COACHELLA PREVIEW: Can’t Miss Bands for 2013

The set times for the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, CA were just released, signaling that the event is right around the corner. Despite not being able to lock down the Rolling Stones (We’ve heard it was much closer than you think), this year’s lineup offers some damn fine Main Event choices (RHCP, Stone Roses, and Phoenix). However, with these large-scale music festivals, the real gems usually lie in the under-card sometimes away from the crowded Main Stage. There’s nothing better than ‘discovering’ a band at a festival for the first time, inching closer to the stage and making a mental Spotify note to listen again soon.

To make it a little easier, we’ve sorted through the lineup and picked out some bands you shouldn’t miss. And just in case you can’t make it to the desert, we’ve also singled out the sets scheduled to stream on YouTube.

Alt-J (Performs Friday, April 12 & 19)

One of the rising bands on the scene today. The Mojave tent at 5:20pm will likely be packed but well worth it. Here’s a sample of their live performance… – AF

How To Destroy Angels (Performs Friday, April 12 & 19)

A midnight set! When Trent Reznor creates anything, we pay close attention. While news of Nine Inch Nails big return in 2013-14 (with Adrian Belew of King Crimson on guitar!) has us worked into a frenzy, this new project is equally intriguing and the live show should be pretty spectacular. How To Destroy Angels includes Reznor, his wife, Mariqueen Maandig, as well as Rob Sheridan and Atticus Ross, his constant collaborator on several late-period NIN projects and recent dream team partner for past, present and future film scoring projects (Social Network, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo). – WH

Lord Huron (Performs Friday, April 12 & 19)

We’ve covered Lord Huron in the past and if scheduled correctly, could be one of the highlights of the festival. They’ll benefit from an early set in the Mojave. – AF

Divine Fits (Performs Friday April 12 & 19)

We’ve been tracking this new indie supergroup ever since we first heard “Would That Not Be Nice” come across the airwaves back in August. After seeing them in the Hollywood Cemetery we can vouch that Britt Daniel’s latest project is a surefire can’t miss. No matter who else is playing at the time. (4:35-5:20pm) – WH

Sigur Rós (Performs Saturday, April 13 & 20)

It’s well documented here at LMB that Sigur Rós are one of our favorite bands. We can’t stress enough how moving their live show is. A festival set may not be the ideal place for the Icelandic group but it’s still a must on this list. Looking over the set times and the unavoidable conflicts, Phoenix vs Sigur Ros on Saturday night rises to the top. Good luck with that one. Sigur Rós closing out the Outdoor Stage on Saturday would be our pick. – AF

Janelle Monae (Performs Saturday, April 13 & 20)

In my experience, Janelle Monae has completely stood out from the rest at both festivals I’ve had the chance to watch her perform (Voodoo Experience 2009 & 2010.) The artista’s rash, bouncy style is akin to a cross between Santigold and Prince. However, to try comparing her style too closely to any artist in particular is a losing cause, Monae is a generational talent and a true artist in every sense of the word. To say that Monae thrives in the festival setting would be an understatement. Prepare to have your jaw-dropped. – WH

FOALS (Performs Saturday, April 13 & 20)

We thought their second album was good and so did critics, but FOALS Holy Fire upped the ante in a big way. Check out “Late Night”: – AF

Spiritualized (Performs Saturday, April 13 & 20)

Because they are likely to play this song: – WH

Allen Stone (Performs Saturday April 13 & 20)

Rising quickly amongst the ranks, this 26-year old from a small Washington town looks like he belongs at a 60’s hippie convention but once he opens his voice, you’re transported to an R&B club with 70’s soul. The Gobi tent in the afternoon (3:35-4:20pm) is the perfect spot for Stone. Don’t miss it. – AF

Kurt Vile and the Violators (Performs Saturday, April 13 & 20)

He founded the awesome band The War on Drugs and his latest solo effort album Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze will be released just in time for Coachella. The album is already making the rounds (on NPR) and garnering ‘Best of 2013’ rumblings…I haven’t stopped streaming it myself, especially the lead track which you can watch below: – AF

Portugal. The Man (Performs Saturday, April 13 & 20)

After seeing them open for My Morning Jacket last year I said I’d make a point to check out a full performance. Their sonically layered style and the desert backdrop will go hand in hand. – AF

Tame Impala (Performs Sunday, April 14 & 21)

Lonerism is one of our favorite albums of 2012 and their first Innerspeaker is no slouch either. The Tame Impala bandwagon is filling up pretty quick and I’d recommend checking them out before they’re playing giant festival sets and you’re 1,000 feet from the stage. – AF

Father John Misty (Performs Sunday, April 14 & 21)

Another “Best Album of 2012” darling, Joshua Tillman’s Father John Misty project is just getting started with a full tour this summer. We can’t stress enough how great the band is in a live setting. If you like Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons — we think Father Johh Misty is right up your alley. – AF

Rodriguez (Performs Sunday, April 14 & 21)

First, check out the documentary Searching for Sugarman. You can actually stream it for free if you subscribe to Netflix. Once you watch the doc we think you’ll at least be interested in checking out a song or two. -AF

Robert DeLong (Performs Sunday, April 14 & 21)

Robert DeLong may not be a name you’ve heard of yet, but I guarantee that you’ll have it firmly planted in the front of your brain when you reflect on the year in music after festival season. He’s one of the newest artists breaking through in the EDM world and he’s an entirely new breed of musician that demands attention. Well, not a new breed in that he actually plays his instruments and builds songs and live production on the fly using tons of DIY controllers, a laptop, a drumset, percussion, etc. Far too many DJ’s and electronic artists are just “pressing play” these day, but that is not how Robert DeLong brings his live act to the masses. With the recent release of Just Movement, an appearance on Letterman, and being added to every lineup this year with the best talent in the business, he’s going to have a huge year. -JW

Luckily for those staying home, Coachella has continued their tradition of broadcasting select sets throughout the two weekends. We’re able to create our own Couch Tour version of Coachella, thanks to YouTube. Here are some of the notable artists scheduled to be broadcast and luckily most of the bands we’ve highlighted in this preview and some more LMB faves made the cut.


Divine Fits (4:35pm)
Alt-J (5:10pm)
Passion Pit (6:10pm)
Local Natives (7:00pm)
How to Destroy Angels (12:10am)

Ben Howard (4:25pm)
Allen Stone (6:10pm)
Portugal. The Man (6:55pm)
The Postal Service (9:30pm)
The xx (10:30pm)
Janelle Monae (10:45pm)
Phoenix (11:35pm)

The Lumineers (5:15pm)
Tame Impala (7:00pm)
Father John Misty (7:15pm)
Vampire Weekend (8:00pm)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (8:45pm)
Pretty Lights (8:50pm)
Red Hot Chili Peppers (10:20pm)

Tune into Coachella’s YouTube channel for the full list of performances. Fingers crossed that Blur and Sigur Ros get added late…