This is it guys. End of the line. Sunday is always bittersweet, because on one hand, the the romp through Wonderland is almost over and crawling out of the rabbit hole really hurts your eyes. On the other hand, by now your body should be absolutely shit-wrecked and you’re almost ready to go home, sleep for seventeen hours straight, and google ways to avoid a week-long affliction of Coachella Cough®.
Well good news: the Coachella 2015 lineup seems fairly frontloaded, so while there are a lot of amazing bands on Sunday, there are fewer than the other days (to accommodate the earlier end time), with plenty of chances to lay in the back, eat some watermelon and rest your feet. And think about your life, because at this point, what are you even doing with it.
Just hold on, we’re going home.
- I’ll admit, I was one of those people who said Drake isn’t headliner material. I still don’t think he was the best choice, but I’ll admit, after looking into it, that he’s earned it, if only just. But here’s why Drake’s headlining show is a must-see: the dude probably knows a lot of people are doubting his booking as well. And he’s connected as fuck. So in order to prove that he can close the festival, I’m willing to bet on Driz bringing out just about every friend he’s got, creating a closing show the likes of which we haven’t seen since Snoop and Dre and all their crew.
- Florence + The Machine hasn’t put out any new music in nearly 4 years, and now that they’re prepping their new album, Coachella is sure to be the first place to get some brand new songs. That alone is worth the price of admission, but Florence Welch is amazing live. Lots of stage banter and fairy-like audience interaction. The kind where somebody on ketamine is telling you all to just hug and kiss the people you love, and you do it, because you’re feeling it. Florence tweeted that they’ll be playing the mainstage, which pretty much guarantees her to have the second to last slot of the festival, so prepare for conflicts.
- St. Vincent is Bill Murray’s new musical project where he dresses up like a chick and plays cool indie pop music. Can we make that the rumor, please? Bill Murray’s been behind the whole persona of Annie Clark this whole time. While she was playing in The Polyphonic Spree and along with Sufjan Stevens (how about that new album, huh?) – Bill Murray. The whole time.
- Fitz & The Tantrums sounds like the kind of music James Brown would be making if he grew up in 1980’s Hollywood – soul with dash of pop rock. Their show a few years ago was amazing – so much dancing around, catchy tunes, energetic crowd. They talk to the audience nonstop and get a lot of interaction, and they throw in some great covers too. It will be interesting to see where they’re slotted, as they’re higher on the lineup than I would have expected them to be, but you’ll regret missing these guys no matter who they’re up against.
- RAC started out as a producer and DJ, but he’s since moved into the full live band since releasing his Strangers album last year. Some of his live shows lack a human element, as he doesn’t typically bring on live singers to replace the ones he used on the album. However, given the fact that most of the people he uses on the album are already booked for Coachella, this shouldn’t be a factor. His show is going to turn into a who’s who of guest performers, and given how good his music already is, it’ll be one for the books.
- Jenny Lewis has been a solo act for a while, but you may recognize the voice as the lead singer of Rilo Kiley. If that’s not doing it for you, then maybe you’ll remember her playing with The Postal Service for most of their career (including their reunion show in 2013). And if that’s not ringing a bell, then… shit, I guess, Troop Beverly Hills? She’s got a kind of pop country vibe (reminds me a lot of Neko Case, actually) and a beautiful voice, which is good enough for me.
- Desaparecidos was Conor Oberst‘s rock band back in the early aughts, but it pretty quickly disbanded after his Bright Eyes project started blowing up and he no longer had the time. But if you’re going to the show because you want to see Bright Eyes, you’re gonna have a bad time. Desaparecidos is a hard rock band, with basically none of the whimsical melodies of Oberst’s usual folk stuff. They’re finally putting out a second album this year, so there will be new material at this show.
- I’m gonna fully admit my hypocrisy here: based on what I’ve said about people like David Guetta, I shouldn’t list Martin Solveig as a must see. But I will. He does a lot of the same pop house type music as the others, but he does it better. When he played back in, what, 2012? I had such a batshit crazy time, I think I damn near lost my mind. At one point, I had a girl on my shoulders that I didn’t even know. I just got swept up. Hoping it happens again.
- Mac DeMarco has a really relaxed style of music that pairs well with his don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. His live shows are ridiculous (especially since his music isn’t even particularly hardcore or anything), with people moshing and crowdsurfing all over the place, while Mac himself is just up on stage acting like a dickhead, drinking beer and laughing at the people in front of him.
- I first heard of Gesaffelstein at Future Music Festival in Melbourne back in early 2014. Some German girls I was with at the time were losing their absolute minds at the prospect of seeing him, so I let them drag me to the show. Holy shit. If you only see one person in the Sahara Tent all weekend, it should be Gesaffelstein. Dude’s crazy. Since hearing him, I’ve found out that he also helped produce Yeezus, which says just about all it needs to about his sound.
