CHICAGO — Pete Wentz has been there before, so he knows the pressure of playing big shows with a new, unknown band. Luckily for him, when his electro-pop combo Black Cards take the stage at Lollapalooza on Friday (August 5) around dinnertime, he'll be back in the loving arms of his hometown of Chicago, with his friends and family looking on.
"It's really exciting, because I've never played [Lollapalooza] before, and to be able to play and hang out with my friends and family and have them see me play is really cool," he said Thursday while in transit from Los Angeles to Chicago. "It's gonna be the biggest audience [for the Black Cards], and I think the other thing that's cool about it ... during the beginning of Black Cards, I don't feel like I was able to completely immerse myself in it, because I had all these other things going on in my life."
With the band's debut album finished, but still in label limbo — and slated to feature guest spots from Travie McCoy, Neon Trees singer Tyler Glenn and reggae artist Shaggy — Wentz said he's just focused on giving fans a sense of Black Cards 2.0.
"One of the greatest things is, we've been rehearsing for this set, and it's just gonna be fun. It's about having a good time," he said. "I think I've always approached music in this way that it has to be a cathartic process and to me this is opposite. To me this is escapism. This is the first time where I've been able to both lock in and really figure out what this band's trying to do."
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Wentz promised "a bunch" of new songs and a completely different set from the one fans have been seeing for the past year. "To me, this is the relaunch of Black Cards," he said. The tunes the band will play on Friday are "definitely" destined for the album and will be augmented by a handful of "cool" covers, and Wentz guaranteed "as much chaos as the fire marshals allow us to have."
Because he's chilling in his hometown for the rest of the weekend — and plans to check out a Saturday set by former Fall Out Boy bandmate Patrick Stump — Wentz had plans to see everyone from Eminem to Bright Eyes, as well as perform and DJ at his downtown club, Angels & Kings.
While he's a rock star in his own right, even Wentz has a mental list of what other musical titans he'd like to chat up backstage at some point. "I think it would be really cool to run into [Foo Fighters singer] Dave Grohl," he said. "We ran into them once at a show in Germany, and I know everyone always says it, but he turned out to be the nicest guy in rock and roll, without a doubt."
MTV News is in Chicago for Lollapalooza 2011! Stick with us all weekend as we cover the bands you love and the bands you will love soon.