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Lollapalooza’s 2011 Lineup: 24 Hours Later

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lollapalooza 260x260 Lollapaloozas 2011 Lineup: 24 Hours LaterIt’s fitting that the day the Lollapalooza lineup hits, it’s muggy in Chicago. It’s sort of a reminder of the sticky chaos that’s sure to come in August: the days where an icy bottle of water sounds more intriguing than a stack of ones, the moments where you’re deciding if your legs can trek the half a mile or so across the park one last time (all for an indie act you’ve only “heard” about), or the hours spent debating new-found friends on the CTA over what headliner will draw the most. Yeah, it’s nearly summer in Chicago, and you almost have to cover your eyes at the nasty glares coming from Perry Farrell’s rich, gold suit. Already.

So, it’s out. The third entry in The Big Four – that is, Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Austin City Limits – is here for our reading pleasure. Some of you have already raced to Facebook, the comments section here, the Lolla board, or your wilted notebook resting on your nightstand to gripe, complain, and tear it apart. That’s only natural of any raging internet fanatic – we’ve been there, you can tell. But, as with anything that tugs at the emotional heartstrings, you need to take some time out, smother yourself in ice cubes, and/or go through a pack of Camel Lights. Just relax. Then, take a look at it again.

As usual, it’s a pretty solid lineup. ::avoids the rotten tomatoes:: No, no, no. Be fair, be fair. Look at it closely: There’s an impressive undercard to flirt with, a sparkly group of headliners that won’t disappoint (regardless if they’re repeats or unsurprising), and the expansion to Perry’s Stage can only add to the already drunken, dreamy weekend for many a festivalgoer. Just a quick scan through the lineup hints at a thrifty three-day extravaganza. It’s hard to believe with so many hot mid-day acts (i.e. The Mountain Goats, Lykke Li, Explosions in the Sky) and a series of highly requested reunions (e.g. Big Audio Dynamite, The Cars, Death From Above 1979) that anyone would be bored or wandering around sad. Plus, and here’s something everyone seems to be forgetting, you’re still in one of the best goddamn cities in the world – the gem next to the lake. Yeah.

Still, there are things left to be said…

-Michael Roffman
President/Editor-in-Chief

Best Gets:

Coldplay

“You know how I know you’re gay?” Expect to hear that quote all weekend in Grant Park. But, despite your unoriginal friends, Coldplay happens to be one of the biggest acts in the world today, and for C3, this is a huge get. Hello! They’re playing Glastonbury? Fuji Rock? Rock in Rio? Ever heard of those? For Chris Martin & Co. to touchdown in Grant Park, it’s a landmark headliner for the always expanding festival. Plus, it’s the only North American gig to date, and in typical Lolla fashion, the British quartet will be just ahead of a new album  – their fifth, in fact, which is currently penciled in for a late autumn release. New material? Perhaps, but even if they don’t perform some, you’ll probably be the first souls to catch ’em before the endless sweeping tours ensue. Mark our words now, this will be another Coachella reissue next year. -Michael Roffman

Deftones

Deftones’ appearance on Lollapalooza’s 2011 bill could also be put in the “Biggest Surprises” category of this post, but their presence is a lot less shocking than The Cars AND Big Audio Dynamite. After all, the acclaimed metal heads are fresh off an appearance at Lollapalooza Chile and you had to figure there’d be at least some cross over. Still, props on the pull: The spot marks Deftones’ only major North American festival appearance of 2011 — which is a rarity these days. -Alex Young

A Perfect Circle

With their chilly shoulders turned away from Coachella and Bonnaroo, APC’s spot at Lolla is a rather exclusive opportunity to see their show. Unless you caught Maynard James Keenan at their brief residencies out west in 2010, you’re in need to hear one of the best voices in hard rock. And while the often detached Keenan may not be the best host for a festival party, APC and their fans will be loud and proud in Chicago. Who knows, maybe they worked up “Bohemian Rhapsody” over the winter. –Jeremy Larson