- I will freely admit to being a bandwagon Angel Olsen fan. I know barely anything about her, but her album popped up on a lot of year end best of lists, so I got it and grooved to it. She reminds me of Waxahatchee, and I could see her set at Coachella following the same time and space as that one. Waxahatchee was a great chance to lay in the shade and relax, so let’s go with it.
- Man, I don’t know who MØ pissed off to be billed this low on the lineup, but it’s bullshit. The grimy electropop chick has been around for a few years now, working with everybody from Diplo to Iggy Azalea. Her album, which finally came out at the beginning of last year, was fucking fire. She’s got an amazing stage presence and leaves her soul on it when she’s done. Don’t miss it.
- I really wanted to write an entire section about Ryan Adams while describing Bryan Adams in every way, but then I figured none of you guys would realize I was joking anyway, and giving incorrect info helps nobody. But if you wanted to see Bryan Adams, go see Ryan Adams anyway.
- Marina and the Diamonds isn’t actually a band – it’s just a cute Welsh girl singing and dancing up on stage. She made it to the start of the third line of the poster on the strength of her two two songs, which I admit are quite catchy.
- Brand New will be an obvious choice to anybody who ever went through a moody phase in middle/high school. The guys still have a lot of energy on stage despite getting older (throwin’ side-eye your way, Antemasque…). I originally put Brand New as a “must see” act for nostalgia purposes, but then I read this comment that mentioned they don’t really cater to those tastes. I gotta expect they’ll do a few hits, as they know most of the audience are casual fans, but don’t go in expecting Jude Law.
- Madeon blew up after his Pop Culture video a few years back, and it catapulted him up to working with Madonna after only a few months. Kid’s got talent. He reminds me a lot of Duck Sauce actually – electronic music with a heavy pop/disco influence. I haven’t seen him in a long time (since his last time at Coachella, actually), but it looks like he’s grown a lot, both musically and puberty-ly? Is that a word?
- Stromae‘s got a really interesting life story – Rwandan dad killed in the Genocide, a mom who raised him alone and encouraged him to play a sport and an instrument to stay well-rounded. He’s already got a pretty big following in Europe, but now that he’s on the Hunger Games Soundtrack (Lorde’s a big fan), he’s sure to get a lot of exposure of here too. His music is a kind of dark afrobeat electronic fusion, which should translate well to a late set in the Gobi.
- I really wanted to list Kygo as a must see. His remixes have soundtracked the past year of my life (Shine is a better song than the original), and his sound is so new and awesome. Or it was, when he first blew up. The problem is, the dude hasn’t really evolved at all, and his music is beginning to all sound the same. I had high hopes for his original stuff, but Firestone was a retread. And from what I’ve heard about his live shows (including the video of his TomorrowWorld set), he’s just not very good live – playing the same remixes of his songs which, frankly, don’t have the BPM to justify much dancing. My fondness for the music is really the only thing keeping me from listing him as a Could Skip.
- So I know music is subjective, and you’re probably getting a good idea about my tastes if you’ve stuck through three editions of this article, but I really like chillwave music, so I really like Odesza. They’re another electronic duo who plays downbeat electronica (although it’s not quite as downtempo as somebody like Sylvan Esso). I could see them in the Gobi tent for a late night set.
- Lil B THANK YOU BASED GOD
- You probably listened to Circa Survive during your high school emo phase. It’s yet another Anthony Green-helmed outfit, who played last year solo. He’s also the guy behind Saosin, a band he bailed on and rejoined just this past year. Odd that he’s playing with Circa Survive in that case, but who knows, there could be some crossover.
- You’ll easily recognize Jamie xx‘s surname as from The xx, who he produces along with some childhood friends. His solo stuff sounds basically nothing like the dreampop of his band. It’s must more grungy, garage post-dubstep deep house whatever they like to call it these days.
- Duke Dumont played last year in the Yuma tent, right at the height of his “I Got U” famewave. It was a shitshow. There was a line to get in, obviously, and people started just rushing it. I ended up leaving because it was a bad scene. I would assume that this year, they’ll put him in the Sahara Tent to avoid the crowd problem repeats, but then you’re left with a question of how his deep house sets will translate to the bigger open tent. It’s great music, but this is the only reason I’m not putting him as a Must See.
- Panda Bear is a member of the experimental electronic group Animal Collective, who played back in 2011 and put on one of the best shows of the festival. Mr. Bear’s solo stuff is a little more experimental, which doesn’t really seem like it should be possible, which makes it sound somewhere in between chillwave and psychadelic. It’ll be a trippy show.
