Empire Polo Club

Coachella 2023 Recap

I returned from the desert about a week ago and I’m currently in that post-chella withdrawal mode. I’m constantly looking at pictures and videos from my time there while thinking about all the things that happened both good and bad. Even though this year wasn’t one of my all time favorite Coachellas, it was still the best month of the year. There were plenty of surprises, from the special Blink-182 appearances to Frank Ocean dropping out of Weekend 2 and being replaced by “TBA” aka Skrillex, Fred again…, and Four Tet. I didn’t get to see everything I hoped to see which was expected given that most things I wanted to see were on Friday.

I watched the livestream for sets from Yungblud, Blondie, MUNA, Wet Leg, and Blink-182 W1 on the Fridays that I was still working. When Blink announced, I expected it to be much the same as Arcade Fire in 2022, playing W1 on Friday only. To my surprise, Blink-182 was part of the Frank Ocean Sunday W2 replacement, so for the first time in my life I saw Blink-182 live. I messed up the set times W2 and missed the Two Friends set I wanted to see. I did get to see Gorillaz W1 though. I also went with a few people to see Metro Boomin W2, which was probably my least favorite Coachella set.

On Saturday, I saw boygenius and Calvin Harris both weekends. Both were such solid sets. I enjoyed a few afternoon Saturday sets as well, like ones from Horsegirl and Scowl. I discovered I needed to check out Snail Mail after walking by their W2 set. I also spent a little time each full day I was onsite at the Despacio tent. It was really one of the underrated features of Coachella 2023 and I always wanted to be in there watching James Murphy spin vinyl as the clearest, most perfect sound amplified from the McIntosh towers. I saw Chromeo W2, Elderbrook W1, The Kid Laroi W1 (and some major ketchup stains as a result…IYKYK), and a little of BLACKPINK both weekends.

Sunday brought Big Wild W1, Dominic Fike W1, Porter Robinson W2, Alex G W1 with a special appearance from Halsey in the crowd vibing to every song, LP Giobbi W2 with my favorite festival friend, the Danimal, and Jai Wolf W2. I saw a couple songs from Knocked Loose W1, which was one of the most insane sets I’ve ever seen at Coachella, especially in Sonora. I saw the beginning of Frank Ocean W1. It dragged so much that we decided to leave early. Then of course the music highlight of the entire festival was seeing Blink-182 into Skrillex, Fred again…, and Four Tet Sunday night of Weekend 2. The “OMG TBA” set was one of the best sets I’ve ever seen at Coachella and by far the best electronic set. It’s definitely going down in the history of Coachella performances. The trio turned the entirety of the polo fields into a massive Sahara rave from playing their set in the depths of the crowd on an unused Frank Ocean ice rink. A little under two days ago the full set was uploaded to Youtube and has already amassed over half a million views. I’m one of those as I had to watch it again. It was such a cool experience. I didn’t want to miss a second of it and I was already hyped from the Blink-182 performance.

Additionally in personal news, this past year culminated my 5th year working Coachella and I celebrated by getting a post Weekend 2 Coachella themed tattoo, as Coachella was the place where I came to the realization that I wanted to work in live music and help put on festivals. Two years after that moment, I worked my first Coachella, and now here I am, with 4 more under my belt. It’s truly my favorite month of the year and my favorite place to be even after all this time. I mean, whoever reads this knows that too. I barely blog much anymore, but as soon as that lineup drops in January, I’ve kept up with my weekly Coachella previews. I’ve done it since 2015, the year I attended and decided that the music industry was for me. It matters so much to me and I hope you can all see that even just from this, if not from how much I talk about Coachella and hype it up.

I’m not sure what Coachella 2024 will bring, but I know I’m already excited for it and ready for another magical two weeks on the polo fields. Until then, we take in the rest of what this year will bring and anticipate the next lineup drop! Honestly, with the way I feel about Coachella, Blink-182 says it best, “Let’s make this last forever. Forever and ever. Let’s make this last forever.”

