Nice lineup Lollapalooza, but where are the Chicago bands?!
Once again, Lollapalooza’s delivered an impressive lineup of exceptional live bands (Arcade Fire, Gogol Bordello), some accomplished vets (reggae rocker Jimmy Cliff, Devo), hot acts of the hour (Lady Gaga, MGMT, The xx, Phoenix), scores of solid indie rockers (The New Pornographers, Spoon, Yeasayer, Frightened Rabbit), some noteworthy reunions (Soundgarden and The Strokes) and just a sprinkle of R&B and hip hop for good measure (Cypress Hill and Erykah Badu).
There’s loads of gripes and cheers all over the Web today, but truth be told, it’s an impressive feat to assemble a group of artists that can appeal to the masses yet possess a unique musical spirit. You’ll never find Justin Bieber at Lolla. (Not yet anyway).
But there’s one area where Lollapalooza’s lineup is exceptionally lacking, and its such a shameful oversight, it can’t be excused: Chicago bands are barely represented at Chicago’s biggest music event of the year.
Out of 121 different acts announced so far, a measly 11 have ties to the city. (And that includes The New Pornographers, a primarily Canadian group that counts recent Chicago resident Neko Case as one of its star members). That’s a pathetic 9%.
Lollapalooza is already doing so much in promoting the city, that’s true. But this being a music festival that prides itself on its Chicago home, why not support Chicago’s incredibly rich music scene? Why can’t Lolla team up with a sponsor to set up a small stage with back to back sets of local artists? For the thousands upon thousands of city dwellers and tourists alike, it’d be an incredible opportunity to showcase all the local scene has to offer, and a thrill for our hardworking, talented bands to get a platform to show off what they’ve got.
Maybe for 2011? Or is there a greater chance of Bieber headlining the Spencer’s stage? God, I really hope not.
Well at least at this year’s Lolla, you can see these 11 local acts, most of whom will be playing DJ sets. Listed in alphabetical order.
Flosstradamus (If I catch only one Chicago DJ set, it’ll be this one).
The Ike Reilly Assassination (No band at Lolla’s like this classic rock-inspired, slightly satirical act).
Mavis Staples (The top Chicago act to see, Staples’ swampy, emotionally-charged gospel is rightfully legendary).
The New Pornographers (Going out on a limb to classify this as a Chicago band, since only one member recently became a resident. And that band mate in question, Neko Case, isn’t even guaranteed to play at Lolla. She didn’t perform at the group’s last Lolla gig).