Tuesday, April 10, 2012

McQ's Coachella 2012 Preview - Sunday Day 3

As was the case in 2011, Sunday is the edgiest day of 2012 and also the hardest day to gauge.  Overflowing with rap, electronic, and experimental acts, expect Sunday evening's crowds to thin considerably as the indie rock lovers bolt after Florence & The Machine's and Beirut's likely 7ish mainstage/Outdoor Theater sets, leaving a final four hours designed exclusively for ravers, hip hoppers and lovers of 90s aggression.

Of course, Goldenvoice could alter this by throwing one of the days huge rocks draws...say the Hives, Wild Beasts, or Wild Flag...at the end of the day as a counter program to Dr. Dre/Snoop, but my guess is this will not happen, as the festival has clearly spent a ton of money on the Dre/Snoop show and will likely clear the other stages save for the Sahara and one or two "low on the undercard" victims in the smaller tents.

Otherwise, Sunday is grazer's paradise, full of  intriguing artists, but few I'd classify as "must sees."  So relax, wind down, and let your feet take you wherever your ears suggest.

Finally, the festival is just three days away and set times will hopefully come out tonight, so not sure I'm going to get a chance to profile all of Sunday's main artists...but let's get started and see how many we can hit nonetheless.


1) Dr. Dre & Snoop Dog - A huge, huge get, it's been more than a decade since these two have performed together in any extended capacity, and rumors floating around the set's conclusion are rampant - from a likely Eminem cameo to $250,000 spent for a holographic recreation of Tupac Shakur that will join the others on stage. Regardless of what pans out, it's likely this was Goldenvoice's most costly, McCartney/Prince-level booking of the entire festival (though I'm sure Radiohead didn't come cheap), so definitely worth catching at least some of.  I know I'm in for the duration unless we get a Wild Beasts, Hives, or Greg Ginn counter program.  Three caveats.  1) Not that this will be much of an issue for a Coachella crowd, but if you are unfamiliar with Dre's body of work, and also easily offended, skip this set. Dre is one of raps all-time great beat makers, and the show should be one awesome chill groove after another, but he is, or at least was back in his day, as "Gangster" as they come.  The lyrics for this set will be full of extremely coarse, violent and highly misogynistic content.  2) I'd bet even money Snoop and Dre will come on late, so don't waste time you could be seeing other great artists waiting for these two to take the stage, instead, just keep an eye/ear out for the mainstage cheers when they do come on and then race over. 3) My guess is this show, ala the Cure, Prince, and McCartney, will also run way late...don't think you'll be getting out of this one at 12 as listed on the schedule...Goldenvoice has too much money invested in this one, they will pay the "past end time" community fines here and let Snoop & Dre go as long as they want to go.  My bet is this set ends around 1 AM.

2) Greg Ginn & The Royal We - A founding member of Black Flag, and a decade's long roving artist with a massive, incredibly eclectic back catalog, Ginn is punk rock royalty, one of the genre's greatest guitarists.  In his latest incarnation with the Royal We, he's been dabbling in heavy integration of electronic elements, so expect this to be a very experimental set rather than a raw punk show, but it could end up being one of the most unique sets of the weekend.  I'd also anticipate him going on very late in one of the tents, quite possibly against Snoop & Dr. Dre.

3) At The Drive In - Known more now as the band that spawned the Mars Volta, this is the group's first time performing together in a long, long while. Given the festival's deep roots in 90s alternative rock, this is one of this year's most buzzed about reunions, but I've never cared much for the band's grating vocals and spastic, riff heavy, Rage Against The Machine-lite sound.  So enjoy them, those who are going, it's sure to be a high energy, hard rocking show, but my guess is I'll be somewhere else...especially if they're going against The Weeknd.

4) Company Flow - Another very intriguing rap get, Company Flow was a highly influential mid-90s rap act out of New York that only put out one classic album, Funcrusher Plus, but seemed to open up new possibilities with it's moodier, experimental beats.  Also interracial, it features one of rap's first legitimate white MC's in El-P.

5) Sean Kuti & Egypt 80 - Afro-pop king Fela Kuti's son Sean takes the stage with member's from his father's original band in what's sure to be one of the liveliest, funkiest sets of the entire weekend. If the schedule breaks for you, this is one act that may not be on your radar that is absolutely worth checking out.

6) DJ Shadow - Probably should have just put DJ Shadow in the Returning Favs section, but it's now been well over a decade since he released all time classic Endtroducing, one of the most influential electronic/instrumental hip-hop albums ever, now rate amongst the top 100 rock releases of all time.  An  artist known for his brilliant integration of vinyl samples, he's also touring presently with one of the most exciting light shows in a genre renown for its exciting light shows. If you catch one electronic artist all weekend, you'd be hard pressed to find a better one than DJ Shadow.

For a Spotify! Playlist of Sunday's Reunion's & Past Masters, click here!

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