Whit here. You know I had to comment on this.
The 2013 Coachella lineup was released last night via their social media outlets around 8:30 pm, and it’s got some people feeling confused about how to react.
Headliners include The Stone Roses, Blur, Phoenix, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Other noteworthy secondary acts include Jurassic 5, Hot Chip, Wu-Tang Clan, Vampire Weekend and Moby.
Is the collective community of Californians who attend Coachella each year (and base their annual travel plans around the event) happy? Or are they disappointed and angry? The reactions fell all over the spectrum.
Furthermore, the mainstream media coverage of the public’s reaction to the lineup announcement was mostly negative:
Business Insider – People Are Up In Arms Over the Coachella Lineup
Huffington Post – Coachella Haters: Disappointed Concert-Goers React to 2013 Lineup
So how are YOU supposed to feel?
Naturally, I’m here to tell you. Here are some major takeaways from last night’s announcement. Feel free to quote them (they’ll make you sound festival-savvy):
1) It seems this year, Coachella is returning to its roots as a music festival rather than a national pop culture event. This is good in a lot of ways. It weeds out the goobers. Many of us would like to see a lot more music fans at Coachella, and a few less morons. While you’ll likely always encounter a 16-year-old girl in pigtails savoring a ring pop and hanging out with her crusty drug dealer in the Sahara Tent no matter what the lineup, 2013’s event will surely lend itself to a better balance of idiots and normal people. So we’re not due for a divalicious Beyonce cameo on the main stage at any point, but methinks we can collectively sacrifice that gift in exchange for a music festival filled with good people.
2) 2013 is the year of the danceable band. You heard it here first. 2012’s EDM-heavy lineup was great, but may have prompted some to opt for the Sahara Tent’s booming bass over fun, lively bands. Example: Grouplove was SO FUN last year! Obviously, their performance of their delightful hit “Tonguetied” was a blast, but the real highlight came when they encore-covered Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” … and nailed it. We danced, we cried, we hugged, we had the best time.
Danceable bands to look forward to in 2013 include: Of Monsters and Men, Divine Fits, Two Door Cinema Club, Franz Ferdinand, Vampire Weekend, La Roux and Tanlines.
3) Coachella is asking patrons to take a leap of faith. By booking bands that aren’t immediately recognizable for everyone (a la The Stone Roses), concert-goers are pushed outside of their comfort zones a bit. It’s never good to be locked into one genre of music. It’s also never good to limit yourself to “artists I’ve heard of,” or, much worse, “artists I’ve heard on the radio.” Hopefully, patrons will do their due diligence before the festival and check out bands they’ve never heard of on Spotify or Soundcloud. Not only is this good because it opens people up to appreciating new music, it’s also good because we won’t see a massive tidal wave of pop scenesters flocking from one famous band to the next. Circumnavigating the hoard of fans rushing from Avicii to Dre and Snoop last year was daunting, and at times violent. I’m optimistic that the “playing [polo] field,” so to speak, will be much more leveled this year. Bueno.
With all that said, I have to admit that upon reading the lineup for the first time last night, I went through a range of emotions about as bi-polar as Vincent Van Gogh. I nearly cut off my ear, and then I practically ran through a wall in my kitchen out of excitement. All within a 20 second span. Someone should really supervise me whenever they release a major music festival announcement. Loving music this much is debilitating.
I’ll leave you with a top-level play-by-play of my emotions from last night, for your entertainment:
8:26 pm: This 30Rock is SO funny! I’m so mad it’s the second-to-last episode. What will become of Liz Lemon?
8:27 pm: Holy SH*T. HOLY SH*T. Did they just Tweet the Coachella lineup? Is this real? Oh my God, this is real. THIS IS NOT A DRILL, PEOPLE!
8:28 pm: No Daft Punk. Ugh.
8:29 pm: No Rolling Stones? I thought that was a done deal. Who are The Stone Roses? Should I be embarrassed that I don’t know who The Stone Roses are? Probably.
8:30 pm: I love Phoenix! But why are they a headliner?
8:31 pm: Where’s the Sunday hip-hop headliner? I was really hoping for Outkast! I love me a good Sunday rap headliner to close out the weekend. How could they do this to me? Don’t they care?
8:32 pm: I should put up a Facebook status about this.
8:33 pm: Red Hot Chili Peppers are great. Fact. But they do a stadium tour every summer, right? Couldn’t I just see them at Oracle? On second thought, though, I’ll bet the production will be really cool at Coachella, and it will certainly be amazing when they do “Californication…”
8:34 pm: OK, don’t let the headliners get you down, Whit. Maybe it IS all in the fine print. Find your reading glasses.
8:35 pm: 2 CHAINZ!!!!!!!!! 2 CHAINZ!!!!!!!!!!
8:36 pm: Jurassic 5 will be dope. I love the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, without a doubt. Passion Pit, sure, why not. I can get down with some Vampire Weekend, even if they are Vampire Weekend. Believe it or not (if you know me, you believe it), I’ve seen Wu Tang before and it was messy but enjoyable. In for that. Yeasayer is fantastic. Franz Ferdinand will always have a special place in my heart. Lumineers! Cool! La Roux? Love her. I see you, Pretty Lights!
8:37 pm: ERIC PRYDZ!! YAYYYYYz!
8:38 pm: OK, Tommy Trash will be so fun. So will Nicky Romero. The whole EDM roundup isn’t bad at all. It isn’t last year, but it isn’t bad.
8:39 pm: My heart is beating so fast. I should drink some water.
8:40 pm: Wouldn’t it be funny if I recounted, minute-by-minute, my initial reaction to the lineup announcement? People would think I’m so weird.
See you in the desert, folks!