In the '90s, Lollapalooza redefined the summer music festival for a new generation of fans. Founded by Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell in 1991, the annual festival took alternative rock on the road, along with a midway of Gen X-friendly attractions such as body-piercing booths, virtual reality games and the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow. Over the years, it hosted everyone from The Smashing Pumpkins and Pavement to Orbital and Ice Cube. Following a hiatus and a couple false re-starts in the late '90s and early '00s, Lollapalooza came back in 2005 as a stationary, weekend-long festival in Chicago's Grant Park, returning every year since, and expanding to include South American spin-offs in Chile and Brazil.
This year, the Chicago lineup features at least a few names from the festival's heyday years—most notably enduring funk-rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers—but in keeping with the fest's original spirit, Lollapalooza 2012 largely celebrates the sounds of right now: M83's epic synth rock and tUnE-yArDs' neo-tribal ruckus, Bassnectar and SBTRKT's differing takes on dubstep, The Tallest Man on Earth's Swedish-accented alt-country, Michael Kiwanuka's arresting folk blues and Sigur Ros' aching instrumental rock. In between, the playlist will give you plenty of chill electropop (Washed Out, Neon Indian), indie rock (Twin Shadow, Bear in Heaven) and even some retro soul (Aloe Blacc). Dive in and enjoy this handy primer for one of alternative rock's finest festivals.
Watch Lollapalooza 2012 LIVE at youtube.com/lollapalooza. – Eric Grandy, Google Play
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