This is a big one.
(Scroll down to the bottom if you want to skip straight to the music. But I don't reccommend it!)
Say what you might about music festivals, but there's something special about Coachella. If you've experienced it before, you know the exhilaration of that precise moment you realize it's really R.Kelly on stage with Phoenix or Debbie Harry on stage with Arcade Fire or Sam Smith on stage with Disclosure in back to back years. That moment you are moved to tears by Florence Welch and Ellie Goulding. Or when you light the dance floor on fire with Justice or Chromeo or The Magician or whoever gets you grooving. You don't forget it. Ever.
It always amazes me that no matter what artist is playing at any of Coachella's six stages, there's a crowd of seriously dedicated fans at all of them, all the time. For example, I could tell you just how many people were having the time of their lives dancing to Avicii at the other end of the desert while Tupac's 2012 resurrection was occurring, but I digress.
Obviously, it's impossible for me to really narrow down on the best of whats to come in 11 days. As I write this, I actually have no idea which of the approximately 200 artists' sets I will actually catch ( I couldn't be more anxious about the inevitable scheduling conflicts coming for me when the set times get released in a week. I mean seriously this is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night).
But if I had to choose, here are my most anticipated sets of 2015:
AC/DC There are few things more fun than a throwback set. Especially when the band playing is basically the soundtrack of the Four Time World Champion New England Patriots. I can't wait to end the first night in the desert with some nasty guitar shreds. Sadly, AC/DC took a page out of Taylor's book and isn't available for streaming, so you're on your own.
Tame Impala Tame Impala's new single "Let It Happen" speaks for itself. Delightfully complicated, but perfectly accessible. A nod to the beautiful psychedelic times of the 60s and 70s, lead singer Kevin Parker's John Lennon-esque vocals have been running through my mind since the day they released this track. I missed them their last time at Coachella during the James Blake/Rodriguez/Tame Impala set time conflict disaster of 2013, but I won't make the same mistake again.
Vic Mensa EGM sent me "Down on My Luck" last summer, and we were instantly hooked on this "Disclosure meets Frank Ocean" sound. Months later, it's time to see what this young Chicago rapper who's gotten Kanye's full attention can bring to the stage. Also, RT has a hunch Yeezy will make a surprise appearance. In case this crazy idea is true, I'm writing it here to document.
alt-J I've been an alt-J fan for awhile now, but something special happened when I saw them play Treasure Island last October. And by something special I mean one of my top live show experiences...maybe ever. I can't wait to see what kind of amazing production they bring to the desert.
Cashmere Cat My obsession with Cashmere Cat started when I first heard his mix on Diplo & Friends on BBC Radio 1 and only grew stronger when he dropped 50 Cent's "21 Questions" and T.I.'s "Why You Wanna" during a set in San Francisco last year. Things have gotten next level now that he and Ariana Grande (my favorite pop star of the decade) are the bestest of friends, touring together and producing music together. If/when she comes on stage with him to perform "Adore" and/or "Be My Baby" I will probably cry a thousand tears of joy. I mean, she better f*cking be there.
Florence + The Machine Perhaps this time around I'll finally be able to answer the question: Florence Welch, human or angel?
Drake I would be lying if I withheld that part of the reason I'm so highly anticipating Drake's set is because of my predicted Big Sean appearance (I mean it only make sense, #blessed). But in true hip-hop form at Coachella, there's bound to be a slew of surprise guest experiences and over the top production. My best guesses include Weezy and Nicki Minaj but only time will tell if I LOVE MAKONNEN, Rihanna, Kendrick or J and Bey or show up or if there's an on-stage reunion of the Degrassi: The Next Generation cast I MEAN WHO KNOWS YOU GUYS.
This week's Lineup is a nice little 1.5 hour homage to this year's Coachella lineup. But I've also prepared Coachella Education Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 which between Spotify and Soundcloud has you covered for everything you need to know about this years artists, at least by TML standards.
If you will be gracing the desert with your presence this April, I hope these playlists get you r-e-a-d-y. But my main goal is to inspire at least one of you who currently hasn't yet committed to make the right choice and buy that pass. You won't.
Until next Monday.