Ahh... it’s that time of year again, when hordes of music heads and lifestyle seekers flock to the Coachella Valley for 2 consecutive weekends of festivaling.
And, while, yes, it’s true that the Coachella Music & Arts Festival has evolved in the 20 years since its inception (there are many critics and naysayers); what has definitely remained constant is the fact that on its 7 music stages, you can still sample a plethora of diverse performances and take in really cool large-scale art.
As someone who has attended 11* out of the previous 19 installments, there’s a special magic about seeing a great band go from baby stages to the main stage and/or headlining the entire festival over the span of those years. It’s especially exciting when they are bands that KCRW has championed as well. Let’s check out some highlights from this year’s fest:
Khruangbin - Is definitely not to be missed. With their global music influenced guitar riffs and their – mostly - instrumental grooves, they’ve got the perfect sound for the palm tree laced backdrop of Coachella. (Fridays)
Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals are local SoCal musical superstars. Anderson is a versatile drummer/vocalist and his performance translates well in a large-scale setting. (Fridays)
Tame Impala will be headlining Saturday nights. And, based off their cancelled performance last year at Desert Daze, the masses will be yearning to see the Australian psychedelic outfit with new music in tow.
Emily King is an amazing performer, whose latest album has had her on the road since February. I’ve seen the show in smaller venues, and if you’ve never seen this Grammy nominee perform, Coachella would be a very good place to get acquainted with her special brand of R&B. (Sundays)
Polo & Pan’s debut album captivated many of the DJs here at KCRW last year. Their electro-pop featured on Caravelle is a true delight and tapped into their French heritage of electronic music. (Fridays)
Jambinai are an avant-rock band out of Seoul, South Korea. Their approach of prog-metal conjures up demons of 90's bands, while using traditional Korean folk Instruments. It’s as random as the K-pop band BLACKPINK being on the lineup, but super looking forward to seeing both. (Saturdays)
Remember to hydrate, apply plenty of sun block, and enjoy your lost weekend in the desert!
*Years José has attended: ‘99, ‘01, ‘03, ‘05, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08, ‘09, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18