Those Smiths rumors sure fizzled out fast. That Pavement reunion didn’t quite come together, either. And Bruce? He’s playing an American festival, but it’ll be Bonnaroo, not Coachella, for the Boss in 2009.
So why should the discerning Las Vegas music fan lay out $270—a helluva lot in this or any other economy—for a three-day pass to April’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival? Because the lineup rocks. Literally.
The electronic/dance card, the traditional forte for the SoCal desert fest, appears a notch weaker than usual. The Chemical Brothers are expected to be added, but likely for a DJ set, not a live performance, leaving Coachella without the top-tier live electronic acts—Daft Punk, Aphex Twin, Underworld—regulars have come to expect. (Please don’t tell us Thievery Corporation and The Crystal Method qualify.) And while we all feel bad Travis Barker and DJ AM nearly perished in a plane crash, the fact that they’ll be onstage, rather than in the crowd, on April 18 says a lot about this year’s Sahara-tent DJ scene.
Hip-hop? Clipse should be cool, but Public Enemy showed its age at Vegoose ’07, and Lupe Fiasco has hit Vegas a few times recently. Hardly a reason to reach for the credit card, layaway plan or no. R&B? Well, Amy Winehouse is scheduled to appear, but ...
None of that matters much, however, to those simply looking to rock out. The ’09 lineup is silly with terrific bands, from hipster heavyweights (TV on the Radio) to goth godfathers (The Cure) to buzzed up-and-comers (Vivian Girls), most of whom rarely, if ever, cross into Nevada. Need noise? My Bloody Valentine, Throbbing Gristle and Liars should clear your sinuses. Lighter fare? No earplugs required for Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses and Peter Bjorn and John. Country-rock? Drive-By Truckers. Blues-rock? The Black Keys. PBR rock? The Hold Steady. Metal? Mastodon. A taste of home? The Killers, headlining Day 2. And the list goes on and on from there, Bob Mould to Beirut, Superchunk to Silversun Pickups.
Oh, and Paul McCartney, Leonard Cohen and Morrissey are all playing … on the same freaking day. So yeah, beg, steal or borrow, but get thy ass to Indio.