Our Top Ten Must See Coachella Acts
Sacred Exile's Top Ten Must See Bands at Coachella
By: Brandon Sims
With this weekend's festivities in the Coachella Valley being only days away, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to provide our list of 10 artists attendees should be looking forward to checking out. While the flashy names at the top of the card are all but guaranteed to put on spectacular performances in their own right (Beyonce has reportedly hired 100 dancers for her headlining slot), this list provides a broad range of notoriety between the artists.
What follows is an eclectic mix of talented musicians, singers, songwriters, studio junkies, and everything in between and beyond.
Take a peak, you might just find something you like.
10. Tom Misch
While he may not be a household name, Tom Misch is someone that should be on everyone’s radar heading into the weekend. Tom is a singer/songwriter who released his debut album, Geography, on April 6th of this year. The album is a mostly self-produced deep musical exploration that takes you into the mind and soul of a musician who’s been passionately writing music for the better part of the last decade. He began releasing music through Soundcloud in 2011 before smoothly transitioning to a more stylized R&B style once he realized his voice was strong enough to build a legitimate following.
Much like his friend FKJ, Tom plays a plethora of instruments and is a quality producer who can most often be found working away in the studio. His style can be summed up as funky R&B with soulful lyrics that sometimes are reminiscent of a young Calvin Harris. His live performance over the Coachella weekend will be one that any music fan can enjoy, regardless of their typically preferred genre.
Set Time: Saturday @ 10:10 pm - 10:55 pm (Gobi Stage)
9. Fleet Foxes
It’s been 10 years since Robin Pecknold and the legendary indie-folk band Fleet Foxes released their self-titled debut album that thrust them into the limelight. Buoyed by Pecknold’s spectacular vocal range and emotional weight, Fleet Foxes have slowly and meticulously released two more albums in the last decade (Helplessness Blues, Crack-Up). A year ago, the band released Crack-Up, which saw the band refine their sound, while unexpectedly throwing in more raw, aggressive emotion into their instrumentation.
With such thoughtfulness and precision in their output, Fleet Foxes have crafted a sound that was built to be played on an outdoor stage with a beautiful backdrop. Specifically, Pecknold’s quintessential indie-folk vocal ability is enough to bring tears to your eyes during a music festival. Not only will their performance give you a unique introspective perspective in such a loud, over-stimulating environment, but will give you a special pause to reset your mind, body, and soul.
Such serene, impactful, and distinct music should not be missed, and Coachella is the perfect backdrop to witness their impassioned and powerful sound.
Set Time: Saturdays @ 8:40pm - (Outdoor Theatre)
8. Marvel Years
For fans of artists like Pretty Lights, Griz, Gramatik, and The Funk Hunters, Marvel Years is guaranteed to put on one of the best performances of the weekend. His future-funk style is jam-packed with unique sounds that come together to create a form of production that carries with it high energy vibes that are designed to keep the audience dancing all night long. With funky, bass-heavy remixes of classic rock artists like Crosby, Stills & Nash, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and so many more, Marvel Years music is sure to resonate with the Coachella crowd. DO NOT MISS THIS LIVE PERFORMANCE.
Set Time: *Currently Unlisted*
7. Benjamin Booker
If you’re going to Coachella looking to enjoy some bluesy rock n’ roll tunes then Benjamin Booker is a performance you don’t want to miss. His style has been described by many major publications as something along the lines of soulful blues with a raw garage-rock edge. The 28-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist has been touring since he released his self-titled debut album in 2013. His second album, Witness, came out during the summer of 2017 and was welcomed with similar widespread praise for his ability to freshen a beloved classic sound. The album debuted in the top 10 of Billboard's Alternative Albums and Independent Albums charts. In 2014, Rolling Stone included Benjamin Booker as one of their “Top 10 Artists You Need to Know.”
Booker is no stranger to credible festival stages, as the Virginia-native has spent time on tour with fellow rockers Jack White and Courtney Barnett, and has been seen front and center at major events like FYF Fest, the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Lollapalooza, to name a few.
