Lollapalooza for the Rock Fan
Sets You'll Probably Catch: For starters, the stadium-sized inquiries ("Do I Wanna Know?" "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?") of the cheeky Arctic Monkeys and the Coldplay-of-the-South churning of Kings of Leon need little introduction. Back with new material after four-year gaps, dapper post-punks Interpol and indie craftsmen Spoon are alt-rock vets reenergized, and ex-Rilo Kiley vocalist Jenny Lewis rides in with fresh solo material. Fun. fans should take note of Jack Antanoff's Bleachers side project. Hungry for something a little more visceral? Tennesee blues-rock titans J. Roddy Walston and the Business and Kentucky bruisers Cage the Elephant aren't exactly tiptoeing. The blistering Parquet Courts, who are like the Modern Lovers on Ritalin, could steal a Saturday heavy on rap and EDM. For lyrical clout, cling to Aussie psych-folkster Courtney Barnett's every word, or let your heart roll onto the grass to Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck's penetrating hillbilly missives. You could also harmonize along with twin-wigged vocalists in Lucius, who sport a modernized Buckingham-less Fleetwood Mac aesthetic.
You Might Also Like: Pioneering ATL hip-hop duo Outkast has an abundance of Prince and Parliament in their DNA and Australian electro-rockers Cut/Copy don't scrimp on new wave hooks either. With stage presence for days, Swedish alt-pop stylist Lykke Li packs Heart and Phil Spector into her latest, I Never Learn. Phantogram and CHVRCHES both wield synths like guitars, and understand how to craft anthems. However, U.K. dance troupe Jungle could be funkiest band of the weekend: That Bootsy bump on "Busy Earnin'" is easy to dig, and impossible to shake. Unless, of course, that title will go to NOLA's Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, who put sass in their brass, welded on a heavy rock undercarriage.
Best-Kept Secret: Nashville's Fly Golden Eagle's ramshackle garage-psych muscle and skyscraping riffage has earned them opening slots for Dr. Dog and the Alabama Shakes. By Reed Fischer