It’s the best time of year, ladies & gentlemen, festival season is right around the corner and the first of the Big Four, Coachella, dropped its lineup late Monday evening. As it goes with any festival there has been a mixed-bag of reactions to the list, but the key to remember is this; no lineup is perfect. Keeping this in mind, it’s also important to note that at every festival I’ve ever attended, including 2011′s Coachella, there has always been two or three bands I walk away on Sunday thinking, “I gotta hear more of these guys.”
Initial Reaction and Headliners:
“Yes…Yes…I like what you’ve done here…Yes…Yes.” I’m incredibly impressed. Not only was I skeptical Goldenvoice would be able to have two identical weekends, I was unsure that the talent they’d be able to enlist would be of this caliber. As a friend and fellow Coachellan pointed out, maybe these artists really dig the two-week format? After all, what would be so bad about kickin’ it and touring on the West Coast for two weeks in early April? However, what first caught my eye, literally, was seeing that The Black Keys are headlining Friday night. Not only were the Keys at last year’s festival (repeating back-to-back years is rare, and kind of frowned upon by goers), but they’re headlining, too?! Don’t get me wrong, The Black Keys are one hell of a rock band, but I guess it just hasn’t occurred to me that they’ve reached this status; it seems crazy to think they have! It will be interesting to find out from the upcoming schedule if Carney & Auerbach close out the Coachella Stage Friday night after-all, or if Swedish House Mafia will get the nod and finish out the evening, similar to Kings of Leon and Chemical Brothers last year. Radiohead seemed like the one sure-thing before the lineup was announcement was made, but I could finally exhale after seeing it in print. Lastly, Dre & Snoop?! DRE & SNOOP?! We all knew there would be a hip-hop headliner, there always is, but did anyone see this coming? If so, I want to buy you a 40. Closing out the fest with these two is going to be awesome. And you KNOW we can expect some surprises.
The meat & potatoes. The stuffing. The tenderloin. Whatever you wanna call it, the mid-card is what makes or breaks a solid festival. Explosions in the Sky, M83, Girls, Amon Tobin, Bon Iver, Feist, Beirut, Justice, The Weeknd…this isn’t even half of them. There is one negative that bubbles to the surface with a stacked lineup like this – the ever-dreaded, and unavoidable possibility of schedule conflicts. My recommendation? Go with your gut. Ditch your friends if you have to, you can find them later. Festival regret is a terrible regret to have.
If the mid-card is the meat & potatoes, the undercard is a festival’s bread & butter. Maybe it’s focaccia & olive oil in Coachella’s case; either way you look at it, this year’s is loaded. This is the first year I feel like I’m not only familiar with some of the undercard bands, I’ve actually seen a few of them already. Who I’m most excited to see? tUnE-yArDs, Real Estate, Beats Antique and Fits & the Tantrums. Could this list change in the next three months? Absolutely. It’s time to get listening and digesting all this new tunage. There’s work to be done.
- Daft Punk
- Wasn’t No Doubt supposed to be a lock?
- Doesn’t Friday’s lineup seem a little skinnier than the other days? Ben Wener at the Orange County Register does, too.
- Odds Jimmy Cliff’s set is at 7:20 Eastern Time on weekend #2?
- The psyche is setting in, April is just a few short months away. I’ll see you all out in the fields. Happy Coachella! I’m losing my edge.