Set Time: Saturdays @ 7:50 pm - 8:35 pm (Gobi Stage)
6. Greta Van Fleet
As one of the more intriguing sets of the weekend, Greta Van Fleet is sure to make a lot of new fans at the festival, but they may also turn off many hardcore rock n’ roll fans in the process. As far as we can tell, the debate on whether this band sounds too much like Led Zeppelin has not exactly died down over the last year. One thing is for sure though - this brand oozes talent. The quartet of recent high school grads has recently taken the world by storm after releasing two solid EPs within 6 months of each other. Robert Plant himself commented on the group’s singer, saying in a radio interview “Is that the guy from Detroit? He’s pretty good. There’s a job somewhere for him.” With a public nod from one of the most legendary singers of all time, as well as taking part in notable performances like joining Elton John on stage to perform Saturday Night’s Alright at his Academy Awards afterparty, the young and talented group have the opportunity to show the world exactly what Greta Van Fleet brings to the table at their biggest performance to date.
Set Time: Fridays @ 4:45 pm - 5:35 pm (Mojave Stage)
Not enough words can be said about the electronic duo who joined forces shortly before the end of their stint at Western Washington University in 2012. Since then the group known as ODESZA has been headlining festivals across the globe while releasing a number of chart-topping tracks. Over that time, they have produced three glorious studio albums which have earned them the respect of not only music fans everywhere but also significant notoriety from their peers.
ODESZA's track, Say My Name, was nominated for Best Remixed Recording - Non-Classical at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, and the duo's third studio album, A Moment Apart was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Additionally, their single "Line of Sight" featuring WYNNE & Mansionair was nominated for Best Dance Recording. The album also reached #3 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the Top Electronic/Dance Albums Chart. In March 2018, Billboard named ODESZA as number ten on their 2018 ranking of dance musicians titled Billboard Dance 100.
Set Times: Sundays @ 8:40 pm - 9:40 pm (Coachella Stage)
If there is one artist who is most definitely going to get this desert party poppin’ over the next two weeks, you can expect that to be Troyboi. The 30-year-old, London-born trap lord is known for his unique style that blends all the best elements of trap, hip-hop, house, pop, and influences from a collection of middle-eastern sounds. With notable collaborations with artists like Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliot, Flosstradamus, Diplo, Nina Sky, and Ice Cube, to name a few, Troyboi has been steadily building a catalog of original music that is guaranteed to steal the show at any major festival. If you’re looking to let loose to some of the filthiest beats you will ever hear, then do not skip out on his set on Friday of both weekends.
Set Times: Friday @ 9:05 pm - 10:00 pm (Sahara Stage)
Snakehips is best known for their 2015 hit collaboration with Chance The Rapper and Tinashe, but the British producer duo, consisting of Oliver Lee and James Carter, has been releasing quality music since 2012. Their style provides for an eclectic mix of electronic, hip-hop, r&b and classic pop sounds. The two longtime friends are masters in the studio who often use collaborations with talented vocalists to push their production to the next level. With songs that feature artists like Joey Badass, Zayn, Mø, and so many more, Snakehips’ Coachella performance will make for a soulful, electric, r&b infused dance party in the middle of the Coachella Valley.
Set Times: Saturdays @ 6:05 pm - 7:05 pm (Sahara Stage)
Solána Imani Rowe is one of the most unique and special talents that have come along in quite some time. Last year, the American R&B artist known as SZA released one of the best debut albums of the last decade. The album, titled Ctrl, was nominated for 5 Grammys in 2018, but was unfortunately snubbed in all relevant categories. SZA began writing songs for other artists including Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna. Her style has been described as anything ranging from pop to soul, to R&B, hip-hop, and anything in between. In the weeks following Coachella, she is set to hit the road as a member of the Championship Tour, alongside Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, SiR, and Lance Skiiiwalker. With so many industry heavyweights in her corner, it should be interesting to see what kind of stops she pulls out for her first Coachella performance.
Set Times: Fridays @ 9:55 pm - 10:45 pm (Coachella Stage)
1. The War on Drugs
Without a doubt, the number one must see performance at Coachella this year is the Phili-based Americana-rock band, The War on Drugs. If you haven’t become acquainted with this band yet, become acquainted. The group is in the midst of the most prolific year of their 13 active years as a band. Having won a Grammy just this past January for Best Rock Album, The War on Drugs have been critically-acclaimed for their masterful songwriting and sensational musical talent. As a band whose average track length is around 7 minutes, the live performance by the sextet should be an unforgettable spectacle that all music fans can enjoy.
Set Time: Fridays @ 7:30 pm - 8:25 pm (Outdoor Theatre)