Coachella Band Preview: MK

Finally, we’ve made it to Coachella 2023 festival week! Weekend 1 is just a few days away and I’m hard at work on another year of Safari Check-In. I’m sure we’ll have set times very soon as they usually drop the week of the festival. Soon you’ll be able to make your plans on who to see. I’m just hoping I’ll get to see some of the many Friday acts I like as I’m only able to see those that play in the evening. The last two years the lineups have worked out for me with a lack of Friday acts I wanted to catch. This year the tables have turned. Many acts I would like to see play Friday. I have one more artist preview for you to binge listen to this week first though. It’s Detroit electronic artist MK.

MK, otherwise known as Marc Kinchen, has been producing electronic and club music since the 90’s. Two of his earliest hits were “Always” and “Love Changes” which hit number one on Billboard’s Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. He’s also produced music for many other artists through the years in addition to his own music. Those artists include Pitbull, Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Mary J. Blige, and even Beyoncé. His style of music is mostly house and deep house, but also include elements of pop, R&B, and dance music which is similar to that of many electronic artists these days that make mainstream music, which makes me think his set will be a good time. I’ve listened to him here and there for a few years now during my work outs and his songs always fuel my energy.

MK last played Coachella in 2015. That year he played in the Yuma tent. I’m not sure if he’ll be at Yuma this year or maybe at Sahara. If he does play Sahara I expect an early afternoon set. My Yuma prediction is late afternoon-early evening. We’re probably only hours away from knowing set times anyway. Here’s a few to binge listen to before then:

  1. 17
  2. Piece of Me (ft. Becky Hill)
  3. Look Right Through
  4. Love Changes
  5. Always
  6. One Night (ft. Raphaella & Sonny Fodera)
  7. Back & Forth (ft. Jonas Blue & Becky Hill)
  8. Better (ft. Teddy Swims)
  9. 2AM (ft. Carla Monroe)
  10. Chemical

Well after a year of waiting and three months since the lineup drop, it’s finally time for the rest of you to get out here! The vibes are just as good as every year. I’ve always said to live every Coachella like it’s your first Coachella (and last after the long wait between 2019 and 2022). The atmosphere here makes it easy. The campgrounds open in 3 days and I’m hard at work getting ready for that moment since my job surrounds getting people checked-in and ready for the weekend. I can’t believe this is my job! It’s really the coolest and most fun at my favorite festival. I hope you all have the best weekend because I know I will! There’s just no bad vibes at Coachella. Enjoy the music, the people, the atmosphere, and have the best time! Happy Coachella!

Coachella Band Preview: Despacio

We’re currently less than a month away until Coachella 2023 Weekend 1. I already have friends out in Indio working on the build of the festival, which means that you should be preparing accordingly too. I hope you’ve gotten your wristbands, your travel and accommodations are booked, your outfits are picked out, and your favorite artists on repeat to the point that you know all the songs and are ready to sing along and dance your ass off on the polo fields. This week the act I wanted to review is probably the toughest to prepare for because the only thing you can guarantee you’ll get is an incredible dance party.

Despacio, which is the spanish word for “slowly,” is a side project created by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, audio engineer John Klett, and Soulwax’s/2manydjs’ David and Stephen Dewaele. The name isn’t really the name of the group as much as it is the name of the soundsystem used to create a one-of-a-kind listening experience. The 7 stack McIntosh soundsystem uses 50,000 watts of sound all while Murphy and the Dewaele brothers spin vinyl for hours on end. It’s a club experience like no other that first debuted in 2013 and has been popping up at festivals and on tours ever since. This won’t be the first time Despacio makes a Coachella appearance, as it first appeared for an “all weekend long” run at the festival in 2016. There was even a special tent created specifically for the Despacio experience, which I expect will be similar this year.

