10 Lesser-Known Bands To See at Lollapalooza

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Lollapalooza has evolved so much since it’s start in 1991. For it’s first 7 years, it was traveling festival that was heavy on big-time alternative rock bands like Janes Addiction, Green Day, and Smashing Pumpkins. It succeeded, then failed, then failed again… (catching breath) then decided to stay only in Chicago which proved to be a smart move. Recently, they started international Lollapaloozas in South America and Germany. Ka-ching!

In short, Lollapalooza seems to have found a working formula. It’s always one of the year’s most anticipated fests.

This year’s lineup isn’t this blogger’s personal favorite, but it does have some interesting lesser-known performers. We highlight some of the small font bands in this post. Let us know which are your favorites from the bunch.


The last thing you’d expect to see on a Lolla festival lineup is a jazz band, but lo-and-behold, the trio BADBADNOTGOOD are just that. It’s a little misleading to identify them as a jazz group without context though. They’re a jazz band that works and collaborates with Ghostface Killah and Tyler the Creator.

Got your attention?

Sounds like: not the jazz music your parents listen to

Twin Peaks

These young Chicago lo-fi rockers are on the up-and-up. True story: It was only 3 years ago that I housed them on the floor of my SXSW cottage. Now, they can probably afford the Motel 6.

And no, they were most likely not alive during the airing of Twin Peaks.

Sounds like: Black Lips, Surfer Blood, King Tuff, Mac Demarco

Django Django

British alt rock group Django Django bring a unique sound to the music spehere. Part-electronic, part-country western soundtrack. Even though they have nothing to do with Quentin Tarantino’s movie Django Unchained, their song Default could definitely be in one of the scenes.

Sounds like: Everything Everything, Tom Vek, Wild Beasts

Delta Spirit

This rootsy indie rock band bring a seriously good live show. That plus their epic-sounding tracks make for an unforgettable set every time and/or make you want to move to California.

Sounds like: Dr. Dog, Dawes, The Felice Brothers

Hippo Campus

Straight-up feel good rock n’ roll. Ignore the silly-sounding band name.

Sounds like: Cayucas, Mikal Cronin, Generationals, Reptar


The Nashville rockers might have a un-Google-able name, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth looking up.

Sounds like: Speedy Ortiz, Girlpool, Hole

Peking Duk

In an electronic scene flooded with bass-driven EDM, Peking Duk provide a refreshing sound that’s funky, smooth, and almost as tasty as actual Peking Duck.

Sounds like: Flume, Chet Faker, ODESZA

Mick Jenkins

Rapper Mick Jenkins has a lot of stuff to say. It just happens to make great hip hop music. Mark my words, Mick will be on everyone’s list very soon.

Sounds like: Vince Staples, Tyler The Creator, Kendrick Lamar

Circa Waves

Indie pop act Circa Waves make happy music. Their music is best used for video montages about your awesome summer vacation.

Sounds like: Arctic Monkeys, Howler

Tame Impala

Australian psych rockers Tame Impala just came out with an album that could be the best release this year. It’s got some dance tracks (Let It Happen). It’s got some poppy tracks (The Less I Know The Better). It’s got  some really fascinating melodies (Eventually).

Sounds like: Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Flaming Lips, Girls

Which bands are you looking forward to on the Lollapalooza lineup?