The Black Keys, Black Sabbath, Bassnectar, and Wale will be performing at Lollapalooza 2012 between 8 and 10 p.m. on Friday, August 3.
THE BLACK KEYS
Triumphantly returning to Chicago in the wake of last year’s ridiculously entertaining album El Camino, The Black Keys bring their gritty brand of blues-oriented garage rock back for an unprecedented fifth appearance at Lollapalooza. But their artistic aim has broadened quite a bit since they recorded their lo-fi debut in drummer Patrick Carney’s Akron, Ohio basement in 2001. Where they once focused on strictly blues, covering legends like Junior Kimbrough while creating their own original works that adhered to the style’s standards, they have since merged blues with other genres that are most in its debt. Thanks to collaborations with producer Danger Mouse, they have uncovered hip-hop’s reliance on blues and used this insight to create a contemporary sound that has as much in common with The Roots as it does Led Zeppelin. Having set Grant Park ablaze in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2010, The Black Keys have earned their closing spot at this year’s fest. (Friday, 8:30-10:00, Red Bull Soundstage) –text: David Willming
Writing about why Black Sabbath is worth your time at Lollapalooza is basically pointless. Few bands can claim to have given birth to an entire genre of music or can boast a half dozen classic albums, both of which Sabbath can. Songs such as “Iron Man”, “War Pigs”, and “Paranoid” are deeply ingrained in our culture. The group has gone through two dozen different band members and has sharply diverged from its original doom metal blueprint over the last 40 years, but the 4-piece appearing at Lollapalooza is the closest the group has come to its original and best incarnation in well over a decade (only original drummer Bill Ward is absent). So while reunions of long broken-up bands have become standard occurrences during festival season, an opportunity to see the first and possibly greatest metal band of all time, with Ozzy off MTV and on the microphone, is not to be taken lightly. (Friday, 8:05-10:00, Bud Light Stage) –text: Griffin Waterman
The only way to describe it is “euphoria”. With 70,000 watts of bass flowing through your body like a river of pandemonium, what other word is there? Lorin Ashton (more commonly known as Bassnectar) is a dubstep artist, DJ, and producer who leaves behind piles of sweat and melted faces at every venue. He can change the entire mood from a mosh pit to a lucid dream on a dime while taking you on a comfortably numb journey through your mind, body, and spirit. Bassnectar is known best for performing live, and has been doing so since 2009 as a festival staple from Camp Bisco to Coachella. The high-energy atmosphere and magnificent light show makes it seem like Project X on the Fourth of July. For a brief moment during this set, there will be heaven on earth — and everyone must bear witness. (Friday, 8:45-10:00, Perry’s) –text: Cody Lee–photo: joshuabrott.com
There are few who grind as hard as Wale. Yet he remains widely unknown or, at least, underappreciated. One could write pages about his clever marketing and networking exploits alone (look at his partnership with file-sharing site Hulkshare and take note of the eclectic list of features on 100 Miles & Running). But Wale’s greatest strength is his intimate relationship with his hometown of Washington, D.C. Though Jay-Z’s and Lil’ Wayne’s influences are apparent in Wale’s spot-on flow and boundless braggadocio, his style is infused with the capital’s true specialties of go-go, funk, soul, and house. It’s this synthesis that sets Wale apart from the pack. Word has it that Wale’s third studio album will be groovier than ever, but much more introspective. For those used to 2009’s “Chillin’” Wale and the unbridled cockiness he exuded, don’t be surprised to find him getting a bit more sentimental on stage. (Friday, 8:45-9:45, Google Play Stage) –text: Aaronson Bell