Top 40 Acts To Catch At Lollapalooza

Top 40 Acts To Catch At Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza is celebrating its 20th anniversary this August 5-7 at Chicago’s Grant Park, and with such an amazing lineup of artists, it’s hard to pick and choose which bands to watch. Don’t fret; we’ve done some work to help festival goers out by narrowing down the 140 hot acts to the top 42. 

Friday, Aug. 5

Britain’s leading buzz band the Vaccines offer a superb way to start off Lollapalooza with their blistering and raucous guitar rock.  The band is touring in support of the Arctic Monkeys this summer, performing material from their debut album, What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? They’ll be kicking things off at 12:45 p.m. on the Music Unlimited stage. 

Denver-based rock duet Tennis will be performing at the Google+ stage from 1:00-1:45. The husband-and-wife duo will captivate you with their sweet, retro-sounding melodies off their first studio album, Cape Dory. The album is based on the couple’s experiences during a 7-month sailing expedition aboard their ship, the Cape Dory.

Two Door Cinema Club

Make your way to the Sony stage from 1:30-2:15 to get your dose of New Zealand indie rock by The Naked And Famous. This is a great chance to catch them live before they head out on a massive European tour.

Austin-based band Electric Touch will be rocking the BMI stage from 2:00-2:30. Check them out if you’re in the mood for authentic, adrenaline-raising rock with a British flair. 

Take in Long Beach-based band Delta Spirit from 2:15-3:00 at the Music Unlimited stage to get the best in live entertainment and music. This band combines everything from trash cans to orchestral bass drums for a boisterous mix of roots-rock. 

We expect a stellar performance from Grace Potter & The Nocturnals at the Bud Light stage from 2:30-3:30. This quintet’s music is a beautiful marriage of soul-funk-hard rock sounds. Plus, we’re big fans of their bassist and Girl Rock Nation artist Catherine Popper.  

Foster The People is a can’t miss! Swing by the Sony stage from 3:00 – 4:00 to hum along to their hit “Pumped Up Kicks” and to listen to more tunes from their debut album Torches. To get more of this indie-electronic rock band’s music, stop by the Filter Lollapalooza After Party on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel, where they will be playing alongside Phantogram. 

Manhattan indie-pop band Cults hit the Google+ stage from 4:45-5:30, where they are sure to perform “Go Outside,” the balmy track that gained them indie stardom. This is one of the hottest underground bands going right now, so if you can’t make their Lolla set, they will also be playing at the Filter Magazine After Party at the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday night. 

Two Door Cinema Club
 reached indie prominence with hit song “What You Know,” off debut album Tourist History. Some of our friends in the music industry proclaim, “Forget Coldplay; I want to see those guys.” They’ll be at the Sony stage from 5:00-6:00 if you’re curious about the hype. 

The indie-rock bonanza continues over at the Playstation stage at 5:30 with the Mountain Goats, a California-based trio that delivers a nice dose of explosive folk-meets-indie songwriting. 

Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz returns home to Chi-town with his new project the Black Cards, appearing on the BMI stage from 5:30-6:15. This reggae-electro pop duo sounds totally unlike anything you’ve ever heard Wentz do before.

A Perfect Circle live performance is hard to come by. Given all of the side projects for Tool and Puscifer’s Maynard James Keenan, like wine making in Jerome, Arizona, these guys don’t find much time to tour or write new music. However, they’ve now got new track “By and Down,” and will be delivering their stylistically diverse rock-metal on the Music Unlimited stage starting at 6 p.m. sharp. 

Get the best of folk, indie-rock and electronica by checking out the Bright Eyes from 6:30-7:30 on the Bud Light stage. The trio will blow you away with material from their latest album The People’s Key, deemed by music critics as the “best record the Bright Eyes have ever made.” 

If you’re looking for some serious talent, check out Girl Rock Nation artist Christina Perri from 6:45-7:30 at the BMI stage. This young, singer-songwriter captivated thousands of people across the globe with her raw and emotional song, “Jar of Hearts.” Perri writes all of her own songs, usually centered around love and loss, and has a truly unique voice that connects with an ever-growing audience. 


Anyone in need of a rock and electronic fix needs to catch OK GO at the Google+ stage beginning at 7:15. These viral sensations appeal to many musical palates, from indie fans to power-pop cheerleaders. 

