The Shins, Passion Pit, Band of Skulls, Porter Robinson, and thenewno2 will be performing at Lollapalooza 2012 between 5:40 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 3.
The Shins are an irreplaceable staple in the book of indie rock. Gaining recognition for the ever-nostalgic tune “New Slang” from the Garden State soundtrack, this Portland quintet has created and maintained a new/old, quirky-yet-straightforward sound that has long been featured on the soundtrack of the lives of hip twenty-somethings. It’s been quite some time since these indie vets have graced the stage at Lolla, and it doesn’t get much better than standing in the middle of Grant Park with thousands singing along to “Caring Is Creepy”. Their new record Port of Morrow (released this year on frontman James Mercer’s Aural Apothecary Label), maintains the spirit of past releases while adding more polished and electronic elements to their sound. On “Bait and Switch”, there’s so much groove coming from the limbs of drummer Joe Plummer that you might want to ask Mercer to make you “a drink strong enough to wash away the dishwater world”. (Friday, 6:15-7:30, Red Bull Soundstage) –text: Anne Debreczenyi
Passion Pit began back in 2007 as a belated Valentine’s Day present and as the music morphed into the EP Chunk of Change, its rapid success signaled that a fresh crop of fans were feeling the love too. With a band name plucked from the old slang term for movie theaters where teens would go to make out, there’s a matching emotional and cinematic expansiveness to the music. The infectious, hyper-techno pixie of “Sleepyhead” will stick a hook firmly in your ear and won’t let go. With the ethereally christened Gossamer dropping last month, the Massachusetts 5-some’s second album carries on their highly palatable mix of glossy ‘80s synths, samples, and traditional pop-rock undercurrents. According to NPR, it “vacillates like a torrid romance: Every moment is touch and go, on and off, quiet as a whisper and then loud as a yell.” The only way to know for sure? Get in the pit. (Friday, 6:00-7:15, Bud Light Stage) –text: Molly Hess–photo: Chrissy Piper
BAND OF SKULLS
Band of Skulls are a 3-piece balls-to-the-wall/rock-out-with-your-cock-out rock ‘n’ roll band from England who are quickly taking over airwaves across the pond. Their sound takes a bit of influence from Jack White and The White Stripes, but develops into its own monster with soulful vocals and guitar melodies that meld together in the middle to give off this undeniable feeling that Band of Skulls may have actually sold their souls to the devil in order to rock this hard. Many songs from their new album have been featured in commercials and received regular airplay after years of hard work playing clubs in London and American dive bars. As one of the most exciting “must see” bands at Lollapalooza this year, fans of heavy guitar and high-energy rock a la The Kills and White Stripes will discover a new best friend in Band of Skulls. (Friday, 6:00-6:45, Google Play Stage) –text: Ian Jones
As he’s already earned endorsements from electronic heavyweights deadmau5 and Skrillex and was personally commissioned to do remixes for Lady Gaga, house artist Porter Robinson requires no hype. Robinson signed to Skrillex’s OWSLA label last year for debut album Spitfire, a fast hit on the dance charts that led to high-profile gigs like Lollapalooza. And this year’s release Language should cement the 20-year-old’s position as one of dubstep’s brightest rising stars. (Friday, 5:45-6:45, Perry’s) –text: Jasmyn Martin
Thenewno2 (pronounced “the new number two”), who operate as far from the mainstream music industry as possible by producing and packaging on their own label, chose their name in order to gain faceless credibility based entirely in the music. Thankfully, this alternative swirl-rock outfit delivers with seductive bass grooves, soulful vocal melodies and fuzzy, electronica-laced guitars weaved into a sound distinct enough to separate them from the legacy hovering over singer Dhani Harrison’s shoulders. (Friday, 5:40-6:20, BMI Stage) –text: Jasmyn Martin