That being said you’re basically getting club style dance music. There’s not really any specific songs you can listen to in preparation. Just get your stretches in and prepare to move your body. As an LCD Soundsystem fan, who was a bit disappointed LCD didn’t make the lineup after hearing some rumors, I’m excited to experience this James Murphy project. I’ve heard of it and yet never have been able to experience it in person, so I plan to during my month stay in the desert. If you really want to get into the club vibe, spend a little time listening to LCD Soundsystem, Soulwax, or 2manydjs. 2manydjs are playing the festival anyway so it would serve as a dual purpose if you’re trying to catch their set. Otherwise practice those dance moves and keep listening to your other favorite Coachella 2023 artists this week, because we’re nearing the finish line of waiting. 4 weeks til Coachella!

Coachella Band Preview: boygenius

Another week of winter down means another weak closer to the desert days that lie ahead. By now I hope your Coachella preparations are coming along accordingly and you’re as head first into the music as I am. Last year we were preparing for Phoebe Bridgers to play a big set on Friday night of the festival and this year we’re preparing to watch her play again. This time though it’s on Saturday night and it’s with two other talented ladies by the names of Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus. Together they are boygenius.

The indie rock supergroup formed in 2018 after being in each other’s friend circles for a while and wanting to create an epic band together. Once deciding to come together, they created their self-titled debut EP in a matter of days. It was released in October 2018 and the band toured in support of it across the US. Their highly acclaimed EP was even named the 12th best album of 2018 by NPR Music and reached the number 3 spot on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. Through the next 5 years the group collaborated on other projects, but recently announced their debut album will drop in March, just in time for their Coachella debut.

While Coachella has been lacking rock artists in recent years, boygenius truly checks off the boxes for indie rock. Their style mixes indie rock and indie folk. They recently released 3 new songs from their debut album that I hope everyone has been listening to in preparation for their Saturday night set. Coachella will mark the group’s first festival appearance ever. I expect they’ll be playing the main stage before BLACKPINK comes on. It’ll either be that or a headliner overlap at Outdoor Theatre. I’m sure you’ll want to binge listen to the entire boygenius album once it drops in March, but in the mean time, here’s the songs you need to know:

  1. Emily I’m Sorry
  2. Souvenir
  3. Me & My Dog
  4. Bite the Hand
  5. $20
  6. True Blue
  7. Salt in the Wound
  8. Ketchum ID
  9. Stay Down
  10. I Know the End (Phoebe Bridgers song that Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus are both featured on)

Coachella Band Preview: Elderbrook

We’re midway through February and there’s officially 2 months til Coachella! I’m back in Mexico finishing up the second round of work down here for the winter, but as usual all I can think about is Coachella, especially now that I’m officially locked in for the festival and have my flights booked! This week I’m taking a look at a British electronic artist known as Elderbrook.

Alexander Kotz, also known as Elderbrook, began his music career in 2015. He released his first EP that year too. In his almost 8 years in existence, he’s collaborated with many artists and remixed plenty of songs as well. His most notable song, “Cola,” is a collab with CamelPhat. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Dance Song in 2018 and topped music charts in both the U.S. and the UK. His music style has a deep house vibe, but also incorporates sounds from different genres of music, including indie pop, country, soul and gospel amongst others. He reminds me of Gryffin in a way as he incorporates both guitar and piano into his sets. He’s classically trained in both. In my opinion, there’s nothing cooler than an electronic artists who also adds instruments to their shows.

I’ve never had the opportunity to see Elderbrook perform since being introduced to him in late 2018. His song “Talking” was what got me interested and I’ve been listening to his releases ever since. If there’s anyone who I’m most interested in seeing this year on the polo fields, it’s him. His music is so vibey and chill. I’m honestly hoping he plays an early evening set at Sahara. His style just feels right for the night time. He plays Saturday. Historically, I’ve always found Saturday to be stacked with artists I want to see, but this year it’s not the case. I’ll definitely be checking him out. Catch me at his set enjoying all these songs:

  1. Cola
  2. Talking
  3. Numb
  4. Back to My Bed
  5. Something About You
  6. Feels Like A Sunday
  7. Inner Light
  8. I’ll Find My Way To You
  9. Howl
  10. Beautiful Morning

