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15 Must-See Artists at Lollapalooza 2015

Whether you're hitting Chi-Town for the legends or the newbies, the EDM frenzies or the six-string singalongs, we've got you covered

1 / 15

St. Paul and the Broken Bones: Friday, 2:30-3:30 PM, Bud Light Stage

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 31: Paul Janeway of St. Paul & The Broken Bones performs at Marathon Music Works on December 31, 201
Erika Goldring/Getty Images

David Letterman was going wild about these guys a couple months ago, and after their Late Show performance, it was easy to see why. Now a large chunk of the greater Chicago area can get a taste of what these Birmingham, Ala., boys have to offer at Lollapalooza: Think the Muscle Shoals sound of Southern soul, reigned in on record by Alabama Shakes keyboardist Ben Tanner, because of course that band had a hand in this. Your high school history teacher happens to front a seven-piece soul band, and he's coming for you.  Get ready to be taken to church on a Friday afternoon. –Kevin Rutherford

Read all of our Lollapalooza 2015 coverage!

2 / 15

Alabama Shakes: Friday, 5:45-6:45 PM, Samsung Galaxy Stage

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes performs onstage during day 2 of The Great Escape Festival  on
Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images

The gut-punch of Brittany Howard’s soul-baring blues-rock wail-croon paired with her intensely emotional guitar work gives Alabama Shakes a singular, irresistible presence when they perform. The chance to see that play out at Lollapalooza will be a special moment for the group. Denied a chance to shine at the fest in 2012 following their debut Boys & Girls because of a massive thunderstorm, Alabama Shakes return this year for a Friday afternoon sure to be studded with the gorgeous agony and ecstasy of tracks from their excellent sophomore album, Sound & Color. Just wait till Ms. Howard gets going on “Gimme All Your Love.” This band is nothing but the truth. –Jessica Letkemann

3 / 15

Dillon Francis: Friday, 7-8:15 PM, Perry's Stage

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 13: This Image was shot with a fisheye lens.) Dillon Francis halts his performance to stop a fight at
Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images

Lolla is slowly becoming the new cool place for artists to show off their superstar pals. Dillon Francis' latest album boasts appearances by Panic! at the Disco's Brendon Urie, DJ Snake, Major Lazer and many more, so it wouldn't be shocking if the DJ-producer brought out a friend or two for his set. But even if there isn't a superstar cameo, trust that the crowd will collectively lose their shit during the beat drop on "Get Low." –Jeff Benjamin

4 / 15

Paul McCartney: Friday, 7:45-10 PM, Samsung Galaxy Stage

ROSKILDE, DENMARK - JULY 04: Paul McCartney performs at Roskilde Festival  on July 4, 2015 in Roskilde, Denmark.  (Photo by Y
Yuliya Christensen/Redferns via Getty Images

Never, ever never sleep on the opportunity to see a Beatle perform, especially not Paul McCartney. Sir Paul is a legend for a reason. Beyond the fact that his set is sure to be packed with iconic tracks from his half-century of incomparable songwriting, he remains a commanding force on stage. And you’ve never really heard “Hey Jude” until you’ve heard Macca belt it out live to tens of thousands of fans. –Jessica Letkemann

5 / 15

The Weeknd: Friday, 8:30-10PM, Bud Light Stage

INDIO, CA - APRIL 11: Singer The Weeknd performs onstage during day 2 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Wee
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Weeknd's coming out with a new album next month called Beauty Behind the Madness. Perhaps you've heard of it? One of the more anticipated releases of 2015's second half will come about a month removed from the R&B singer's Friday-closing Lollapalooza set, so rest assured you'll hear some cuts from the new record, most notably the No. 2 song in the country, the slice of Max Martin-helmed perfection that is "Can't Feel My Face." Only one way to find out: Go. Just go. –Kevin Rutherford

6 / 15

Catfish and the Bottlemen: Saturday, 12:45-1:30 PM, Samsung Galaxy Stage

GRAEFENHAINICHEN, GERMANY - JULY 19: Singer Van McCann of Catfish And The Bottlemen performs live on stage during day 3 of Me
Stefan Hoederath/Redferns

What's a summer festival without a few English rock bands? Catfish & the Bottlemen (don't stop at the name, trust us) fill a space similar to the 1975—they're a pop rock band on to big things. "Kathleen" will act as your answer to "Chocolate." –Maria Sherman

7 / 15

Twenty One Pilots: Saturday, 4:30-5:30 PM, Samsung Galaxy Stage

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 07: Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots performs during Bunbury Music Festival on June 7, 2015 in Cincinn
Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images

Things just keep getting better for Twenty One Pilots. In a matter of a few years, the Columbus, Ohio, duo has gone from marginally successful alt-rockers on Fueled By Ramen—the label that also houses Paramore and Panic! at the Disco—to being a bona fide heavy hitter that owns a No. 1 album in America. Now is their moment, with new LP Blurryface still fresh in festival-goers' minds Come for the reggae-infused bounce of "Ride," stay for the singalong choruses of "Tear in My Heart" and "Holding On to You." –Kevin Rutherford

