In an ideal world, I would have enough money in my bank account for both festivals. This is not an ideal world. So I have to choose to go to Pitchfork for the fourth time or Lollapalooza for the first time.
Neither festival has particularly strong headliners in my opinion. It’s hard to compare them head-to-head because the pay they offer is not comparable. The decision ultimately comes down to other acts on the bill and price (which Pitchfork has the edge on).
What sets Lollapalooza apart is its depth. I could have easily made a Top 30 list of bands/musical acts I wanted to see. But, given that I am writing on my lunch break, I will stick to a Top 10.
Here are the 10 bands I want to see at Lollapalooza 2012:
10. Twin Shadow
I still haven’t seen George Lewis Jr. and Co. live. I had a ticket to see them last year but this happened. Twin Shadow’s debut Forget was one of my favorite albums of 2011. Granted, it was released in 2010.
9. Red Hot Chili Peppers
I caught the Chili Peppers at Voodoo Music Experience 2006. I stood what seemed like 10,000 miles away from the stage. But alas, John Frusciante’s guitar soared through the muggy New Orleans night. Frusciante is no longer with the Chili Peppers. Who will wear out the “wah-wah” pedal in his place?
NOTE: When I say I am not enthused about Lolla’s headliners, that might not be entirely true. I am interested in seeing the Black Keys and Jack White, but not as much as, say, seeing Arcade Fire. I have no interest in seeing Black Sabbath. Zero.
8. Florence+The Machine
This slot might be too low for Florence+The Machine. It all depends how much of her Coachella set I catch. She’s overlapping with At the Drive-In. ARRRRGHHHHHH!!!!! Anyone who reads this site knows how much I love Florence Welch. She’s part of the ginger tribe even though she’s a fake ginger.
7. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Seattle hip hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis orchestrated one of my favorite shows of 2011. Their Portland show took place before a friendly crowd familiar with their music. I am interested to see how their energy carries over into a festival setting in front of people who don’t know their music.
6. Sharon Van Etten
The Cajun Tomato could be mistaken for a Sharon Van Etten fan site. Here are my reviews of her Aladdin Theater show in Portland and her Music Hall of Williamsburg show in Brooklyn. She’s one of my favorite performers of 2012.
5. Passion Pit
Sometimes you gotta dance, you know?
4. The Walkmen
This New York quintet feels like my band. I know how hokey that sounds and I don’t care. They have been making interesting, melancholy-tinged rock music for the past decade and I can’t wait for their latest, Heaven. Plus, Hamilton Leithauser belts his ass off live.
3. At the Drive-In
The Hell Paso-ites would be higher on this list, except I am seeing them at Coachella. All the same, anytime you can see At the Drive-In has the potential to be special.
2. Sigur Ros
I can’t help myself. I love gibberish music.
1. Alabama Shakes
I can only imagine how packed this show will be, but this song makes me determined to be in that number. “You ain’t alone, just let me be your ticket home.” Indeed.