Coachella 2023 Lineup Review

10 days into January and the Coachella lineup has dropped. After balloons in the sky showed up in LA and NY and Coachella billboards popped up in cities worldwide last week, we knew the drop was coming at any moment. Shortly after 3 PM EST/12 PM PST yesterday, the 2023 Coachella lineup dropped. At the moment of the release, I was about to start a team meeting and I dropped to my knee with joy exclaiming, “The Coachella lineup just dropped!” I can’t say I remember much from our meeting as I was distracted the entire time. I also can’t say I’m surprised or impressed with this year’s mix of artists.

I feel like every year since I’ve started this blog has been an ongoing trend of the lineup getting worse and worse. This year feels like it takes the trash cake for me. For the first time since I started being interested in Coachella, there’s no standout act for me. There’s no top artist. It’s just a handful of artists I barely listen to. I could go on about it generally or talk about it in depth so here it is, the Coachella 2023 Lineup:

The Headliners: Bad Bunny, BLACKPINK, Frank Ocean, Calvin Harris

The true headliners based on the poster are Bad Bunny, BLACKPINK, and Frank Ocean. I included Calvin Harris based on his solo poster spot because we all know he’s going to be a headliner. Frank Ocean was scheduled to play in 2020 and of course the covo ruined it all. In the months that followed the inevitable 2020 cancellation, news of Frank skipping 2022 and playing 2023 circulated. Frank Ocean last played Coachella in 2012 so his highly anticipated return is very overdue. Calvin Harris was also scheduled to play 2020 as the first name under Friday night headliner Rage Against the Machine. His last time playing the festival was 2016. Meanwhile both Bad Bunny and BLACKPINK played in 2019 as highly billed acts with BLACKPINK playing an 8:00 p.m. set at Sahara on Friday night and Bad Bunny playing the main stage at sunset Sunday. These headlining performances for both acts will mark Coachella firsts as BLACKPINK will be the first K-pop group to headline the festival and Bad Bunny will be the first Latin artist to headline.

Am I excited? Not really. If I see anyone, it’ll be Calvin Harris. I don’t know a single song by any of the other artists. I’m not into Latin music. I may or may not enjoy some K-pop because I had a friend obsessed with BTS a few years ago and Frank Ocean just hasn’t ever hit for me. However, I might give him a second chance because he doesn’t often perform. Generally though, I’m disappointed with this selection, but it seems to be what’s in right now and Coachella has always set the bar with that.

The Other Highly Billed Performers: Despacio, Gorillaz, Burna Boy, the Chemical Brothers, Kaytranada, Blondie, Becky G, Metro Boomin, FKJ, Pusha T, Tobe Nwigwe, Wet Leg, SG Lewis, Yves Tumor, the Garden, TESTPILOT, Angèle, MUNA, Maceo Plex, ROSALÍA, Eric Pyrdz presents HOLO, boygenius, $uicideboy$, the Kid LAROI, Charli XCX, Labrinth, Underworld, Diljit Dosanjh, Eladio Carrión, SOFI TUKKER, Remi Wolf, Chromeo, Tale Of Us, Yung Lean, Mura Masa, Yaeji, 070 Shake, Björk, Kali Uchis, Porter Robinson, Fisher + Chris Lake, A Boogie, Dominic Fike, Jai Paul, Jackson Wang, Latto, the Blaze, Willow, GloRilla, Jai Wolf, Boris Brejcha, 2manydjs, Christine and the Queens, Rae Sremmurd

