Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse To Play Lollapalooza 2004
After a disappointing, commercialized "new rock alternative" return in 2003, Lollapalooza might finally earn back its credibility when it hosts a surprisingly impressive lineup this summer on its 20-city trek across the U.S. Morrissey, Sonic Youth, Flaming Lips, Modest Mouse and the Polyphonic Spree are just a handful of acts set to play the traveling festival, which features more than 30 bands and musicians.
Also slated for the ninth incarnation of the two-day event which will kick off July 14 at Auburn, Wash.'s White River Amphitheater are Broken Social Scene, PJ Harvey (on select dates), Le Tigre, The Walkmen, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Gomez, Datsuns, Sparta and The Coup.
Lollapalooza will hit Mountain View, Calif.'s Shoreline Amphitheater July 17 and 18, but no other tour dates have yet been announced.
Also on the bill are: The Thrills, Fire Theft, String Cheese Incident, DJ Peretz (also known as festival curator and Jane's Addiction front Perry Farrell), Secret Machines, The Killers, Wolf Eyes, Danger Mouse, Sahara Hotnights, Bumblebee, Elbow, Wheat, Plus Mass Gaming, Just beCauses and Sound Tribe Sector 9. More are to be announced in the coming weeks.
In 1991, inspired by England's renowned Reading Festival, Farrell and ARTISTdirect
founder Marc Geiger together masterminded the pioneering traveling festival that
helped push the alternative scene into the mainstream.
The festival peaked in popularity in the mid-'90s, hosting bands including Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Jesus & Mary Chain, Hole, Sonic Youth, Pavement, Smashing Pumpkins and Beastie Boys. But it was criticized for becoming overly commercial when it brought bands such as Metallica, Tool, Incubus, Snoop Dogg and Audioslave onto its main stage in the late '90s.
Designed as an artsy, alternative party-on-wheels, the caravan-style event consistently aimed to offer music fans a diverse set of acts, using the power of serendipity to get underground unknowns known. But Lollapalooza ran into trouble when alternative became mainstream and the collective goatee of its key audience began to grey. Perhaps Farrell hopes that, by embracing some of the edgier/indie artists of today, Lollapalooza 2004 will again regain credibility. Jenny Tatone [Monday, May 3, 2004]