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Phoenix 101: Who to See Perform at Lollapalooza

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After a year off due to COVID-19, Chicago’s biggest music festival is back — Lollapalooza is taking over Grant Park from July 29 to Aug. 1. From rising stars to pop icons, the lineup has something for everyone. Whether you’re braving all four days or keeping it lowkey with a one-day pass, The Phoenix breaks down the must-see artists during the festival.

THURSDAY

Aly & AJ – 1:00 p.m., T-Mobile 

On the heels of their critically acclaimed, tongue-twistingly titled album “a touch of the beat gets you up on your feet gets you out and then into the sun,” Aly & AJ are taking the T-Mobile stage Thursday. The former Disney starlets-turned-indie pop darlings are most recognizable for 2007 hit “Potential Breakup Song,” but their synth, throwback California pop tunes are sure to brighten up the festival.

Dayglow – 3:45 p.m., Lake Shore

Dayglow puts out the funky bedroom pop that’s perfect for an afternoon set at Lollapalooza. Sloan Struble, the sole member of the band, released his sophomore album “Harmony House” in May — but you’ll probably recognize him from his breakout hit “Can I Call You Tonight?” released in 2018. 

Kaytranada – 7:00 p.m., Bud Light Seltzer 

Kaytranada, a Canadian-Haitian producer and DJ, surely won’t disappoint when he takes over the Bud Light Seltzer stage for an evening set at the festival. If you’re an avid Tik Tok user, you’ll recognize “YOU’RE THE ONE,” an electronic hit that will have the crowd dancing. Another stand-out hit of his, “10%,” features Kali Uchis singing over an infectious beat that’ll be stuck in your head for days. 

Miley Cyrus – 8:45 p.m., T-Mobile

Do we even have to say it? Cyrus is the stand-out star of Thursday. Whether you grew up listening to tracks like “See You Again” or you’re loving her new rock sound featured on her album “Plastic Hearts,” she’s a must-see. Get to T-Mobile early as it’s likely most Lolla-goers will be vying to see the pop star up close. 

FRIDAY

Rookie – 12:30 p.m., Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Chicago’s own indie-rock sextet will kick-off Friday at the Tito’s stage with tracks from their self-titled debut album. With harmonies and guitar riffs straight from the ’70s, classic rock fans can start their Friday off right.

Jack Harlow – 7:45 p.m., Lake Shore

Is “Industry Baby” stuck in your head yet? Harlow’s feature on the latest chart-topping single from Lil Nas X has only furthered his rise into rap stardom. The Louisville native’s evening set will leave you energized after singing along to hits like “What’s Poppin” and dancing to the infectious beats featured in songs like “WARSAW.”

Tyler, The Creator – 8:45 p.m., T-Mobile 

Fresh off the release of his latest album, “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST,” Tyler, the Creator is set to steal the show Friday night. While facing tough competition for festival attendees — including Marshmello and $uicideboy$ — the fresh tracks and return of songs from “IGOR” are sure to be a draw, so make sure to get to the T-Mobile stage by 8:45 p.m.

Omar Apollo – 9:00 p.m., Grubhub

Omar Apollo will make the live debut of his album “Apolonio” in Chicago and is also slated to take the Grubhub stage as the last Friday performer. Apollo’s indie-pop guitar is a calmer way to end the night in preparation for Saturday, so get to the GrubHub stage by 9 p.m. to catch his set. 

SATURDAY

DRAMA – 4:00 p.m., Grubhub

Chicago duo DRAMA finds themselves somewhere between R&B and dance — and also on the Grubhub stage Saturday at 4 p.m. While there’s some ambiguity about what genres they fall into, there’s no doubt that Via Rosa’s powerful vocals paired with Na’el Shehade’s production make for a great set to prepare for Lolla’s biggest night of headliners.

Cavetown – 6:30 p.m., Grubhub

Cavetown will be taking over the Grubhub stage for an evening set after releasing his latest EP, “Man’s Best Friend,” earlier this summer. The emotionally-driven indie pop songs will make you want to grab your friends and belt every word to songs like “Idea of Her” and his earlier viral hit, “Boys Will Be Bugs.”

Megan Thee Stallion – 6:45 p.m., T-Mobile

Rap’s newest darling will be at the T-Mobile stage Saturday a year following her breakout album “Good News.” After releasing two Billboard Hot 100 number one singles during the pandemic — the remix of “Savage” featuring Beyoncé and “WAP” with Cardi B — she’ll surely have fans salivating over her festival performance. 

Post Malone – 8:45 p.m., T-Mobile

Few artists this decade have come close to the hit-making prowess of hip-hop-influenced pop star Post Malone. Be sure not to run in “Circles” and make it to the T-Mobile stage by 8:45 to catch him.

SUNDAY

Radkey – 12:50 p.m., Grubhub

Quintessential alternative rockers Radkey are bringing early ‘00s alternative rock representation to the Grubhub stage just before 1 p.m. Sunday. The band is a must-see for fans of AFI and other groups that showed up on the “Guitar Hero III” tracklist. “Love Spills” and “Cat & Mouse” are just two hit tracks festival attendees can fist pump too, though they’ve also been known to play the original “Teen Titans” theme song to get crowds going.

JPEGMAFIA – 5:15 p.m., GrubHub

JPEGMAFIA returns to the Chicago festival circuit, though this time he’s playing Lollapalooza instead of Pitchfork Music Festival. The Brooklyn-based rapper will be a good warmup for Rico Nasty, who will play the GrubHub stage immediately after his 5:15 p.m set.

Brockhampton – 7:15 p.m., Bud Light Seltzer

It started with a message on a Kanye West fan forum in 2010 by Kevin Abstract asking, “Anybody wanna make a band?” A decade later, that very band is performing at Lollapalooza. The alternative hip-hop group will appear on the Bud Light Seltzer stage Sunday night, giving fans a sneak peek of the “Roadrunner” tour for their new album “Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine.”

Foo Fighters – 8:00 p.m., T-Mobile

The Foo Fighters are set to end the festival with a bang, whether it be a fiery rendition of “All My Life” or any of the tracks from their latest release, “Medicine At Midnight.” The group is no stranger to Chicago — having played back-to-back nights at Wrigley Field (1060 W. Addison St.) in 2018 — so get to the Bud Light Seltzer stage by 8 p.m. to get a good position in the mosh pit.

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