Ones to Watch: Lollapalooza Music Festival 2023

Date:

Chicago’s Lollapalooza Music Festival is back this Thursday, August 3rd running through Sunday, August 6th. In anticipation of the festival, we picked 12 up-and-coming acts that you need to see. With a lineup of over 170+ artists (including headliners Kendrick Lamar, ODESZA, Billie Eilish, and Red Hot Chili Peppers) we had a hard time choosing our Ones to Watch and wish we could feature each one.
That being said, use this as a guide to plan out your Lolla weekend. With long set times, it is more possible than ever to catch multiple artists playing during the same time frame. If you are not attending, use this guide as a reference for new artists to add to your playlists.

THURSDAY:

MATT MALTESE:
When and Where They’re Playing: 1:15-2:00pm on the T-Mobile Stage
Similar Artists: Father John Misty, Fenne Lily, The Lemon Twig
Listen To: “As the World Caves In,” “Everyone Adores You (at least I do),” “Intolewd”

Londoner Matt Maltese has captivated fans with his stage presence since first appearing in 2016 with his EP In a New Bed. Since then, Matt has released multiple singles, EPs, and four studio albums – the most recent of which is Driving Just To Drive released earlier this year. His song “As The World Caves In” went viral on TikTok, and he sold out both a headlining U.S. tour in 2022 as well as its runs in the UK and EU. We are excited to see Matt on the largest stage at Lollapalooza and know it won’t be long before he is headlining the same stage.

THE BEACHES:
When and Where They’re Playing: 1:15-2:00 on the Bud Light Stage
Similar Artists: The Aces, Arkells, Metric
Listen To: “Blame Brett,” “Want What You Got,” “Everything Is Boring”

The Beaches are a four-piece female rock band from Toronto whose upbeat indie-rock tracks with witty and brazen lyrics immediately make you a fan. Made of sisters Jordan (lead vocals/bass) and Kylie Miller (guitar) with friends Eliza Enman-McDaniel (drums) and Leandra Earl (keys/guitar); the Canadian rockers are slated to release their new album Blame My Ex on September 15th. The catchy singles “Blame Brett” and “Everything Is Boring” have already been released, and we are ready to sing along to them live.

BEAUTY SCHOOL DROPOUT:
When and Where They’re Playing: 2:10-2:50PM on the BMI Stage
Similar Artists: jxdn, Machine Gun Kelly, Magnolia Park
Listen To: “WE MADE PLANS & GOD LAUGHED,” “A$$A$$IN,” “Starphucker”

Beauty School Dropout has had a whirlwind of a year. The 3-piece from Los Angeles recently finished a tour opening for the legendary blink-182, playing in arenas throughout the country. Originally a duo with Cole Hutzler (vocals) and Brent Burdett (bass), the two brought on friend Bardo Novotny (guitar) to form BSD before being the first band signed to Verswire records – a label backed by Mark Hoppus of blink-182 and Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy. The band are establishing themselves as pop-punk icons, and we are glad to see an exciting pop-punk band like BSD on this years lineup.

FRIDAY:

GIANT ROOKS:
When and Where They’re Playing: 2:15-3:15 on the Tito’s Stage
Similar Artists: Alt-J, Milky Chance, Flipturn
Listen To: “Tom’s Diner,” “Wild Stare,” “New Estate”

German’s Giant Rooks have taken their country by storm, and are ready to take on the U.S. The band’s 2020 debut album Rookery ruled the German music charts, and their track “Tom’s Diner” quickly gained them fans abroad. The five-piece of Frederik Rabe (vocals), Finn Schwieters (guitar), Luca Göttner (bass), Jonathan Wischniowski (keyboard), and Finn Thomas (drums) are currently on tour opening for Louis Tomlinson and are set to play a multitude of European festivals this summer. The band announced a new song releasing on August 4th titled “Somebody Like You,” and we hope we get a sneak-peek during their set.

CHARLOTTE SANDS:
When and Where They’re Playing: 4:30-5:10 on the BMI Stage
Similar Artists: Taylor Acorn, Hot Milk, tiLLie
Listen To: “Dress,” “Tantrum,” “Loved You A Little”

Female powerhouse Charlotte Sands describes her music as “a safe space for listeners to feel accepted and celebrated for their weirdness and diversity.” Known for her bright blue hair, raw folk songwriting, and alt-leaning melodies; Charlotte gained overnight fame when her song “Dress” about Harry Styles wearing a dress on the cover of Vogue went viral. Since that day in 2020, Charlotte has toured with both her idols The Maine and Yungblud, collaborated on tracks with Underoath and Taking Back Sunday, and headlined her first tour. We know that Charlotte is just getting started and always puts on an energetic show – one that you should not miss.

ANNIE DIRUSSO:
When and Where They’re Playing: 3:30-4:00 on the Bacardi Stage
Similar Artists: The Greeting Committee, ella jane, Maude Latour
Listen To: “Nauseous,” “Body,” “Hybrid”

Nashville-based Annie DiRusso is currently on her “God, I Hate This Tour” in support of her debut EP God, I Hate This Place. Coming off a recent performance of “Nauseous” on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Annie is unstoppable. An indie-rock artist born in NYC, Annie first started performing at age 13 in local open-mic nights before graduating to Manhattan Clubs, then taking the leap and moving to Nashville after high school graduation. Our favorite tracks off the EP are the raw and relatable “Body” and heartfelt “Hybrid” that summon 90s garage rock. We’re ready to sing our lungs out to these new tracks, and we hope you are to.

