Lollapalooza: JAKE’S TOP 5

Jake Aquino, staff writer


Outkast is the headliner I am looking forward to the most. A hip-hop duo hailing from Atlanta comprised of Andre 3000 and Big Boi, they are one of the most influential acts to grace the rap game and have the highest quality album discography of all the headliners announced this year. The two met at age 16 and released their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik in 1994, propelling them into national spotlight. Six extremely superb studio albums later, they went on hiatus after Idlewild in 2006. Finally, after eight years and no news of any shows or albums, Outkast announced a tour of 40 festival dates this summer. Though both Andre 3000 and Big Boi have not announced their demise as a group, there is no telling the future of Outkast; this may very well be their last huzzah together. Catch them before it’s too late. You’ll come for the experience of seeing them, but you’ll stay for their lyricism and superb production that has stood the test of time.


Pronounced “churches”, CHVRCHES is one of most talented new acts in the world of music. As newcomers to the fest, they will be sure to draw crowds due to their infectious sound. With their style of synth-filled indie pop, they crafted one of the best albums of 2013, The Bones of What You Believe, which was critically acclaimed and reached number 12 on the Billboard Top 200 list. Filled with memorable hooks and exceptionally produced synths, the content of the album makes for a live show that is sure to be unforgettable. Though they are early in their career as a band, their future looks bright. I enjoy them simply because their music is fun and catchy, and I am sure others will be drawn to them for the same reason. You’ll come for their memorable electro-pop, but you’ll stay for the voice of their lead singer, Lauren Mayberry.

Vic Mensa

If you consider yourself a true Chicagoan, you’ll see Vic Mensa. A Chicago native himself, Vic is a part of the new rap renaissance occurring in the Windy City that is producing the best hip-hop music anywhere right now. You don’t even have to like rap to enjoy Vic; he flexes his vocals on many of his songs, and the catchiness of his music is undeniable. Formerly a member of the indie band Kids These Days before their breakup in 2013, Vic is no rookie to Lollapalooza, performing there with the band in 2011. When he was 17, Vic fell off of a bridge and electrocuted himself on a fence trying to sneak into Lollapalooza four years ago; now, he is performing solo as one of the most talented up-and-coming rappers in the nation. You’ll come for the chance to catch him before he blows up, but you’ll stay for his summertime vibes.


French DJ Gesaffelstein is definitely one of the less accessible, more experimental acts on the lineup. In a world of electronic dance music that is obsessed with eerily similar big drops, he has found a way to remain true to his origins and influences – Chicago House and French Techno – while still pushing the boundaries of electronic music. His intense, hard-hitting synths that create dark atmospheric moods make it is easy to see why he has been propelled to the spotlight. With an excellent 2013 album, Aleph, and production credits on songs by the likes of Kanye West and A$AP Rocky, Gesaffelstein continues to explore new realms of electronic music that average DJs such as Krewella or Calvin Harris (who also happen to be at Lollapalooza) will never see. You’ll come for a show that is guaranteed to broaden your music horizons, but you’ll stay for the gritty, intense techno.

Run the Jewels

RTJ is another hip-hop duo on the lineup, made up of Atlanta’s Killer Mike and New York City’s El-P. Both artists are well-respected in their own right, but as a duo they are one of the best in the game. Some critics have even ranked them above the collaborations of Kanye West and Jay-Z. Their debut self-titled album is evidence of that: a quick listen at just under 33 minutes, it is one of the best rap albums of 2013, with El-P’s dense, innovative production and his own lyrics matching perfectly with the flow and story-telling lyricism of Killer Mike. I can attest personally to the high quality of their show; last year at Pitchfork Music Festival I had the pleasure of seeing them and was blown away. Their high energy never wavered throughout their hour-long set. You’ll come for the quality of their live performance, but you’ll stay once Killer Mike starts to talk about ending violence in Chicago.