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Lollapalooza 2010 picks: Some paths through the schedule

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Lollapalooza is already crowded enough, so there's no room for clones. Which is unfortunate, because sometimes -- with two hot bands performing on different stages at the same time -- you wish you could be in two places at once.

Here are some day-by-day, hour-by-hour suggestions on making these life-changing decisions ...

Stage key:
(B) = Budwesier Stage, north, Lake Shore and Monroe
(PS) = PlayStation Stage, north, Jackson and Columbus
(SB) = Sony Bloggie Stage, west central, Jackson west of Columbus
(BMI) = BMI Stage, east central, Lake Shore south of Jackson
(K) = Kidzapalooza Stage, east central, Lake Shore north of Balbo
(F) = Perry's Stage, west central, Balbo west of Columbus
(AM) = Adidas Mega Stage, south, Lake Shore and Balbo
(PF) = Parkways Foundation Stage, south of field betwen Lake Shore and Columbus:

Lollapalooza's full schedule is here, and the concert map for Grant Park here.


11 a.m. -- The fest opens with the sweet, safe soul tracks of Javelin (11:30 a.m., PS), but why not roll with No. 1-debuting hip-hop star B.o.B. (11:30 a.m., AM)?

Noon -- It's a tie: If you love the beats, stay south for the cultural mash-ups of Balkan Beat Box (12:15 p.m., PF). Love power-poppy indie-rock? Head north, quickly, for Wavves (12:15 p.m., B).

1 p.m. -- Venezuela's Los Amigos Invisibles will get a funky party started (PS), but the Walkmen (AM) have grown into their vintage rock sound with some beautiful new songs from the forthcoming "Lisbon" record.

2 p.m. -- How do you like your soul? Raphael Saadiq (PF) is old-school and sexy, the Marvin Gaye guy from Tony! Toni! Toné!, but if you've never paid homage to Chicago's own queen of soul, Mavis Staples (B), here's an easy chance.

3 p.m. -- Drive-By Truckers (PS) are tight and powerful, but country-rock? Really? And the Big Pink (AM) is actually kinda grayscale. Suggestion: Hip-hop DJ Peanut Butter Wolf (3:15 p.m., F) is nutty and nutritious.

4 p.m. -- Toughest decision of the day: Are you still in love with Neko Case and the always-good New Pornographers (B), or are you through being cool with Devo (PF)? Comes down to this: the New Porns come through here all the time. Devo's new album is the '80s comeback of the year. Are we not men?

5 p.m. -- Dirty Projectors (PS) are intensely creative with strngs and arrangements, and the electronic toyland of F--- Buttons (SB) is comfy. But Matt & Kim (AM) have the energy for a Friday fest happy hour. Just don't cross in front of a bus to see them.

6 p.m. -- Can't go wrong on either end of the park. Holler with the crunchy, hard-driving rock of the Black Keys (B), or see how Hot Chip (PF) warms up a stage full of synthesizers.

7 p.m. -- See Jimmy Cliff (7:15 p.m., PS), who helped mainstream reggae in the '70s, if you have to, mon, but the funky pop grooves of Montreal's Chromeo (AM) are an absolute blast.

Headliners -- There's no dithering here. Go by your footwear. You're either a lace-up platform knee-high boots-wearing Lady Gaga (8 p.m., PF) fan or a Chuck Taylors-shuffling Strokes (8:30 p.m., B) fan. Love the latter, but seeing what Lady Gaga can bring to tens of thousands of people will be worth it, one way or another.


11 a.m. -- The no-nonsense pop-rock of MyNameIsJohnMichael (11:15 a.m., BMI) is worth hearing, but the soft, cooing songs of Mimicking Birds (11:30 a.m., AM) should be the perfect way to begin the day.

Noon -- Skip the modern reggae of Rebelution (12:15 p.m., PF) and indulge in the grandiose living-room symphonies of the Morning Benders (SB).

1 p.m. -- You're perfectly within your rights to check out Rogue Wave (AM) and hope they play "Lake Michigan" while on its shore, but Britain's saucy, subtly sleazy Wild Beasts (1:15 p.m., PS) are hot. Follow the falsetto.

2 p.m. -- Be against Against Me! (2:45 p.m., AM) and see the Broken Social Scene pals in Stars (2:15 p.m., B) sing their lush, romantic songs.

