Finish This Meal For $25,000 | Barstool's Most Dangerous Gameshow FinaleWATCH NOW

Lollapalooza Is This Week In Chicago. Here Are The Bands And Acts You MUST SEE, And The Ones To Avoid

It's that time of the summer again. Lollapalooza weekend is upon us.

What used to be an all-out, absolute must-attend 2 day weekend grew into 3 days. Which eventually morphed into 4 days so it technically starts today, Thursday, even though it doesn't really feel like Lolla Weekend until it's 90% humidity, 95 degrees outside, with a thunderstorm rolling in and tornado sirens going off around the city. 

The old's will point out that the festival has been overtaken by high school and college kids, only obsessed with doing drugs and overdosing or passing out from heat exhaustion at the Perry's tent all weekend. And they may not be wrong. But I'd like to point out to the court that when I was that age, and many of you are guilty as well, we were attending these festivals and acting like idiots also. Granted we didn't have stages set up that looked like they were capable of blasting into orbit, complete with thousand gallon Co2 tanks and pyro that shoots 100 ft into the sky, but we had rock, and grunge, and our fair share of shit to go mental to.

(No I was not at Woodstock '99, but I wish I was. My business partner Bobby went and said everything that they showed in that doc was 100% true. And he'd still do it all over again.)

Point is, you can say the festival sucks now, the line up sucks, the kids ruined it, the corporatizing and money grabs from Live Nation and C3 sucked the soul from it, whatever. The fact remains this is still one of the premier music festivals in the world, each and every summer, in the best summertime place in the United States, and it still brings some heavy hitters year after year after year.

Personally, I think they only thing that's taken away from the allure and mystique of Lollapalooza is the saturation of music festivals in general. 

Every fucking month, in every other city in the country, there's another monster music festival going on today. Bigger, better, more expensive. It's cut down the need to travel to see your favorite acts, and it's also handcuffed many of the acts and headliners from being able to play fests like Lollapalooza due to radius clauses with other fests, or just plain routing and workload.

 It sucks because back in the day there were a small handful of big time music fests. You had The Warp Tour which has been around forever, which toured, then you had Lollapalooza which also began as a touring festival believe it or not, before eventually settling and setting up base in Chicago, then you've got festivals which have surprisingly been around longer than you'd guess- Coachella, Bonaroo, and Pitchfork to name a few.

(I really, really want to attend Bottle Rock out in Napa Valley, and my personal favorite is Austin City Limits every October in Austin.)

One of the best parts about Lolla is that it has been a platform for groundbreaking artists and a hub of diverse musical genres. Yes it's overly electronic now, but it's a huge fucking genre, especially in terms of ticket sales, and this is a festival rooted in the tenets of capitalism, not communism, so forgive the organizers from booking acts that put asses in seats. 

(I've done enough sucking Lolla's dick for one blog, especially since they denied us, Barstool Backstage, media access again for the second year in a row for some unknown reason. Sucks but I'm still lining up some great interviews this weekend anyway. Stay tuned.)

I'm going to do you all a huge favor and highlight which acts you should try and make a point of seeing, from headliners to and up-and-comers, and also the groups and acts to avoid. 



Kendrick Lamar, a multi-Grammy award-winning artist, stands as one of the most influential voices in contemporary hip-hop. Known for his poignant lyrics, mesmerizing flow, and dynamic stage presence, Lamar's performances are nothing short of electrifying. His ability to engage the audience and deliver powerful messages through music makes him a top "must-see" act at Lollapalooza 2023. Be prepared for a high-energy performance. 

I saw Kendrick at Lolla back in 2013. He had blown up but I was still on the fence about him after only one album. That all changed when I saw him live.

For starters, he performs with a live drummer accompanying his DJ. Making his show sound a million times better, feel like a rock show, and adding a layer of energy and uniqueness that more rappers could benefit replicating. His energy and crowd presence is also off the charts. The guy absolutely crushed it. I can't emphasize enough how good of a live act he is. Absolute must see.

Billie Eilish: HEADLINER Thursday 8:45 T Mobile Stage

Billie Eilish, the young sensation and multiple Grammy winner, has taken the music world by storm with her unique sound and compelling storytelling. Her haunting vocals, combined with her thought-provoking lyrics, make her a standout artist for Lollapalooza 2023. Eilish's performances are an immersive experience, often incorporating stunning visuals and a deeply emotional connection with her fans.

I'm personally not the biggest Billie Eillish fan but she's grown on me over the last two years. I went from not liking her at all to loving a few of her songs, like "NDA" up above. Her brother, Finneas, who produces her, is a musical genius and bad ass musician himself, so the more I've focused on his production the more I've grown to like her stuff. This is a huge artist and huge booking for Lolla. Especially on a Thursday night. 