This mix of big names is where you’ll find all the legacy acts with names like the Chemical Brothers, who last played in 1999, the first year of the festival, Blondie, and Björk, who was the first female artist to headline Coachella. There’s a few names in this list that I listen to occasionally who I plan to check out at the festival. I can’t help but be excited about this small group of legendary artists, but I can’t hype myself too much because Blondie and the Chemical Brothers both play Friday night and I work until 8 p.m. From this list, I’m most excited that LCD Soundsystem frontman, James Murphy, will be playing with his side project Despacio all weekend according to the poster. Another notable from this mix for me is indie rock supergroup, boygenius, composed of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus. They don’t often perform together so this should be a special one in Indio. Alternative rock band Gorillaz, who last played the festival when they headlined in 2010, will be fun to check out as well. I’ll also probably want to check out Wet Leg, MUNA, Chromeo, Remi Wolf, Porter Robinson, and Jai Wolf if I get the chance too. I’m sure I’ll discover other indie/alternative rock or electronic artists to listen to in this mix but for now, these are the names that stick out.

The Undercards: Two Friends, YUNGBLUD, Jamie Jones, Ashnikko, Malaa, TV Girl, Whyte Fang, Doechii, BENEE, Idris Elba, Magdalena Bay, Vintage Culture, Domi & JD Beck, Dombresky, DannyLux, Nora En Pure, Overmono, Uncle Waffles, ¿Téo?, Mochakk, Gabriels, Saba, Dennis Cruz + PAWSA, Soul Glo, Lava La Rue, Sleaford Mods, the Comet is Coming, Oliver Koletzki, Kyle Watson, the Murder Capital, Chris Stussy, Jupiter & Okwess, Lewis OfMan, Juliet Mendoza, Desert Cahuilla Bird Singers, Marc Rebillet, Hiatus Kaiyote, Dinner Party, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Elderbrook, Kenny Beats, Flo Milli, Keinemusik, Snail Mail, Rebelution, Hot Since 82, EARTHGANG, UMI, Shenseea, the Breeders, Monolink, Ethel Cain, Bakar, Donavan’s Yard, the Linda Lindas, Sunset Rollercoaster, NIA ARCHIVES, Jan Blomqvist, DRAMA, WhoMadeWho, Destroy Boys, Elyanna, DJ Tennis, Carlita, AG Club, Mathame, BRATTY, Horsegirl, Colyn, Chloé Caillet, Scowl, Francis Mercier, Weyes Blood, Alex G, DPR LIVE + DPR IAN, Stick Figure, Adam Beyer, Big Wild, MK, Cannons, Romy, Gordo, Fousheé, Noname, Sasha & John Digweed, Sudan Archives, Knocked Loose, Camelphat, IDK, Sasha Alex Sloan, Mareux, 1999.ODDS, Pi’erre Bourne, Cassian, Joy Crookes, TSHA, El Michels Affair, Paris Texas, LP Giobbi, Momma, Ali Sethi, Minus the Light, Los Bitchos, Conexión Divina, Airrica

The undercards this year have a handful of names I’d like to see, such as YUNGBLUD, who was scheduled to play in 2020. I missed him at ACL this past fall and I like a few of his songs so I would love to check out his Coachella set. I’ve listened to electronic artists, Two Friends, here and there as well and hope I can catch their performance. However, it’s another Friday set and everything Friday will be TBD for me until the set times get released. I think out of all the artists playing this year I actually listen to Elderbrook the most. I’ll likely want to check out Alex G too. I started getting in to him in anticipation of his 2020 appearance, but that was short lived. Big Wild, MK, and Sasha Alex Sloan are a few other artists I’d like to catch as well.

Coachella has always been ahead of the game when it comes to new music and pushing a multitude of genres. Unfortunately for me, the kind of music I listen to isn’t what’s hot these days. Like I’ve mentioned in years past, Coachella has become a place of music discovery for me. I wish I could hear a ton of bands I already love and listen to, but this does help me stay fresh. I usually have a few acts that I love. This year though Paul missed the mark for me. I’m still incredibly excited. Even when the lineup isn’t great, it’s still great. It’s Coachella. It can’t be bad. The vibes are always immaculate. There will be surprises, guest appearances, and celebs for days. I think the fashion faded away from flower crowns, but we’ll certainly see the finest in festival fashion come April. I can’t wait to be out there. Until then, look forward to weekly blog posts previewing all these bands I just mentioned. Happy Coachella season everyone! Let’s get back to the desert!

