So, the Coachella 2012 lineup is out. Let’s get to our immediate reaction. First thought is that there seems to be one poster, so indeed, there will be the same lineup for each weekend, taking place on April 13-15th and April 20-22nd of 2012. Of course, that is unless someone gets sick or misses a flight or some shit. You never know, and the likelihood that all of these bands play each weekend is slight.
Headliners: With Radiohead, you can’t complain. You could even argue that with Radiohead headlining on Saturday, the other headliners don’t really matter. Every year, Coachella is faced with a barrage of Radiohead and Daft Punk requests, and when one of them hits, as they have this year with Radiohead, it kind of works as a STFU as far as the rest of the lineup goes.
For The Black Keys, congrats to them for finally making it to headliner status. Its a little weird, considering the fact that the band just sub-headlined last year, and it would have been nice to see them wait a year before headlining. Also, after seeing them at Outside Lands and Bonnaroo last year, the desire to see them headline a festival just isn’t there. Hell, they just played KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas just last month.
As for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, it’s been a while coming. This is one of those perennially rumored headliners and this year it is a go. Really, it would be way better if they could add Eminem to that, but it should be fun and having seen Snoop at Rock The Bells a couple years back, he is a crowd pleaser and performing with Dre will be a historic occasion.
The Good: There are some names on the Friday part of the lineup that we have known about for a while, but are very much glad will be performing. M83, Arctic Monkeys, Girls, and WU LYF should all deliver standout performances, while Swedish House Mafia and Afrojack are sure to make the dancers happy.
The Surprises: Well, though Pulp and Refused were both rumored, it is still surprising that they were able to be booked and both reunions should draw big crowds. Rancid’s Tim Armstrong performing with Jimmy Cliff is a weird ride we are down with, while Mazzy Star also should prove to be an interesting reunion set. M. Ward, The Horrors, Frank Ocean, Cat Power, and Explosions In The Sky were not as heavily rumored, but are all worth looking forward to.
The Little Font: Not a whole lot that we want to see in the tiny font on Friday, with Neon Indian, Yuck, EMA, Death Grips, Other Lives, Kendrick Lamar, and Dawes looking like the best bets down there.
WTF: Madness. One step beyond! But really, we could pass.
The Good: By far the strongest day of Coachella. By booking Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum and Godspeed You! Black Emperor on the same day as Radiohead, they have created a pretty special day of music. Add to this Bon Iver, The Shins, Andrew Bird, Feist, and St. Vincent and you have an indie music fan’s wet dream. Kaskade, David Guetta, and Miike Snow headline the dancey music.
The Surprises: Destroyer and Black Lips were two names I did not here rumored at all and am glad to see on the lineup.
The Little Font: tUnE-yArDs, The Head And The Heart, Laura Marling, Keep Shelley In Athens, Childish Gambino, A$AP Rocky, and Flying Lotus all should provide interesting sets for various reasons, while Buzzcocks and Squeeze are both gonna be more of a gamble to see if they can recreate the joys of the past.
WTF: Noel Gallagher and his new band seem a little high on the lineup for me. Am I right?
The Good: Sunday is probably the most eclectic of the days, with a rap headliner, Beirut as the safest bet big font act, and some of the more wide appealing electronic artists with Justice, Girl Talk and DJ Shadow. In fact, if you include La Roux and AVICII, it is by far the danciest of days.
The Surprises: Most of Sunday is somewhat surprising, lead by the excellent reunion of At The Drive-In, the first American appearance by The Weeknd, and a rather little font for Company Flow. The biggest surprise may be unannounced, as Thom Yorke could be collaborating with Modeselektor (and with Flying Lotus previously)
The Little Font: We are looking forward to seeing some of our faves here, with Real Estate, First Aid Kit, Wild Beasts, Fanfarlo, and Wild Flag (though their font is surprisingly big) all looking like the class of the smaller bands.
WTF: I didn’t know anyone still cared about The Hives.
Who is missing?
Well, Foo Fighters, Tom Petty, Coldplay, No Doubt, and Bjork had all been mentioned frequently as headliners, but, alas, there will always be a bunch of headliners not included. My Morning Jacket was the most glaring omission for me, as the band had been rumored from just about every source I had seen. Others who were heavily rumored and are absent include New Order, Danny Brown, Caribou, Foster The People (thank god), Young The Giant, Tennis, and The Civil Wars. All in all, though, we are sold and can’t wait until April.