The Cars

Two words: Ric Ocasek. Since reuniting with his brethren – a.k.a. The Cars – the anticipation has been sizzling like hotcakes in an Atlanta diner on an August morning. What? Never mind. With a new album in tow, next month’s Move Like This, it’s safe to say this is a legit reunion and one to really get behind. Sure, they’re coming to Chicago next month, but seeing them outside in the summer air, amidst a festival setting, and three months out on touring is so much better. Outside of the nostalgic factor, this is an hour that will no doubt please anyone – especially for lovers wishing to embrace during “Drive”. Two orders of timeless pop-rock? Over here, sir. -Michael Roffman

Modeselektor

The German electronic duo is one of those unique acts you’d typically associate with Coachella. A personal favorite of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, the group has been one of the genre’s more popular forces over the last decade and boasts collaborative records with Yorke, UK rockers Maxïmo Park, and German hip hop outfit Puppetmastaz. Modeselektor also teamed up with fellow German DJ Sascha Ring (Apparat) to form Moderat and their 2009 self-titled effort was released to universal acclaim. -Alex Young

Biggest Surprises:

Patrick Stump

Um, what?

Big Audio Dynamite AND The Cars

To the Reagan adolescence, this one’s for you. There’s little to argue here: Mick Jones and Rick Ocasek in Grant Park. C3 hit two birds with one stone – or, rather four birds with one stone, actually – by nailing not only a legacy and reunion act, but two legacy/reunion acts. Quadruple the effort. Admittedly, most of you probably don’t listen to Big Audio Dynamite every day, every week, or even every month, but it’s a unique grab and one that looked impressive on Coachella’s line-up earlier this year. It still shines here, some three to four months later. As for The Cars, that’s just impressive booking – especially, as we mentioned, they’re performing in Chicago next month. KO! -Michael Roffman

The Mountain Goats

With a critically-acclaimed new effort and given their cult-like status, The Mountain Goats seem more primed for the likes of Pitchfork Music Festival – especially for this year. That’s why it’s almost jarring to see them on Lollapalooza’s lineup. In a way, it sort of negates the whole Pitchfork then Lolla routine that seems to occur with indie darlings year after year. Then again, these California natives aren’t new to the scene at all, so in a way, perhaps it’s Lolla’s way of saying, “Okay, we should have had this working relationship years ago.” Judging from their recent Chicago stint, this should be a great late afternoon set. -Michael Roffman

Death From Above 1979

There’s gonna be a riot. Hardy-har-har. These truly crazy Canucks have a passion for creating chaos, and if there was anything to be learned from either set at SXSW or Coachella, it’s that Death From Above 1979 needs a lot of room. Similar to The Mountain Goats, this was another act that was all but destined for Pitchfork Music Festival, but P4K must have been satiated with one reunion act (i.e. Dismemberment Plan) to try and squeeze these boys in. All the better. As intimate of a place Union Park may be, it’s unlikely they’d support this much energy – well, that’s a tad of an overstatement. For now, though, it makes a slightly reliable argument. Regardless, Lollapalooza snagged something wild here. A festival repeat, sure, but we’ll take seconds, thirds, or fourths of DFA1979 any day. -Michael Roffman

Cults

Last year before Pavement performed at Pitchfork Music Festival, Drag City dude Rian Murphy hyper-sarcastically called P4k Fest “the minor leagues for Lollapalooza.” Ironically, it’s kind of true — Lollapalooza has a continued history of drafting bands that P4k Fest had just one year previous (this year’s picks being Titus Andronicus and Best Coast). But like LeBron James before them, Cults turned pro right out of school. Can they hack it up against some seasoned vets? Probably so. Expect to see them on a side stage in the afternoon just winning over thousands of new fans. -Jeremy Larson

Biggest Misses:

Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie is the most confusing omission of ’em all just because they seemed all but a shoe-in. Case in point: a new album, summer tour dates with the Foo Fighters, and an intimate Chicago show scheduled for May. Hell, they just announced a late summer tour and there’s not a Chi-city date to be found. Maybe they’re playing North Coast, but c’mon Perry! At least bring us Zooey! -Alex Young

The Cure

It’s a little gluttonous to complain about the lack of ’80s icons, what with Ric Ocasek and Mick Jones involved, but when rumors surfaced that Robert Smith and his gothic wagoners might saddle on up to Grant Park, there was a little spark in the soul that quickly turned nuclear. Similar to past gets like Lou Reed or Depeche Mode, this grab would have no doubt added some luster to the lineup. Plus, with that ridiculous Sean Penn film coming out, everyone’s nostalgia will be running rampant. Really, who wouldn’t want to wear all black and eye liner in 90+ degree weather? Duh. -Michael Roffman