SATURDAY:

ARCY DRIVE:
When and Where They’re Playing: 2:10-2:50 on the BMI Stage
Similar Artists: Sun Room, Briston Maroney, Sarah and the Sundays
Listen To: “Roll My Stone,” “They Don’t Dance,” “Smoke & Fire (Live)”

DIY “attic-rockers” Arcy Drive have quickly gained a following despite only releasing a few singles and a live album. The band began touring in a 1989 Toyota van before releasing anything, only finding fans through their live shows. Fast-forward to 2023 and the four-piece of Nick Mateyunas (vocasl, guitar) Brooke Tuozzo (drums), Austin Jones (guitar), and Patrick Helrigel (bass) sold-out every date of their The Stattic Tour. We look forward to seeing what is next for the band, and hope to hear some new tracks during their set.

ARI ABDUL:
When and Where They’re Playing: 6:50-7:30 on the BMI Stage
Similar Artists: Isabel LaRosa, Nessa Barrett, Maggie Lindemann
Listen To: “YOU,” “BABYDOLL,” “Stay”

The dark, alternative-pop of New York native Ari Abdul is hauntingly beautiful. Growing up in Brooklyn, Ari was surrounded by music as her Ecuadorian mom loved Latin music, and her Costa Rican/Palestinian father introduced her to classic rock. Inspired by the grunge movement of the 90’s, Ari began creating tracks with alluring melodies and emotional lyrics. Her debut EP Fallen Angel gave us the ethereal “Stay” and slow-jam “BABYDOLL” while her newest single “WORSHIP” shows her growth as an artist and gives us a taste into her upcoming EP scheduled for Fall 2023.

FRIDAY PILOTS CLUB:
When and Where They’re Playing: 12:15-1:00 on the Tito’s Stage
Similar Artists: Weathers, DREAMERS, Barns Courtney
Listen To: “Sleeping On The Ceiling,” “Hot Mess,” “Poison or Patience”

Chicago band Friday Pilots Club are living every local bands dream of playing Lollapalooza. Originally a 2-piece with Caleb Hiltunen (lead vocals) and Drew Polovick (bass), the band has grown to five members after adding friends Eric Doar (drums), Sean Burke (guitar), and James Kourafas (guitar). The band reminds us of early Radiohead and Muse with their blend of pop and rock ‘n roll, as they love to experiment with various styles of production. Having recently released the EP I LOVE YOU, ROBOT SUPERSTAR while completing a spring tour, the band shows no signs of slowing down.

SUNDAY:

UPSAHL:
When and Where They’re Playing: 1:15-2:00 on the Bud Light Stage
Similar Artists: Lauren Sanderson, Royal & The Serpent, XYLØ
Listen To: “GOOD GIRL ERA (SIDE A),” “CONDOMS (SIDE B),” “People I Don’t Like”

UPSAHL, known to fans as Lady Jesus, is an artist who is constantly experimenting. Her latest project THE PHX (Phoenix) TAPES are a homage to the mixtapes of the 90s, with both V1 and V2 consisting of curated SIDE A/SIDE B tracks. UPSAHL is also a talented writer who has collaborated with multiple artists from Madison Beer to Mike Shinoda, and Little Mix to Renee Rapp. Her own tracks give fans a glimpse into her dynamic personality – from the upbeat “GOOD GIRL ERA (SIDE A)” to the honest “People I Don’t Like.” With addictive hooks and relatable lyrics, UPSAHL is sure to become your new favorite artist, and a set that should not be missed.

SARAH KINSLEY:
When and Where They’re Playing: 12:15-1:00 at the Coinbase Stage
Similar Artists: Samia, Indigo De Souza, Wallice
Listen To: “Lovegod,” “The King,” “The Giver”

NYC-based Sarah Kinsley first gained fans in 2021 after the release of her EP The King, of which the title track went viral on TikTok. During that time, Sarah was studying music at Columbia University. Raised on classical music, Sarah began to produce her own alt-pop during college, leading to the The King and her latest EP Ascension. The track “Lovegod” is one of our favorites, and asks deep questions of ourselves, while the title track “Ascension” shows off Sarah’s classical roots with a piano-based melody. Sarah is all about bold creative experimentation, and we cannot wait to see what she does next.

THE HAPPY FITS:
When and Where They’re Playing: 1:45-2:30 on the Coinbase Stage
Similar Artists: The Greeting Committee, Jukebox The Ghost, Arlie
Listen To: So Alright, Cool, Whatever,” “She Wants Me (To Be Loved),” “Best Tears”

 

New Jersey natives The Happy Fits are changing pop-rock with their innovative use of electric cello, guitar riffs and creative melodies. The trio consisting of Calvin Langman (vocals and electric cello), Ross Monteith (guitar), and Luke Davis (drums) first met in high school before forming the band. A decade later, The Happy Fits have established their bubbly yet electrifying sound. Our favorite part of a Happy Fits performance is the wide smile that never leaves their faces, and quickly transfers onto the crowd. If you’re looking for a little joy on the last day of Lollapalooza, The Happy Fits is where you will find it.

Tickets are still available for this year’s Lollapalooza Music Festival here.

 

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