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Lollapalooza staff picks

Here are the station’s collective Lollapalooza Top 5 acts to see:

“I’m always torn – do I pick the bands I’ve never seen, to take advantage of the chance, or support the ones we already love?” - 88Nine’s Doris Wessels

#1 Paul McCartney

No, we are not “too hipster” to acknowledge that Sir Paul McCartney at Lolla this year. At this point every compliment or criticism has already been written about the man. So there’s not much more to say other than you’d be dumb to miss out on the opportunity to see him perform. Where: Samsung Galaxy Stage

When: Friday, July 31, 7:45pm

“I saw Sir Paul in 1993 at County Stadium.  He played in center field and I was in the last row behind home plate.  Good seats! I skipped a soccer tournament game to go to it.  Something I caught a lot of flack for from my teammates and coach.  I stand by my decision :)”

- 88Nine’s Peter Adams

#2 Flying Lotus

The grand-nephew of a cool cat you may have heard of. Um ... John Coltrane anyone? With a background and influence like that, it makes sense that “FlyLo” -- as his fans call him -- has made such an impact on the scene. His sound is considered experimental multi-genre. In his first couple of albums his jazz background came with his electronic sound -- providing a unique new experience for IDM fans. Even if you’re not into electronic music, FlyLo may be a good way to start the transition and give you a new perspective on the art form. And, here’s a potential dilemma for you: his show time overlaps with McCartney’s.

Where: Pepsi Stage

When:  Friday, July 31, 9pm

“You don't miss an opportunity to see Flying Lotus. You just don't.”

- 88Nine’s Justin Barney

#3 Bully

Representing the genre of hard-rocking/throat-tearing is the band Bully. Led by singer and guitarist Alicia Bognanno, Bully the band caught the attention of Rolling Stone as they were was ranked among the “Top Ten Artists to Watch” for this year. Bognanno’s story of how she got her start is pretty cool. She was an intern at the Electrical Audio studio and apparently killed it enough to impress the oft-acerbic producer, Steve Albini, who has produced Nirvana, Pixies, and PJ Harvey. She’s a poster child for internship success stories, and gives our interns a little hope.

Where: BMI Stage

When: Sunday, Aug. 2, 5:40pm

“I only caught their last few songs when they played Cactus Club and it was painfully too short. I need more!” - 88Nine’s Amelinda Burich

#4 Sylvan Esso

Based our staff comments -- plus the strong praise after Summerfest and Eaux Claires -- you would don’t want to miss a live performance by these gems.

Sylvan Esso is a singer/producer duo that commands the stage, despite that there are just two of them -- a similar dynamic to the success of a Twenty One Pilots show. Singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn (former Milwaukeean) have the capability to put out new music even on the road, something that will ultimately help to set them apart from other indie-pop artists, not that they haven’t already.

We caught up with them at Eaux Claires and recorded a segment for video series 88 Seconds.

Where: Pepsi Stage

When: Friday, July 31, 7:45pm

“They were phenomenal at Summerfest and I hear they were even better at Eaux Claires, this will be a can't miss.” - Ken Sumka

#5 Father John Misty

Performance -- best I’ve ever seen. Vocals -- legit. Lyrics -- hilariously relevant. The former Fleet Foxes’ drummer has broken onto the scene -- giving live performance fiends something to drool over. Expect an excessive amount of sarcasm between and during songs. It’s okay to laugh at his songs even though the tone completely juxtaposes most of his lyrics. It’s all very confusing and weird and amazing. Definitely a show you do not want to miss.

Where: Palladia Stage

When: Friday, July 31, 3:30pm

“I have been a huge fan since ‘Fear Fun’ and loved seeing him at the Pabst and when he stopped by for a studio session. ‘Honeybear’ is such a great album and to top it off Josh is such a ham. That man knows how to work an audience. It's impossible to be bored during a show.” - Makenzie Boettcher

Other notable artists to see:

Florence + The Machine
First Aid Kit


Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee