Top Ten “Underdog” Acts to Watch at Lollapalooza 2017

By Morgan Winston, Photo Editor

The Districts

Chicago’s biggest music festival is coming up this weekend from August 3-6. Huge headliners like Chance the Rapper, Lorde, Arcade Fire, The xx and more are set to perform at this year’s Lollapalooza, but EMMIE is also gearing up for some fantastic opening performers. Here is our list of Top 10 Openers for this year’s festival.

10. Colony House

Nashville-based rock band Colony House have been pretty silent since the release of When I Was Younger back in 2014. Returning with a new record via RCA Records, the band is definitely ready to bring their amped up surfer rock-esque tunes to the BMI Stage at Lollapalooza. New bangers “You & I” and “You Know It” are easy to love and sure to get a sun-beaten crowd moving.

9. Ron Gallo

Ron Gallo has made 2017 his year. After releasing his New West Records debut HEAVY META, he has been on a whirlwind touring schedule; he has shared the stage with Twin Peaks, White Reaper, Hurray for the Riff Raff and more. His music addresses a frustration with the world and is paired with infectious fuzzy garage rock melodies and riffs.

8. Declan Mckenna

Declan McKenna has been a recent favorite of mine in the past year and a half. His alt-pop music is catchy and the lyrics are impressive coming from someone who has only just turned 18. What Do You Think of the Car?, released July 21st, includes earlier single hits like “Brazil” and “Paracetamol” and is extremely easy to listen to. The songs don’t run together and McKenna’s voice has the charm of a young musician. I’m interested to see how he handles the crowd at Lollapalooza.

7. Blaenavon

I stumbled upon Blaenavon back in March playing a rugged set at 21st St. Co-op in Austin, Texas. After high praise following these SXSW performances, I’m making them a priority at Lollapalooza. Yet another band supporting new music this summer, Blaenavon released That’s Your Lot back in April. I am completely obsessed with Ben Gregory’s quick and witty delivery and cannot wait to see their energetic stage show again.

6. Mondo Cozmo

Mondo Cozmo, AKA Joshua Ostrander, is gearing up for the release of his debut Plastic Soul, set to release in the middle of this year’s festival on August 4th. His voice (reminiscent of Bob Dylan) paired with well-produced tracks have me hooked on his recent releases. Mondo Cozmo is riding the wave of the recent folk-rock takeover and I cannot wait for his Lollapalooza performance.

5. White Reaper

As I sit here listening to White Reaper’s “Judy French” I have to stop myself from bouncing my leg and tapping the table next to me. The World’s Best American Band, the band’s second full-length release, is a triumph of garage punk. Some tracks, like the title track for instance, are such simple jams without being too predictable. Their wonderfully catchy rock should translate well to a bigger festival like Lollapalooza.

4. Blossoms

This five-piece from the U.K. has seen a steady rise in popularity since placing fourth in BBC’s Sound Of new music list for 2016. I’m intrigued by the success they’ve had since the release of their debut alum, Blossoms, which recently earned them a Mercury Prize nomination. The band is poised for success in the U.S. after selling out a headlining tour in the U.K. and supporting Two Door Cinema Club during their North American tour. Their indie pop music is sure to charm festival-goers this weekend.

3. Honne

Honne is one of the token electronic duos in a lineup full of alt-rockers and bigger chart leaders. Their songs vary from ‘80s-inspired dance jams to slower, languid beats. I was first introduced to their EP All in the Value last year and I haven’t stopped listening since. It will definitely be strange to see them perform in the middle of the day, but they’re also playing an official aftershow with Foster the People.

2. Léon

Léon is Lotta Lindgren, a singer-songwriter from Sweden. After releasing the extremely successful “Tired of Talking” on Soundcloud she rose quickly in the pop circuit. Since then she has released two EPs and continues to produce catchy tunes. I can’t wait for an extended release from her and to see her take the Pepsi Stage at Lollapalooza.

1. The Districts

The Districts are poised to have an insane end to 2017. Popular Manipulations, their follow-up to 2015’s A Flourish and a Spoil, is set to be released August 11th via Fat Possum Records. So far I am shaking in anticipation for the album after hearing the second single “If Before I Wake.” I experienced their live set back in April and it was one of the most amazing shows I have ever been to. You can tell that these boys have been playing music together for quite some time, their synchronicity and pure rock energy is unbelievable.

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