One of festival season's biggest attractions is almost here. Lollapalooza returns to Chicago's Grant Park from August 1-3 and, of course, the lineup is massive. More than 100 artists—from chart-topping rappers like Iggy Azalea and Eminem to rising EDM stars Duke Dumont and Chromeo—will play across the city park. It's a lot to comb through, but luckily we're here to help.
No matter who you're pumped about seeing, we've done the dirty work and picked out 15 must-see acts playing Lolla this year. Whether you've set your itinerary or are in the early stages of planning, be sure to plug these artists into your schedule.
Then, once festival weekend rolls around, come back to find all of Fuse's on-the-ground coverage from Lollapalooza right here. We'll see you in Chicago!
With just a six-date tour with Rihanna and an Austin City Limits slot, Slim Shady is keeping his touring light this summer, so Lolla provides one of the few chances to catch the self-proclaimed "Rap G-d" live. With a slot closing out Day 1, we're positive Em is going to set a mighty-high standard for his fellow headliners.
Riding high off the success of his new Top 10 hit "Summer," the EDM maestro is sure to bring a sweaty, fist-pumping set we're hoping is chocked full of new music. Cross your fingers for a moment as memorable as what Harris accomplished at the UK's T in the Park festival earlier this month, when the DJ welcomed Will Smith to the turntables, bringing the movie star/rapper back to the live stage—even if it was just to act as hype man.
Who dat, who dat? I-G-G-Y! Get to the Australian rapper's set early because you know this stage is going to be packed with a crowd dying to hear hip hop's reigning female perform song of the summer "Fancy" and twerk along to her New Classic jams.
Manchester Orchestra has proven to be nothing if not consistent. Over the last decade, the Atlanta-based indie-grunge-rockers have released four stellar LPs, the latest dropping earlier this year. That album, Cope, takes the best parts of the grungy rock found on their celebrated Mean Everything To Nothing (2009) and turns the amps up to 11. Since Cope is a loud guitar-rock record that seems like it was made for festivals and arenas, expect to hear quite a few songs from that album at Lolla, in addition to the "hits." Manchester Orchestra is a must-see, if you want some no-frills, solid head-bobbing rock and roll in your day.
Along with Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran, this Irish singer-songwriter is one of the new sad boys of pop with a bone-tingling voice. Already a chart-topping star in his native Ireland, Hozier's hitting a select group of U.S. festivals this year. Go see him before he follows in line with Sheeran and Smith, and you can't afford his concert tickets anymore.
Nas is having a celebratory year with the 20th anniversary of Illmatic. The MC is hitting Lollapalooza in what's sure to be a setlist chocked full of nostalgic classics from his landmark debut. This is a once-in-a-lifetime set, Lolla fans.
Make sure you hit up Chromeo for the synth-pop disco party you know you're going to be yearning for this Lolla. The guys' White Women just earned their highest-charting album yet (No. 11) and their new single "Jealous (I Ain't With It)" is on the cusp of hitting mainstream radio. You've got to see the Montreal duo before they blow up to big-time EDM fame.
Duke Dumont is the British house DJ on the brink of EDM superstar status. With two No. 1s in his native UK, Dumont has yet to make a major impact stateside, but dude already picked up a GRAMMY nomination last year. Bring your friends to this set to prove you've got great taste and an eye for up-and-coming talent. You'll thank us later.
Heralded throughout 2014 as one of the headliners of the "emo revival," Evan Weiss has actually been writing and performing as Into It. Over It. for a solid seven years now. His indie-rock can be played as a stripped-down, one-man acoustic show, but the true brilliance of his two full-length efforts, 2011's Proper and last year's Intersections, are brought out when he performs with a full band. Expect the latter at Lollapalooza, and expect to leave Chicago with a new favorite act.
Get your R&B fix with the genre's new princess, who has collaborated with everyone from Lil Wayne and Big Sean to Drake and Childish Gambino. At Coachella this year, "The Worst" singer brought Drizzy and Gambino out for a spicy set. But even if Aiko doesn't unviel an all-star guest, you'll still get lost in her velvety smooth vocals.
AFI has been on a tear since dropping Burials, their first full-length in four years. The band called it their "darkest" release to date, and the album's success (it debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200) landed them a tour with Linkin Park that begins in August. If you have time to see the rock veterans, they'll bring a highly energetic show that's worth your while.
If you've ever surfed Vine looking for popular six-second clips of...stuff....chances are high that you've already heard Wallpaper. The hip-hop/pop fusion group's single "Hesher" has become a bit of a viral music meme on the social networking site–leading to a huge rise in attention for the song. It turns out that Wallpaper. actually has quite a few catchy tunes–expect to hear a lot of them (from their latest effort Ricky Reed Is Real) at Lolla.
The new side project of fun.'s Jack Antonoff, Bleachers has seemingly been everywhere since the project was announced earlier this year–except on the road. Antonoff has only stretched his legs a few times with his new indie-pop act, performing in big markets, at a few festivals and on select late-night shows. While Bleachers will begin touring properly in August to support the just-released Strange Desire, Lolla offers a chance to catch one of the first shows on what will likely become a months-long global romp. Antonoff previously had moderate success as the frontman of a solo project called Steel Train, and his experience there is clearly influencing what he's created with Strange Desire–it's light-hearted, it's catchy and we imagine it's probably fun as hell to see live.
Sure, most of Lollapalooza is for exuberant singalong and rock-the-eff-out moments. But for the quick change of pace, look to the Swedish songstress and sway along to the heartbreaking songs off of her excellent I Never Learn LP.
After poor health caused him to call off his Coachella set with less than an hour's notice, plus cancel a handful of subsequent April performances, the Chicago native is back in fighting form and will not miss this festival homecoming. Expect a slew of special guests.
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