7 Bands At Coachella You Don't Want to Miss
April 12th, 2013 8:00am EDT
The Coachella Festival has an awesome lineup this year. With so many great artists to hear, you need a plan to help you plot your day. Make sure you catch these musicians on this list, which covers some of the latest must-see groups as well as some legends.
Blur led the second British Invasion during the 1990s. While American bands like Nirvana were trying to avoid musical excess, Blur indulged liberally to create a new form of pop music that melded the best aspects of rock, funk, and noise.
They came onto the scene around the same time that Oasis hit the international stage. And while"Wonderwall" is still in heavy rotation on some radio stations, many critics believe Oasis never reached the sonic beauty of Blur.
The Coachella performance will feature the original Blur lineup with Graham Coxon, Alex James, Dave Rowntree, and Damon Albarn (who founded Gorillaz after the group split up 2001).
2.) Lou Reed
Even kids who shrug their shoulders and ask "who's that old guy on stage?" already know some of Lou Reed's most popular songs. They just don't know they know them. Tunes like "Satellite of Love," "Perfect Day," "Sweet Jane," and "Walk on the Wild Side" have put Reed into the same league as Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. He's truly one of his generation's most influential songwriters.
Those who appreciate more abstract music should hope Reed pulls out some long, droning music from his early band, The Velvet Underground. If you're older than 50 and daring enough to visit Coachella, you'll swoon to these dirges. If you're too young to really know Reed's work, stick around to have your mind blown.
3.) Sigur Ros
Icelandic band Sigur Ros originally drew attention for their swooshing instruments, crystal clear vocals, and surrealistic vocals (the band actually sings nonsense instead of European words, as many English-speaking fans mistakenly believe).
Today's version of Sigur Ros isn't quite as orchestral. Over the last decade, the band has moved from the kind of dazed music that could turn a wonderful dream into a nightmare (or vice-versa depending on your tastes), toward a style emphasizing fun and rhythm over studio-generated textures.
4.) Red Hot Chili Peppers
How amazing is it that the Red Hot Chili Peppers still play? What's even more amazing is that they still bring a lively stage show rivaling their early concerts. Today's Peppers aren't the drug-fueled maniacs they once were, which only adds to their musical proficiency.
Flea keeps time as perfectly as ever, throwing in bass slaps to funk up the jams. Unfortunately, John Frusciante, arguably one of the best rock guitarists in the world, isn't on this tour. Josh Kinghoffer, who served as the band's back-up guitarist for years before Frusciante's haitus, certainly knows his way around the Peppers' tunes.
When you see this band, expect more fun than you can handle.
5.) Grinderman/Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
The legendary Nick Cave will pull double-duty at this year's Coachella. On Friday, he'll blow the audience away with the full heft of his rock band Grinderman. While the band supposedly broke up last year, Cave has announced a couple 2013 appearances. If you don't see this band at Coachella, you might miss it completely.
Cave will explore a completely different side of modern music with his bad the Bad Seeds on Sunday. This band exposes a more romantic side to Cave's music mastery. Expect murder ballads, pianos, strings, and strange sounds that couldn't possibly come from anything other than an insanely distorted guitar.
It's a rare treat to see both sides of Nick Cave at one festival. If you can't make it out to the festival, YouTube will be livestreaming the event exclusively laptops, ultrabooks or virtually any other mobile device. Don't miss out on this special oppertunity!
6.) Wu-Tang Clan
Hip hop wouldn't have the same level of production and creativity without Wu-Tang Clan. Listening to early RZA records even makes it obvious that Kanye West owes Wu-Tang Clan huge props.
Members of the Staten Island group include successful solo artists Method Man, Ghostface Killah, RZA, GZA, and Raekwon. The world is lucky that they still gather every few years to release an album and do a follow-up tour. This year, they'll bring their skills to Coachella's stage on Sunday.
And frankly, you're crazy if you miss this. These are the best rappers in the world, coming together once again to protect ya neck and bring Coachella back to the slums of Shaolin. Wu-Tang is for the children!
It's understandable if you haven't heard Spiritualized before. It's the project of British musician Jason Pierce, who isn't always that good at promoting his music. The songs, however, speak for themselves. Those who know about Spiritualized have undoubtedly spent entire nights repetitively playing albums like Songs in A&E and Amazing Grace. They have so much beauty that it's impossible to listen to a song once without wanting more.
Pierce, however, is a sketchy sort of fellow. He has a well-known drug problem that constantly interferes with his health. In 2005 he was hospitalized for a severe case of pneumonia that nearly killed him. He has even said that he underwent chemotherapy in 2012 for liver disease. So you should make ita point to see him, because you never know when it will be your last chance.
8.) The Violent Femmes
Violent Femmes is a legendary group that grew to prominence in the 1980s with songs like "Gone Daddy Gone" and "Blister in the Sun."
The band primarily plays simple songs on acoustic instruments. Given their self-imposed limitations, it's amazing they manage to create such forceful, imaginative songs. A lot of the power comes from Gordon Gano's lyrics and vocal delivery. You wouldn't say that he's a great singer, but he knows how to make poetic songs full of humor, love, and anger.
The band is doing a reunion in 2013, so this could be your last chance to see them.
See these 8 bands and you will have a successful Coachella. Of course, there are plenty of other interesting acts worth watching. Who are you most excited about this year?
Photo Credits: Source:PR Photos