Sound check: Childish Gambino, Arkells, Revivalists top list of Lollapalooza plans

  • Childish Gambino headlines Friday night at Lollapalooza.

    Childish Gambino headlines Friday night at Lollapalooza. Associated Press

  • Fresh Chicago quartet Beach Bunny hits Lollapalooza's American Eagle Stage at 12:50 p.m. Thursday.

    Fresh Chicago quartet Beach Bunny hits Lollapalooza's American Eagle Stage at 12:50 p.m. Thursday. Courtesy of John Tuanqui

 
 
Updated 7/31/2019 1:12 PM

It's been nine years since my last visit to Chicago's Lollapalooza. In that time, a few things have changed. The fest's footprint is larger. An extra day? Yes, please! And both of those add up to a lot more bands.

More music, more stages, more places to roam. Clearly I needed to start planning ahead. While these are not the only acts I'm excited to see, these are definitely the tent poles I'll be building each day around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Focusing so much on Chicago-area musicians the last few years left me with Chicago foursome Beach Bunny as a lock (12:50 p.m. Thursday at the American Eagle Stage), followed by a visit to Win and Woo later that day (7:45 p.m. Thursday at the Tito's Handmade Vodka Stage). Julian Casablancas and The Strokes are definite winners for my Thursday night headliner slot, with more recent (but still not THAT recent) songs such as "Under Cover of Darkness" paired with "Reptilia" and other songs that stole my heart years back.

Death Cab for Cutie plays at 6:45 p.m. Friday at Lollapalooza's Bud Light Stage.
Death Cab for Cutie plays at 6:45 p.m. Friday at Lollapalooza's Bud Light Stage. -

Chevelle -- local love for the Grayslake natives! -- is a lock for Friday (5:45 p.m. at Tito's), followed by either turning around in place to wallow in nostalgic affection of Washington's Death Cab for Cutie (6:45 p.m. at the Bud Light Stage) or hoofing it across Grant Park to catch rapper, songstress and actor Janelle Monae (6:45 p.m. at the T-Mobile Stage). Either leaves a little time to wander before heading to catch Childish Gambino (8:45 p.m. at T-Mobile), the actor and rapper who tapped into the cultural zeitgeist and tumultuous climate with last year's "This Is America."

Janelle Monae plays Lollapalooza's T-Mobile Stage at 6:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2.
Janelle Monae plays Lollapalooza's T-Mobile Stage at 6:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2. - Associated Press
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Is it uncool to say you were hooked by an artist through an appearance on "Saturday Night Live"? Either way, Gary Clark Jr. (4:45 p.m. Saturday at T-Mobile) has the show to thank for my attendance Saturday afternoon. The next slot is a battle between Boombox Cartel (6 p.m. at Perry's Stage) or the catchy popsters AJR (6 p.m. at Tito's). I'll have some space to experiment before staking out a spot near the front for Twenty One Pilots (8:45 p.m. at T-Mobile), the electronica-infused hipster-hop duo that somehow keeps winning me over every time I start drifting away.

I've been meaning to catch Twenty One Pilots since "Vessel" won me over sometime in 2013. Saturday night's headlining slot at Lollapalooza seems to fit the bill.
I've been meaning to catch Twenty One Pilots since "Vessel" won me over sometime in 2013. Saturday night's headlining slot at Lollapalooza seems to fit the bill. - Associated Press

Sunday promises an early start with some of my favorite Canadians -- Arkells, who won me over with a stunningly fun and energetic set at Subterranean a couple years back and a few more since -- kicking off the day (noon at the Lake Shore Stage) and New Orleans soul-rockers The Revivalists taking a midafternoon slot (4:30 p.m. at T-Mobile). Yes, I know The Revivalists are all rough-and-tumble rock, but the band's soulful side comes out in "Otherside of Paradise," which leads off last year's release of "Take Good Care." If they pull that out during Sunday's set, I'll be the one standing there with a tear in my eye.

So what do you think? Hit me on Facebook with your recommendations to fill in the gaps for the weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Funk at Penny Road

If you were at last weekend's Homegrown Arts & Music Festival in Lisle, you had a chance to see Tonic Freight Train and MetroFern tear up their respective stages with their blisteringly funky sets. But if you missed it, never fear; they're teaming up for a Friday night set at Penny Road Pub. Americana rockers Painted Canyon and funk-n-blues-inspired Sunndog top off the lineup. 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, at Penny Road Pub, 545 Penny Road, Barrington. $10. (847) 428-0562 or pennyroadpub.com.

Geneva sibling band SM6 play the "Boys of Summer 2019 Tour" when it stops at Durty Nellie's Saturday, Aug. 3.
Geneva sibling band SM6 play the "Boys of Summer 2019 Tour" when it stops at Durty Nellie's Saturday, Aug. 3. - Courtesy of SM6
'Boys of Summer Tour'

SM6 brings the kinetic energy and tight-knit bond that only a band of siblings can when they play the "Boys of Summer Tour 2019" as it passes through the Northwest suburbs this weekend. The young Geneva six-pack -- George, Isabel, Adam, Emily, Eliana and Jack -- specializes in crowd-pleasing covers and engaging original music that drifts through pop, rock and folk genres. The "Boys of Summer Tour" features performances and meet-and-greet sessions with a rotating cast of young performers; check klikevents.net to see who is scheduled to appear at the Palatine stop. 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at Durty Nellie's, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine. $25-$132. (847) 358-9150 or durtynellies.com.

Brad Paisley headlines the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park Saturday, Aug. 3.
Brad Paisley headlines the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park Saturday, Aug. 3. - Associated Press, 2017
Paisley or Santana? Take your pick in Tinley

Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre is playing host to a pair of hot shows this weekend: Country artist Brad Paisley takes the stage Saturday, Aug. 3, with Chris Lane and Riley Green, and Santana and the Doobie Brothers team up for a Sunday night show of classics and favorites you're not going to want to miss. Brad Paisley plays at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3; tickets start at $34. Santana plays at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4; tickets start at $63. The Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre is at 19100 Ridgeland Ave., Tinley Park. (708) 614-1616 or tinleyparkamphitheatre.com.

Billow vs. New Nights

Bands from the region have spent the summer honing their sound and competing in the Side Street Studio Arts' Battle of the Bands. In one corner is New Nights; in the other, Billow. See them play and vote for your favorites as the final round commences Saturday. Remember, the bands can't win if you don't vote, so get there to support the local music scene. 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) Saturday, Aug. 3, at Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Court, Elgin. $5 suggested donation each night. (847) 429-2276 or sidestreetstudioarts.org.

Kristen and Matt Murray play a free set Sunday afternoon with Eric Vorel and Frankie EM at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights.
Kristen and Matt Murray play a free set Sunday afternoon with Eric Vorel and Frankie EM at Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights. - Courtesy of Darren Vorel
Local Language

Elmhurst pop-rock band Like Language won new fans and made new friends at the Homegrown Arts & Music Festival this past weekend. The band's Matt and Kristen Murray follow it up with a stripped-down acoustic set at Hey Nonny Sunday, when they take the stage with Eric Vorel and Frankie EM for a free, all-ages show in Arlington Heights. 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights. Free. (224) 202-0750 or heynonny.com.

• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @thatshamieguy. Brian also keeps tabs on the Chicago-area music scene at chicagosoundcheck.com.

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