Top 10 Acts to Catch at Coachella 2014
The lineup for this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival has been announced, and tickets to the popular event are already gone — they went on sale January 10 and sold out in two hours and 37 minutes. If you were lucky enough to snag a spot at Coachella 2014, here’s a list of the most anticipated acts to hit the California desert stage from April 11 to 13 and 18 to 20.
You couldn’t walk outside without hearing this 17-year-old Kiwi during 2013. The infectious and unavoidable “Royals” maintained its throne at the top of the charts for weeks. The song, which criticizes the materialism that’s frequently praised in pop and rap music, doesn’t sound like it was written by a teenager — Lorde is no Rebecca Black. Lorde doesn’t take off her clothes in public, isn’t afraid to critique fellow pop stars, and comes off as smart rather than outrageous or desperate for attention. Here’s hoping for more female singers like her.
Haim was one of the biggest new rock acts of 2013. The three Haim sisters — Danielle, Este, and Alana — are definitely a rock band, but they take much inspiration from pop and hip hop as well, counting Jay-Z and Ke$ha as fans. The group’s debut album, The Days Are Gone, sold 90,000 copies in its first week and Rolling Stone called it “exhilarating.” This is a rare all-female band that isn’t perceived as being a schtick.
8. Lana del Rey
Though a disastrous performance on “Saturday Night Live” made it seem as if Lana del Rey was just a studio-made pop zombie who can’t perform, she’s somewhat redeemed herself since. Her bizarre old-school aesthetic, something she refers to as “gangster Nancy Sinatra,” sets her apart from other contemporaries, as does her voice. Del Rey sounds like a singer from a bygone era, which makes her lyrics about smoking weed and playing video games feel unexpected and fresh. The jury’s still out on whether she can perform, so catch her set at Coachella and make the decision yourself, rather than letting the Internet do it for you.
7. The Replacements
The Replacements are one of the most beloved cult punk bands from the 1980s, and fans of the group have to catch the reunion show at Coachella, as no other tour dates for the act are planned. The Replacements first reunited to play Riot Fest over the summer, their first shows in 22 years, since the band’s demise in 1991. The band is the second-most anticipated reunion show of the festival, and the chance to see the Minneapolis-based group that helped shape modern alternative music may well never come again.
6. Neutral Milk Hotel
Another cult favorite, Neutral Milk Hotel announced a reunion last spring, playing its first shows in 12 years. The band’s second and latest album, “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” was released in 1998 and has received heaps of critical acclaim for singer Jeff Magnum’s lyrics and the band’s bizarre instrumentation — it’s a huge cult classic. This is another band that, like the Replacements, has remained mostly under the radar and never became a commercial success but is highly influential. If you like Arcade Fire, stop and see one of that group’s biggest influences. You might not get another chance.
Beck is reportedly working on two albums at once, not having released a solo record since 2008′s “Modern Guilt.” One of those albums, “Morning Phase,” is set to be released on Capitol Records in April; the state of the other, more acoustic album, is uncertain. Beck’s Coachella performance will be one of the first opportunities to hear the beloved singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist perform songs from his first solo release in six years.
4. Queens of the Stone Age
In March, the band released “…Like Clockwork” to critical acclaim, and the album found its way onto many Best of 2013 lists. Frontman Josh Homme told Rolling Stone last week that the band already has “more than enough songs” for a followup to “…Like Clockwork,” which he said the band plans to begin recording in the fall. Queens of the Stone Age could treat their Coachella fans to some of that new material they’ve got up their sleeves.
British progressive rock band Muse will headline Coachella on the festival’s two Saturday evenings — those dates are the only ones the band has on its calendar in the near future, as it’s expected to get back in the studio soon. A new album is expected in early 2015, according to singer Matt Bellamy. Bellamy also said the album will likely be more rock influenced and less electronic than Muse’s most recent release, ”The 2nd Law.” This is another opportunity for Coachella attendees to possibly hear some new material before it’s recorded.
2. Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire released “Reflektor” in the fall, and Rolling Stone called it “the best album Arcade Fire have ever made.” That’s certainly saying something, considering the massive amount of critical acclaim that’s been heaped on the group since 2004′s “Funeral.” Arcade Fire has been doing some weird stuff for its live shows in support of the new record, including playing secret shows billed as “The Reflektors,” demanding audience members wear costumes and masks, and the band members themselves donning creepy giant paper mâché heads. Arcade Fire’s Coachella sets on the two Sunday nights are guaranteed to be weird and wonderful.
Secure your spots for the Outkast shows early, as the group’s reunion is arguably the most-anticipated act of the festival. Outkast hasn’t performed as a band in two years, and it was recently announced that members Andre 3000 and Big Boi are planning a tour to follow their triumphant return to the stage at Coachella. Outkast is set to headline the Friday nights, and these are the performances everyone will be buzzing about.
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