I get a lot of hate for liking this band from the music hardo's out there. I pretty much can't stand Matty Healy as a person, but there's no denying how great of a singer and songwriter he is. (Also plays the piano great). I wrote about my experience seeing The 1975 this tour in Boston a few months ago. I was blown away. For good reason.

They effortlessly blend pop, rock, indie, and even a dash of electronic into a show that fully incorporates the entire set design and visuals through out the progression of the set. It's like you're watching a Broadway show disguised as a concert. If that makes sense. 

They create an immersive experience that sucks you in. And their songs sound amazing live. Especially the ones featuring saxophone. From their catchy anthems like "Somebody Else" and "Love It If We Made It" to their emotional ballads like "Robbers" and "If I Believe You," you'll be taken on an emotional rollercoaster. It's also pretty stunning to see how big of a following this group has, and how devoted they are. These kids jump up and down, dance their asses off, and sing every single word to every single song. I was taken aback and impressed. You'll be as well.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Sunday 8:30 T Mobile Stage

I've seen this band 6 times now in person, including the above performance from Lolla 2006. Never been even close to disappointed. They blow the doors off each and every time and it's seriously staggering how they work through all their hits, bang, bang, bang in rapid fire and they go literally hours. You forget how many huge hits they have. Definitely a must see this weekend.

Mt. Joy - Sunday 4:30 T Mobile Stage

Have never got the chance to see them live before. Cannot wait to on Sunday. I fucking love this band. Their music just makes you feel good and is perfect for any setting.

Sofi Tukker - Thursday, 5pm Bud Light Stage 

This year's annual "I didn't know Rufus Du Sol was 3 guys" entrant. A good portion of the fans showing up for this performance will be shocked to see Sofi Tukker is actually comprised of a male/female set of best friends (who met while at Brown, nbd) and have combined forces to produce some of the most catchy tunes, you probably don't even realize are theirs, from the last few years.

Shaq aka "Diesel" - Friday 4pm, Perry's Stage

You gotta see Shaq purely for the nostalgia factor as well as the fact that he plays nothing but head-splitting bass, dubstep, and hard house. It's the most shocking thing to first witness, but after seeing how much the guy genuinely loves DJing, and playing this style music for thousands of people, and how worked up he gets, its incredible.

The Linda Linda's - Saturday 1:45 Tito's Stage

The Linda Linda's are an all girl group from LA that I've gotten hooked on. They are upbeat uptempo rock, but it's fun. And their Tiny Desk performance was awesome.

The Revivalists - Saturday 4:45 T Mobile Stage

Awesome band with an even more awesome catalog. If you haven't seen The Revivalists live, see this set on Saturday afternoon and you'll be convinced. Promise. 

Meduza - Saturday 7:15 Perry's Stage

You know I had to show the Italians some love. Some of the best songs in electronic music over the past 3-4 years. I've seen them a couple times and they get better and better every time. This will be a really fun set.

Odesza - Saturday 8:45 T Mobile Stage 

An equally stunning visual and audio experience. These guys are simply amazing at everything they do. If you're looking to trip out and catch a single set this weekend this is the one.

Pusha T - Saturday 7:15 Perry's Stage

I cannot wait for this performance. Hoping he rips all his solo stuff, hope he rips his classic Clipse stuff, and hope he rips Dre. In a better world he'd bring Kanye out for this and blow the fucking roof off but we know that's not happening. 

Holly Humberstone - Sunday 4pm, Bacardi Stage

I love this girl, I love her songs, and I think she's going to be a megastar. Excited to catch her at Lolla.

Louis The Child - Sunday 8:45 Perry's

Our Chicago boys are growing up so fast! If you've seen Robby and Fred perform at Lolla before you already know this one will be special. Skywriting, bucket boys, Bulls cheerleaders, you know these guys pull out all the stops to rep Chicago and Lolla honoring them, and their massive local fanbase, by having them close out on Sunday night is fucking awesome. And well deserved.

The "You Should See Because You Won't Be Disappointed's"

Brakence 5pm Thursday - Bacardi Stage

In 2016, a musical maverick named brakence emerged on the internet scene like a glitchy, emo-pop superhero. Armed with a SoundCloud account and a touch of digital wizardry, he soon amassed a cult following that worshipped his every musical move. He teamed up with the production powerhouse known as Overcast to unleash music videos that exploded on YouTube.

During the pandemic Brakence really hit his stride, and his sound found its groove in the wave of hyperpop. Picture this: distorted bass, vocals that sounded like a chipmunk on a caffeine spree, and lyrics exploring existential anxiety and the wild wonders of internet culture. It's like a musical therapy session for the soul.

In 2022, brakence dropped his sophomore album, hypochondriac, and it was a game-changer. Drawing inspiration from genres like drill and dancehall, he took the listener on a musical rollercoaster.

