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Lollapalooza 2013 Preview: Saturday

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 31, 2013 8:20PM

Keep hydrated at Lollapalooza, folks! Photo by Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

Saturdays in Grant Park over Lollapalooza weekend are a rare state of mind. The giddiness of Friday is gone but the weariness that drapes across everyone’s face on Sunday is still far off. If anything Saturday is adrenaline day, since most folks start earliest and end up raging far into the night at aftershows and afterparties. So I guess the biggest takeaway from this observation is pace yourself. And my other word of wisdom would be to make certain to check out the staff picks below and don’t forget to actually watch a few bands while you’re there. - Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

Soul shouter who could wake James Brown from the dead:
Charles Bradley on The Bud Light Stage at 2:45 p.m.

Daptone Records is the undisputed leader in old school soul music thanks to Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and Charles Bradley. While Jones has a personality as outsized as her vocals, the Florida-born, Brooklyn-bred Bradley deftly walks a line between James Brown’s frenzied performances and the rough, unvarnished singing of Otis Redding. Bradley’s new album, Victim of Love, finds him once again backed by the Menahan Street Band if Daptone subsidiary Dunham Records. Together, they may be better than Jones and Fields.- Chuck Sudo

Youngest local act you don’t want to miss:
The Blisters on the Kidzapalooza Stage at 3:15 p.m.

I would argue The Blisters could easily handle an appearance on one of the bigger stages at Lollapalooza, but I appreciate they’re willing to play for the kids (and their moms and dads). The band’s music is wise beyond the members’ years and while the band could skate by on the attention given them by virtue of their drummer’s lineage, they instead step up and simply deliver some of the best music I’ve heard released locally this year. I know I’m looking forward to catching a great set from them in the shady cover from the midday sun and I suggest you join me. - Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

Best reason for California dreamin’:
HAIM in The Grove 3:30 p.m.

If you’ve been searching for that unrelenting pop hit to soundtrack your summer, HAIM has a few hooks for you. Valley girls Este, Danielle, and Alana are siblings who honed their multi-instrumental skills for 15 years in a family band with their parents playing classic rock covers. This 70’s/80‘s influence is immediate with HAIM commanding comparison to the melodies of Fleetwood Mac, yet also instilling their sound with a fondness for 90’s pop and R&B songstresses the likes of TLC or even Wilson Phillips. The catchy and charismatic sister act has managed to blow up with a handful of singles to their name and we expect pop perfection from their forthcoming debut LP this fall.- Jessica Mlinaric

Matt & Kim. Photo by Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Most dependable party band:
Matt & Kim on the Petrillo Stage at 3:45 p.m.

While they may only be a two-person band, Matt & Kim know how to bring a raucous party to the stage, time after time. I can even admit that they are so dependable that in recent years I’ve actually grown bored at their shows because the energy level is so consistently high. That sounds disingenuous, but it can be wearying! However since their hitting the stage roughly halfway through the whole three-day festival, then their frenetic dance rock—and Matt and Kim’s omnipresent smiles—may be just the second wind I need to push me through the rest of the weekend. - Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

Best band to stick with in case of Lollapocalypse:

The Dunwells on the BMI Stage at 4:30

When an epic storm evacuated Lolla last year cancelling their set, The Dunwells didn't let it rain on their parade. Instead the UK quintet surprised fans by playing an impromptu set around the lobby piano at the Michigan Avenue Hilton. Don't let their pedigree fool you, this band of British brothers and cousins craft melodic Americana that ventures across roots, blues, and rock. Fans of folk-minded acts playing later in the day should make The Dunwells a must-see if only to enjoy their stellar five-part harmonies.- Jessica Mlinaric

Best time to chill out in the shade:
Unknown Mortal Orchestra on The Grove stage at 4:45 p.m.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra hits the Grove stage appropriately with some chill psychedelic rock. Their new album, II, is one of those where an upbeat tune can cover up troubling lyrics as band leader Ruban Nielson sings of emotions brought on by the struggles of hard touring and being away from his family. Written and recorded in his Pacific Northwest basement, it’s got that fuzzy, throwback sound that you might expect. Don’t worry though, while you’re laid out on your blanket looking skyward with your foot tapping, your (and Nielson’s) troubles will be easily forgotten. - Michelle Meywes

The National. Photo by Jim Kopeny / Tankboy
Best toe-tapping bummer, man:
The National on The Red Bull Sound Select Stage at 6 p.m.

