If you’re one of the lucky 80,000 or so people who snagged a ticket to this year’s Lollapalooza, you’re probably a little overwhelmed by the astounding lineup. While landing a prime spot for The Cure, The Postal Service and (of course) Nine Inch Nails is understandably on the top of your priority list, we’ve compiled a brief rundown of a few lesser-known bands who are equally essential to see this weekend. These are all front-row worthy acts, so throw some ‘bows and get your ass up there. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.
1. Reignwolf: Saturday, 2:00 @ Petrillo
Please refer to our review of Reignwolf at DC9 earlier this summer and you’ll see why this dude is absolutely not an act you can afford to miss. With massively buzzed about appearances at Sasquatch and Rock the Shores under his belt as well as a new opening gig for the f*cking PIXIES this fall, it’s only a matter of time until this guitar shredding animal takes over the world. So if for some crazy reason you miss his electric and undoubtedly jaw-dropping performance this year, you can always catch his headlining set next year. Oh yeah, and did we mention he plays guitar and drums simultaneously? Well, he does. And you’re welcome.
2. Shovels & Rope: Saturday, 12:45 @ Red Bull
After a whirlwind year opening for paramount rock ‘n roller, Mr. Jack White and Dawes, the South Carolina-based duo are bringing their southern charm and folk-tinged rock tunes to Grant Park this weekend. The husband-and-wife team stir up some serious ruckus with two guitars, a few harmonicas, the occasional keyboard and a literal junkyard drum kit complete with tambourines, flowers, and kitchen rags. Whether they’re playing to 4 people or 4,000, their show is the same. They want you to feel what they feel, to travel the miles they’ve driven, and to tap your foot because you just can’t help it.
3. Skaters: Sunday, 2:15 @ The Grove
After releasing their debut single “I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How)” the trio embarked on a U.S. tour with Portugal. The Man and then spent a month across the pond where they made appearances at Reading & Leeds and Bestival that left NME and BBC Radio 1 buzzing about their awesomeness. Catch ’em this weekend before they drop their presumably radical debut album (produced by John Hill,) and hit the road with Palma Violets this fall.
4. Machines Are People Too: Sunday, 4:30 @ BMI
The Nashville-based, synth-pop quartet has been dominating the festival scene this summer delivering infectiously fun performances at Bonnaroo and Hangout Fest — and their Lollapalooza debut is sure to be equally smile-inducing. Their sophomore EP, “Nickels & Dimes” is the perfect soundtrack for the dog days of summer; jam packed with exquisitely pleasant sonic gems that will make you want to run away from the woes of reality and just do what you love.
5. San Cisco: Friday, 1:00 @ The Grove
There’s really nothing not to love about these four garage-pop darlings from Australia. They’ve rapidly won over the hearts of fans and critics alike with the infectious, lo-fi chunes off their stunning EP “Golden Revolver” and their equally magical sophomore effort, “Awkward.” Much like their Wes Anderson-esque video (below) the undeniably adorable quartet will make you want to gallivant around a sunshine-drenched field and fall in love.