Lovejoy - Thursday 3pm, T MOBILE Stage

Lovejoy is about to bring the house down with their hilarious songwriting, infectious hooks, and guitar riffs that pay tribute to the golden days of mid-2000s indie rock bands like Foals and Arctic Monkeys. Hailing from the creative haven of Brighton, England, Lovejoy emerged during those final pandemic lockdown days, and they're here to deliver an electrifying performance.

Picture this: William Gold, the well-known YouTuber and Twitch streamer, teamed up with the incredibly talented lead guitarist Joe Goldsmith to form Lovejoy. Their chemistry is undeniable, and it shines through in every note they play.

If you're tired of the same old sound and craving something fresh, Lovejoy's most recent EP, "Wake Up & It's Over," is the remedy you've been searching for. Brace yourself for a heavier sound that'll take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. It's a delightful switch-up that's guaranteed to get heads banging and hearts thumping.

These guys fuck.

Ax And The Hatchetmen - Thursday, 2:50 Bacardi Stage

I'm throwing these guys in because they're young and they're hometown kids. (Lake Villa).

College students by day, rising stars by night, this young band from the north suburbs called Ax and the Hatchetmen have scored a spot on this year's Lollapalooza's lineup.

"Hatchetmen are…it's another word for hitmen which we are…not an ounce of," lead man Axel Ellis said.

Several members including Ellis have never been inside the Lolla gates.

"I've grown up like watching Lollapalooza from the lakefront," Ellis said. "Like I would bike to the lakefront."

The band spends a lot of time in a garage built by Ellis's father, melding their diverse musical backgrounds together.

"We've got a really fun concoction as least I feel like of influences of jazz, blues, and classic rock and alternative and surf," Ellis said.

Pretty fucking cool moment for these guys and I hope the crush it.

Hemlock Springs - Friday 1pm BMI STAGE

From the God-awful land of TikTok, Hemlocke Springs emerged as yet another pop sensation that sent the interwebs into a frenzy. It all began with her smash hit "Girlfriend," a synth-laced gem that's so fucking catchy.

She's a musical enchantress whose tunes will have you dancing like no one's watching. 

Her story is great too. This Southern belle from Concord, North Carolina wasn't always planning to conquer the pop kingdom. She actually had her sights set on receiving a Master of Science degree from Dartmouth. Now, people are comparing her to the legendary Prince. But she's just as surprised as anybody to hear that. "Prince? Me?! I'm just a small-town girl with big dreams!" she told Rolling Stone.

Noah Kahan - Thursday 6pm, Titos Stage

One of the reasons Noah Kahan has garnered a dedicated fanbase is his authentic and relatable songwriting. He pours his heart and soul into each lyric, sharing personal experiences and emotions that resonate with listeners from all walks of life. His songs are like diary entries set to music, and they have a way of making you feel like he's singing just for you.

Backed by a talented band, he delivers his songs with an energy and passion that's contagious. From soulful ballads to upbeat anthems, his setlist covers a wide range of emotions. I think this guy is on a rocketship to success so catching him Thursday at Lolla in an earlier slot will be one of those things you can look back on in a few years and say you did.

Sudan Archives - Friday 2:45, T Mobile Stage

Sudan Archives is a musical prodigy who picked up the violin at the tender age of 10. Her sound can be described as equal parts alternative R&B, art pop, and neo-soul. Her lyrics are like a treasure map to her soul. She's not afraid to explore her identity, tango with ideas of race and gender, and dance with the mysteries of love and control. I am personally head over heels for the violin so this may be a more personal favorite other people may not love as much but I can't wait to catch her set.

Franc Moody - Thursday 4pm Titos Stage

This electro-funk band is like a musical kaleidoscope, taking influences from Spaghetti Western soundtracks to Lawrence of Arabia. They're all fucking over the place. But it works. And it's dope. The London duo maestros just wrapped a tour where they were opening for none other than Nile Rodgers & Chic. Really looking forward to their set.

Fred Again - Friday 6:45, T Mobile Stage

I've seen Fred Again twice now. Once at Terminal 5 and again at Madison Square Garden in NYC. Both times I was mind blown. Fred Again is not your average run-of-the-mill musician. He's a musical genius with a bag of tricks that'll make your jaw drop. His innovative approach to music blends genres, styles, and sounds in ways you've never heard before. It's like he's conducting a symphony of musical magic with a sprinkle of futuristic stardust. All live and not prerecorded. 

His songs are like sonic stories, weaving tales of love, loss, and everything in between. His ability to take everyday sounds or voices, from something as random as a random tiktok video, and turn it into musical magic is incredible. The guy is a musical wizard who can conjure melodies and arrangements that'll transport you to another dimension. His live performances are like a symphony of sounds that'll leave you mesmerized.

