Lollapalooza, a music festival in the heart of Chicago, won’t occur for about six more weeks – so you might as well start your prep now. I’ll periodically be providing previews of the three-day summer bash so you can arrive on August 1st at Grant Park fully knowing who Z-Trip and Pretty Little Demons are. Today on the preview is a summary of three of the six headliners for this year’s event.
One of the biggest success stories in the music industry, Eminem broke racial boundaries when he flew onto the rap scene in the late nineties, proving that no genre could be limited to a certain set of people. His music was especially popular in the early 2000s, with hits like “The Real Slim Shady” and “Without Me” winning him crowd approval and industry awards. After a few years with subpar music and drug issues, he made his comeback in 2010 with his album Recovery, taking on a grittier tone with more experience and perspective. Though his latest album hasn’t received the same critical acclaim as his others (with many arguing that he’s lost his signature style and feels the need to prove himself too much), let’s hope that he can assert his dominance on Lolla’s first day (he’ll be performing from 8:30-10:00 at the Samsung Galaxy stage) by giving the fans what they want to hear – a mixture of Marshall’s passion, Eminem’s wit, and Shady’s edge.
If you were alive in 2003, you knew OutKast for pretty much one reason: their wildly popular, insanely memorable, and at times ridiculously annoying single “Hey Ya.” At first despised, the song slowly wormed its way into our hearts, and also managed to revitalize the Polaroid Corporation (“shake it like a Polaroid picture”) while serving as the subject for multiple research studies aiming to find the root of its success. Four years later with decreasing public relevance, OutKast’s members (Big Boi and Andre 3000) decided to pursue solo work, mainly contributing to remixes or helping other fledgling rappers improve their game. To many, it was a surprise when they announced they would reunite at Coachella (another music festival) in 2014, kicking off a tour of more than forty appearances at festivals to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Though the duo isn’t working on any new music, be sure to check them out on Lolla’s second day at the Samsung Galaxy stage from 8:15 to 10:00, and don’t forget to bring your Polaroid.
Kings of Leon
Kings of Leon is what I like to call a festival staple. They’re your typical alt-rock group that provides reliably and consistently likeable music that highlights where they’ve been (Nashville, where the band was founded) and what they’ve become (Grammy-winning international stars with modesty to spare). Most famous for their 2008 hit “Use Somebody,” KOL hasn’t let their catapult into the spotlight get to their heads. They took their Record of the Year, Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song Grammy wins to heart by producing a steady stream of music that sought not to reproduce the fame of “Use Somebody” but to build upon it. Though no Kings of Leon song since has reached that level of popularity, this group is not one to miss, with their soulful and rhythmic music allowing for a change of pace amongst the EDM-crazed crowds on Lolla’s final day. They’ll be performing at the Samsung Galaxy stage from 8:15 to 10:00.