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The Lollapalooza Headliners Are Basic

Shrug.

Red Hot Chili Peppers at Lolla 2012.   Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune

With Tribune music critic Greg Kot away at South By Southwest this week, Consequence of Sound is shouldering his tradition of leaking the Lollapalooza headliners early. This morning, the blog reported that Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, and Red Hot Chili Peppers will close out this year’s four-day festival.

Not only have all three bands played the festival before (Radiohead in 2008, LCD Soundsystem in 2007, and Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2012, 2006, and 1992), they’re all in the twilight of their careers. When LCD Soundsystem broke up in 2011, the band even threw themselves a funeral. Red Hot Chili Peppers were last seen lip-synching Super Bowl XLVIII. Radiohead, for its part, released a new single in January. It’s sweet; but it’ll make about as good a festival closer as herbal tea.

What’s worse, the call for a more diverse Lolla seems hopeless now. The festival has featured every big-box white guy in the business in recent years (Metallica, Black Sabbath, Kings of Leon, Paul McCartney, Eminem, the Cure, Mumford & Sons, Killer, Nine Inch Nails), and now bookers are simply returning to the same Rolodex. If you think that’s an easy criticism—of course most groups play Lolla twice eventually, it’s been 25 years!—consider the behemoths who haven’t even played once: Beyonce, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Usher, and Jay Z.

Of course, Consequence of Sound could be wrong. Last year, Fake Shore Drive reported that Drake would headline Lolla 2015, and come March, there was no Drake. It’s an odd thing to wish that my fellow journalists got it wrong, but for the sake of Chicago’s biggest music festival, I’m hoping they did.

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