This stage is going to be a fucking shit show for his set, considering how excited people are to see him, and he's going on right before Kendrick at the same stage, so that might ruin the experience, but if you can get side stage, or find a nice spot to set up shop you won't be disappointed. 

Knocked Loose - Friday 9pm Bacardi Stage

We've officially got a "metalcore" group on the bill! And on my list of must-see's. I'm basing this on a suggestion from my friend Dino who is a huge metal fan and has been telling me if I don't go see Knocked Loose's set he'll never speak to me again. Here is how described them:

These guys are the masters of chaos, and their live performances are like a frenzy of musical mayhem that'll have you losing your mind. Their stage presence is electrifying, and the raw emotion they pour into their music is enough to make your heart skip a beat. You'll be headbanging, screaming, and feeling every note like it's a punch to the gut.

Aidan Bissett – Saturday 5:40 BMI Stage

I love this song, I've loved this song since the moment I heard it, and I'm not afraid who knows it.

Carly Rae Jepson - Thursday 5pm, Bud Light Stage

I don't think enough people realize how many bangers Carly Rae has and just wrote her off after, or only know her for "Call Me Maybe". She is fucking awesome and her last album The Loveliest Time was amazing.

The Garden - Saturday 9pm Bacardi Stage

The Garden is an experimental rock band made up of twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears who incorporate punk influences mixed with stripped-back bass and drum soundscape, all sprinkled with guitar and electronic synth melodies.

And their live performances are crazy. Their theatrical DIY and glam rock-inspired fashion aesthetic are like a kaleidoscope of colors and creativity. They're like the jesters of the music world, painting their faces and dressing up like weirdos. 

Windser - Saturday, 3:20 BMI Stage

I got turned on to (not by) this guy from an Apple podcast he was a guest on. Gave his stuff a listen and dug it. He's kind of a weirdo but his music works. He has an indie folk sound blended with, alternative, and electronic elements. He's got a perfect midday Saturday set time that you can catch right when you arrive to the fest that should set a good mood for the weekend.

L’Impératrice - Sunday 9pm Bacardi Stage

Disco mother fuckers. 

I love this group.

These guys and their sound are my pick to be the biggest surprise of the weekend. They are going to turn the Bacardi Stage on Sunday night into a dance party. These disco divas combine glossy electronic production with the groovy vibes of the '70s and '80s - it's like a musical time machine. 

Tracks like "Fou" and "Voodoo?" are the epitome of the nu-disco magic they bring to the table. 

Timmy Trumpet - Thursday 6pm, Perry's Stage

I have been trying to book this bastard for like 5 years at our club FWD and its impossible. He has no availability. Ever. (Yet somehow he can play the night before his Lolla set at Tao? Nvm)

He is electrifying in every sense of the word. 

Any guy who can dj AND play the trumpet at the same time, and do it this well, is must see.

Portugal The Man - Thursday 6:45 T Mobile Stage

A band I have been dying to see live for years now. Can't wait to see them on Thursday night finally!

Lil Yachty - Sunday 4:45 Bud Light Stage

Yachty is the man. Sadly the only time I've seen him perform live was before he blew up into a household name so I was only have paying attention half having a conversation. Really looking forward to him control what's sure to be a monster crowd on Sunday late afternoon that he will have going bananas.

Ingrid Andress - Sunday 1pm T Mobile Stage

What a fucking terrible time slot for somebody who has built a really big following and deserves a better set time. 

I think Ingrid is one of the best new songwriters to come along in a while, and her voice is great. I'm a big big fan.

Foals - Friday 6pm Tito's Stage

This will be a really fun one at this time and this stage. 

Big Wild - Saturday 5pm Bud Light Stage

Another awesome fucking band I've never got to see and can't wait for. Their female guitar player is a bad ass.

Thirty Seconds To Mars - Saturday 7pm Bud Light Stage

I hate their new song on the radio, because it sounds like a shitty cover of Rufus, but I really like this band. Guilty pleasure or not. I never thought they were shit and thought it was a Jerod Leto sideshow until I played at Bamboozled Fest in New Jersey like 15 years ago with Sammy Adams, and we were on right before them. I was putting away my gear when they took stage and began and I was so intrigued by them right from the jump, that I stayed where I was side stage and watched their entire set. Not going to lie; seeing them, and hearing tens of thousands of people belt out the finale "Kings and Queens" in unison will give you some major goosebumps. 

The Knocks - Saturday 3:45 Coinbase Stage

Huge fan, and friends with these guys (who are big Stoolies) and Knicks fans, and supporters of Barstool Backstage. Love them and love their music.

Acts To Skip

If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all…

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

Lana Del Rey

Wax Motif

Disco Lines

If I missed anybody that should be on my, or everybody else's, radar, tell us why in the comments.