Lolla by Chrome Waves

Once a week, between now and August 5th we have enlisted the top music blogs from around the country to feature 20th Anniversary artists taking the stage at this year’s Lollapalooza. From big name headliners to buzzworthy acts rising through the ranks, we want you to discover all the talent taking over Grant Park this year.
Today’s feature comes from Chrome Wave‘s Frank Yang.
This year marks Lollapalooza’s 20th anniversary which means, if my math is correct, that 2006′s edition was their 15th anniversary. Which meant the one and only year I was able to attend Chicago’s big Summer throwdown, it was still a sort-of round though mostly pointy number. And what’s most interesting now that I go back over the lineup for that edition of the festival is how many of the artists who had mid-day, non-headlining slots have gone on to become huge names who could easily close a festival. Case in point, My Morning Jacket – in 2006, they played a memorable, hair-whipping set as the sun began to dip below the downtown Chicago skyline. This year, they’ve been upped more than a few font points on the official poster and will be closing out one of the main stages on Saturday night. Most likely with more hair whipping. And that’s the thing with Lollapalooza; while the headliners are the obvious talking points – they’re only a handful of the acts taking over Grant Park that weekend, and there’s plenty of talent on the undercard that’s worth your attention – and whom you’ll possibly be able to say you saw back in the day when they’re headlining the fest. New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus write about what they know: New Jersey. Their last album “The Monitor” ran their experiences through a filter of punk rock fury, arena rock anthemicism and Civil War reference points to make one of the best albums of 2010. They’re easily one of the most ferocious and exhilarating live acts around and not be missed, though a word of advice if you’re going to see them – stay out of the pit. Titus fans are insane. Should happenstance find you in a street fight with Welsh trio The Joy Formidable, you might think that hulking bassist Rhydian Dafydd would be the one to watch out for. You would be wrong. Frontwoman Ritzy Bryan may look like a kewpie doll come to life, all cute dresses and giant eyes but put a Stratocaster in her hands and she becomes a musical flamethrower, all crazy-eyed and ready to do you harm. Hearkening back to the great, loud Their debut “The Big Roar” came out earlier this Spring and to suggest they’re part of a British invasion would be inaccurate – they ARE a British invasion. Not so long ago, The Mountain Goats would have just about topped the list of bands least likely to perform at Lollapalooza. After all, a solo artist known for recording his brilliant yet oblique acoustic songs on a boombox isn’t really your typical festival fare. But over his last few records, John Darnielle has discovered the joys not only of proper recording studios but playing with a full band and circa their latest album “All Eternals Dck”, The Mountain Goats are now a fantastic live act. They’ll still certainly be one of the quirkier acts in the Lolla lineup but if you need a bit of a respite from the fist-pumping and/or crowd surfing and just want to hear something great, they could be just the ticket.

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