The Coachella lineup was announced via the festival’s Facebook page Tuesday night and it features an impressive array of top-tier headliners (Kanye West, the Strokes, Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon), an abundance of up-and-coming artists (Warpaint, Crystal Castles, Wiz Khalifa, Cut Copy) and quite a few surprises (Big Audio Dynamite, Ms Lauryn Hill, One Day as a Lion, Death From Above 1979).
The headliners are definitely a step in a different, and more modern direction compared to years past which featured older acts like Roger Waters, Paul McCartney, Prince and the Cure. The middle tier acts are good and overall it’s a pretty solid bill, however it’s not something I will be making the trip to Indio to see in person.
Why? Because 1) I’m a very fortunate music fan and I have seen most of the bands on that lineup previously, 2) Most of these bands tour regularly and will come through Seattle so there’s no need to see them live with 50,000 + people in a sweltering desert environment and 3) There’s a little festival called Sasquatch! that will be happening Memorial Day Weekend.
Speaking of Sasquatch!, what exactly does the Coachella lineup mean for the four-day Memorial Day weekend fest at the Gorge?
Well I don’t think it means too much in terms of headliners considering the lineups of the two typically don’t overlap much in that department, but a lot of strong speculations about who might be making a trip to the Gorge this year can be made based off the undercard acts. So let’s do some analysis of the Coachalla lineup and try and make some educated guesses about what may be in store for Sasquatch! 2011, shall we?
Arcade Fire is a headliner
What it means: Arcade Fire has been rumored to be a Sasquatch! headliner for a few years. There was even a massive Arcade Fire tribute last year in the form of an amazing set by the Seattle Rock Orchestra. Arcade Fire’s status as headliners of the second day of Coachella (which is the weakest day btw) more or less cements their status as a headliner for Sasquatch! 2011 so don’t be shocked to see them at the top of the Sasquatch! lineup.
There are no Seattle bands at Coachella
What it means: Well, this means there will be lots of Seattle bands at Sasquatch! and of course that statement isn’t a stretch at all considering the festival’s reputation for bringing local bands to the Gorge. While none of these bands are confirmed, expect to see most of these names at Sasquatch! Memorial Day weekend: Death Cab For Cutie, Fleet Foxes, Moondoggies, The Head and the Heart, Blue Scholars and Macklemore.
No Daft Punk, Soundgarden or Radiohead
What it means: Last year the big rumor was that Soundgarden would headline Coachella and as well all know that didn’t happen. Since the Foo Fighters are already confirmed to play Sasquatch! and Soundgarden is long overdue for some sort of big show in Washington state, the fest could easily be a destination for the reunited grungers especially considering the band is releasing a live album in March.
Daft Punk was on everyone’s wishlist for Coachella this year and the French robots aren’t on the bill. Last year Adam Zacks upped Sasquatch!’s electronic music offerings with late-night sets by Deadmau5, Massive Attack, Booka Shade, Z-Trip and other quality electronic artists and DJs which could be an indication of the dance offerings getting further beefed up this year. It’s Sasquatch!’s tenth year and bringing Daft punk to the Gorge would be a massive coup and it would be the biggest statement the festival could make.
And as for Radiohead, well they are always rumored to play Coachella and that isn’t happening in 2011 and it’s probably not going to happen at Sasquatch! so keep dreaming Radiohead fans.
Kanye West is a headliner
What it means: Yeezy is bringing his beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy to the desert and since Kanye is all about doing things big chances are it’s going to be quite the impressive stage show with plenty of blockbuster cameos. Kanye performed at Sasquatch! before in 2005 when he played an afternoon set on the mainstage prior to sets by the Pixies and Modest Mouse (Arcade Fire was also on the main stage in the early afternoon that year) so he could be a part of Sasquatch!’s tenth birthday. However, Adam Zacks likes to zig when others zag when it comes to headliners and while Kanye would make a big splash he wouldn’t do much to help distinguish Sasquatch! from its destination festival peers.
The undercard is amazing
What it means: The Sasquatch! and Coachella lineups often share a lot of acts so there could be some insight here into whose names will be revealed at the Sasquatch! kickoff party Feb. 6. I definitely hope to see the Black Keys, Chemical Brother and One Day As a Lion on a Sasquatch! poster. Based off the Coachella lineup I’ve got my money on sets by Warpaint, Cee-Lo Green, Whiz Khalifa, Chromeo and Bright Eyes and I wouldn’t complain if Ms Lauryn Hill, Death From Above 1979 or the Strokes decided to drop by the Gorge too.
And for kicks, here is my official pipe dream/prediction/guess (which by the way has no legitimacy whatsoever) about who will be at Sasquatch! 2011:
Foo Fighters/Outkast/Soundgarden/Arcade Fire/the Flaming Lips performing Dark Side of the Moon/The Black Keys/The Roots/PJ Harvey/Death Cab for Cutie/Queens of the Stone Age/Fleet Foxes/Mudhoney/The Decemberists/Wu Tang Clan/Fistful of Mercy/Bright Eyes/Ghostland Observatory/Chemical Brothers/Cold War Kids/Cake/Cee Lo Green/Chromeo/Wiz Khalifa/Janelle Monae/Surfer Blood/Das Racist/Fitz and the Tantrums/The Drums/Matt & Kim/Metric/Best Coast/And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead/Sleigh Bells/Wavves/Florence and the Machine/Wolf Parade/Flying Lotus/Black Mountain/Black Rebel Motorcycle Club/the Builders and the Butchers/Dead Confederate/Fruit Bats/Toro Y Moi/Destroyer/the Twilight Singers/Menomena/Weekend/Cage the Elephant/Blue Scholars/Jaill/Grinderman/The Streets/Happy Birthday/Fergus and Geronimo/Old 97s/Pearly Gates Music/Mew/Warpaint/Retribution Gospel Choir/The Presidents of the USA/Wild Flag/Papercuts/Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks/Ted Leo & the Pharmacists/Titus Andronicus/Wintersleep/Delta Spirit/The Head and the Heart/Moondoggies/Macklemore/Mister Heavenly/Ezra Furman and the Harpoons/Mad Rad/Maktub/the Seattle Rock Orchestra performing Radiohead/Joel McHale/Childish Gambino/Donald Glover/Dave Attell/Nick Kroll/John Mulaney/Rob Delaney/Reggie Watts/Nikki Glaser/Anthony Jesselnik/Wyatt Cyenac