Justice

“Justice! Non!” Lolla didn’t pick up Daft Punk, and ignored France’s second banana electronic duo as well. Justice purportedly have a new album in the works, and closing out Perry’s stage would seem to be a great spot for these guys, or even as a headliner. In Justice’s stead we have festival mainstays Girl Talk and Deadmau5, whom many of us have experienced before. Not that Girl Talk closing Perry’s larger stage won’t be a party to remember, nor will Deadmau5’s headlining spot not be a huge spectacle, but Justice would have added an alluring spice to the electronic lineup at Lolla. “Quel dommage!” -Jeremy Larson

Queens of the Stone Age

They hammered through a set at SXSW back in March, they’re hitting up the late-night circuitry, and they’re performing across the nation. So, why haven’t they been booked for a U.S. festival yet? They might only have a reissue to plug, and there’s probably plenty of recording to be had for their next studio outing, but would a one hour performance kill them? Not likely. Most die-hard fanatics probably caught them on tour already this year, but for the rest of us, Queens of the Stone Age would have looked nice next to The Kills on our schedules. Very nice. Oh well. -Michael Roffman

Surfer Blood

…And sometimes you don’t get drafted at all. This is kind of disappointing, in that Surfer Blood toured their asses off last year and grew from out of the beachy lo-fi fields of the last couple years into somewhat of a mainstream success, due in no small part to their touring tenacity. Why are they absent here? They played to a supremely packed crowd at Pitchfork Music Festival last year, the jabronies love ’em, the indies love ’em, the chicks love ’em. Who knows? Maybe the kids need a break. -Jeremy Larson

Get to know:

Ellie Goulding

She’s gorgeous. She’s discovering more and more poppy sensibilities. She’s amassing dozens of fans each week. We’ve all heard folks digress on how they saw Gaga or Katy Perry at the smaller stages of yesteryear…well, here’s another prospective starlet. For this year, she’ll no doubt perform on a smaller stage, but years later? Probably not. Catch her now before she’s gone. It’s okay if you go alone and you don’t tell your friends about it, too. Just lose the mustache. You don’t want to be that creepy guy. -Michael Roffman

Jay Electronica

Few things validate an up and coming rapper more than being taken under the wing by one Sean Carter. (Just ask Kanye West.) The 34-year-old Jay Electronica recently signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label and is readying his long-awaited full-length debut. Plus, with Nas being a past collaborator, there’s a possibility that the New Orleans-based rapper may have a few surprises in store when he takes the stage at Perry’s Place. -Alex Young

Fences

Chris Mansfield knows about the importance of being earnest. He leads Fences heart first with a shaky voice and a sturdy band, producing some of the most wonderfully honest songs. Live, the band turns it up and stretches it out, adding just a tinge of psych rock to the mix which, when washed over you out the PA, tugs at all those pesky feelings you work so hard to forget about. Stop by midday and they’ll beguile the hell out of you. –Jeremy Larson

Ximena Sariñana

Ximena Sariñana may be a relative unknown in the stages, but in her native Mexico, the 25-year-old singer-songwriter is a full-blown superstar. Her 2008 debut Mediocre earned two Latin Grammy nominations and she spent 2009 touring Europe with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group. Now, Sariñana is gearing up for a summer full of festival appearances plus the August 2nd release of her self-titled sophomore LP. -Alex Young

Young the Giant

Early last year, our own Phillip Roffman called this California quintet “a bottle rocket ready to explode.” Since then, they’ve done just that. From supporting Minus the Bear to appearing at Billboard’s SXSW Party to nabbing slots at half a dozen music festivals across the country, suffice it to say, this band’s growing at a rapid pace. Their late 2010 eponymous debut isn’t exactly a sparkling critical darling, but it’s brought the band quite a fanbase. Needless to say, if you’re strolling by and they’re playing, you might want to check them out and come to a conclusion – that is, if you can wade through the tides of fans surrounding the stage. -Michael Roffman

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