5 Acts You May Have Missed At Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza 2014

With Lollapalooza comes a mix of nearly every emotion. There was anger before Vampire Weekend took the stage, as hordes of tweens pushed themselves to the front, spilling beer and getting on the nerves of the older folks in the crowd. There was joy at Charles Bradley’s triumphant performance since it was so clear he was having the time of his life. There was also joy at the doughnuts provided by Chicago’s amazing Glazed & Infused. There was disgust at the countless offensive Native American headdresses and crude t-shirts, as well as disgust at the many couples grinding and getting to second base during indie pop shows. There was sadness from the Death Grips fans who were thoroughly disappointed from the band’s boorish behavior by choosing not the show up to the festival. There was surprise at how amazing The Cure still sounds. And finally, there was a whole lot of fun had at the Disclosure and Phoenix shows.

Lolla always has its highs and lows. But each year, the highlights come from the smaller acts who can surprise and win over crowds. While the rest of the masses and festival recappers were attending more popular shows at bigger stages, five acts secretly stole the show.

Father John Misty

Credit: Johnny Firecloud/Crave Onine

Father John Misty

Father John Misty is Josh Tillman’s most recent stage name, whose latest album Fear Fun nearly topped my Best Of 2012 albums list. Formerly the drummer of Fleet Foxes, Tillman has successively released eight solid solo albums with Fear Fun being the most adventurous and, well, the most fun.

He kicked off his three o’clock set at the Lake Shore stage with a powerful rendition of album opener “Funtimes In Babylon,” his smooth voice not missing a note throughout the entire set. On stage, Tillman hammed it up, employing dramatic dance moves and his awkwardly charming rock star charisma. His stage banter was also hilarious, further exaggerating his goofball personality that shines on Fear Fun. Throughout the show, he tossed out gems like, “I heard a girl here say ‘I hate the rain.’ Rain makes civilization possible. Civilization enables groupthink—and groupthink makes it possible for shitty music to be huge…so I love the rain!”

Pacific Air

Credit: Lollapalooza

Pacific Air

Each year some of Lolla’s smallest shows take place at the tree and shade-filled BMI Stage. California’s Pacific Air drew only a fraction of the crowd that local wunderkind Chance The Rapper would an hour later but everyone in attendance seemed glad they were there. Formerly known as KO KO, Pacific Air rolled through the songs from their very brief career and sounded as crisp as if they were playing their first LP Stop Talking on the loudspeakers. Even though the show was sparsely attended, there were still crowd surfers during the band’s hit, “Float.”

After leaving the BMI stage, I overheard a man and his wife bragging about how they’re going to tell all their friends that they saw the “next big thing” when everyone else was waiting to see “the big thing” Imagine Dragons and I’m inclined to agree with them.

Credit: WGNTV

Frontier Ruckus

Michigan’s Frontier Ruckus kicked off Saturday at the BMI Stage with their earnest brand of folk-rock. They performed a brief cover of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” that sort of bordered on twee, but as the first set on Saturday, a not very hungover crowd was willing to indulge them. Deciding not to see the banjos in the sure-to-be-unbearably-packed sets from The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons, I was willing to watch the Michigan group pluck at their banjos, horns, and even saws to “oh ohs” and emotional crescendos. It was a fun set, and their last effort Eternity of Dimming is well worth checking out.

Credit: Lollaplooza


Daniel Pujol exemplifies the DIY scene in Nashville, performing a rollicking early afternoon show at The Grove. I doubt many attending had even heard of the Saddle Creek signees, but as they kept playing, more and more festivalgoers strolled in. The humorous stage banter from the frontman was refreshing, as was the band’s sound that, at times, lackadaisically recalled old R.E.M., punk rock energy, and the blues-tinged riffs of The Rolling Stones. Daniel Pujol’s energy and endearing “I don’t care” attitude made me very excited for Kludge, Pujol’s upcoming album that will hit stores later this year.

Wild Belle

Credit: Lollapalooza

Wild Belle

Chicago’s own brother sister duo, Wild Belle played the Lake Shore stage clad in sunglasses and white suits. Fortunately, their brand of neo-soul and genre-hopping pop complements their classy attire. After a relatively lackluster start, the band won over the crowd after the upbeat “Another Girl” and kept getting better from there. Despite being very tired from two days of heat, beer, and live music, Wild Belle kept the attention of the crowd, lifted spirits, and kept minds off their hangovers. The set reminded me to put the band’s LP, Isles back on constant rotation.

Commentary Ticker

  • Google Glass Lets You Take Photos With Your Brain
    July 12, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    If you haven’t heard, electroencephalograms (EEGs) have been getting better. Way better. Artificial limbs and even video game controllers are utilizing the non-invasive brain-wave monitoring method to guide computers by thought. Now English startup This Place has developed a way to bring the technology to Google Glass, allowing Google’s wearable to read your mind. Well, […]

  • Android Art: The Accidental Selfies of Google Art Project
    July 5, 2014 | 11:11 am

    Within the cultural centers of the world lurks a mechanical beast draped in silver spinning madly and capturing everything, sometimes even itself. In 2011 Google created the Art Project, an initiative to bring their Street View technology inside the cultural epicenters of the world. Google enlisted 17 world-class museums in short time. Institutions such as […]

  • Purple Mountunes Majesty: The Most Patriotic Playlist
    July 4, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    A while ago, Paul Lamere of The Echo Nest, a music-analysis company, took to finding each state’s most distinctive, yet popular, artist in a viral article. Spotify took note, purchasing Echo Nest for their analytical talent. Together, they’ve released a blog post documenting each state’s most distinctively American song creating a patriotic playlist for the […]

  • Emojinealogy: Where the Heck Emojis Come From
    July 2, 2014 | 3:10 pm

    On June 16th, the Unicode Consortium announced that 250 new emoji would be added to the list of symbols available to people’s cellphones and computer devices. The list of the new symbols can be found on Emojipedia. And no, the list doesn’t include the much needed minority representation, but it does include your favorite (?) […]

  • The Decline and Fall of the American Mall
    June 24, 2014 | 9:07 pm

    For ages, the shopping mall was as essential to the architecture of suburbia as Levittowns and freeways. But in an era of online shopping, these epicenters of brick and mortar yesteryear are quietly being abandoned across the country. While the U.S. currently has around 1,500, the number may soon shrink, and rapidly, leading to abandoned […]

  • RSSArchive for Commentary Ticker »

Join our mailing list!

Trending on The Airspace