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Lollapalooza 2009 Preview

Alexandra Kilpatrick | Monday, April 27, 2009

“Lollapalooza” dates from an early 20th-century American idiom, a word originally meaning “remarkable or wonderful person or thing” and also referring to a large lollipop or “all-day sucker,” part of the festival’s original logo. The festival name certainly fits, as Lollapalooza has been remarkable about bringing underground culture to the forefront for nearly 20 years.The American music festival was created in 1991 by Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for his band. The festival toured North America annually from 1991 to 1997 and was revived in 2003. Poor ticket sales caused the 2004 tour to be cancelled and in 2005, Farrell and the William Morris Agency, along with Capital Sports Entertainment, reimagined Lollapalooza as a weekend destination festival based in Chicago’s Grant Park, where it is now held every year.Lollapalooza has played a large part in popularizing alternative rock bands over the past 20 years. The 1991 summer tour featured an eclectic lineup, from post-punk like Siouxsie & the Banshees to rap such as Ice-T and industrial music like Nine Inch Nails. The festival, independent from mainstream rock, crossed the strict boundaries of popular music at the time and became a cultural festival representative of the newly-formed 1990s counterculture. In its early years, Lollapalooza truly helped to expose and popularize alternative groups like Nine Inch Nails, The Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Hole.To this day, Lollapalooza remains true to its beginnings and introduces new underground artists to the public. Although the headliners are much better known today than they were at the festival’s beginnings, Lollapalooza makes sure to offer underground culture as well as more popular artists in the form of alternative rock and hip hop.Lollapalooza continues to reach out to more and more music fans. Last year’s festival sold out its Friday night show with record-breaking numbers ready and eager to hear Radiohead, the night’s only headliner. This year, Farrell hopes for the same enthusiasm with the chosen headliners. This year’s lineup certainly looks very promising, as The Killers, Jane’s Addiction, Beastie Boys and Kings of Leon are among the headliners. Beastie Boys, well-known for their eclecticism and tendency to perform in ridiculous-looking matching suits, previously headlined the festival in 1994. The New York City-based hip hop group just recently revealed that their upcoming new album, “Tadlock’s Glasses,” will be a combination of playing and sampling other music, including a few obscure records. Jane’s Addiction, the Los Angeles-based alternative rock band fronted by Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell, reunited for a third time in 2008 but has not released a studio album since 2003’s “Strays.” The Killers, a Las Vegas-based alternative rock band strongly influenced by 1980s post-punk, immediately gained mainstream success with their 2004 debut album “Hot Fuss” and just recently released their third studio album “Day & Age” in late 2008. Kings of Leon is a Nashville-based band formed in 2000 by three brothers and their cousin. They have expanded on their initial sound of southern rock, country and blues, now also drawing on post-punk and alternative rock. The family band just released their fourth studio album, “Only by the Night” in late 2008 and gained much mainstream success with such singles as “Sex on Fire” and “Use Somebody.”The 2009 lineup also features British electronic band Depeche Mode and American progressive metal band Tool as headliners. Also in the lineup are several other well-known acts such as singer-songwriter Ben Harper (along with his new band Relentless7), rapper Snoop Dogg, American experimental-rock band TV on the Radio, British rockers Arctic Monkeys and North Carolinian singer-songwriter Ben Folds. Newer acts will include New York-based indie rock band Vampire Weekend and rapper Asher Roth.Lollapalooza will take place from Friday, August 7 to Sunday, August 9. With a laid back atmosphere and excellent musical entertainment, the famed summer festival is a fun and relaxing way to spend a weekend with friends.