Monthly Archives: July 2014

Lollapalooza Preview Sunday

It’s Lollapalooza Eve in Chicago! The children will nestle all snug in their beds;
while visions of rock and roll dance in their heads!


1. Don’t party too hard Friday and Saturday night. You’ll regret missing the early bands the next day. However, go all out on Sunday. It’s only work on Monday!

2. Ride your bike to the festival. This is by far the easiest method, with public transportation coming in second place.

3. If you need to get past someone in a crowd, put your hand on their shoulder and say excuse me. They will turn and then you can slide past them. This is way better than just pushing them out of the way.

Must See Bands:

1. Kongos – These South African rockers are quickly gaining in popularity. Make sure you don’t party too hard tonight so you can catch their early set on the Palladia Stage at 12:15pm.

2. Gemini Club – “With noisy synths, rugged drums and catchy melodies, Gemini Club is fully committed to both electronics and rock and roll. The Chicago four-piece has developed a sound that is both classic and driven towards the future.” – From their Facebook Page

3. Delta Rae – This group brings back the classic rock that sounds like Fleetwood Mac. They have even recorded their hit single, “If I Loved You”, with Stevie Nicks. They bring their enthusiastic love of this music to stages of all sizes, from a small tent in Austin to the Palladia Stage of Lolla!

Lollapalooza Preview Saturday

It’s only two days till Lollapalooza begins! The excitement is in the air all around Chicago. But before you head to the park, check out a few tips and must see bands.


1. Bring a totem. A totem is anything that is very tall that you can hold up to be spotted in a crowd. Flags and balloons work great. When the cell phone towers get overwhelmed at this large of a festival, you’ll be glad you still have a way to indicate where you are standing.

2. Don’t wait in lines. Whenever there is a long line somewhere, chances are if you continue walking a bit further, you’ll find a less common food stand, bathroom, etc.

3. Have fun! If you lose your friends, don’t stress about it. You are surround by thousands of potential new ones!

Must see bands:

1. Meg Meyers – Entertainment Weekly called her “everything we want in a singer – angry, damaged, and supremely talented.” While a review in music industry trade described her as “still a little raw around the edges, but if she can manage to harness that power, Meg Myers has the kind of fierce presence that evokes the likes of femme fatales such as Fiona Apple, Patti Smith, Cat Power, Alanis Morrissette and Sinéad O’Connor, and that’s some pretty impressive company.” (from Wikipedia)

2. The Temper Trap – These guys from Australia know how to rock. The last time they played at Lolla, their set was one of the most consistently energetic spectacles of the festival. Be ready to move when you approach the stage for their performance.

3. Foster the People – This band exploded on to the scene with their hit “Pumped Up Kicks”. Their latest album, Supermodel proves this hit wasn’t a fluke. The new single, “Coming of Age”, could be just as big of a hit. The sky is the limit for this group.

Lollapalooza Preview Friday

The week has finally come. It’s Lollapalooza time in Chicago. Grant park is already being prepared for the big three day music festival. PlaylistHQ is here to guide you through the mayhem.

First up are a few concert tips.

1. Wear sunscreen, find shade when possible, and wear a big hat. Lolla is during the hottest time of the year in Chicago and the sun can be brutally hot. Avoid the heat as much as possible to make it though each day.

2. Drink water. Lolla provides many water filling stations across the park. Take advantage of these, it’s one of the things this festival does best. Take note Pitchfork.

3. Don’t plan your whole day. You will exhaust yourself running around from stage to stage. Also, part of the appeal of Lolla is ability to stumble upon bands you wouldn’t normally discover.

Next up, our bands picks.

1. Courtney Barnett – This Australian is quickly rising to fame. Catch her now at a small side stage before she starts only appearing in large venues. Sing along to “Avant Gardener” because we all hate Mondays.

2. Glen Hansard – The star of the Oscar winning film Once ( is playing Kidzapalooza. Most of his songs are quite adult themed, so it’s quite a mystery what he’ll be playing.

3. Broken Bells – What do you get when you mix The Shins and Danger Mouse? An excellent music collaboration that is a must see at this years festival. Since these artists are involved in other projects, you never know when you’ll get a chance to see them together again.

See our Lolla playlists here:


August Concerts in Chicago

Are you sick of summer yet? Despise concerts? I didn’t think so because it’s only getting better! August is just around the corner and is bringing the heat with some of the best music events to your favorite city. Here are a few events to make the rest of your summer unforgettable.

1. Lollapalooza
August 1-3 at Grant Park

One of the biggest and most historic music festivals in the U.S. is right around the corner. Lolla did it again with another outstanding lineup including headliners such as Outkast, Eminem, and the Kings of Leon.

2. Flume, Duke Dumont, & Anna Lunoe
August 2 at Concord Music Hall

Rising in the Electronic music scene, Flume along with Duke Dumont & Anna Lunoe are ready to take on a groovy Lolla after-party. Don’t sleep on getting your ticket and get ready to bring your best dance moves!