8 / 15

Tame Impala: Saturday, 6-7 PM, Samsung Galaxy Stage

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 10: Kevin Parker of Tame Impala performs during day 3 of the 3rd Annual Shaky Knees Music Festival at Atlan
Chris McKay/Getty Images

Currents. That's it: Just...Currents. The third album from Australian psychmeister Kevin Parker—who rocks out as Tame Impala, with some dudes whose brains are as tie-dyed as his—adds a dancier, poppier side to an act that was already toplining festivals without a problem for the last couple years. Wilding out to the eight-minute album opener and lead single "Let It Happen" will be one of the best moments of your Lolla life—and so will the booming singalongs that come with "'Cause I'm a Man." –Zach Dionne

9 / 15

Brand New: Saturday, 7-8 PM, Sprint Stage

INDIO, CA - APRIL 12: Jesse Lacey of Brand New performs during the 2015 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival at The Empir
Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage

Emo purists, rejoice! Brand New are back. If you're on the mics are for swinging side of the endless Taking Back Sunday/BN feud, you've got something to look forward to. Not only are we going to get new Brand New music this year, but the Long Island boys are hitting the Lolla stage. Tell that to all the English boys you meet! –Maria Sherman

10 / 15

Metallica: Saturday, 8-10 PM, Samsung Galaxy Stage

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 09: Musicians James Hetfield (L) and Kirk Hammett of Metallica perform onstage during Rock in Rio USA at
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Metallica know how to shut up and play the hits. They also know how to shut you up while they play their new hits, the ones you don't know yet, the ones that'll show up on their 10th album. (Which they were known to be in the studio recording way back in January.) There's a reason Metallica have been sharing zillions of live shows for purchase and free download for a decade, and the reason seems to only get stronger: At the end of 2014, they released recordings of all 27 shows they'd played that year.

So Metallica's still killing 'em all, and by the way, this is their first time at Lollapalooza since headlining the traveling version 19 damn years ago–Zach Dionne

11 / 15

Sam Smith: Saturday, 8:45-10 PM, Bud Light Stage

PERTH, SCOTLAND - JULY 10: Sam Smith performs onstage on Day 1 of the T in the Park festival at Strathallan Castle on July 10
Ollie Millington/WireImage

Sammy had a bit of a scare earlier this year when he had to undergo vocal chord surgery due to a hemorrhage that forced him to be silent for three weeks. No doubt he'll come back roaring with this headlining slot, which will be his first U.S. festival date since his recovery. Fingers crossed he'll use the platform to showcase some new material or sing his new Disclosure collabo "Omen" live. –Jeff Benjamin

12 / 15

A$AP Rocky: Sunday, 6:45-7:45 PM, Bud Light Stage

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 29: Asap Rocky from Asap Mob performs at Zenith de Paris on October 29, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo
David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns via Getty Images

A$AP Rocky is a) a new proponent of dabbling with psychedelics and b) the man who released At.Long.Last.A$AP earlier this year, one of the best hip hop albums in a ferociously competitive year packed with Drakes and Kendricks and Meeks and Futures and Waynes. The entire new album is a grimy, seductive vibe-sesh, so expect nothing less from his set. And yeah, you'll still get "Wild for the Night" and "Fuckin' Problems." –Zach Dionne

13 / 15

Halsey: Sunday, 6:50-7:30 PM, BMI Stage

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 14: Halsey performs at Philips Arena on July 14, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Im
Chris McKay/Getty Images

If you're not on the Halsey beat yet, what are you waiting for? The blue-haired teen queen flirts with concepts of sadness and sex like our lady Lana Del Rey, but her breathy vocals feel stronger. Tracks like "Ghost" and "Hold Me Down" find power in vulnerability, a welcomed juxtaposition on the Lolla stage. –Maria Sherman

14 / 15

Florence + the Machine: Sunday, 8:30-10 PM, Samsung Galaxy Stage

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: Florence + the Machine performs onstage during the 2015 Governors Ball Music Festival at Randall's Is
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Governors Ball Music Festival

Florence + the Machine never disappoint when given a festival stage on which to work their magic. Even earlier this year when Florence Welch was still recovering from an injured foot, nothing could stop her from bounding around the Governors Ball stage barefoot, matching her movements to the boundless beauty of her soulful voice. But Lollapalooza 2015 will be an even more special moment. Having blissed out a crowd of many, many thousands during an afternoon set at Lollapalooza 2012, Flo and co. return to Grant Park not only with a whole new album of heady tunes to explore (How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful), but they’ll be doing so as the headliners closing out the entire fest on Sunday night. Prepare to be enchanted. –Jessica Letkemann

15 / 15

Kygo: Sunday, 9-10 PM, Pepsi Stage

INDIO, CA - APRIL 12: DJ Kygo performs onstage during day 3 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Coachella

No doubt Lollapalooza can take a lot out of you. If by the end of day three you're ready to take it just a liiiittle bit easier, look no further than the euphoric sounds of Kygo. The trancey tunes are chill enough to be a less cray experience than Bassnectar (who's making a Lolla comeback...and also closing out the finale night), but still uplifting and fun enough to leave you pumped up and satisfied by the fest's end. –Jeff Benjamin

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