Coachella 2022 Re-Cap

Well…I’m back. We did it. Coachella happened and it was as normal as could be. I look back on my time there over the last 4 weeks and feel so grateful for all of it. It’s still as magical as ever. I realized during Coachella how I can be alone on the polo fields and never feel lonely. There’s always something to see and do there. I feel like a lot of festivals are like this, but with Coachella there’s just a comfort for me that doesn’t always exist in other places. The art was great. The fashion was back. The vibes were immaculate and the music was unforgettable. So here’s what I was able to see over the two weekends….

The hype for Weekend 1 lasted from the weekend before I arrived until Day 1 Weekend 1. It was a little chaotic at times on the work front because we had a lack of staff, but my pals and I stepped up to make it work and the team that I did have was amazing. The biggest surprise of Weekend 1 came when the set times were released on Thursday and Arcade Fire was listed for a 6:45 p.m. set at Mojave. I couldn’t even believe it was real! So yes Arcade Fire played Weekend 1 and I missed it because I wasn’t onsite until 8:30 p.m. The “livestream” didn’t air the set until 9 p.m either, when I was vibing at the festival. It was okay though! I was able to see Phoebe Bridgers and Harry Styles including the Shania Twain appearance. I missed Bishop Briggs and Lost Kings as I expected due to the early set times. Lane 8 overlapped Harry Styles so that became a Weekend 2 set for me as the Danimal and I saw the beginning of Lane 8, hopped over to Harry to see who he would bring out (Lizzo!!!), and then returned to see the end of the Lane 8 set.

The music I wanted to see on Saturday was abundant. Saturday Weekend 1 began with seeing Beach Goons with Hailey before she started her shift and then followed up with Wallows on Outdoor at 4 p.m. and Emo Nite at Sahara right after Wallows. There was a bit of overlap between the two but I couldn’t bring myself to leave Wallows. I’m now very into the band with the kid from 13 Reasons Why (he should quit acting and just do music in my opinion now) and am already making plans to see their Philly show in June. They were too good live. After they ended though, I met up with some friends at Emo Nite. It was extremely cool to see the masses singing along to all the emo classics. Tom Higgenson from Plain White T’s made an appearance to play “Hey There Delilah,” which earned a huge sing along from the crowd. My plan was to see girl in red after Emo Nite but I needed to return back to the Safari home base to start on some work for Weekend 2. Girl in red became my Weekend 2 priority and it was one of my favorites after going back to back with Wallows again with the Danimal. Yes, I also decided to see Wallows again Weekend 2. Again I am now VERY into them. L’Imperatrice was another Weekend 2 set for me (super fun and full of dancing) after a recommendation from my buddy Noah. I also caught the Jacoby Shaddix from Papa Roach appearance at Emo Nite Weekend 2 and heard him sing “Last Resort.”

I needed to see Turnstile Weekend 1 as I had to meet up with my long time friend Chelsea to see one set as we usually do. It was Turnover in 2019 and Turnstile in 2022. Hailey also joined halfway through the set and so did my friend Lexi. It was definitely full of hardcore tunes and plenty of moshing. I saw the end of Disclosure both weekends with a little more of the set during Weekend 2. I definitely danced along to “Latch” twice though. I saw Flume both weekends as well, but my highlight of Flume came during Weekend 1 when I saw Dave Bayley aka Wavey Davey from Glass Animals hanging out in the viewing area. Hailey went over to him to say hey and he ended up telling her they were there to make an appearance during Denzel Curry’s set the next day. At that point, my Weekend 1 Sunday night plans changed from Jamie xx to Denzel Curry because Glass Animals are everything.

