Under My Coachella (Chella, Chella, Ay, Ay, Ay)
By Croix Provence
This is it. This is what we all wait (not so) patiently for. Once the turkey’s gone, the fat man’s down the chimney, and we’ve all been nice and not-sober to celebrate the arrival of the new year… Once the rumors have circulated and the teasers have teased, it is finally time… for festival lineup announcements! Can I get a hell yeah?!
This is the time of year where we start dreaming of the desert empire in California, fawning over the farm in Tennessee, and begging for the beach in Gulf Shores. This is when we start saving all of our tips from working at our weird jobs, or pulling from savings and salaries (or other people’s savings and salaries, if that’s what you’re in to) to afford these magical musical utopias. Time to meet up with friends and plan out your “I’m definitely gonna see all of these bands” lineups, and talk about all of the things you’ll do at these festivals that will cause you to not actually get to see all of those bands. Time again to break out your decorated spotter sticks, your tutus, your patched-up tents, your random mascot suits, your inflatable alligators, your LED hoops, your neck-tie flasks, and, for our Instagram weekend hippies, your flower headbands and high-waisted shorts. It’s time to create the road trip of a lifetime where you bounce from festival to festival each weekend for the entire summer. It’s time to go to time! (Sorry, I had to quote “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 2”; if you haven’t seen it, Google it and buckle up).
To jump-start our summer excitement, let’s check out the lineup released from Coachella, the granddaddy of west coast music festivals, and one of the largest festivals in America:
Coachella has been consistent in offering an eclectic mix of genres, and the headliners this year are a bad-ass testament to that. Friday is personally my favorite day, with main groups kicking off the weekend in a mix of classic rock, blues, psychedelic, house, jazz rock, and dubstep. Headliner AC/DC will rake in a strong audience, no questions asked. They put on an awesome show in 2006 when I saw them in an arena, so they’ll definitely be at their best in front of 80,000 wild fans in the desert. Tame Impala follows as the next largest event of the day, finally! These guys have been climbing their way up to this ranking for a while, and they deserve it. Their experimental psychedelic sound will make you feel like you’re riding on the Further bus, and the vocals are reminiscent of a trance-y Paul McCarthy. Note: throughout my articles, you will come to realize that everything in my life revolves around Paul McCartney. Interpol is just rock at it’s finest, and jazz-rock band Steely Dan will jazz all over your face (get it?). House isn’t really my thing, but Alesso is big, and you might enjoy the show. Alabama Shakes, though… You don’t even understand the raw power of one human being’s voice until you’ve heard Brittany Howard wail. If you miss this show, you done goofed. Make it a point to see Alabama Shakes if you want to see the female Robert Plant performing with her band of talented musicians. They’re so sick, I can’t go on about it or I’ll waste all my space for this article. So, I digress. Ride – cool. Nero – Sweeeet. Gotta love a good dubstep show. There are some bands listed lower down the line for Friday that deserve to be seen, such as Lykke Li (indie pop), Flying Lotus (electronic/hip-hop), and GHOST. FACE. KILLAH (hip hop). Not to be missed. Action Bronson (rap) and Low Desert Punk Band (stoner rock/punk) ought to make your list as well. Don’t ask questions: just check them out online, and go see them live. Or cut out the middle man and go rock out in the desert to their majesty. You won’t regret it.
Saturday! Another pretty good mix of genres and talents, but Friday still takes the cake. Jack White, also known as my husband, headlines this day, and he is not to be missed. Performing songs from The White Stripes, Raconteurs, and god-willing The Dead Weather, he is a tour-de-fource of lyrics and blues. Hipster R&B singer The Weeknd managed to nab a solid headlining spot. Axwell ^ Ingrosso, the baby of former Swedish House Mafia members, will be a treat for house fans who missed the SHM One Last Tour. One of my favorite groups for Saturday is definitely alt-J because of their unique indie rock/”folktronica” sound and haunting, simple lyrics. I can see this being a show to remember; the thought of listening to “Breezeblocks” in the Coachella night ambiance is already giving me goosebumps. A fun indie pop band to check out that has finally hit the top of the list is Belle & Sebastian, though I find them to be more enjoyable to sit and listen to at home. Ratatat rockockocks, and you’ve got to enjoy them live! The electronic rock duo will blow your face off with a show that hopefully happens at night with plenty of lights and plenty of shenanigans. This brings up to the last big name band of Saturday’s lineup, Hozier, who offers a palette of indie rock, soul, and blues. Again, a pretty solid main lineup for Saturday, but Friday still does it for me. Some of the bands down the list that you have to check out are Flosstradamus (electro-trap), Glass Animals (indie rock), Gramatik (hip-hop/glitch), and St. Paul and the Broken Bones (soul).
Sunday, the headliner is rapper-gone-R&B-singer-with-a-hint-of-hip-hop Drake, which I understand, but don’t find too thrilling. Indie-pop great Florence and the Machine would serve as a better headliner in my opinion. Kaskade follows next on the list, offering fun electronic music live. Alt-country singer and songwriter Ryan Adams also takes a hot spot for Sunday, followed by French EDM aficionado David Guetta. The last group on the headlining list for Sunday is St. Vincent, an art/indie rock project lead by Annie Clark that is worth seeing. How did Marina and the Diamonds (electropop) not grab a top spot? Better yet, how did Fitz and the Tantrums (soul/indie pop) lose out? Regardless of my general disinterest with the headliners on Sunday, you should still go see the aforementioned shows, as well as Desaparecidos (emo/indie), Stromae (hip-hop/house), and St. Lucia (indie/electronic). I’m sold on hitting up Coachella just because of the Friday lineup. AC/DC, Tame Impala, Alabama Shakes, Nero, and Ghostface Killah have me drooling. The atmosphere at Coachella is unique, as are the people, though I’m more of a friendly Bonnaroovian when it comes to festival crowds. Coachella is a little too get-out-of-my-bubble for me. Regardless, the mix of Saturday and Sunday will make the hunt for tickets worthwhile in addition to Friday’s bad-assery. Note: I say “bad-ass” a lot. That being said, allow me to introduce the Croix scale, ranging from Bad (1) to Bad-Ass! (5). So, where does Coachella’s 2015 lineup land on the Croix scale?
There you have it: a genre-informative, lineup-creating, refreshingly opinionated piece on Coachella’s 2015 lineup choices. Better start saving now if you want to make it out to the desert empire since essentially the only tickets left are for VIVIP’s (very important Very Important Persons) and begin around $2,350. Good thing there are two weekends you can attend! Coachella’s dates this year are April 10-12 and April 17-19. A good and reliable source for purchasing tickets is through Reddit’s Coachella subreddit; I’ve used it before to sell my ticket, and everything worked out fine for the attendee. Just make sure to do everything Coachella’s website instructs you to do for a ticket transfer. If you got a ticket, grab your sunblock, your other weird stuff I mentioned earlier, and your buddies and head to the desert empire for a cool weekend!
Croix Provence, abridged: Singer. Actress. Model. Dork. Snack enthusiast. Freelance writer. Music lover. Comic Con freak. Adrenaline junkie. Short sentence sorcerer. Follow @CroixProvence on Twitter and Instagram, and like Croix Provence on Facebook.