The lineup for the 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was released last week to the overwhelming joy of tens of thousands of music lovers. This year’s lineup is stacked — no matter what your asshole friends who don’t like “obscure indie shit” are posting on their Facebook statuses. I highly suggest marking April 15 to 17 on your calendars.
With bands like Animal Collective, Chromeo, Gogol Bordello and Cold War Kids, 2011 recalls a lot of 2008. But that alone gives me high hopes — 2008 was a great year.
This is before even mentioning the headliners that Coachella has in store for us this April. Arcade Fire, Kanye West, The Strokes!? Kings of Leon … not so much.
Some killer up-and-comers are set to grace the stages Friday, like Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Warpaint and the sweet, indie pop of The Morning Benders. On the other side of the spectrum is OFWGKTA, a hip hop collective out of Los Angeles with members ranging in age from 16 to 23.
Overall, this year looks to be filled with acts that epitomize the idea of “putting on a show.” With Arcade Fire’s polished ten-person touring crew bringing the energy from Coachella’s past (2005, 2007) as well as playing work from 2010’s acclaimed The Suburbs, Saturday night promises to be astounding.
Another highly anticipated act for Saturday evening is the relatively young (the band has released just one album: 2009’s Sigh No More) Mumford & Sons. I have heard exceptional praise for the English group’s live performances, and any band with an upright bass is good in my book.
It must be said, Coachella would not be complete without unrelenting techno pumping through the Sahara Tent day and night. No Deadmau5 for us this year, but ravers shouldn’t be disappointed with acts like Afrojack, Steve Angello and Axwell lined up for the weekend.
Sunday looks to be full of many chill performances, perfect for the last-day-of-Coachella feeling, when all anyone wants to do is savor the atmosphere of this oh-so-holy weekend and get as many final bands in as possible. Hipsters and electro fans alike should also be looking forward to Ratatat, just one band who will grace Coachella with their electronic sounds that day.
But let’s get to the good stuff: The Strokes and Kanye West.
As fun as Julian Casablancas was solo, The Strokes are really going to blow the stage up Sunday. The band will be playing just shortly after the release of their next album, Angles. Bring it on, bros. I’m ready to hear this new shit.
Last but — well, the best — we have Yeezy.
With a super-hyped, critically acclaimed album just out, another planned for summer 2011 and some collaboration with Jay-Z in between, Kanye’s got a busy schedule. But you know he’s going to take the time to make his Coachella performance one of the most memorable in history — at least I’m hoping.
I’ m also hoping I’ve helped at least some of you decide to bite the bullet, pay the steep ticket prices, find a way to get your asses to the desert (my home turf), find a place to stay (my lawn’s always an option) and find the enthusiasm and energy needed to take in all there will be to see, hear, smell, taste, etc. (On second thought, forget about the lawn thing, but I’ll see you there!)
Happy freaking Coachella to you and to me — it’s the best holiday of the year.