Don’t miss: Day Two 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 two of Lollapalooza on Aug. 2.

Who: Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s

When: 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Where: MySpace stage

Hails from: Indianapolis

Led by vocalist Richard Edwards’ soothing, slightly Conor Oberst-reminiscent crooning, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s have a good thing going. The eight-piece group brilliantly blends multi-instrumental backing with a layered chorus of vocals together to create a solid, chamber-pop sound. Though their stage-packed live shows aren’t exactly the most exciting thing to happen to the indie scene, the group’s dreamy music makes up for it. Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s are definitely on our bands to watch list, and with their grueling touring schedule and upcoming release, Animal!, in September, there’s no excuse to miss out on seeing them soon.

Who: Does it Offend You, Yeah?

When: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where: Bud Light stage

Hails From: UK

We love us some solid dance-rock jams, and we couldn’t be more excited to check out this electronic quartet for the first time. On their debut album, You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into, the UK rockers meticulously blend live instrumentation with electronics to create a sound that makes dancing absolutely irresistible. Their weird name comes from an episode of the UK version of “The Office,” and they obviously have been influenced by the likes of Justice and Daft Punk. And when we say it’s difficult not to dance your you-know-what off to these guys, believe us. Be prepared to sweat and rock out, as the group always brings fierce, high-energy sets in the vein of groups like Rage Against the Machine. Does it Offend You, Yeah? are on a roll and don’t show any signs of stopping soon.

Who: The Ting Tings

When: 12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where: AT&T stage

Hails from: Salford, UK

This uber-pop group has skyrocketed up the charts in the past few months and caught our attention with their hit single, “Shut Up and Let Me Go,” which sounds eerily similar to Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out.” The duo’s debut LP, We Started Nothing, has been well-received by critics and fans in the United States, so their set at Lollapalooza promises to be a packed one. We’re a little bummed about the placement of The Ting Tings and Does It Offend You, Yeah? in the same timeslot, but we’re prepared for some across-the-park sprinting anyways.

Who: Devlin & Darko

When: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: Perry’s

Hails from: Baltimore, Maryland

They might not sound familiar, but you probably know these two guys as the DJs behind the genre-crossing party crashers Spank Rock. Chris Devlin and Ronnie Darko broke off from Spank Rock to do their own thing and have proven that they’re the master minds behind Spank Rock’s infectious sound. If Spank Rock’s set tonight at 6 p.m. is just too long to wait, check out Devlin & Darko beforehand to get your early fix.

Who: MGMT

When: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: MySpace stage

Hails from: Brooklyn, New York

MGMT (pronounced “management”) have quickly picked up speed in the past year and continue to reel in more and more fans with their funky pop sound. Their songs are gritty, edgy yet catchy enough to be looped over and over on a local radio station. They may be headed for mainstream, but MGMT has managed to keep a shred of their indie dignity by touring with groups like Beck and Of Montreal, among others. Their live performances often get mixed reviews, mainly because fans are usually expecting different things from the group. Just go with an open mind and a back-up plan in case the show goes south.

Who: Devotchka

When: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: PlayStation stage

Mysterious indie ballads with an Eastern European flair make up the majority of Devotchka’s songbook, but the real attractions here are the multitude of instruments the group implements into their songs. Check out the awesome girl playing the tuba, on which she sometimes strings Christmas lights, and enjoy the horns and violin in the background. The group also made a name for themselves by composing the score to Academy Award-winning film Little Miss Sunshine, which just cements their coolness factor in our books.

Who: Explosions in the Sky

When: 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Where: Bud Light stage

Hails from: Austin, Texas

It’s quite a task to stand out in the indie-rock, instrumental scene, but Explosions in the Sky have unmistakably owned this genre since they entered it. Their songs are packed with emotion, tragedy and passion, and if the climaxes within the songs don’t bring you to tears, you might need to get that checked out. A friend of ours is skeptical of how the band will perform at a large festival mid-day—the group usually prefers darker, more intimate spaces—but we’re confident they won’t disappoint.

Who: Spank Rock

When: 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Where: Citi stage

Hails from: Philadelphia

Get a small taste of the new hip-hop royalty at Spank Rock’s set. Their live shows undoubtedly turn into sex-fueled dance parties, and their sounds are becoming the ultimate dance party anthems of the year. Be prepared to get down and sweat a little.

Who: Uffie

When: 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Where: BMI stage

Hails from: Paris (Born in United States)

We recently discovered Uffie—a bit late in the game—and we feel confident in saying this Paris-based American is the best thing to happen in the electro scene since Peaches. She’s hot, energetic, demands a stage with her presence and knows how to work a crowd. She has yet to release an album and, according to her MySpace, her tour schedule is pretty limited as of right yet. Make sure to secure your spot in front of the stage early and catch her while you can.

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