Lollapalooza 2013 Preview: Friday
By Staff in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 30, 2013 8:00PM
Oh, the Lolla crowd. Photo by Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
I'm not going to lie: we struggled on how to preview acts at this year's Lollapalooza. When a festival sells out in record time with a bill that many major media outlets feel tepidly at best about, I think it's safe to say that this festival's draw has moved beyond simply being about the music. However, we here are music fans and we do think there are acts worth seeing between drinking bottles of wine out of huge water bottles and constantly reapplying sunscreen. If you're gonna party hard, you may as well make sure you have a winning soundtrack, right? - Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Best break from the monotony of the Perry’s stage:
Keys ‘n Krates on Perry’s stage at 1 p.m.
If you plan on spending a big chunk of your weekend camped out in front of the Perry’s stage - take my advice - you’re going to eventually get tired of watching a dude pumping his fist and chanting “Let’s go, Chicago!” from behind the decks. If you can make it to the grounds early enough on Friday, Keys ‘n Krates will be something a little different. Their niche is what the band refers to as “live remixing.” Combining electronic mixing with live keyboards and drums, it’s actually a pretty cool spin on the whole electronic dance music craze.- Katie Karpowicz
Best example of why female British soul singers are better than their American counterparts:
Emeli Sande at The Red Bull Sound Select Stage at 1 p.m.
This 26-year-old Scottish singer-songwriter has been on a steady upward trajectory thanks to the songs she's written for the likes of Alician Keys, Rihanna, Susan Boyle and Leona Lewis. Already a sensation in the UK, Sande is just now starting to gain traction stateside with a galvanizing performance of "Natural Woman" at the White House during the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize In Performance celebration of Carole King with an expressive soprano and the restraint of a singer twice her age. Sande is the latest in a string of British soul singers to arrive on these shores joining the ranks of the late Amy Winehouse, Adele, Alice Russell and Jessie Ware, who plays a couple hours later at Lolla. — Chuck Sudo
Icona Pop on Lakeshore Stage at 1:45 p.m.
Despite being a year old I truly believe Icona Pop’s “I Love It” is the Song of the Summer 2013™. Yeah, Robin Thicke is a close second but his “Blurred Lines” is a Motown throwback while “I Love It” is a blast of fresh energy that is truly of THIS time. What might surprise people is the the other songs Icona Pop has released, while not quite the caliber of their name-making single, is some pretty damned smart electronic pop. So I’m looking forward to their set because, yes, everyone will go absolutely bonkers when that one awesome song from that one awesome club scene in Girls comes on, but the true joy will come from the crowd dancing along to songs they don’t even know becasue they are that good. - Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Second-best example of why female British soul singers are better than their American counterparts:
Jessie Ware at Pertrillo Bandshell at 3:15 p.m.
Clash magazine called Jessie Ware "the missing link between Adele, SBTRKT and Sade," which gives you a good example of where her music falls. This is slow-burning soul melding the classic melodies Sade made a career of 30 years ago with the latest beats coming out of the British soul scene and Ware sells it with an expressive voice. Her debut album Devotion is better suited for late-night makeout sessions but Ware has the talent to make even her midday spot in the lineup feel like a last call hookup. — Chuck Sudo
Band most likely to be the next Phoenix:
Atlas Genius on the Grove stage at 3:30 p.m.
I’ve given Atlas Genius a lot of love over the past few months, but that’s only because I still find their debut—with it’s winning mix of dance pop and rock and / or roll—to still be a satisfyingly joyous listen. They’re only on album number one, but if they can translate the fun of that disc to the Grove stage they might be one of the bands everyone is still talking about after the last recap fades away on Monday morning. - Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Least easily categorized set:
Theophilus London on the Grove stage at 4:45 p.m.
Theophilis London is an enigma to my ears. Is he pop? Hip-hop? Rock? Soul? The most precise answer would be “all of the above.” In full disclosure I should say that the only time I’ve seen him perform live was from the greenroom of a late night talk show he was appearing on, but even at that distance I was mesmerized. He seems to get criminally little coverage given his wide ranging talents but bands have been known to prove their live mettle through breakout sets at Lollapalooza so I’m pulling for him to do the same and raise his stance.
Best reason to be your brother’s keeper:
Disclosure in The Grove at 6 p.m.
