This weekend, tens of thousands of music fans will make the journey to the Californian desert for the annual Coachella Arts & Music festival. This year’s edition sold out in record time and if you were lucky enough to get tickets, you are in for an incredible experience!
Since it’s inception in 1999, Coachella has always featured the coolest buzz bands, classic artists from yesteryear, unbelievable art installations, and the world’s best electronic acts. When you combine all of this with gorgeous mountains and palm trees as a backdrop, you create an event that people return to year after year. It is a musical event unlike any other and I am here to present to you 10 must see acts of the weekend.
The Black Keys have been getting a great deal of mainstream coverage this last year. I’ve even heard that Dallas radio is playing some of the songs off of Brothers. That just means that mainstream music fans are just now realizing what Black Keys fans have known for nearly 7 years; the Keys are a force. Their show at Granada Theater back in 2008 remains one of the best (and most packed) shows I’ve ever seen. It’ll be a little surreal to see the blues-rock duo on the main stage in front of arguably the biggest crowd they’ll ever play to.
2k11 has already been a great year for the Aussie electro pop group. Their new release Zonoscope has been getting great reviews and they are currently on a massive North American tour (which includes a sold out show with Foals at Granada on 4/20). Anyway, these guys know how to put on one hell of a dance party. If their last two shows at Granada are any indication, I am going to sweat through my shirt by the time they start on their third or fourth song. Their music is a lot like chocolate chip cookies. Its not really the most satisfying but damn is it sweet and addictive.
Odd. Future. Wolf. Gang. Kill. Them. All.
When I first heard the group’s name, I was curious. Watched a couple of their youtube videos and saw that they were a funny, carefree rap collective. Then SXSW happened and now Odd Future is the hottest group going today. They have been everywhere. Jimmy Fallon, Funny or Die skits, even the great Narwaur interviewed them. Their live shows have been described as “near riots” in which you seriously wonder if Tyler, The Creator is going to jump into the crowd and punch you in the face for not “rocking out” hard enough. This makes Odd Future a definite must-see.
Never in a million years did I think I would be describing Arcade Fire as “Grammy winning”. But after their upset victory, that description fits the Canadian indie-rock group. Arcade Fire is no stranger to Coachella, having performed the festival back in 2005 & 2008. Many Coachella vets consider their sunset performance on the Outdoor Theater stage in 2005, one of the best sets in Coachella history. Six years later, Arcade Fire are one of the biggest bands around and will be headlining the main stage Saturday night. In addition to that, Arcade Fire is collaborating with The Creators Project for their light show. Trust me, this one will be epic.
Scala & Kolacny Brothers
Here’s a group that you would definitely recognize their music although you don’t recognize their name. Remember the first trailer for The Social Network with the choir singing “Creep”? That choir is Scala & Kolacny Brothers. This all girl Belgium choir does covers of U2, Bjork, Radiohead, and even Kings of Leon. For each song, the choir gives it their own surreal take on it with minimalist instrumentation. The songs are stripped down to their bare essentials and the result is a haunting yet beautiful renditions that’ll give you goosebumps. Really looking forward to seeing this.
Oh Alison. The Kills released their 4th album, Blood Pressures, this year and it looks to finally be the record that breaks them out. Live, they are a site to behold. At times you think Alison is about to murder guitarist Jamie and during the next track it looks like they are about to start making out. It’s an intense performance in which the sexual tension is hot and heavy. Alison wails, she screams, she rolls around the floor while tearing her guitar to pieces; she is the ultimate show-woman.
Now this is what I am talking about. Elbow is one of the best bands in the world and it is a rare treat whenever they come over to the States. In fact, I believe this is their only US play of the year. Guy Garvey and the fellas have released their 5th studio album this year “Build a Rocket Boys” and it looks to be their most popular record to date. Cast of Thousands & The Seldom Seen Kid remain my favorite records of theirs. I am crossing my fingers for a Glastonbury-esque performance of “One Day Like This“. Or a very intimate sunset performance. This has potential to be the show of the weekend.
2k10 buzzband looking for a big breakthrough in 2k11. And honestly, I’ll be shocked if by the end of the year Cults isn’t selling out venues across the country. The group officially only has a handful of songs released (their debut full length is coming out this year) but their singles “Most Wanted” and “Go Outside” are some of the catchiest tunes of the year. They’ve got the 60s boy/girl duo thing going and a sweet, innocent, sunshine feel to their music.
We all know the songs. Duran Duran have released records in this decade, but they will always be known for their hits in the 80s. “Rio”, “Hungry Like the Wolf”, and “Ordinary World” are all classics and is what the masses want to hear.
Death From Above 1979
The mid 00s were an interesting time in music. Dance punk was the rage and that movement was spear-headed by Canadian duo Death From Above 1979. Their 04 release You’re A Woman, I’m a Machine is fast, furious, a wild ride. And just like that, the band was no more. They split and Jesse went on to start MSTKRFT and Sebastian went solo. Well five years after the breakup, DFA1979 is back playing gigs again. Their first one at SXSW almost broke into a riot. This is going to be a lot of fun.
That’s it for my preview. Coachella is going to be uh-mazing this year. If you are going, who are you excited to see? Let’s hear from you ladies.