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Feature Fri Aug 07 2009
Ding Ding! Imagine this: It's Sunday night at Lollapalooza. You're tired and sweaty and dirty and yet totally charged up and ready to rock. Our team of writers has the picks of which what stages will be bliss and which stages are best to miss. Read on for more.
Sunday night, August 9
Neko Case vs Vampire Weekend: Sunday, 4:30-5:30pm
I have adored Neko Case and her amazing voice for years, ever since I first heard the song "Star Witness." Her new album, Middle Cyclone, is a shoe-in for my best of '09 list. Vampire Weekend was on the cover of SPIN Magazine in March of last year with the headline "The Year's Best New Band...Already!?" It was a good thing they put a question mark after that statement because while they aren't a terrible band, they weren't worthy of all the uproar. This one's an easy choice: Neko Case.
Neko Case performs on the Budweiser Stage and Vampire Weekend play on the Chicago 2016 Stage on Sunday from 4:30-5:30pm.
Dan Auerbach vs Cold War Kids: Sunday, 5:30-6:30pm
The Black Keys' singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach performs in support of his debut solo release, Keep It Hid. Even though it is a "solo" offering, Auerbach is backed by a full band in creating his richly soulful and psychedelic strain of blues-rock. Known to play through a sea of vintage equipment, Auerbach produces a sweltering flood of sound that becomes rarer by the day. At the same time, and on a stage faraway, Cold War Kids will be shuffling through their organic brand of indie-rock. It's a satisfying experience to watch them create resourcefully hand-crafted sounds, as they play random objects as instruments - not to mention the satisfying experience of watching them play their instruments as instruments. Their music thrives on the human element, both in application and output. While I would like to be there to see it, I will be soaking in the sweet sounds of Dan Auerbach. I will always prefer the more intimate environments over those of festival grounds, but some artists seem better-suited for the latter: Dan Auerbach is one.
Dan Auerbach performs on the PlayStation Stage and Cold War Kids play on the vitaminwater Stage from 5:30-6:30pm Sunday.
Lou Reed vs. Deerhunter vs. Snoop Dogg: Sunday, 6:30-7:30pm
While most could argue that the crossover of these three acts is a pretty small slice of the Lolla pie, it's important that fans weigh every option here. Fact One: Lou Reed is not going to win anyone over. If you know you love the trail-blazing indie pioneer with an ego that only Warhol could love, you're not going to be disappointed unless Reed breaks out Metal Machine Music. Fact Two: Deerhunter have crafted some fine, boundary-pushing pop in their last two outings, finding room for spacey hooks in their psychedelic take on pop. If you haven't heard of them, you'll probably get a taste of a band that will sound even better when you take them home to your headphones. Fact Three: You will probably still hear Snoop Dogg no matter which stage you go to. And admit it, you love Snoop. Even if he doesn't rap a single bar, go see them man shine his sleepy grin upon the crowd and be charmed. Then breathe in deeply towards the front of the stage, and get your own sleepy grin.
Lou Reed performs on the Budweiser Stage, Deerhunter play on the Citi Stage and Snoop Dogg performs on the Chicago 2016 Stage on Sunday from 6:30-7:30pm.
Band of Horses vs MSTRKRFT vs Silversun Pickups: Sunday, 7-8:30pm
Once again, another debate of to dance or not to dance. MSTRKRFT will surely get the crowd moving with their tight electro beats and blips. If dancing isn't your thing, you've got a difficult choice between two somewhat similar bands, Band of Horses and Silversun Pickups. I like Band of Horses, with their southern tinged alt-country rock music, but I can't imagine their music really capturing my attention in the middle of a hot field full of people. The Silversun Pickups, with their brand of distorted shoegazer indie rock, could be the perfect fix for a sonic explosive set. If you missed out on bands like the original Smashing Pumpkins at Lolla, then check out Silversun Pickups to get a dose of nostalgia on Sunday.
MSTRKRFT performs on Perry's Stage from 7-8:30pm, Band of Horses plays on the PlayStation Stage and Silversun Pickups perform on the vitaminwater Stage from 7:30-8:30pm on Sunday
Jane's Addiction vs The Killers: Sunday, 8:30-10pm
The Killers played Lollapalooza once before, right along their rise to fame with their debut album, Hot Fuss. It was 2005 and the festival was half the size it its now (only taking up Butler Field on the south end of Buckingham Fountain). They weren't even in a headlining slot, and a little known band called Arcade Fire played on the same stage before them. Jane's Addiction have obviously played Lolla before, they birthed the concept as a farewell tour for themselves in 1991. Someone once made the argument to me that your musical taste freezes at age 18. Even if that isn't exactly true, you still hold a special place for the music that you grew up to. Brandon Flowers and crew are great live, but my school girl heart still beats for this alternative rock band that I never got to see live. I graduated high school in 1999 and "Jane Says" and "Been Caught Stealin'" basically soundtracked my adolescence. In fact, I'm missing my ten-year reunion for this festival, so I've got to pay homage to the anniversary somehow, right? Plus, it's the original line-up (hopefully--drummer Stephen Perkins is being treated for an elbow infection and they canceled their Australian tour). My recommendation? If you were born before 1985, see Jane's.
Jane's Addiction performs on the Budweiser Stage and The Killers play on the Chicago 2016 Stage on Sunday from 8:30-10pm.