Most of the country is still under a blanket of snow, but music fans are already dreaming about a glorious weekend in the desert with some of the biggest bands in the world. After weeks of speculation (and a handful of fakes and misdirections), the official lineup for the 2011 version of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has been released, lead by headliners Kanye West, Kings of Leon and Arcade Fire. The whole thing goes down on April 15, 16 and 17.
This lineup is a little more low-key than usual (there’s no real top-line reunion act this year, and many of the acts are holdovers from last year’s festival season), though that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of highlights. Here are the entries that get us excited — as well as the ones who confuse us a bit.
The rapper has always brought incredible heat to his festival performances (including legendary sets at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza in 2008), so it’s a guarantee that he’ll bring something massive to his performance. Plus, this will be the first large-scale show that West will be playing since the release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
The Swedish songstress has slowly made her way up the lineup cards, and her placement on the Friday batch of acts may be her highest yet for a show this big. Robyn’s show is awesome, and her vibe is perfect for the Coachella desert twilight.
It’ll be something of a comeback for Harvey, who is one of the bigger first-generation alternative acts on the bill. The songs from her upcoming album Let England Shake will sound epic on the big Coachella soundsystem.
The rock lineup at Coachella seems a little bit stale, but this year’s hip-hop collective is an eclectic batch of artists that should make for some of the best music of the weekend. In addition to West, Wiz Khalifa should be considered a can’t-miss set, as he is an underground guy about to blow up huge.
Cage the Elephant
Expect their set to be one of the key moments in their development as a band.
Because any opportunity is a good opportunity for a little bar rock about the Civil War.
One Day as a Lion
The collaboration between Zack De La Rocha and former Mars Volta drummer John Theodore has a reputation for being a killer live act, though they don’t play very often. This will be the first time for many fans of their 2008 EP to catch them live.
Death From Above 1979
It’s not that DFA 1979 is a bad band, but their Coachella set is being billed as a “reunion” show. Did anybody really miss them that badly — or even know they were broken up?
The bloom has been off the rose on this band for years, and it not only seems strange they got booked, but they’re also way up on the list on the poster (which suggests that they’ll be playing late).
The London Suede
Their return should appeal to a pocket full of Britpop diehards, but their brand of time capsule rock will look woefully dated next to the likes of Animal Collective and Arcade Fire (who also play on Saturday night).
She Wants Revenge
We were shocked to learn they were still a band.
Who do you really want to see at Coachella? Let us know in the comments!