Surrey siblings Guy and Howard Lawrence have taken the UK music and global dance scene by storm with their vocal laden electronic sound. Building from three hit singles since October, including “Latch” and “White Noise,” the 22 and 19 year olds have experienced exponential success in that short time, debuting their first album, Settle, this June at #1 in the UK. We suspect the duo may even invite one of their vocal collaborators, including Jessie Ware or Sam Smith, to share the Lolla stage. While their pop-friendly brand of dance music boasts mass appeal, Disclosure’s UK Garage and deep house homage ensures the brothers’ sound extends well past the bro set.- Jessica Mlinaric
Best band to give you a “Damn, I’m old” moment
New Order on the Red Bull Sound Select Stage at 6:15 p.m.
Okay, how many of us who went to high school in the 80s went through at least three copies of the “Bizarre Love Triangle” 12-inch single? I worked at a Musicland in Brickyard Mall and that was always in heavy rotation; we had to replace it every other month. The band, which is touring behind their solid new album Lost Sirens, is arriving in Chicago slightly banged up, as well. Singer Bernard Sumner broke a leg but has vowed to continue touring. — Chuck Sudo
Chance The Rapper
Most anticipated set from a local artist:
Chance the Rapper on the BMI stage at 6:50 p.m. Every year Chicago seems to rally behind one local rapper or rap group (who just so happens to have booked a set at Lollapalooza that summer) leading up to the festival. In 2011 it was Kids These Days. Last year it was Chief Keef, regrettably. This year Chance the Rapper has already won over the Lolla crowd’s undivided attention. Sold out shows all over the city followed the release of his justifiably popular free mixtape Acid Rap and the buzz behind this 20-year-old gem just keeps growing. We’re proud to be a part of his fan club and can’t wait to see how he does in the outdoor festival setting.- Katie Karpowicz
Best anthemic indie rock band that took the money and ran:
Frightened Rabbit on The Grove Stage at 7:15 p.m.
This Scottish group’s music has become increasingly generic as they’ve moved from independent labels scrappiness to major label success. Live, however, they remain a captivating presence and play the quiet verse-loud chorus model perfectly. Singer/guitarist Scott Hutchinson has said the band can take or leave music; here’s hoping they come with something to prove. — Chuck Sudo
Nine Inch Nails on Bud Light Stage at 8:15 p.m.
It’s getting hard to believe that Nine Inch Nails could be considered the one of the throwback acts at Lollapalooza, though attendees born after 1991 (the year they played the very first Lollapalooza) might not know what it was like to grow up with Pretty Hate Machine or The Downward Spiral on permanent residence in the CD player, if they even still used CD players by the time they were teens. We’re glad that Trent Reznor decided to bring NIN back to the stage after going on semi-retirement in 2009 saying that he may still make music under the name, but that there would be no touring. Reznor stayed busy during the hiatus though, working on other projects and film scores like The Social Network and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, oh, and winning an Oscar. The industrial rock crew has a new album out in September called Hesitation Marks, but you can hear the first single, “Come Back Haunted,” now on their website. - Michelle Meywes
Best flashback to a previous Lollapalooza:
The Killers on Red Bull Sound Select Stage at 8:25 p.m.
The Killers exploded on the scene with their debut album Hot Fuss in 2004 and shortly after played an afternoon slot at the first Lollapalooza reincarnate in Grant Park. Most everyone agreed that they could have been a headliner that year, but as often happens, bands will surge in popularity between the booking and performance. Since then they’ve released three albums and changed their look just about as many times, but we still long for the days of a glammier, blazer clad, eyeliner wearing Brandon Flowers sweating it out behind the keys. The gang finally got that headlining spot in 2009, and now they return as true veterans, topping the lineup once again. - Michelle Meywes
Most danceable closing set of the day:
Steve Aoki on Perry’s stage at 8:45 p.m.
If Nine Inch Nails are a little too pretentious for you and you find The Killers to be as excruciatingly boring as this writer does, why not get some cake in your face instead? Steve Aoki is a talented DJ/producer in that he can fit in just about anywhere, adjusting his sets to suit the crowd. With a closing set at Lollapalooza this year, expect a lot of mainstream beats with a dance factor that will go to eleven. - Katie Karpowicz
Check out the playlist: