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Lolla Time

It’s Lollapalooza weekend in Chicago! Who are you planning to see? What? No plan yet? Then how do you think you’ll keep up with over 100 bands, music fan? No worries – we’ve got your Pyxis Mag guide to Lollapalooza below: all the recommended bands you’ll want to see, and the reasons why we’re so bloody opinionated about each.


FRIDAY | August 2

1:00 | Emeli Sande
English-Scottish songwriter Sande has penned songs for plenty of people you know (and opened for Coldplay), but this time, the spotlight belongs to her.

2:00 | Timeflies
It’s time (ha) to check out their self-proclaimed “Electro hip-pop dub something” from this much-talked-about duo.

2:30 | Smith Westerns
Another buzz band are local Chicago boys Smith Westerns, who infuse a little Bowie into their garage-glam mix.

3:15 | Father John Misty
He’s opened for Damian Jurado, and spent some time as the drummer for Fleet Foxes, but now it’s Misty’s emotional experimental rock that’s getting all the attention.

5:15 | Imagine Dragons
“Radioactive” will get you dancing, and the fact that they recorded their album at The Killers’ (see: 8:25 p.m. tonight) studio gives them a bit of an edge, too.  These guys are gonna be b-i-g.

6:15  | New Order
We’ll take live retreads of classic New Order songs performed by the original over QOTSA’s overblown He-Man rock any day. “Blue Monday,” anyone?

the killers

8:25 | The Killers
“Human,” “Spaceman,” “Smile Like You Mean It,” “Runaways,” “Somebody Told Me” – how can you not want to see these tracks live and in-person, from this sharp post-punk/rock/new wave hybrid? They’re poised to return to a huge stage like this with their Battle Born songs (they played Lolla back in 2009), and they deserve it.


SATURDAY | August 3

1:30 | Little Green Cars
Newbie indie folk-rock from Ireland that managed to snag Markus Dravs (Mumford/Arcade Fire) as their producer. ‘Nuff said.

2:15 | Ben Howard
Howard beat out fellow Lolla performer Jake Bugg (see Sunday) at the Brit Awards for British Breakthrough Act, another nod to the success of Howard’s indie-folk songwriting, and his low-key, anti-celeb approach to his craft.

3:00 | Court Yard Hounds
Two-thirds of the Dixie Chicks make up this side project, redolent with familiar DC harmonies on the more folk-pop side of things. Their lighter, happier songs are poised for just such a setting as this.

4:45 | Ellie Goulding
Look out, Lolla mud field. Goulding’s uber-danceable “Lights” is heading your way.

6:00 | The National
The Brooklyn-based band are promoting both a brand new album and a new rockumentary, so their either going to be completely dragging or bouncing off the walls with indie-rock energy. We hope it’s the latter.

7:15 | The Lumineers
Do The Lumineers have more than “Ho Hey” to show off? Now’s our chance to find out.


8:15 | Mumford and Sons
Another band ready to take on this gigantic of a crowd are Mumford, whose bluegrass-infused indie-folk-rock mix needs larger venues at this point to allow their expansive, rich songs more breathing room. “Little Lion Man,” “I Will Wait,” and “The Cave” are all certain to be equally big in the singalong department. We can’t wait.


SUNDAY | August 4

1:00 | The Orwells
More local boys – Chicago’s The Orwells will be earnestly promoting their new album, Remember When, which they’ve dubbed “Midwestern punk.”

1:45 | Jake Bugg
Bugg’s got the songwriting skills, but he’s also been built up by the press as “The Next Big Thing” for so long, he may understandably melt under the pressure. If he doesn’t, his Dylan-esque tunes could be a standout of the day.

3:20 | The Mowgli’s
So Cal alt-rockers The Mowgli’s sound arrives direct from the ’60s, amped up with some modern studio technology. You can tell from their sound that they’d rather be at the beach (convenient for Lolla, since the beach is only a block or so away.)

4:30 | Machines Are People Too
Infectious synth-pop from – huh? Tennessee? Yup. And make sure you wait around to hear the super-catchy “Wait” and “Can’t Keep Running.”

6:30 | Vampire Weekend
If they don’t open with “Holiday,” then they missed the obvious. But that’s okay – with tunes like “Oxford Comma” and “A-Punk,” we’ll forgive them.


8:30 | Phoenix
We can’t think of a better way to wrap up Lolla under glimmering Chi-Town lights than with French alt-rockers Phoenix’s big, swoony indietronica sound.  Frontman Thomas Mars and crew are certain to give a solid, out-of-this-world performance.

Tix are sold out – wah!- but if you’ve already snagged yours, get all the latest up-to-date info at