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 ...
(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:
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."