Ten Must-See Acts at Lollapalooza

Photo by Dave Mead

Ten Must-See Acts at Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza 2012 is upon us this week, and Fender will be there to cover all the proceedings.

Launched by Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell in 1991, the 20th anniversary festival at Chicago’s Grant Park features a star-studded and diverse lineup spanning three days of music and arts.

But with so many acts, it might be difficult to pinpoint which are worth your time.

As such, here’s a handy list of 10 must-see acts and a few more sleepers.

The Afghan Whigs (Friday 4:15 p.m.)

For music fans that grew up in the 1990s, an Afghan Whigs CD (or cassette tape!) likely found its way into their stereo at some point.  The Greg Dulli-fronted band broke up in 2001, briefly reunited in 2006, and again this late last year.

There’s no word on how long this reunion may last, so as far as we’re concerned, it’s imperative to see this indie rock royalty.

Check out their cover of Marnie “Quenie” Lyons’ “See and Don’t See” that the Whigs’ recently put out via their website.

Passion Pit  photo by Jason Nocito

Passion Pit (Friday, 6:00 p.m.)

The Massachusetts-based outfit released Gossamer just last week, a solid follow-up to their infectious 2009 hit Manners.  It’s rare for electro-pop groups to really sound great live, but Passion Pit certainly stands out.

Black Sabbath (Friday, 8:05 p.m.)

Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler reunited as Black Sabbath in April – without drummer Bill Ward – for a warmup show in Birmingham, England.  It must have worked, because the dark lords were on point at a headlining gig at the U.K.’s Download Festival in June. Osbourne might be getting up there in years, but he can still wail with the best of them.

We’re looking forward to hits like “Paranoid” and “Iron Man,” along with deeper cuts like “Children of the Grave.”

The Black Keys (Friday, 8:30 p.m.)

Unfortunately, Sabbath is playing the Bud Light stage Friday night opposite The Black Keys (Red Bull Soundstage).  If you still have the energy, sprint to the other end of the park to catch part of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney’s riffage.  The duo has headlined several stateside festivals this summer, showing that their minimalist rock can certainly fill up the main stage.  El Camino, the duo’s latest album, is a must-listen.

JEFF The Brotherhood (Saturday, 1:30 p.m.)

The Nashville duo is truly D.I.Y., with not much more than a three-drum kit and a three-string guitar.  But that simplicity is what makes JEFF the Brotherhood so compelling.  Grab a cold beer and get ready for a sweat fest.  And if their sound is somewhat familiar, their latest record was produced by a fellow two-man band member -  the one and only Dan Auerbach.

Fun. (Saturday, 4:45 p.m.)

If you’ve gone one day over the past few months without hearing Fun.’s soaring “We Are Young,” we’d be impressed.  The catchy hook is ubiquitous, and rightfully so.  Having released Some Nights earlier this year, Fun. has been all over the airwaves with their brand of indie rock merged with tinges of hip hop.  This should be a fun one.

Franz Ferdinand (Saturday, 6:15 p.m.)

The Scottish dance-rockers have been heavy hitters since 2004’s Take Me Out, and their fourth album is due later this year.  Frontman Alex Kapranos has been tight-lipped about the upcoming record, so their Lolla performance will be a good chance to hear the new stuff before its release.

Red Hot Chili Peppers   photo by Clara Balzary

Red Hot Chili Peppers (Saturday, 8:00 p.m.)

RCHP took a hiatus in 2008 after few years of following a brutal recording and touring schedule, but they returned in a big way last year with the release of I’m With You and yet another massive tour. It will be interesting to see the band live with Josh Klinghoffer handling all the guitar duties, a spot previously occupied by Dave Navarro and John Frusciante, among others.

The Gaslight Anthem (Sunday, 4:45 p.m.)

The Gaslight Anthem made major waves earlier this month with the release of the critically-acclaimed Handwritten.  Sharing Bruce Springsteen’s working-man sensibilities, the New Jersey rockers put on a passionate show that can whip an audience into a frenzy – especially one in the Chicago summer heat.

Jack White (Sunday, 8:15 p.m.)

Getting a ticket to see Jack White on his current solo tour has proven to be a tough task, so getting to see him close out the festival will be a treat.  White released the scorching Blunderbuss in April, playing parts of his live gigs with an all-female band and other parts with an all-male cast.  And, you can bet that White will pull out a few hits from his White Stripes and Raconteurs days.

Five Other Bands To See On Friday

The Black Angels, Dr. Dog, Metric, thenewno2, The Head and the Heart, M83

Five Other Bands To See On Saturday

Delta Spirit, JJ Grey & Mofro, The Temper Trap, The Tallest Man on Earth, Twin Shadow

Five Other Bands To See On Sunday

Quinn Sullivan, Polica, Trampled By Turtles, Of Monsters & Men, The Big Pink

Can’t make the trip to the Windy City?  Check out Lollapalooza’s live stream here


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