With Lollapalooza about to hit Chicago like a fiery, musical comet this weekend, hundreds of thousands of concertgoers will flood Grant Park to witness the likes of Paul McCartney, Metallica, Florence + The Machine, Sam Smith, and The Weeknd among others, rock the fuck out. Sure, the headlining acts typically prove to be the best sets. They’re polished, have an expensive stage design, and possess a catalog of hits that, in some cases (cough Sir Paul cough), stretches decades.
But what about the ‘little’ guys? The blog-certified up-and-comers. The indies about to boil to mainstream. The sub-headliners that could very well be taking the main stage in the not so distant future. Not to worry, we got your back. Here are the 10 Must-See Acts That Aren’t Headliners at Lollapalooza this year, conveniently broken down by day and set time.
Believe it or not, Garrett Borns (or simply BØRNS) earned his chops as a professional magician before he hit it big with jams like “10,000 Emerald Pools.” Don’t miss his groovy, psychedelic brand of pop at Lollapalooza this year. He’s sure to have a trick or two up his sleeve.
Young Thug (6:50-7:30)
Thugga Thugga has been a surefire hit machine between his own cuts and guest verses alike. His eccentric flow, fashion-forward style, and summer-friendly beats will make for a must-see set on Friday night. I know there’s gonna be good times.
Sylvan Esso (7:45-8:30)
If you’re searching for something that’s equal parts folky and electronic, look no further than the duo Sylvan Esso. Chilled out, synthesized beats will meet seductive female vocals at this set. Expect lots of eyes closed swaying and swooning.
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Travi$ Scott (2:15-3:00)
After co-producing a string of solid cuts on Kanye West’s Cruel Summer, Mr. Scott has emerged as a viable solo act with a sound that’s reminiscent of Kid Cudi or even mentor Yeezy circa 808s & Heartbreak. Don’t sleep on this up-and-comer hailing from Houston.
Chet Faker (6:30-7:15)
Few singers can splurge the overwhelmingly soulful voice that Chet Faker (born Nicholas Murphy) can command. Like a more electronic Alex Clare, look for Chet to get things popping in a sensual way at his Lolla set on Saturday.
Kid Cudi (6:45-8:00)
Is a Cudder revival on its way? Once an indie darling to mainstream crossover hit, the lonely stoner had us all singing along to his emotional anthems. It’s worth it to see if he can recapture the magic he exuded just a few years ago.
Banks’ musical style finds itself somewhere between The Weeknd and Aaliyah. If that isn’t reason alone to catch her show as the sun sets against the Chicago skyline, I’m not sure what is. Get ready to get dark, sultry, and emotional.
A$AP Rocky (6:45-7:45)
The self-proclaimed Pretty Motherfucker has more swag than most on the planet combined, and that should translate perfectly to his set at Lollapalooza. With an already bumping catalog and a new album on deck, this A$AP show should have the Windy City thumping.
From posting covers on YouTube to dropping a debut album with Astralwerks (Deadmau5, Empire of the Sun), Halsey is crisp and poppy crooner just waiting to explode. Catch her set (and her glorious blue hair) before she ends up headlining a festival in the near future.
FKA Twigs (7:45-8:30)
Twigs’ sets are much less concert than they are full-blown musical experience. Between her distinctive wardrobe choices and fierce showmanship (she was once a backup dancer), this Brit singer will surely leave the audience in a daze.