Coldplay and Muse virtually go head-to-head as the evening’s headliners. Muse’s set starts at 8:15 at the Music Unlimited, just 15 minutes prior to their fellow English superstars. Coldplay, who will appear on the Bud Light stage, continue to surprise the masses with unique and innovative music that has withstood the test of time. The legendary act settled on an industrial/electro-pop direction on their upcoming album and have been debuting new tracks all summer long. Muse always blow minds with their extravagant live show and ultra-energizing progressive-alternative rock jams.Take your pick as either closer promises to be memorable.  

Saturday, Aug. 6

released Eyelid Movies last year and continue to receive rave reviews for their ultra-successful debut album. Stop by the Sony stage at 1:30 and you’ll be in for a nice mixture of electronica and hip-hop jams from the New York-based duo, such as cut “Mouthful Of Diamonds.” For some more Phantogram action, fender.com will be streamlining their Filter After Party set live.

Cruise out to the Google+ stage at 2:15 to witness a performance by one of Chicago’s very own, Maps & Atlases. Some call it pop rock, others call it math rock. We like to call it awesome rock. In fact, we love it so much, we’re also going to stream their live set from Filter’s After Party on fender.com. 

My Morning Jacket

It’s no surprise that The Drums rocketed to fame with the release of their up-beat track “Let’s Go Surfing.” This Manhattan-based indie-pop/post-punk trio will get you tapping your feet and nodding your head with feel-good tracks from their new album Drums. Check them out at 4:45 on the Google+stage. 

Take part in music history with a show by British post-punk band Big Audio Dynamite. The band’s frontman is legendary ex-guitarist and singer Mick Jones from The Clash, so come on over to the Music Unlimited stage at 4:30 to get your punk rock on!

Patrick Stump returns home to the Windy City with material from his upcoming solo debut album Soul Punk. The Fall Out Boy frontman will showcase his amazing and versatile songwriting abilities, as seen with his first single “This City.” This upbeat electronica track features acclaimed rapper Lupe Fiasco, and makes us want to hear more. Stop by the BMI stage from 5:00-5:45.

The Deftones are back stronger than ever after a hiatus following former bassist Chi Cheng’s tragic, coma-inducing car accident. With new member Sergio Vega from Quicksand on the bass, and the release of their lush and evocative comeback album Diamond Eyes, this metal band is playing more heavily and melodically than ever before. They’ll be at the Playstation stage from 5:00-6:00.

Hailing from the L.A. music scene, the indie rock-psychedelic band Local Natives are known globally, thanks to the release of their debut album Gorilla Manor. Swing by the Sony stage at 5:30 for a taste of unique chanting, three-part harmonies and percussion-centric songs.

If you think a young actress and model can’t rock, think twice! Actress and model Taylor Momsen will play with her band The Pretty Reckless on the BMI stage at 6:15. This multi-talented, 16-year-old rocker cites everything from Led Zeppelin to Muddy Waters as some of her band’s influences.

Wrap up your evening at the Bud Light stage with My Morning Jacket and the deeply moving vocals of frontman Jim James. The band’s latest release, Circuital, is an album that is meant to be performed live in front of the masses. My Morning Jacket has been opening most shows with the album’s exploding leadoff track “Victory Dance,” the perfect tune to kick off a giant rock party. Their headlining set starts at 8 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 7

Titus Andronicus’ 2010 emotion-filled album The Monitor is action-packed with everything from compelling, heartbreak songs to raucous Irish-like punk jams. The New Jersey-based quintet is sure to put on a show just as exciting as their album, so stop by the Music Unlimited stage at 12:45 for some musical debauchery.  

 Pains of Being Pure at Heart

The Joy Formidable have soared to new heights with the release of The Big Roar. The Welsh-trio’s eclectic mix of electronic and rock music gained them a headlining slot at this year’s Glastonbury’s main stage. They continue to receive worldwide praise with their latest E.P. Roarities. Catch them at 1:00 on the Bud Light stage. 

Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses are best known for Bingham’s Academy-award winning track “The Weary Kind,” the theme song for motion picture Crazy Heart. This soulful Texan guitarist will captivate you with his soothing Americana, roots and blues rock music. This just might be the one of the best band’s you’ve never heard of, so get over to the Music Unlimited stage at 2:15. 

