Now that Foo Fighters, Eminem, and Muse have been announced as three of the headliners for this year's Lollapalooza, let's take a minute to reflect upon the festival's rise, decline, and rebirth. In the mid-'90s, Lollapalooza was a glorious place where like-minded people could gather and see all the bands that radio refused to play. Shortly after, it seemed that radio would play only Lollapalooza headliners and Metallica. Then, Metallica headlined Lollapalooza. It seemed the festival lost focus of what it was initially about just as radio started hogging most of the once-not-so-mainstream bands.
In the last couple of years of Lollapolooza as a road show, the festival began to break down. Seeing the Ramones, Devo, or Violent Femmes in 1996 was worth waiting for Soundgarden's set to finish -- also, with Metallica as headliner, you got to leave early and party elsewhere. In 1997, the tour became a fucked-up mix of trance, rap-rock, and alternative metal. Korn, Orbital, and Tool? Show's over -- nothing to see here.
In 2003, it was reborn not as a tour but as an annual fest. With choice acts like Radiohead, Dinosaur Jr., and Built to Spill in the past few years, it's become a place to reflect upon '90s nostalgia while hosting some relevant acts -- the Raconteurs, TV on the Radio, and the Raveonettes, to say the least.
With this year's headliners firmly in place, we offer a list of coheadliners and supporters that we'd like to see take the stage in Chicago.
Kind of an obvious pick. Yeah, they're also playing Coachella, but this band would be a staple on 120 Minutes, if such a thing still existed.
The fact that they're still around, making records and packing houses without any radio airplay, coupled with their inclusion on 1994's lineup make them a perfect band to bring back. The Breeders and Kim Deal's shark-like voice are a must-play this year.
When the Beastie Boys played in 1994, they reminded the crowd that having a good time and Generation X angst were not mutually exclusive. We can't think of a better band than the Hives to carry the having-a-good-time torch.
Snubbed by Coachella and loved by everyone, our boys from West Palm are pretty crucial to making Lollapalooza make sense. They got Pavement guitars, but they're not as bored as Malkmus and Co.
King Khan and the Shrines
If the Beastie Boys got the party started in '94, then George Clinton and P-Funk kept it going until the break of dawn -- or Smashing Pumpkins. Here's another shot of party flavor for the masses. King Khan is one of the greatest American frontmen, and his band knows how to elevate him to James Brown heights.
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Let's do this, Lollapalooza. Don't suck on us this year. The three announced headliners are OK, but let's really make this a good time that we might wanna fly out for.