By Cameron Lee
April 18, 2019
Coachella. The festival that everyone loves to hate, but sells out nearly every year. It’s also the event that most people associate with Instagram; a festival where celebrities and socialites treat the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California as a backdrop to their spring fashion showcase.
While Coachella’s reputation may have evolved over the years, many forget the origins of the largest music festival in the country. Coachella Music & Arts Festival started as a performance of rebellion for the iconic Seattle rock band Pearl Jam who, at the time, was seeking independent venues not associated with Ticketmaster. This musical form of protest established the Polo Grounds as a legitimate venue for a large-scale festival, and launched the inaugural event in 1999. The initial lineup featured Rage Against The Machine, Beck, Morrissey, Perry Farrell, Jurassic 5, and many more. Over the years, the festival has gone through many changes and endured some turbulent economic issues that often affect music festivals across the country.
The festival now gathers over 100,000 attendees a day over the three-day weekend and features some of the biggest names in rock, hip-hop, R&B, and EDM. This year’s headliners include Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Kid Cudi, Weezer, and Ariana Grande. In addition to the stacked lineup, Kanye West will be performing a special Sunday Service on Easter Sunday for weekend two, which is sure to be a captivating headline-catching spectacle.
Here are some more acts we’re really excited about:
Anderson .Paak – Friday – 7:05 pm – 7:55 p.m. at Coachella Stage
Anderson .Paak recently released his most sonically wholesome music project on April 12. The 11-song album featuring Andre 3000, Smokey Robinson, Lalah Hathaway, and the late great Nate Dogg, is a soulful and melodic journey continuing his series of albums paying tribute to the cities he grew up in. As always, with his full band, Anderson .Paak’s set will be one of the most anticipated of the weekend.
Shame – Saturday – 3:40 pm – 4:15 p.m. at Sonora Stage
South London post-punk outfit Shame hit the scene like a slow-rolling and rumbling thunderstorm. Since first making waves in 2017 at SXSW with a raucous stage performance that consisted of half-naked awkward strutting that oddly fit well with their disruptedley dark but structured rock songs, Shame has become a band to watch. Singer Charlie Steen’s energy is infectious, and his haunting chants and timely screams meld with their collective sound and style.
Tierra Whack – Friday – 6:35 pm – 7:20 p.m. at Mojave
Tierra Whack’s debut album Whack World has been a bit of a phenomenon in the music industry. Foregoing the traditional single-release run and short EPs prior to a budding artists rollout, Whack released 15 songs that are all one-minute long. Laced with a colorful collection of rap, R&B, and neo-soul tastings, the EP showcases the full spectrum of Whack’s talents. After releasing a few new songs this year, her debut at Coachella should be a memorable performance that helps further advance her already skyrocketing music career.
Kacey Musgraves – Friday – 5:50 p.m. – 6:40 p.m. at Coachella Stage
Kacey Musgraves always had a knack for writing delightfully lucid and relatable country songs, but the technical production in her latest Grammy award-winning album is what really shines. It’s the simplicity of her lyrics and audio richness of the instrumentals that is so dazzling. Every bell, echo and proverbial whistle seems to strike with the perfect timing. Kacey Musgraves’ set at Coachella promises to be a Golden Hour in a weekend full of music that crosses the full spectrum.
Soulection – Saturday – 5:05 p.m. – 5:55 p.m. at Mojave Stage
This music community based in Southern California, led by co-founder Joe Kay, has been bringing visibility to up-and-coming artists creating the “sound of tomorrow” since 2011 through their online radio platforms.
The collective will be performing a signature “SoulChella” set featuring guest artists as weekend one brought appearances by Compton singer-rapper Buddy and sultry Swedish songstress Snoh Alegra. The Soulection set is sure to be a highlight for true music appreciators at Coachella.
Blood Orange – Sunday – 6:00 p.m. – 6:50 p.m. at Outdoor Theatre
Devonte Hynes a.k.a. Blood Orange has been involved in several projects, including punk band Test Icicles and indie rock band Lightspeed Champion. In 2009, his solo project Blood Orange was born, showcasing an organic blend of electronic and R&B. His latest album Negro Swan received rave reviews and continued to push forward his music ingenuity by fusing together elements of progressive R&B and chillwave with roots in hip-hop. Often incorporating guest musicians and colorful backdrops, Blood Orange should provide an amusing burst of visual and sonic delight.
Smino – Saturday 8:35 p.m. – 9:20 p.m. at Gobi
Coming from a musical family with a father that plays keys, a mother who sings, and a grandfather who played bass for the legendary blues musician, Muddy Waters, Smino is one of Chi-town’s most notable emerging rap artists. Having proved his musical prowess by creating original, thoughtful and melodic catalog of music, Smino is coming off his stellar 2018 release Noir, and his soulful raps will offer a cool escape in the Gobi tent.