Noah & The Whale aren’t afraid to cross boundaries. This British quintet reached international stardom with their big-hit “5 Years Time,” in which they incorporate stylistically diverse elements like the fiddle and ukulele to add a nice touch of folk to their feel-good jams. They’ll be on from 2:30-3:15 on the Bud Light stage.

Add The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart to your “must-watch” list if you’re an indie-pop fanatic. With the release of their second LP, Belong, this New York-based quartet offers a contemporary twist of music reminiscent of the Cures and the Smiths.  Catch them from 3:00-4:00 at the Sony stage.  

It’s hard to believe that Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is only made up of two band members. This Detroit-based duo combines rock and electronica with a slight hint of pop into their music, creating everything from soothing jams like “Nothing But Our Love” to ultra-energizing, raucous music that sounds like a giant army of musicians. They’re on from 3:15-4:00 on the Google+ stage. 

This American classic, power-pop, rock band needs no introduction! Take a stroll back in time with The Cars as they perform from 4:00-5:00 on the Music Unlimited stage. The quartet is expected to play everything from classics like “Just What I Needed,” to new material from their 2011 reunion album Move Like This
Brace yourself for some Flogging Molly from 4:15-5:15 at the Bud Light stage. Concertgoers are in for some Celtic-music-carnival madness with this Los Angeles-based punk-rock band’s Irish influences. They’re sure to play material from their latest album, Speed Of Darkness, which debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200 charts. 

For the best in singer-songwriting, check out Girl Rock Nation artist Lissie from 4:30-5:15 on the Google+ stage. This young, American folk-rock artist has captivated thousands around the world with her latest album Catching A Tiger. She will seduce you with her rich, soulful voice and emotion-filled lyrics. This girl is pure raw talent. 

Portugal. The Man have been around for a while, but none of their previous albums have brought them as much fame success as In The Mountain In The Cloud. Their latest record just debuted at #42 on the Billboard Top 200, and has been widely accepted and embraced by music critics and fans worldwide. Check out the Portland-based rockers from 5:00-6:00 on the Sony stage. 

Foo Fighters

Cage The Elephant live up to the lyrics from their big-hit “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” with their high-energy level performances. We last saw the band at Coachella, where frontman Matt Shultz sported a dress and enjoyed a few stage dives into the audience. Check them out from 5:15-6:15 on the Playstation stage to see what “shakes down.”

There aren’t many bands quite as diverse as Best Coast. This Los Angeles-based band plays everything from feel-good surf pop to indie pop-rock. The band’s 2010 Crazy For You and recent iTunes session release are loaded with tons of good vibes and California surf rock tracks. This show is one of the trio’s last tour dates for the summer, so catch them from at 5:45 on the Google+ stage. 

Suck It And See has landed the Arctic Monkeys a very solid spot in the British rock music scene, quickly becoming one of the most wildly successful, contemporary rock bands. If you want to see what all the buzz is about, check them out from 6:00-7:00 on the Music Unlimited stage. 

Manchester Orchestra is quickly reaching prominence in the indie rock scene with the release of their latest and successful effort Simple Math, which pairs sprawling and emotional ballads with upbeat ragers. Come see why music critics worldwide have named the rock band to their “best new music” lists. Catch them from 7:00-8:00 on the Google+ stage. 

Foo Fighters continue to amaze fans with their fun, ever-changing rock songs that have earned them a solid and respectable spot in rock music history. Their 2011 album Wasting Light is filled with boisterous songs that you’ll get hooked on. Witness this must-see act from 8:00-10:00 at the Music Unlimited stage to close out Lollapalooza with one of the best lives shows you’ll ever see. They’re expected to play everything from classics like “Everlong” to their latest hit “Rope.” 

Long Beach-based band Cold War Kids became one of the most popular indie-rock bands with their wildly successful hit “Hang Me Up To Dry” from the 2006 album Robbers & Cowards. With the release of their latest effort Mine Is Yours, the band has gained breakthrough acceptance into a more mainstream arena. They’re on at 8:30 on the Google+ stage.
Click here for the complete Lollapalooza schedule.  


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