Each August, the three-day musical extravaganza that is Lollapalooza manages to creep up like the impending end of summer. This weekend, dozens of bands, including heavy hitters like the Cure, the Killers and Nine Inch Nails, will appear on stages scattered throughout Chicago's seemingly miles-long Grant Park, and as is usually the case with Lolla -- and festivals in general -- the headliners handle the shock and awe while the excellently curated selections in between offer opportunities to find your new favorite band. These midday sets can make or break young groups, and in advance of Lollapalooza 2013, we're picking our 5 Rising Acts You Can't Miss.
Fuzzy punk from the city that gave us the Grand Ole Opry? Indeed, Nashville is a garage-rock hotbed, and it's where Daniel Pujol and his PUJOL project call home -- at least when they're not relentlessly touring and inciting sweaty mosh pits. PUJOL hit Lollapalooza on the heels of last year's 'UNITED STATES OF BEING,' an album that blends whip-smart pop songcraft with Pujol's gravelly delivery and ringing, churning guitar work. Plus, PUJOL have received the highest honor possible for a band in their field, having recorded a single, 'Too Late,' with Jack White at Third Man Records. When they lay waste to the Grove stage on Saturday at 1PM, you'd better be there.
Indie-pop quartet San Cisco first garnered attention in their native Australia with the release of two brilliant EPs, 'Golden Revolver' and 'Awkward.' Now, with a full-length, self-titled album and a tour opening for fellow Lolla-ers the Vaccines in their rear view, San Cisco are primed to take off in the U.S. with their infectious melodies and breezy, jagged jangle-rock. Sure, the comparisons between singer-guitarist Jordi Davieson and another fellow Lolla-er, Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig, are apt, but when Jordi joins forces with bandmate Scarlett Stevens, their dynamic vocal interplay sets San Cisco apart. Check out the tune 'Awkward' to see why, and catch 'em on the Grove stage on Friday at 1PM.
Having fine-tuned their sound -- a mix of samples and live bass and drums -- in Asbury Park, N.J., the talented twosome Brick + Mortar head to Lollapalooza for their biggest performance to date. This tidal wave of excitement is further buoyed by the 'Bangs' EP, which conveniently dropped this week. The EP captures Brick + Mortar's evolving and expansive hard-rock sound, as long-circulating, road-tested tracks get some extra studio sheen. You may be wondering where all the extra effects are coming from, but you'll be hard-pressed to take your eyes and ears off of John Tacon's thundering drum work and Brandon Asra's seamless multi-instrumental transitions and unique approach to harmonies. Check 'em on the BMI stage on Friday at 2:10PM.
Barely legal riot starters the Orwells have been burning an incendiary path since the release of their full-length debut, 'Remember When,' last year. Their gritty, hook-laden, raw 'n' retro aesthetic goes hand in hand with an impassioned take-no-prisoners attitude that helped them fight their way out of a SXSW showcase back in March after being cruelly cut off before their scheduled end time. And where does this tough, streetwise sound stem from? The town of Elmhurst, Ill., which just so happens to be a suburb of Chicago. Consider it a hometown throwdown when they hit the Grove stage on Sunday at 1PM.
It's been a whirlwind ride for the eclectic NYC trio SKATERS, who formed just last year and have already inked a deal with Warner Bros. The group sounds like where its from, as a natural Bowery bounce bubbles beneath weary Strokes-esque lamentations, searing guitar passages and smartly employed electronic elements. After a run of impressive showings as SXSW, SKATERS are in the midst of recording the follow-up to their 'Schemers' EP. Sunday at 2:15 on the Grove stage, they'll offer some hints of what to expect from their big-league debut.