When it comes to danceable songs about having the mindset to deal with everyday problems, you can’t go wrong with Brooklyn-by-way-of-Cincinnati quintet The National. The band continues to grow in confidence musically and thematically with each successive album and tour and their latest longplayer, the stellar Trouble Will Find Me, is their strongest effort yet, a lean muscular effort propelled by the tight drumming of Bryan Devendorf and the hangdog tenor of Matt Berninger. Depression hasn’t sounded this good since the days when Morrissey was only slightly self-righteous. - Chuck Sudo

Best comparison to The Black Keys without being a complete rip-off:
The Heartless Bastards on The Grove Stage at 6 p.m.

For me, having to choose between these Austin-via-Cincinnati garage rockers and The National may be my toughest choice of the festival and it may have to wait, depending on my mood Saturday. Erika Wennerstrom’s vocals are plaintive and emotive as she, drummer Dave Colvin, bassist Jesse Ebaugh and guitarist Mark Nathan flesh out the typical bare bones garage sound with pulsing rhythms and intertwining melodies. A heavy touring schedule has honed their sound into a razor sharpness. They could be the act that sneaks up on the festival-goers Saturday. - Chuck Sudo

Most likely to make your day:
Kendrick Lamar on Bud Light stage at 6:45 p.m.

it is no secret that Kendrick Lamar has had a very good year. After releasing his major-label debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city to much fanfare, Kendrick Lamar instantly became one of the most sought-after artists to emerge out of the woodwork. There is something absolutely infectious about his album as a whole, but each song off the album is able to stand on its own. We can't say enough about his creativity and personality - even if you're not a fan of “rap music” per se, we think you'd enjoy Lamar's storytelling on stage. If you're a die-hard fan, Kendrick Lamar will be signing autographs at the f.y.e. autograph tent at 5:45 p.m. prior to going on stage.- Tiffany Kwak

Best reason to bring your earplugs:
Death Grips on The Grove stage at 7:15 p.m.

Do you like loud, sometimes incoherent music? If yes, you are in the right place. Death Grips is made up of three core members - Stefan Burnett (vocals), Zach Hill (drums), and Andy Morin (keyboards/engineer). You might recognize Zach Hill as the drummer from Hella (with many guest appearances with other artists), but trust us when we say that Death Grips is like nothing else you have ever heard before. Their live performance is abrasive yet weirdly enchanting - just one song can touch a multitude of genres ranging from punk to hip-hop to noise. Bring earplugs because these guys are LOUD. - Tiffany Kwak

Most invasive banjo jams:
Mumford & Sons on the Red Bull Sound Select stage at 8:15

For some reason, I didn’t want to like Mumford & Sons. Mainstream, poppy, bluegrass-tinged folk music from England, I thought. Sounds like a mess, I thought. Luckily I didn’t let my assumptions get the best of me and gave the band a chance. Babel truly is a great album. There’s enough vocal aggression to keep it from sounding stale like many crossover Top 40 hits. The songs are slick enough to make you forget that you’ve been hearing a banjo on pop radio stations for the past year. It screams “country” without conjuring images of Kenny Chesney sitting on a tractor. Simply put, Mumford & Sons are one of those bands that everybody seems to like because there’s a little bit of something there for everyone, no one factor of the band coming off too strong or cheesy. Hopefully their live performance is a similarly all inclusive experience.- Katie Karpowicz

Kind of like time traveling but better:
The Postal Service on Perry’s stage at 8:30 p.m.

I mean, your inner 16-year-old self screamed (and cried) when you heard The Postal Service was coming out for Lollapalooza, right? [ED.NOTE: My inner 30-year-old self did as well.] Touring together a decade after Give Up was released, the crowned prince of indie pop Ben Gibbard and longtime electronic music artist Jimmy Tamborello (a.k.a. Dntel) are back with Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley) to bring you one of the most heavily anticipated reunions of the year. Their sound is pretty much flawless, and just hearing the first few seconds of “Such Great Heights” will instantly take you back to those halcyon days of 2003. Be sure to bank on hearing most (if not all) of the tracks off of their debut album plus a few new ones. - Tiffany Kwak

Chris Holmes keeping it real. Photo by Nora Drew courtesy Do312.

Still awake? Let’s party!
Saturday is usually the “epic” night when it comes to afterparties. And there are plenty to choose from. In fact Gapers Block has done a great job of rounding up a comprehensive list of what’s going on all weekend. Usually everyone (that is still standing) heads to the Hard Rock and while that’s always a good time there’s a good chance you’ll end up waiting in line longer than you will be partying. So I’m heading across town to Debonair for a party thrown by Do312 and PBR since it features ex-Chicagoan (and now Paul McCartney’s personal DJ—and I am not even kidding) Chris Holmes who will be spinning along with Jenny Lewis and Jimmy Tamborello from a little band called The Postal Service. The best part is that it's free with an RSVP. - Jim Kopeny / Tankboy