- With all the love Vance Joy has been getting this past year, it’s hard to imagine him playing at any time other than later in the evening, which is annoying because his indie acoustic surf rock (it’s a thing now) is the perfect soundtrack to a lazy summer day filled with bare feet and fresh watermelon. Maybe a sunset set at least?
- JESuS stands for Jackmaster, Eats Everything, Skream, & Seth Troxler, which is a pretty damn eclectic mix of DJs and producers. Their Boiler Room set (linked there) is awesome, but it’s hard to imagine where they’re gonna be playing, as Seth Troxler would probably throw a fit if he was relegated to the Sahara Tent.
- St. Lucia is an indie pop project by Jean-Philip Grobler, who has worked with a lot of great names in the industry – opening for Two Door Cinema Club, remixing Passion Pit and Charlie XCX, and producing the first album for HAERTS (who are, obviously, listed as a must see on day one). Much of HAERTS’ sound comes from that production, so sonically you have even more reason to go see St. Lucia.
- Philip Selway is the drummer for Radiohead, and if Thom Yorke’s solo stuff is any indication, he’s a big part of Radiohead’s sound. His solo stuff doesn’t really resemble Radiohead all that much, but there are definite vibes at least. Radiohead’s show in 2012 was amazing (or so I’m told, I skipped it to go to Kaskade, I know, I’m sorry, I won’t do it again), so hopefully this is a nice spiritual successor.
- Saint Motel (lot of Saints on this lineup, almost makes me feel bad for sinning so much at Coachella) is a rock/pop band from Los Angeles who emphasizes visual art in its shows as much as music. A lot of their shows are customized, with names like “the Kaleidoscopic Mind Explosion in 3D,” “Future Fathers Day,” and “Valentine’s Zombie Prom.” Safe to say they’ll do something cool for Coachella as well.
- David Guetta is everything bad about EDM music. It’s uninspired shit that uses guest appearances from other artists to sell to people who wouldn’t normally listen to his songs. But, it works for him and it’s turned him into one of the most popular DJs out there today. I would have guessed he’d be on the Main Stage just before Drake like Calvin Harris was, but since Florence already confirmed they’d be taking that spot, I’ll assume David Guetta will instead be closing out the Sahara. In that case, you’re only really going to have two choices – Drake or David Guetta. Guess who I recommend.
Special Guest Possibilities
- Drake, as said, is probably going to bring the crew. He’s closing out the festival, which means he’s going to basically have a captive audience (minus those who go to see the person closing out the Sahara Tent, which will probably be either David Guetta or Kaskade, so, meh), and will need to do something big. I could see him bringing out at least Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and The Weeknd, and the possibilities for even more people are definitely there.
- David Guetta has essentially made his name by latching onto other pop musicians and building his fanbase by enveloping their own. It’s the reason Lorde and others have said, “fuck no,” to collaborating with him. Still, others have said yes, and everybody from Rihanna and Sia to Usher and Akon have worked with the dude. Personally my money is on Sia appearing. She’s had a big year with “Chandelier,” and a lot of people were expecting to see her booked at the festival in the first place.
- Kygo isn’t fantastic live, but I could see him trying to use Coachella to build up his cred a bit, and what better way to do that than to play his first original single live? Firestone features Conrad on vocals – I have no idea who he is, but maybe he’ll show up.
- RAC, as mentioned, is going to bring out pretty much everybody that performed on his album. I mean, shit, just look at it – Matthew Koma, Kele, and St. Lucia are already booked at the festival. Add to the fact that his wife, Pink Feathers, has already confirmed that she’ll be taking the stage with him, and that he sometimes brings MNDR to perform with him as well. The only question is who else can he collect for the set, and the possible answers are limitless.
- Lil B is in a group called The Pack, which is basically the Black Hippy to Lil B’s Ab-Soul. There’s a good chance he’ll bring some of his crew out to do a song.
- Jenny Lewis probably won’t bring out anybody to perform with, as her solo stuff doesn’t really involve anybody else, but as long as we’re calling our long shots, I could mention her association with Ben Gibbard, whom she appeared with as The Postal Service two years ago and whom she still performs with occasionally.
- For all his show, Mac DeMarco is still a mama’s boy – he only joined the Laneway lineup with the stipulation that his mom MC the event. Agnes DeMarco special appearance? Or at least Angel Olsen?
- Martin Solveig has done some work with Kele, who I already called as coming out for RAC. That one is still more likely, but you never know at this festival.
- MØ‘s biggest hit, “XXX,” was produced by Diplo, who’s known to pop out at Coachella sets now and again. However, I think it’s more likely that she’ll bring out Iggy Azalea to perform “Beg For It.” They performed it together on Saturday Night Live and it was a disaster, since MØ’s earpiece wasn’t working properly and delayed her vocals. Coachella would be a good redemption for the pair.