3. Drake & Lil Wayne
August 10 at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

The video game themed tour begins on August 8th shortly after the two both released new singles off their next albums that got a lot of hype. Are we going to see a few rap battles between the pair?

4. Arcade Fire
August 26-27 at United Center

After releasing an admired Reflektor, the indie rock group is ready to take their talents to a North American tour, bringing supporting acts of Devo and Dan Deacon. The group will surely put on a thrilling performance.

5. North Coast Music Festival
August 29-31 at Union Park

The 5th annual music festival is perfect for EDM and Indie lovers. An underrated lineup consisting of Bassnectar, Kid Cudi, Snoop Dogg, Little Dragon, and 60+ acts you don’t want to miss. Move over Lollapalooza, because North Coast is ready to celebrate the end of summer with a bang.

Josh Kohn

Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park, Chicago on 07-20-14

Attending the last day of the 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival, my expectations were set high from the raving reviews I had previously read about the prior two days of the three-day music festival.

DIIV set the tone for the day through their raw and authentic musical talent. While continuously scanning for the love of my life, Sky Ferreira, who happens to be the girlfriend of DIIV’s lead signer Zachary Cole Smith, I noticed not one but a plethora of mosh pits breaking out around me. Playing one new song after another, DIIV demonstrated that their new material is on the brink of unimaginable success and that DIIV is growing into their stardom.

It seemed as if multiple mosh pits at any given artists’ set was a common theme for Sunday at Pitchfork. After canceling a leg of his tour but continuing to preform at Pitchfork, the crowd could have not been more amped to see the legendary Earl Sweatshirt preform on the last day of Pitchfork. Encouraging the audience to chant a rap regarding “soup in a mother f#@&ing bowl”, Earl Sweatshirt engaged with the audience in such a way that I could have sworn the bandana clad male that received a t-shirt from Earl had a tear in his eye. Later, I saw the individual wearing his new Earl apparel as he was leaving Pitchfork. It was undeniably the happiest day of his life.

Donning bucket hats left and right, it was easy to identify the Pitchfork attendees that were supporting Schoolboy Q. It was these individuals that could also be spotted mouthing every verse of Schoolboy Q’s beyond stellar set.

Pitchfork progressively got better as acts such as Real Estate, Grimes, and Kendrick Lamar preformed during the second portion of Pitchfork. While Real Estate and Grimes have undeniable talent and put on shows of a lifetime, the hype surrounding Kendrick’s show allowed Kendrick to have an edge on the other performers at Pitchfork.

The crowd at Kendrick was mesmerized by the artistic videos that were continuously playing behind Kendrick throughout his set. Failing to disappoint, Kendrick put on a show of a lifetime through his melodious abilities. The array of artists present at this fest gave it their all this Sunday, which resulted in sensational third day in Union Park.

Grace Farley

Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing, Michigan on July 12, 2014

The Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing Michigan was a music festival haven for individuals of eclectic music tastes. Varying from The Orwells to Dr. Dog, the Common Ground Music Festival consisted of the following artists on Saturday July 12th 2014:
The People’s Temple
Royal Teeth
X Ambassadors
The Orwells
Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr
Action Item
Ryan Beatty
Jukebox the Ghost
Dr. Dog
Fitz and The Tantrums

Growing up in the Chicago suburb next to the home of the members of The Orwells, I have always had an indescribable love for their music. However, after viewing the lead singer Mario Cuomo unsuccessfully attempt to make himself throw up near the end of their set, I can now say that my love for The Orwells’ music and undeniable talent still remains but my love for Mario Cuomo has diminished. Walking off the stage without bothering to say a word to the audience, it was refreshing to see Dr. Dog and Fitz and The Tantrums after The Orwells’ set.

Being surprisingly deserted for a music festival, Dr. Dog’s show was light on people in attendance, which was a bonus for my mission on getting to the front for (in my humble opinion) one of the greatest bands currently on tour. As always, Dr. Dog failed to disappoint with their ebullient and placating aesthetic.

Fitz and The Tantrums stole the night with their exceptional set and endless gratitude towards the audience. Delighting the audience with a lengthy saxophone solo half way through their set, Fitz and The Tantrums’ compelling stage presence and talent left no audience member standing still as everyone was found grooving and moving to the rhythm of tambourine that singer Noelle Scaggs was effortlessly playing. Closing the night with Moneygrabber, Fitz and The Tantrum’s last show of that leg of their tour, as well as the night could not have been a bigger success. Encouraging the entire audience to get low in Moneygrabber, Fitz and The Tantrum’s set at The Common Ground Music Festival made the multi-hour car ride trip from Chicago to Lansing completely worth it.

Grace Farley (PlaylistHQ Intern)

Wicker Park Fest vs Taste of Lincoln Ave

We’re right in the heart of summer of Chicago. And summer in Chicago means festivals, and lots of them. This weekend, two of best festivals go head to head. Wicker Park Fest and Taste of Lincoln Ave.

