Does dripping in your own sweat in the middle of a desert sound like a good time? It should, especially if it has some of the most buzzed about acts on the planet. Hitting Indio, CA April 12-14 and 19-21, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is one of the largest premier American music festivals of this generation most notably for its innovation in bringing entertainment to the masses. After the break, take a gander at the full three-day lineup as well as a few recommendations.
Originating in 1999, Coachella gained traction with 10,000 fans showing up to see Beck, Rage Against the Machine, Tool, Beck, and The Chemical Brothers. Due to financial troubles, the organizers failed to bring the festival in 2000, but since 2001 Coachellas has been here to stay. As the years progressed, Coachellas has evolved in to the massive two weekend festival as we see today and 2013 looks very promising. (Click on any of the images below to enlarge.)
A lasting tradition, Coachella has always been known to book some of the best up and coming acts and pairing them with some of the most established players in the industry. Another reason for the explosion of popularity is that Southern California did not have a festival that could stand the test of time while others have failed. Now for the 2013 lineup:
Day 1 – Friday, April 12 & 19 – A nice day for the festival to kick-off, with an great eclectic mix of rock and EDM. Blur and Stone Roses are the headliners of the evening, and frankly I could do without. Both are throw backs to the 90’s but I feel that the majority of the younger crowd wont care or know who they are.
Alt-J – These indie darlings hailing from Leeds had themselves quite a 2012. Releasing a new EP, An Awesome Wave, to great fanfare as well as gaining their own headlining tour in the US within months after the release. Alt-J promises to be one show not to miss. Taking from multiple genres and blending them into something beautiful has earned them the crown of the Mercury Prize (Best Album in UK and Ireland).
TNGHT – DJ duo, Hudson Mohawke and Luncie, have taken the world by storm, mainly with their unique beats and heavy following of Trap. Their live set is just a sweat filled dance party and I don’t expect anything else to change at Coachella this year. [Side note: Hudson Mohawke was just recently signed to G.O.O.D. Music (Kanye West’s label).]
Earl Sweatshirt – This 18 year old member of Odd Future may very well be the most talented rapper of the group (note that Frank Ocean is THE most talented member). Plain and simple folks, he spits hot fire and you will most likely see all of the Odd Future crew on stage collaborating. This should be a very violent show, in a good way.
Lou Reed – Honestly, it’s Lou Reed. Plus, who knows how much longer he will be playing. See him while you can.
Day 2 – Saturday, April 13 & 20 – The second day is an absolute beast. By far it hosts the most well diverse lineup. Phoenix is closing the night, and it may come as a shock, but I champion this decision. This indie act has die hard fans and have grown fantastic support via a Cadillac commercial.
FOALS – An Oxford band riding really high off two singles released in conjunction with their new album due out February 12th state side. Buzz is really growing around this quintet and this US performance might be a nice preview of things to come for this indie math rock group.
Baauer – This Brooklyn based Trap master will literally cause the Earth to shake on the West Coast. Harry Rodrigues has made himself one of the next rising star DJ’s to see and Coachella will be a nice coming out party.
Kids These Days – Stick seven young Chicago musicians who fuse hip-hop, blues, rock, and soul together into a new album produced by Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and you get Kids These Days. High energy and incredible musicianship is to be expected for this early set.
Day 3 – Sunday, April 14 & 21 – Closing out the weekend in style, the third day pushes out a lot of great ambitious soaring artists, but Red Hot Chili Peppers I could do without. HEAR ME OUT! I have seen them before, loved the show, own all of their records, and cherish each and every one of them.
Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik may be one of my top five albums ever, but they should not be the closing act of the festival. You have two rock outfits wrapping up the previous two nights, so why not tie-up the festival with a rap/hip-hop group or some EDM (preferably Daft Punk). The only reason I can see them closing out the weekend is for the sake of nostalgia – they played Cochella in 2003 to over 100,000 fans.
Tame Impala – An Aussie psych-rock band with a huge release, which some consider to be the 2012 album of the year, have proven that they can dish out one hell of a show. Their brand of throwback, drug infused rock will fit right in with most of the festival goers and their drug induced stay in the Coachella Valley.
Disclosure – DJ brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence have made some serious noise without even having released a full length album. Disclosure has a terrific following and for good reason. Their sets have been heard all around the world and they are being heralded as one of the next leaders of the EDM takeover.
Robert DeLong – It helps when you’re in the MTV and Billboard spotlight as well as being picked up by one of the hottest indie labels on the planet right now at Glassnote Records (Mumford & Sons, Two Door Cinema Club, Phoenix and others). This performance will be the most original Coachella has to offer this year. He cues his bass drops using a Wii Remote. He literally loops a whole song, plays the drums, and sings simultaneously. His blend of EDM is unique, but to see him literally be all over the stage and play every instrument without any help is a sight to see.
If I had to choose only one night to go to it would be the second night. All of this great talent from rock to EDM would have me doing laps around the polo grounds to try and catch every act. The mix of genres and the wide range of styles within each genre has me looking forward to this day the most.
Passes for the 2013 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival are still on sale for April 19-21, but as of today the first weekend (April 12-14) has sold out.