Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pick Of The Week: Lollapalooza Aftershows

It is that time again where during the first weekend of August, crowds of people descend upon Grant Park for a weekend filled with music from countless bands known as Lollapalooza. This particular year is a special one as it is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the festival. Is there a better way to celebrate the festival than by attending it? Yes, there is and it is the Lollapalooza aftershow. Each year, artists performing at the festival also perform at various venues throughout Chicago and this year's offering are so excellent that they are the pick of the week. Here are only but a few of them.

August 4
Death From Above 1979 (Metro, 9:00 PM)
Hands down, one of the most impressive and short-lived bands of the last decade. A bass and drum duo combining dance beats, punk rock and complete chaos, 2004's You're a Woman, I'm a Machine, was and still is nothing short of amazing. Tracks like "Turn it Out," "Black History Month" and "Sexy Results" helped create a party on record that still sounds as fresh today as it did seven years ago. Earlier this year, the reunited duo performed at Coachella and this Saturday, they will be performing from 4-5 PM on the Bud Light stage. Still, their gig at Metro will be nothing short of epic.

The Joy Formidable (Double Door, 8:30 PM)
This trio from England has been praised for their strong live show and has been hailed by the likes of Dave Grohl and Shirley Manson. Their first full length, The Big Roar, more than describes the band's sound with its mix of beauty and sonic intensity. Even in its softer moments, such as the album's closer, "The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade," The Big Roar manages to retain a heaviness that feels more like a climax to a grand cinematic journey than the ending of an album. Catch them this Sunday on the Bud Light stage from 1-1:45 PM but you can also catch their free show this Thursday night at Double Door.

August 5
Black Lips (Empty Bottle, 9:00 PM)
In early June, the Atlanta quartet released their sixth album, the Mark Ronson produced Arabia Mountain, to critical acclaim. Rightfully so, as it is one of the finer albums to be released this year. The 41-minute album continues to progress and refine their garage-psychedelic punk sound and the album's lead off single, "Go Out and Get It" provides a fun, inspired number that perfectly sums up life in general. With mega producer Ronson behind the board, this album should be the album that breaks the band into the mainstream without affecting their sound or credibility. Catch them on the Playstation stage between 3-4:00 PM on Saturday or this Friday at their sold out performance at Empty Bottle...if you were fortunate to get a ticket.

Atmosphere (Metro, 10:00 PM)
Since the 90's, Atmosphere has worked hard to become one of the premiere acts in hip hop. While not moving Lil' Wayne type numbers, emcee Slug and producer Ant have built a respectable empire that includes sold out performances in nearly every venue they perform in, a major independent record label (Rhymesayers) that continues to give back to their fans buy releasing quality product from the likes of Eyedea & Abilities, Blueprint, P.O.S and Psalm One and albums filled with deeply layered instrumentals backed by a lyrical storytelling steeped in raw emotion and honesty. Their live show, on the other hand, is a whole impressive beast which you must see this Saturday as they headline the Sony stage at 7:30 PM as well as their own show on Friday night at Metro

The Cool Kids (Reggie's, 10:00 PM)
Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rock crafted their massive sound over the course of various mixtapes and their debut EP, Bake Sale. It is a sound that revises the best musical elements of old school hip hop and brings it into a sound that is very modern and fresh. The duo's long awaited album, When Fish Ride Bicycles, was released last month to favorable reviews and features the guest spots from Ghostface Killah, Bun B, Mayer Hawthorne, Travis Barker and production from The Neptunes on a couple of tracks. With awesome beats and two incredibly talented emcees, it is about time that you become acquainted with one of the Midwest's finest during their 3:00 PM Sunday set on the Perry's stage or during their headlining set at Reggie's this Friday night.

These are only a few of the shows revolving around Lollapalooza this weekend. There is plenty more including sets from Cults, Local Natives, Lykke Li, Arctic Monkeys and so many more. Do yourself a favor and get into any of these shows if you still can and have some fun this weekend with music as Lollapalooza aftershows are the pick of the week.

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