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My picks: Vampire Weekend | Social Distortion | Pretty Lights | Eric Prydz | Tame Impala | The Lumineers | James Blake | Grimes | The Faint | Hardwell | The Airborne Toxic Event | Father John Misty | Rodriguez | Paul Kalkbrenner | Jessie Ware | Loco Dice | Cloud Nothings | Parov Stelar Band | Smith Westerns | Hanni El Khatib
Well, we might as well talk about the elephant in the room. Red Hot Chili Peppers was a last minute headline booking (literally, hours before the lineup was released), and there are a lot of rumors about them replacing The Rolling Stones, who dropped out. Nobody’s gonna corroborate those rumors, but it’s a disappointing act to close the festival compared to what might have been. The Peppers are a different band since their lead guitarist John Frusciante left, and there’s no denying it.
People have been knocking the entire lineup based on the Peppers’ appearance. If only there were five other stages full of music for people who don’t want to see the headliner. Wait. What’s that?
Pretty Lights or Eric Prydz will more than likely close out the Sahara Tent, and both are adequate replacements to end your weekend. Pretty Lights was responsible for revitalizing Etta James’ name (fat lot of good that did) years before Avicii put out “Levels.” And Eric Prydz’ “Call On Me” was an anthem at middle school dances everywhere.
If you skipped Grinderman on Friday, check out Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds today. If you saw Grinderman, go ahead and skip The Bad Seeds. They’re both Nick Cave and you don’t need to see both. Check your schedule to see which day works better for you. If you’ve ever tried to tell somebody that there’s literally not a genre of music you don’t like, check out James Blake. He’s got an indie, folksy, electro thing going on that’s as awesome as it is confusing. His arguably biggest hit came out of a collaboration with Bon Iver, and since Justin Vernon’s already going to be at the festival, it’s not a stretch to say they could perform together.
At one point, you’re gonna wander around and see a gigantic crowd for a guy named Rodriguez and wonder why everybody’s so stoked on mariachi music. If you’ve seen the Oscar-nominated documentary Searching For Sugar Man, you’ll get that joke. Rodriguez was a guy who failed as a musician only to find out that he was literally bigger than Elvis in South Africa. His career’s just started up again with the release of the documentary, so this show’s a can’t miss.
I mentioned in another day’s rundown that the Sahara Tent isn’t gonna be the same as the headlining DJ house-fest that it’s been in years past. At some point, check out the Parov Stelar Band. They do something called electro-swing, which is exactly what it sounds like. And what it sounds like is amazing. It’ll be a hoot (as they’d say in the ‘20s).
The rest of the undercard is pretty firmly stacked in the corner of the new-age indie or electronic act. Father John Misty is Josh Tillman, who’s had some minor involvement with Fleet Foxes, so while you shouldn’t expect any special appearances, it’s at least indicative of his sound. Hanni El Khatib has a bluesy-rock sound like The Black Keys, while DIIV is pretty awesome as well. Ultimately, it comes down to your taste, though if you’re seeing them at Coachella, you’ve definitely got it.
Since it’s the last day of Coachella, you’re gonna be extra tired. Probably running low on serotonin, definitely running low on sleep. Don’t stress about the lineup today. While it’s stacked full of great bands, it’s spread enough that you’re gonna be happy no matter who you decide to see. Now, the day after Coachella, that’s when you’re gonna hate yourself.
But that’s a problem for another time.