The 10 Bands You Just HAVE To See At Lollapalooza 2012!

Jack White

Let's face it, Jack White is one of the few modern-day rock stars that we have. We could literally watch this guy take a dump, but, all things considered, we'll settle for seeing him rock the Lolla stage and show the sold-out crowd how it's fucking done. If you wanna know what a total dork looks like just peer over at the DJ tent. Anyone who willingly chooses to watch some doofus in a hoodie play records rather than see Jack White bring the rock should be euthenized for the greater good.

The Shins

OK, while the name of the band is The Shins, the only person we really care about at all is singer/songwriter James Mercer, whose way with a melody and a story is legendary. He and the rest of the band bring a sort of anti-hero energy that is insanely refreshing in such a setting as long as The Decemberists and Arcade Fire are not also on the same bill, which happens to be the case at this year's Lolla.

The Afghan Whigs

Chances are if you're not yet in your thirties, then you totally missed this seminal band during their '90s major label run. The band broke up in disgust at their lack of commercial success (what other reason could there have possibly been?) in 2001 and leader Greg Dulli bought a bar in Hollywood. Oh, he also founded The Twilight Singers, but nothing can compare to the raw Motown-inflected grit that Dulli & Co. bring to the guitar-bass-drums dynamic. This might not be a band you knock people over to see at an outdoor festival, but a club setting is where this band is like a caged animal in heat.

M83

M83 can do no wrong in our book. As leading purveyors of what we call electro-gaze, these guys always put on a deceptively captivating show that unites the audience in a sea of synths and LED. Even if this sort of music isn't your thing, it will be after you're forced to listen to a bunch of nearly identical hipster guitar bands.

The Head & The Heart

We've never been that much into jam bands, but if these guys had been around fifteen years ago when we were living in Colorado, surrounded by Big Head Todds and Blues Travelers and tie-dyed DMB fans, maybe we would have.

With a song like "Lost In My Mind", how can you not be at your happiest in the middle of Grant Park on this particular day singing along with 20,000 of your closest friends?

We do have one question, though, in the above clip, who's the dude singing back-up vocals at the 2:54-2:85 mark? He looks like the love child of James Spader and, well, James Spader.

fun.

Sure, you're hip, you're with it, and you're already tired of "We Are Young", but in ten years, this is the song that bring back the best memories. Don't say we didn't warn you. See, fun. is a band unafraid of embracing the flambouyant, almost operatic arrangements that Queen made famous. As a result, their music sticks out like a sore thumb. A beautiful, joyous sore thumb.

As for whether this band can pull it off live, we've seen them twice and they've put all our doubts to rest and almost make us forget how much we love and miss Nate's former band The Format, who broke up in disgust at their lack of commercial success (what other reason could there have possibly been?).

Of Monsters And Men

What we love about this band and their glorious hit "Little Talks" is that the answer to the burning question "What song will be the new millennium's 'Come On Eileen'?" has been answered. A song like this can take a band from obscurity to the big time and right to obscurity in record time. Of Monsters And Men might not ever have another hit so enjoy their brief moment in the sun and the power of a song that is the results of planets aligning ever so perfectly.

To our ears, they have many songs that are deserving of attention and we're hoping they have a long career ahead of them, but we also hoped the same for Modern English back in the day.

Alabama Shakes

Admit it, the first time you heard "Hold On", you thought it was the new Jack White song and were kinda bummed when you found out it was some new band called Alabama Shakes. I mean, Jack White is great, but that's the song he's been trying to write his whole life.

Additionally, whatever mental image you have in your head of what the band might look like may as well be shattered now. For starters, the band is led by the voluptuous Brittany Howard, who seems to be the love child of John Fogerty and Janis Joplin.

While the rest of the band isn't much to look at, nor do they move all that much, they do dig a groove you could bury a horse in standing up. And, yes, their bass player looks a lot like Zach Galifianakis.

The Gaslight Anthem

Close your eyes and you almost forget you're not listening to Foo Fighters.

Some may think that's a back-handed compliment, but the truth is that this year's Lolla lineup is short on the sort of melodic bombast that the Foos brought to last year's festival and that Green Day will bring to next year's line-up. Oops, we promised we wouldn't tell so, whatever you do, don't spread this completely unfounded claim by the same reporter who broke the news that "American Idiot" would be coming to Chicago straight from its run on Broadway a year before anybody else even caught the first whiff. But we digress, put Gaslight Anthem on your must-see list, pronto!


Jeff The Brotherhood

From the moment we heard the name, we had thoughts of early Redd Kross (maybe cuz Jeff and Steve MacDonald of Redd Kross are brothers?) and hoped for the best. Thankfully, the Orall brothers have that same skewed sense of humor and love of retro pop culture. Sure, they worship a little too heavily at the altar of Weezer, but that's not a dealbreaker by any stretch.

We've yet to see this band perform live so it will be interesting to see if they can pull it off live, just like the time we saw the Beasties on the "Check Your Head" tour and it was amazing!

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