Coachella 2014: What to See, What to Skip

by Zach Kelly
As per tradition, the good folks at Coachella have waited until the last goddamn minute to post set times for their three-day music and arts festival taking place this weekend (and the next). With about 150 bands on the bill, it means you're probably scrambling to drum up a schedule right now that won't interfere with your chances of getting snapped for a fashion blog slideshow. But don't get your Brandy Melville cutoffs in a twist just yet, because we've gone ahead and done the leg work for you by assessing all the crucial must-sees, must-misses, and buzz-killing conflicts. So load the Jeep up with hula hoops, crack a Bud Light® Straw-Ber-Rita and get your Tinder profile pic just right, because you're heading to Indio.


3:20: Assuming you can knock off work early (which you probably can, what with the trust fund and all), head on over to the festival grounds to catch Aussie duo Jagwar Ma, who will be bringing their Mancunian-flavored early '90s dance rock to the Gobi tent. Granted, A$AP Ferg is at the Outdoor Theatre 20 minutes later (which would then give you a nice spot for one of the weekend's most buzzworthy acts, pop heartbreaker sister act HAIM), but it all depends on how keen you are on kicking off your weekend hearing "Shabba" live (Editor's Note: you're very keen on this).

6:15: If you've heard "Need U (100%)" (and if you haven't, what the fuck?), there's a good chance you'll be at the Yuma tent for UK house guy Duke Dumont's set. Pro: You'll avoid the hordes of teens checking out Ellie Goulding. Con: They have better weed than you.

8:45: You could stick around the Yuma tent for the recently-added Nicolas Jaar set, but his psyched-out side-project Darkside is playing the following evening, so do yourself a favor and go see the re-formed Replacements at the Outdoor Theatre at 8:45, so you'll be able to die happy having caught them in your lifetime.

9:15: Conventional wisdom suggests you go see Girl Talk's 9:40 set on the Coachella Stage, but christ, how many times have you seen that guy in the past eight years? Instead, go see Bryan Ferry at the Mojave tent, and pray that he plays his stunning, brand new Todd Terje collaboration "Johnny and Mary."

10:30: If you've seen even a second of footage from the Knife's Shaking the Habitual live show, you'll be over at the Outdoor Theatre for their batshit brand of electro performance art.

11:30: OutKast. Coachella Stage. Stank you very much.


2:55: Tonight's going to be an absolute conflict nightmare, so spend the morning relaxing and do some people-watching. There's probably a tent giving away free e-cigs, so get a bunch of those or whatever. Then be sure to head on over to catch Ty Segall's face-melting act at the Outdoor Theatre.

3:45: And so it begins. First, there's sultry LA songstress Banks at the Gobi, which will drag at least a decent percentage of the pretty people away from the too-hip synth-saviors Chvrches' Outdoor set at nearly the same time. Don't feel like watching cool people french? Then give London electronic pop outfit Bombay Bicycle Club a shot over at the Mojave.

7:05: Despite being one of the most satisfyingly irreverent acts both on stage and on record for the better part of a decade, people are finally starting to pick up on why Baltimore's Future Islands are so great. Thanks to their meme-generating landmark Letterman performance and a big SXSW, expect it to be packed.

7:55: And we go from "packed" to "crushingly claustrophobic" with Lorde at the Outdoor, one of the weekend's biggest draws. You're probably better off catching Solange over at the Gobi to be honest, but who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and our favorite Kiwi teenager will say some more uninformed shit about rap music.

9:40: If you read the fine print, the purchase of a Coachella weekend pass requires that you go see Queens of the Stone Age on the Coachella Stage.

10:35: If you can stand to hear "Happy" even one more time, go see Pharrell (maybe he'll do "Move That Dope"!), but if not, you have your options. Turn up function: Skrillex in the Sahara tent. Turn Down function: Darkside in the Gobi.

12:00: Help Nas celebrate Illmatic's 20th anniversary at the Outdoor.


12:40: Long day ahead here folks, so get limber with UK beat abstracts Factory Floor at the Gobi, then promptly hit the Fruttare Hangout for a popsicle (coconut, duh).

2:50: Though it might be tempting to quirk-out with Aussie singer songwriter Courtney Barnett in the Gobi, you're going to want to go put one in the air with of-the-moment MC Chance the Rapper on the Coachella Stage.

3:35: If you were one of the people who slept on LA dance act Classixx's excellent debut Hanging Gardens last year don't make that same mistake again by missing them in the Mojave. And no, you won't be judged for sneaking out early for the 1975's brand of leather-jacketed pretty boy pop-rock at the Outdoor.

5:15: Hang around the Outdoor for Blood Orange's brilliant low-key funk.

7:30: Aw, what the hell. Go get your millennial on with Calvin Harris for a hot second on the Coachella Stage.

8:15: Protest if you must, but given her recent output of material in advance of her sophomore album Ultraviolence, it's finally time for a serious reassessment of Lana Del Rey. You can repent accordingly at the Outdoor.

9:35: OK, you're wiped out. But tough shit, because English house phenoms Guy and Howard Lawrence, a.k.a. Disclosure, are going to bring the fucking party. Though your uncle will be disappointed you skipped Arcade Fire, and your other uncle will be disappointed you skipped Motörhead, it'll be hard to pull yourself away from this one. If you have any gas left in the tank, check out A-Trak and Armand Van Helden's everything-but-the-kitchen-sink dance project Duck Sauce in the Sahara at 10:25. Unless, of course, you have to be at work the next morning. Which you don't, because, y'know, that trust fund.

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