Our Lollapalooza 2011 Wish List

A few weeks ago, there was a leak that Muse, the Foo Fighters and Eminem would headline Lollapalooza this year. In previous years, when band names have been leaked well before the official announcement, they’ve been accurate, so let’s assume that those are your headliners. Pretty cool and eclectic group, if you ask us. We’ve seen some dyed-in-the-wool alt rockers scoff at the idea of Marshall Mathers playing Lolla, but why the hell not? Snoop Dogg did it two years ago, and no one complained about that.

The festival’s organizers are a good month away from unveiling their lineup, so while we’re in the lull between the leak and the formal announcement, we decided to have a little fun. Here are some bands that we’d love to see take the stage in Grant Park this summer.

Motorhead

Don’t laugh – this makes more sense than the decision to invite Metallica in 1996. They rock harder and faster than anyone alive today, and courtesy of their appearance on “The Young Ones,” they were instantly grandfathered as alt rock forefathers (Ministry’s Psalm 69, anyone?). Still think it’s a long shot? Consider this: Head Foo Fighter Dave Grohl loves Lemmy and has recorded with him, plus the band just released a new record (The World Is Yours), which means a tour is sure to follow. Come on, Perry. You know this would be awesome. Lemmy shows up, drinks all the other bands under the table, and wipes the floor with them onstage. That’s the way we like it, baby.

Franz Ferdinand

Of the big UK bands of the last five years, only Franz Ferdinand and Coldplay have yet to play Lolla, and we’re not sure why. It looked as though the stars were aligned for them to play when the band released Tonight, Franz Ferdinand in 2009, but for whatever reason, it never happened. Considering the heavy nature of the three headliners, both musically and lyrically, the festival could use a party band. The only catch is that the band is not working on a new record, and therefore will not likely be on tour this year. Pity.

Midnight Juggernauts

Odds are these guys aren’t even on Perry’s radar, but they would be a welcome addition to the DJ stage (playing live, of course). This Melbourne trio brings the rock, the beats and the trippy, and wraps it all in tasty pop hooks. And from the shaky camera phone clips we’ve seen, they can bring it live, too.

Biffy Clyro

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NME just crowned them the best live band, and their 2010 album Only Revolutions is finally making waves in the US nearly a year after its release (and after the band sent a whopping six songs from the album into the UK Top 40). They’ve already toured with rumored headliner Muse once this year, and would make for one hell of a setup band for them. Plus, the band plans on returning to the States after they conclude their spring tour. This makes sense on so many levels.

Duran Duran

They were a gateway band to the world of modern rock for millions of kids. Scores of current modern rock bands cite them as an influence. And they’ve just released their best album since Rio (All You Need Is Now), an expanded version of which comes out in a couple weeks with songs written especially for the band by none other than Owen Pallett, lead singer of Lolla 2010 headliners Arcade Fire. They’re playing Coachella, Ultra Music Festival, and South by Southwest. The only problem is that they’re also playing V Fest, in the UK, August 20, so they may already be finished playing the States by the time Lolla comes around. Then again, Enimem is playing the V Festival too, and he’s playing Lolla. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

N.E.R.D.

If only to dance along with 30,000 other people to “She Likes to Move” and “Hot-n-Fun.”

Scissor Sisters

They’re currently opening for Lady Gaga, another Lolla 2010 headliner. The press loves them. Their songs are ridiculously catchy, fun, and smart. There’s just one teensy weensy problem: they’re gay. Well, the guys in the band are, anyway.

This isn’t a problem for us, mind you. Good music is good music, and we couldn’t care less what the musicians do in their personal lives. But with the explosion of grunge in the early ’90s, all of the dancier artists – you know, the ones that helped get the alternative movement off the ground and served as a musical haven for the strange and confused – were kicked to the curb in favor of the new macho world order, and sadly, the recent Lolla lineups have reflected this. That is not to say that they haven’t had gay artists perform; it just means they haven’t had a lot of openly gay artists who put on *fabulous* live shows perform. Adding the Scissor Sisters would go a long way toward rectifying this, because they’re not afraid of large crowds (they’re huge everywhere in the world except here), and they put on a hell of a show. Given the liquidity of Perry’s sexuality in the past, you’d think he’d be more sensitive to this.

Aimee Mann and Matthew Sweet

There is a certain circle of artists who have indie cred galore, yet never get invited to the big parties. We’re not sure why that is. If you go to the nearest coffee shop that has an open mic, ten bucks says every other girl with a guitar has at least two Aimee Mann albums on her iPod, while Sweet made one of the biggest alt-rock albums of all time in Girlfriend. Neko Case played to roughly 20,000 people at Lolla two years ago, so there is clearly an audience for this kind of music. Mann is known to be a bit of a prickly pear in person, but she’s a dynamite live performer and has one of the most casual relationships with her fans that you’re likely to see. And just imagine if Sweet decided to play Girlfriend in its entirety for a festival crowd. You’d have other Lolla bands lining up to take the stage with him.

So those are our picks for bands we’d like to see play Lolla this year. What are yours? Please leave your polite and well considered suggestions in the comment section below.