Don’t Miss: Day One of Lollapalooza

By Jessica Galliart

With so many bands and so little time, making decisions on which sets to check out at Lollapalooza, Chicago’s biggest music festival of the year, and which to miss out on can be a bit stressful. Of course, headliners like Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Wilco, Nine Inch Nails and Kanye West are givens, but with so many promising smaller acts performing in different areas at the same times—in forecasted temperatures of above 90 degrees, nonetheless—pre-planning is absolutely necessary.

Here are some of The Chronicle’s suggestions on who to check out on day one of Lollapalooza on Aug. 1.

Who: Bang Camaro

When: 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Where: MySpace stage

Hails from: Boston

No, this five-piece band with 20 lead singers isn’t joking. The guys and gals of Bang Camaro simply all loved hard rock and decided to create their own sound with familiar metal riffs and throwbacks from the ’80s. Their schtick is definitely the fact that there are more than two dozen people on stage at a time singing the band’s anthems, but the real story is the band’s ability to turn familiar mediocre rock riffs into their own original, musically sound, indie-rock anthems that any punk can enjoy.

Who: Black Lips

When: 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Where: Bud Light stage

Hails from: Atlanta

After the rise of bands like The White Stripes, The Strokes and The Vines, it seemed like people were just plain sick of the garage-rock scene within a few years. Although the Atlanta quartet The Black Lips are still holding onto this slightly rejected garage/noise rock sound, they have something else going for them: They’re completely insane on stage. The guys are a bit notorious for spitting on each other (and the crowd), making out with each other, detailing stories of arrests and drug use and supposedly even peeing on each other. Although their music, which has actually matured and become sickeningly catchy as the band attempts to reach a broader audience, is part of a slowly dying movement, their shows always guarantee a memorable time.

Who: The Go! Team

When: 2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Where: Bud Light stage

Hails from: Brighton, UK

A mix of samples, TV theme music and cheerleader chants, The Go! Team’s sound provides the quintessential soundtrack to any neon-colored party or festival. Every song is packed with at least a couple of different sounds, as if the band refused to pick a genre and stick with it. The beats call for foot stomping, above-the-head hand claps and some major head bobbing. Show the Brighton rockers some love and don’t miss a chance to check them out live.

Who: Holy F–k

When: 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Where: AT&T stage

Hails from: Toronto, Ontario

Simply put, the guys of Holy F–k live up to their name. The psychedelic group set out to create live, electronic sounds without the use of splicing, back tracks or looping associated with most electronic music. Aside from their intricate electronic beats, the group also produces gut-wrenching, tear-inducing instrumental songs that you won’t feel embarrassed crying to. It’s a breath of fresh air to enjoy live electronic music without feeling bored from watching one dude hit a few buttons on his laptop. Thanks, Holy F–k!

Who: The Kills

When: 3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Where: MySpace stage

Hails from: London

This is The Kills’ year. The duo, consisting of American Alison Mosshart and Brit Jamie Hince, released their third album, Midnight Boom, early this year and have been on the up and up since. Midnight is their best effort yet, with its gritty, unapologetic rock sound dirty-sexy lyrics. The Kills’ image is so pleasantly dark and true to the rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic that it’s hard to imagine the two live in full color instead of in still grainy, black-and-white images. Mosshart and Hince don’t mess around, and they have chosen the seldom-traveled path in rock of less-is-more—which always tends to leave us wanting more.

Who: Louis XIV

When: 3:15 – 4 p.m.

Where: Citi stage

Hails from: San Diego, Calif.

We’re pretty sure Louis XIV wants to get everyone at their shows to hook up. Their lyrics are seductive, their performances send shockwaves to your hips, and their sound is obviously an incredible mix of influences ranging from David Bowie to Queen. With a few kinks to still work out, these wannabe glam rockers have loads of potential to surpass the likes of any of Jack White’s projects and create another British invasion—without the actual invading part.

Who: Gogol Bordello

When: 4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Where: AT&T stage

Hails from: New York City

These Eastern European immigrants convinced us to “Start Wearing Purple” in their debut single that was a smash hit in the UK in 1999. Almost a decade later these crazy, accordion-wielding gypsy punks are still making their rounds on tour and building on their explosive sound that draws more fans with every show. And just an FYI: “Gogol Bordello” was taken from Russian author Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol and the Russian word for “brothel.”

Who: Million $ Mano

When: 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Where: Perry’s

Hails from: Chicago

This guy looks familiar, right? Emmanuel Nickerson, aka Million $ Mano, can be seen out and about at just about every great club on any given weekend deejaying alongside local favorites Hollywood Holt and The Cool Kids. But Mano, who scoffs at the backlash against “hipster-hop”—the movement of hip-hop mixing club beats with a heavy bass—said he’s just doing what he wants to do: expressing his art. Mano is a driven, unstoppable force in the scene, so much so that he even got a stamp of approval from Kanye West that practically launched Mano’s career.

Who: The Cool Kids

When: 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Where: BMI stage

Hails from: Chicago

These guys don’t need to tell us they’re cool—we know it. Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks, a former Columbia student, create throwback beats to early ’80s hip-hop and even dress the part with their neon-heavy, sideways cap garb. The duo has stood their ground during the backlash against hipster-hop and released their debut The Bake Sale to positive reviews in June 2008. Though most of the tracks on the album have been on fans’ playlists for a while, thanks to MySpace, The Bake Sale is an incredible introduction to a group that is rapidly breaking through the underground and planning to stick around for a while.

Who: CSS

When: 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Where: Citi stage

Hails from: Brazil

The pop quintet recently upped the ante on their latest album, Donkey, on which the Brazilians add a guitar-heavy sound to their songs about anger, relationships and pop culture. CSS, short for “candei de ser sexy,” which is a Portugese riff off of Beyonce Knowles, who said she was “tired of being sexy,” always brought a catchy, smart attitude to pop music, but with Donkey, the band promises an articulate, mature sound and an energetic live set that we just can’t resist.

For more information about Lollapalooza’s day one schedule, visit the festival’s website: http://lollapalooza.com/default.asp?fd=1 Tickets are still available and can be purchased online: http://lollapalooza.com/default.asp?fd=1

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