Sounds of the Summer: Lollapalooza preview

Kali Croke, senior editor

The annual three-day music festival Lollapalooza will consume all of Chicago once more with music, food and out-of-state travellers July 31-Aug. 2 at its usual territory: Grant Park. While the lineup this year is heavily recycled, it is looking to be a solid (although somewhat unspectacular) 72 hours of sound.



Rihanna and Kanye didn’t give this guy his fame, as some new generationals have concluded. Paul McCartney may have lost his shimmer to the 60’s and 70’s, but just to be able to say you saw a former Beatle is worth the massive crowd this guy will reign in. Sure his voice isn’t the greatest and, no, his set won’t be a compilation of his glory days. But it’s Paul freakin’ McCartney! Since the Beatles, McCartney has pretty much run solo, with his music style heavily reflected in his aging tone and classic acoustic strumming. Not sure if we will be blessed with any throwback hits from the hippie era, but his voice–even if it lacks the reverb and confidence from another time–will be reminiscent of a year way before ours.



I know I may get a lot of flack from the music snobs crowd, but I’m admittedly a die-hard Alt-J fanatic. Even though they’re Lollapalooza two-timers, I wouldn’t miss their set again for the world. These indie rockers go far beyond the classic guitar riffs and heavy drum beats — there’s almost something robotic, and simplistic about their layered vocals and easy builds. They blend animalistic and minimalist tones nearly seamlessly, making them worthy of being labeled a successfully experimental band (which is pretty hard to nail). Not to be melodramatic, but their new album, This is All Yours, was a staple for half my senior year. While recognizable songs off of this album like “Left Hand Free” and “Every Other Freckle” never fail to move me into the summer spirit, it’s the eeriness of Miley Cyrus’s laced vocals in “Hunger of the Pine” and the softness of “Choice Kingdom” that add to their impressive dynamic.



These days the formula for summer music success seems to be a well-fitting combination of a Strokes-esque vibe, oversaturated Instagram pictures and palm trees; The Wombats are just that. To be honest, these guys are nothing revolutionary. In fact, they’ve been around the block for a while and have only snatched a meager, but intense following of elite few who remain unwavering fans of the inescapable British accent that refuses to disappear during songs. Because of this, it makes it hard to call a band that has a substantive track record an “underdog,” but it is likely that most people have never even heard the name.