Last year, abyssal gaps in scheduling was the theme of these Lollapalooza suggestions, the better for you, the overpaying festival goer, to avail yourself of the one concrete benefit of the festival system—the panoply of sounds which you could select from. Having already pleaded with you to browse the aural buffet, this year the theme—as suggested by the casual shift to the oft-maligned second person perspective—is choose your own adventure. At various points in any schedule, you will be faced with choices, between acts, genres, expressions of same genres, etc., and some of those most difficult decisions will be set here before you. The conflicts, analysis and opinions are mine, but the choice, as always, is yours.
Bombay Bicycle Club
Friday’s difficulties begin in the late afternoon; begging at half past four, you will face the difficult—and radically different—Cerberus of a decision that is Interpol, Blood Orange or Iggy Azalea. Obviously, your musical preference could make this laughably easy: guitar-worshiping LES transplant who still harbors an affinity for early aughts garage revival acts/devoted fan of Brian Anderson’s section in “Yeah Right!“? Interpol it is. Your love of spacey, dance-ready, semi-Cimmerian grooves (Blood Orange) or Aussie expat rappers (Iggy) can similarly render the conflict moot. But what if you enjoy all three? As your heart is rent in triplicate, one chamber left in the chest, consider the surrounding acts as a potential anodyne. If you see Bombay, does that slake your thirst for Interpol? Will Eminem that evening calm the rap craving? Does Blood Orange have an analog suitable to your liking?
Rich Homie Quan
Fitz and the Tantrums
Aside from the obvious (you could never even conceive of missing Outkast, even if your favorite song of theirs is “Ms. Jackson,” which, as sure as you will see them, makes me want to box your ears), Saturday is your day of sacrifice or, baring that, expediency. You can make at least part of all of these shows if you fucking run, with the exception of Rich Homie Quan and Fitz and the Tantrums. Both acts are danceable, catchy as baitfish, and slickly put together, but the similarities end there. The Tantrums are a tight soul/Motown revival act, and, as Katie Baker has pointed out, perhaps the world’s best wedding-band option (that is a compliment). Quan is idiosyncratic, laconic and in possession of the most infectious hip-hop hooks this side of Lil Durk. So, do you want to groove or go hard?
Run the Jewels
Kings of Leon
Chance The Rapper
Similar to Saturday, Sunday’s few forks are driven into the road mainly due to geography, not time; you can either see partial performances by Shy Girls and Jhené Aiko, or one in entirety. Run The Jewels, El-P and Killer Mike’s collaboration is the surest bet for high quality—and well performed—rap all weekend, and Australian popper Betty Who’s music is just the sugar rush you need following two days of soul-sucking Lolla carousing. Even the main conflict of the evening, Chance The Rapper vs. Kings of Leon, should be no conflict at all. If you pick Kings over Chatham’s own, you’re a fucking fool.