Call it what you will, Lollapalooza time has come, once more, to Chicago, towing along with it the promise of celebrity spottings, transit congestion, overpriced food galore and, of course, 130 bands.
Though we're still discovering new, awkwardly-placed tan lines from the last time we spent the weekend listening to music out in the hot sun, listening to live music, we at HuffPost Chicago are excited to share some of our highlights from the sold-out festival, which is celebrating its 20th birthday this year. Beginning Saturday, after recovering from round one of after-parties, we will be posting daily updates.
We will also be tweeting as often as possible over at @robojojo if you're feeling impatient for news on any Gwyneth Paltrow sightings or other breaking developments, plus, in a new partnership with YouTube allowing music fans to enjoy the experience away from the throngs of drunk frat boys, the festival will also be streaming a number of sets live, including several acts we're totally looking forward to (The Joy Formidable, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart) and even a few of the weekend's headliners (My Morning Jacket, Coldplay).
Still, there's no level of social networking or live streaming that can match the exhilarating experience of being surrounded in all directions by pounding, strumming, amp-laced live music. As for dealing with "the elements," our friends over at Chicagoist and Chicago Reader both have some solid tips for massive music festival survival that are worth checking out.
While a lot of folks will understandably spend much of their days angling to catch a glimpse of A-listers like Eminem, Cee-Lo and Muse (and we're excited as anyone to catch a bit of the madness of mash-up master Girl Talk's dance party), we wanted to offer up our picks for 13 bands perhaps a bit more off the radar that we'll be making a point to check out this weekend.
Agree or disagree with our picks? Let us know who you're looking forward to seeing by commenting below.
If you're attending Lolla with camera in tow, please send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add them to our festival slideshow. Be sure to include your name and personal website so we give you proper credit.