ARTS: Lollapalooza returns with show at Nissan Pavilion

The god of all summer music festivals is back after a six-year hiatus. Lollapalooza, the brainchild of Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, returns to Nissan Pavilion on Friday with a rock-heavy lineup. The combination concert and cultural extravaganza promises to be carnival-like with its overwhelming sights and sounds — and bellydancers.

When Lollapalooza rolled into Nissan Pavilion back in 1997, the show touted trail-blazing acts like Prodigy and Tool and lesser-known groups Orbital and James. A rousing appearance by Snoop Doggy Dogg cinched the show as one of the most eclectic collection of artists on one stage. Farrell has a track record of bringing those outside the rock circle to Lollapalooza audiences. Past performers includes Ice-T, Arrested Development, A Tribe Called Quest, and George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars.

This year’s mainstage promises a more rock menu with performances by Jane’s Addiction, Audioslave, Incubus, Queens of the Stone Age and The Donnas. The L.A.-based Jurassic 5 brings hip-hop flavor to the pack with its four MCs and two DJs.

And just because it can, Jane’s Addiction rightfully takes the headlining slot. With guitarist Dave Navarro, drummer Stephen Perkins and new
bassist Chris Chaney in tow, Farrell will introduce the masses to the group’s latest album, “Strays.”

Hitting the mainstage before Jane’s Addiction are Audioslave and Queens of the Stone Age, two bands that have garnered wide praise from critics. Born out the ashes of Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave features Chris Cornell on vocals, Tom Morello on guitar, Tim Commerford on bass and Brad Wilk (also known as the crazy guy from that MTV awards show) on drums.

New to the concert festival scene is Queens of the Stone Age, whose hit “No One Knows” never seems to cease playing on radio and TV.
The Donnas, the only female rock group at the show (or actually anywhere), will be bringing a huge dose of girl-rock to Lollapalooza. Rocking the scene for several years now, the group finally caught a wave of fans with its major-label debut, “Spend the Night.” Are they naughty or nice, come find out.

Over on the second stage, The Distillers, booted from the Vans Warped Tour lineup after lead singer Brody Armstrong’s split with husband Tim Armstrong (singer of Rancid, who headlines that touring festival), will perform its streetwise punk tunes.

Steve-O from MTV’s “Jackass” will also entertain the crowds with his juvenile brand of comedy. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get arrested.

Other groups slated to perform include Boy Sets Fire, MC Supernatural, Burning Brides and The Music.

Need an alternative to the noise? Festival-goers can check out the World of Just (Be)Causes, which will feature local and national nonprofits looking to open their minds about a range of social issues.

– Lollapalooza

– Music by Jane’s Addiction, Audioslave, Incubus, Queens of the Stone Age, Jurassic 5 and The Donnas

– Gates open at noon Friday

– Tickets: $64 general admission pit and reserved, $15 lawn

– To charge by phone, call (703) 573-SEAT