3 p.m. -- Every hipster who's any hipster will be checking out the minimalist soul-rock of The xx (3:15 p.m., PS). Though don't be afraid to be lured away by the pretty, old-fashioned tunes of Dawes (3:30 p.m., SB).

4 p.m. -- The delicate harmonies and echoey guitars of Grizzly Bear (4:15 p.m., B) are hard to beat. However, Chrissie freakin' Hynde is unveiling her new rootsy side project, JP, Chrissie & the Fairground Boys (4:15 p.m., K) in a 20-minute set on the Kidzapalooza stage. Which is sort of hilarious, because the songs on this new album are very adult-romance. But maybe we'll get a "Thumbelina"?

5 p.m. -- Even though Deer Tick (SB) is good, dusty modern folk, trust me: Don't miss Metric (5:15 p.m., PS). Finally, a Debbie Harry-inspired dance-rocker who nails it.

6 p.m. -- Before you write off Social Distortion (5:45 p.m., PF) as punk dinosaurs, consider that Spoon (6:15 p.m., B) has been around for 17 years now. Pick your alt-rock legacy. Me, I gotta see if SD's Mike Ness can still rip it up.

Headliners -- Cut Copy (7:30 p.m., PS) wouldn't be a bad band to listen to while chomoping dinner. If you like those easy indie-rock grooves, stay north for Phoenix (8:30 p.m., B) and go bonkers when they finally play "1901." But the place to be is with the throngs in the south field to see if Broadway has taken the sting out of Green Day (7:45 p.m., PF).


11 a.m. -- Another tuneful pop-rock band starts the day, Miniature Tigers (11:30 a.m., PS). But let the aspiring lil' stars of the School of Rock (11:30 a.m., K) lift your spirits.

Noon -- We're off to a slow start today. Neon Hitch (12:30 p.m., BMI) is a silly name for this former roommate of Amy Winehouse, but her dance-pop tracks have the Kara DioGuardi seal of approval.

1 p.m. -- Chicago's Company of Thieves (SB) is yet another group on this bill that's performed on Daryl Hall's monthly online show "Live From Daryl's House." But it's hard to beat the skittering rhythms and scratchy acoustic urgency of the Dodos nearby (PS).

2 p.m. -- Hardest decision of the day: Blitzen Trapper (B) was purified by Sub Pop once the band stopped thrashing about and settled into its backwoods roots, and their set should be enriching. But the Cribs (PF) swing into town with their new member, ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, and he might just adorn their riff- rock with an alluring tinge of beauty.

3 p.m. -- Freelance Whales (BMI) twiddle all the right knobs in their spacious, slightly electronic folk-pop. This'll be a good one. Be advised, also, that when they're done, Thenewno2 (3:45 p.m., K), begins a 15-minute set at Kidzapalooza nearby.

4 p.m. -- I know, Yeasayer (B). But on the other end is a spectacle that promises to be spectacular or spectacularly bad: X Japan (PF) has been the most popular band in that country -- like, huge -- for decades, mixing massive power ballads with speed metal. This performance is the band's western hemisphere debut.

5 p.m. -- Stay south and switch gears for this generation's slightly nutty soul mama, Erykah Badu (AM). Though you may want to start heading north, and supercharged New Order attack of Mutemath (PS) is sometimes pretty exciting.

6 p.m. -- It's the time travel hour. While Wolfmother (PF) is pretending to be Led Zeppelin, check out the weird and wacky psyche sounds explored by MGMT (B) on their devilish new departure album. Then make the hour count by drifting over to this year's name to drop, the Temper Trap (6:30 p.m., SB).

7 p.m. -- The massive moods and hymn-like songs of the National (7:15 p.m., PS) cannot be missed.

Headliners -- After 12 years apart, members of Soundgarden (PF) have reunited to grind their grunge yet again. As Chris Cornell sings in "Spoonman," save me. Arcade Fire (8:30 p.m., B) will obliterate such needless nostalgia with its piercing, epic mini-symphonies, including from a thoughtful new album, "The Suburbs."

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such needless nostalgia? how bout such needless review. Soundgarden will own this show, mark my words, Tommy

I really like this write-up. With Lollapalooza, it would be just too much to cover all the bands, and this article is a really helpful way of sorting it out.