Wicker Park Fest

Wicker Park Fest is know for having one of the best lineups of the year for street festivals. This year is no different with Headliners RJD2, Reverend Horton Heat,
Diarrhea Planet, and JEFF The Brotherhood.

As the Songkick user ben-stauffer puts it, “JEFF The Brotherhood mixes earwormy guitar riffs (two-minute long “Shredder”) with slower dirges (six-minute plus “Whatever I Want”), keeping the audience’s attention with a variety of speeds (but mostly up-tempo). Fan favorite “You Got The Look” is bound to get you pumpin’ your fist in the air. ”

Also, be sure to catch one of Chicago’s best, Sidewalk Chalk. A unique band that reminds you of the sounds of Lupe Fiasco.

Taste of Lincoln Ave

TOLA is one of the largest street festivals with stages for all tastes. The Wrightwood stage features cover bands of all styles. The Altgeld Stage features the finest Chicago blues. And finally, the Fullerton Stage features great indie rock with this years headliners being Gin Blossoms, Super Happy Fun Club, and Rusted Root.

An anonymous Songkick user wrote, “it was interesting to see them [Gin Blossoms] return. The crowd was full of people in their 30’s and 40’s. These were longtime fans just like me. The lights dimmed and ‘Hey Jealousy’ began to play. I was immediately transported back to the mid 90’s. The band sounded and looked great as they smashed through ‘Allison Road’ and ‘Found Out About You’. For the next 90 minutes the Gin Blossoms transformed the crowd to another time. The music has proven to be timeless, with the band sounding fresh and energized.”

Be sure to catch Super Happy Fun Club, featuring Stubhy from Lucky Boys Confusion. Here he is describing the origin of their name: “We were tossing around band names and we had a few that were decent – the Whitneys, the Chicago Dropout Club, etc. but nothing that really popped out. When I brought these names up to one of my friends her reaction was – “Why are all your band names so damned depressing?!!” I told the guys her comment and Jeremy, our bassist, responded with “What the hell does she want us to call ourselves – the Super Happy Fun Club?!!” There was a pause and knowing smile all around and we realized that we had just come up with the most ridiculously awesome band name!”

The Songkick user Han93 writes: “Rusted Root offer a unique fusion of acoustic, rock and various modes of world music. Their distinctive sound features heavy percussion with Native and Latin American influences. Rusted Root have released seven studio albums, the latest being their 2012 work, ‘The Movement.’ However, the band’s most famous song remains ‘Send Me on My Way,’ which featured on the soundtrack to the 1996 film, Matilda.”

-Quinn (Founder)

Phish at Northerly Island

It’s a perfect night in Chicago.  Only a few non threatening clouds fill the sky.  A flood of people make their way down the one street that leads to Northerly Island.  Many hold one finger up above their head to indicate they are looking for a ticket to a show.  Tonight is the final night of Phish’s three night stand in Chicago.  The fans anxiously await for the band to take the stage.

Phish takes the stage and the crowd applauds with excitement. They begin to play and Trey’s microphone isn’t working. For most acts, no microphone would run the show. But Phish easily goes into an instrumental jam while the issue is fixed. Walking around the large crowd in the lawn, I take in the crowd. Girls are hula hooping. Guys are throwing frisbees. People join the frisbee circle for a few throws and then move on. Some people are gathered close to the fence to watch the band, but many are just spread out enjoying the atmosphere. For many fans, it is not just about the band. It’s about the community that comes out to the show. I witness two people run into each other and greet each other with a huge hug. It’s clear they haven’t seen each other in quite a long time and are quite happy to run into each other. Music brings us together, and for Phish, it’s a large crowd of people enjoying the music and the company of like minded fans.

Michael Franti and Spearhead at Northerly Island

The stage is out on Northerly Island, a peninsula surrounded by Lake Michigan and a large harbor filled with boats. The air is fresh and the moon is nearly full. The skyline reaches to the sky behind the stage. Soldier Field glows just off to the left.
Franti takes the stage and the audience feels the love right away. After a few songs, he plays Bob Marley’s “Could We Be Loved”, a shout out to the godfather of reggae. Later on he starts “Sound of Sunshine” with just an acoustic guitar. Then, the band jumps in and a multitude of colored balls fill the air. The crowd hits them around throughout the song and it feels like we are in the middle of a ball pit battle. The joy is felt all around during this song and the entire set.

311 at Northerly Island

It’s a warm evening and the feeling is right for 311.  It’s a cloudy night, so the sky just looks black.  The band comes out and the stage bursts with light.   The band launches into their set, adding in old favorites such as “All Mixed Up” and “Come Original” early on.   They continue on with newer material.  The newer songs lack the melodies and the hooks of the older songs.  They are of a heavier style, focused more on distortion and rapping. 
“Who’s got the herb?” brings cheers from the audience. We can only imagine how the response will be when they in Washington, where recreational marijuana was just put into effect. As this trend spreads across the country, we can imagine a much different experience for when 311 comes to Chicago next time.