cars and Big Audio Dynamite — but look at the names just underneath the headliners, which we’ll get to in a minute. Deadmaus (sorry, we’re not printing the ‘s’ as a 5)? Are they really that high up on the food chain, as high as My Morning Jacket and Cee Lo Green? Likewise, is OK go really that low on the food chain, that Ratatat, Atmosphere and Beirut would be listed ahead of them?
All in all, this is a strange group of bands, a blend of popsters (Cee Lo, Lykke Li, Ellie Goulding), screamers (Deftones, Manchester Orchestra, A Perfect Circle), and even some alt-country guys (My Morning Jacket, Bright Eyes, Ryan Bingham). But it looks as though that is the point: this year’s Lolla will not be like the others, and the headliners alone make that abundantly clear.
There are four of them this year.
As expected, the early leak announcing that Eminem, Muse and the Foo Fighters would headline this year’s festival turned out to be true, but Coldplay is playing as well. This suggests that some serious stage shuffling is in the cards, because the way the stages have been laid out the past few years, it just isn’t possible to have more than two top-tier bands playing at once. All of the other stages are simply too small to support them, or the visibility is too limited to handle the crowds. It will be very interesting to see how they schedule eight bands over three nights.
As for the overall lineup, well, we’re nonplussed. There are usually multiple bands at each level that we’re excited about seeing. This year, not so much. This is not the first time this has happened, nor do we suspect it will be the last, but it’s still disappointing when it does. On the plus side, our Estonian crush Kerli is performing, and for that, we are happy.
Ain’t she purty?