Every year, new festivals arrive to the already crowded summer landscape, boasting supposedly “diverse” roasters of bands for tens of thousands of eager fans. And while competition has certainly forced many major fests to diversify, artists in our scene are often massively underrepresented. Sure, events like Riot Fest and Skate And Surf have come along to compensate, and Warped Tour has been going strong since 1994, but it would be nice if more than just a handful of AP acts counted among the ranks of national festival lineups.
Last week, Coachella, one of the first high-profile festivals to announce its full lineup, came through with a bill that includes an unusually strong group of artists representative of our scene. Take a look at 11 of our favorite artists who infiltrated this year’s lineup.
Expected to release a new album this year, and becoming increasingly more active on the touring circuit, Brand New have popped up on festival bills in the past. Regardless, they’re one of the most anticipated acts of Coachella just by virtue of being included. It’s next to impossible to predict what they’ll play, but, if some concrete album news arrives before spring, we might finally get to hear some new material played live, rather than just the “new” old songs they resurrected for their most recent tour.
Drive Like Jehu
Coachella famously resurrected both At The Drive-In and Refused in recent years for reunion sets, and, while it might not be amassing quite the same level of hype, Drive Like Jehu’s inclusion has us just as thrilled. The seminal post-hardcore group came together last summer for the first time in 20 years to perform with the accompaniment of an outdoor pipe organ for what was expected to be a weird one-off. Hopefully Coachella will spark the itch for a full-on reunion, but even if this is the end of the road, the fact that Drive Like Jehu are on the bill at all is a bit surreal.
Anthony Green got a lot of buzz (and fulfilled plenty of fans’ dreams) last year when he embarked on a limited reunion run with his former band Saosin. While that was incredible to see (and seems like it could become an ongoing project) it’s great to see Green’s other beloved band, Circa Survive, making their Coachella debut one year after the frontman tested the waters at the west coast fest with a solo set.
Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness
A native of Southern California, it seems like a no-brainer to stick Andrew McMahon, who is currently celebrating the release of his debut solo full-length, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, on the bill. His pop accessibility makes him an easy sell, and he has a history with the fest, having performed in 2011 with his former band, Jack’s Mannequin.
Every festival needs a punk band, and legendary LA group Bad Religion will certainly fill that quota. Whether or not the hipster-leaning crowd of Coachella will appreciate their vast legacy remains to be seen, but the group’s presence definitely lends this year’s lineup some serious cred.
While Canadian songstress Lights didn’t exactly spring from the punk world, her early days on Warped Tour (and subsequent marriage to blessthefall’s Beau Bokan) helped make her a scene staple throughout her career. Boasting a genre-blurring synthpop sound, Lights might have the broadest Coachella crossover potential of any artist on this list.
Just a few months ago, Touché Amoré announced plans to take some well-deserved time off in 2015 (after playing more than 800 shows in six years). The Los Angeles group are apparently willing to make an exception for Coachella, however, so, if you want to get your Touche fix this year, this might be your only chance.
While they may seem like something of an unlikely addition (a statement which could apply to this entire list), Joyce Manor are certainly a welcome one, further beefing up the fest’s indie-punk cred. Fortunately, the barriers at an event like Coachella make stage-diving virtually impossible, so their performance should go off incident free.
Conor Oberst fronted post-hardcore act Desaparecidos have been quietly going strong since reuniting a few years back, releasing a string of singles and intermittently touring. Between Oberst’s “cool” factor, and the fact that they’re expected to release a sophomore album sometime in 2015, 13 years after their debut, Desaparecidos are definitely primed for this bill.
If Bad Religion are Coachella’s token punk band, then OFF! Shoulders the mantle of hardcore. The SoCal supergroup have been putting out nostalgic and turbocharged releases for the last five years, and their live show brings the dangerous and bombastic element that this lineup is lacking.
Missouri trio Radkey blend the fast-paced ‘70s punk flavor with more contemporary garage rock tendencies, making them pretty ideal candidates for the Coachella atmosphere. We’re hoping that when they break into “Start Freakin’ Out” from their recent Devil Fruit EP, a caravan of ambulances will drive up to the stage in response.
Coachella will take place April 10-12 and April 17-19, 2015 in Indio, California. Additional performers include Jack White, AC/DC, Run The Jewels, Interpol, Royal Blood, Swans, Ride and many more.