As far as the New Pornographers go, it's always hard to figure out who (other than A.C. Newman) will be playing with the band on any given date. The band is likable no matter who's in the line-up, but

Wow, the conflicts on this schedule abound. It's really unfair to make us choose between Mavis Staples and Raphael Saadiq, New Pornographers and Devo, Blitzen Trapper and The Cribs, just to name a few.

Also, once again, Lollapalooza ignores the hip hop scene. By my count, there's four hip hop artists? Cypress Hill, B.O.B, Peanut Butter Wolf, and Bin Laden Blowing Up (BBU). Cypress Hill is awful. I don't see why a festival this big can't have a dedicated hip hop stage. And with all the money involved in Lolla, they ought to have a bigger hip hop line-up than Pitchfork (which deserves a lot of credit for including Big Boi, Raekwon, El-P, and Freddie Gibbs. )

Not bad, especially the final dead-on pick of Arcade Fire over Soundgarden. And thanks for identifying some bands I did not know, I will have to do some quick research.
I have to differ strongly on missing Against Me!, Drive-By Truckers or New Pornographers, at least for those who have not seen them. They are strong live bands with deep catalogs and fine new material.
Why the crack about country-rock? DBT is not exactly the Charlie Daniels band! For a festival that gets regularly bashed for not having enough hip hop, I actually think they skimp on Americana (i.e., "cool country") acts. Robert Earl Keen last year was outstanding.
See you there!

Hey Conner, nice call about Soundgarden. No go recycle your sandals again, buy another Jetta, say you like Radiohead just to sound like you're cool, buy some more fish oil from Whole Foods, and go listen to Morrissey or The Smiths or whatever else you tree-hugging liberals listen to. Arcade Fire is a good band, don't get me wrong. However I'd be shocked if, when the band dissolves, Arcade Fire can look back and honestly say it contributed to music anywhere near what Soundgarden did. By the way, you want some "piercing, epic mini-symphonies?" Try Mars Volta or Mastodon. Or you can go with the old standby of Tool, who actually have been covered by symphony orchestras. Oh wait, Tool is too 90's, isn't it? Grow a sac. Wow, that felt good. Thanks Tommy.

I don't think there's any argument that in 20 years time, Arcade Fire will be listed among rock's greatest bands while Soundgarden will be that band from the same era as Nirvana and Pearl Jam (both way better than Soundgarden). Smiths and Radiohead also way better than Soundgarden, that one isnt't even up for debate.

@Jon, do a little research man, Green River, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, are what made Nirvana and Pearl Jam what they are. Stack 'Jesus Christ Pose' next to the heaviest song by Nirvana or Pearl Jam, and they don't even compare. I love all those bands, but they all owe a debt to Soundgarden. Soundgarden help build Sub Pop records - heard of it? 'Bleach' was released on that label- thus propelling grunge. Claim ignorance first until you do some research. Not sure if you've ever heard a song called "Creep" by Radiohead, but I'm pretty sure that song, and a few others off 'Pablo Honey', had some grunge influence.

Maybe Cornell and Co., are doing this for some money or to prove they are still relevant or, heaven forbid, they actually want to get out and rock your face off. Either way, Soundgarden made it cool for metal to appear in alt-rock and many bands owe them their careers.

Fizz, whatever. I stand by my original point that Arcade Fire in 20 years time will have a whole lot more respect in the musical community (among fans and critics) than Soundgarden, regardless of who you say they influenced. And I like Soundgarden a lot so I don't want to put them down, just think their shelf life was relatively short.

Gogol Bordello
Social Distortion
Green Day

....these bands WILL OWN THE SHOW!!!!!!

Soundgarden? What Nirvana did to the 80's butt rockers, Green Day did to "Grunge". As soon as Green Day broke onto the airwaves in the 90's, Grunge was dead, never to return

I know X Japan will rock not only that stage, but also this country!!! We are X!!!!!!!!

LOOOOVEEEDDDD Rebelution!!! Seeing them live is better than ever!

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on August 1, 2010 8:00 AM.

X Japan: They're huge (really), and they're (finally) coming to the U.S. was the previous entry in this blog.

25th Farm Aid show set for October in nearby Milwaukee is the next entry in this blog.

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