Late Saturday night I saw Hot Chip Weekend 1 and most of Billie Eilish. Weekend 2 I saw Caribou and made the mistake of leaving early. Billie Eilish brought out Hayley Williams from Paramore. They covered Misery Business and I missed it. I was so upset, but the fact that it was acoustic made it a little better. It was still one of the biggest talking points of Weekend 2.

Sunday’s afternoon sets alternated for me on Weekend 1 and Weekend 2. I saw Olivia O’Brien Weekend 1 and part of Hayden James Weekend 2 (a work meeting held me back from the full set). Olivia O’Brien might have brought out Jake Paul at the end of her set after ending it with “Josslyn” and I might have hated it. Then I hit Maggie Rogers set both weekends as well. Maggie Rogers sunset set happened and I was fully immersed in it. On Sunday night, I saw the beginning of Duke Dumont Weekend 1 and the end of the set Weekend 2. Weekend 1 we decided to hit up the tiki bar instead of sticking around for the rest of Duke so I finally got there after 4 years! Then it was Denzel Curry time Weekend 1 and Jamie xx for me Weekend 2. I saw the full sets of both, but the highlight of Denzel Curry was hearing Tokyo Drifting with Glass Animals. The highlight of Jamie xx was hanging and dancing with a bunch of my Safari fam. Both sets were a great time. On Weekend 1, we took in all of Swedish House Mafia and the Weeknd’s combined set and I hung around for the end of it Weekend 2 as well because I wasn’t ready for Coachella to be over (never am). I soaked up my last moments on the polo fields wandering around, listening to music, and taking pictures for the mems of two incredible weekends back in Indio.

After a third weekend, aka Stagecoach weekend, I’m finally back home and experiencing the Coachella Valley withdrawal, but it needed to come to an end at some point. It’s still my favorite place to work and I feel like I could do it every weekend. My body, however, would argue. I realized yesterday that this year has a lot of new music releases from some of my favorite artists so stay tuned for album reviews going forward as I’m already behind on them. That’s it for Coachella though. Three years in the making and we finally got to do it again. Until next time, Coachella forever and always!

Coachella Band Preview: Duke Dumont

Well, here we are. Coachella begins Friday. FINALLY! We made it guys. April 21, 2019 until April 15, 2022. 1,090 days. This feels surreal, but it’s happening. I’m so so happy. There’s a few more artists I wanted to preview, but as always I need to just narrow it down and choose one. This last week of the longest Coachella wait ever, we’ve got an electronic DJ who has been putting out music since 2006, Duke Dumont.

Adam George Dyment, known professionally as Duke Dumont, first started his career in the late 2000’s by remixing pop songs. He hails from Harrow, England which is in the suburbs of London. His first single, “Need U”, came in 2013 and he’s been simultaneously releasing original music and remixes since. His single “I Got U” which was also released in 2013 was even nominated for a Grammy. Despite his lengthy career, his debut album came out in 2020. Up until that, point he only dropped EPs.

Duke Dumont is first and foremost a house artist. Some may say he dabbles in deep house or tech house but honestly, I define him as just pure house. He played his first Coachella in 2015 at the Sahara tent, and even though I might have been there, I definitely did not see him, nor did I step foot in Sahara. Obviously you know that changed by the following spring when I got into Flume, but electronic music at that time for me wasn’t a thing. I’ve definitely progressed and I’ll likely be at Sahara several times this year. I would bet that we’ll see Duke Dumont again at Sahara. He plays Sunday and I would expect another night time set. You might only have a few days left, but here’s what you wanna have on repeat, if you’re planning on seeing him:

  1. Ocean Drive
  2. I Got U
  3. Real Life
  4. Red Light Green Light
  5. The Power
  6. Need U
  7. Won’t Look Back
  8. Inhale
  9. The Giver (Reprise)
  10. Therapy

So that’s it for this round of Coachella previews. Hopefully we’re back again next year, but you never really know what can happen as we all learned. I’ve truly been soaking it all in as I’m currently out in Indio hard at work on Weekend 1! So far it’s been incredible to be back here. It’s always been my rule to live every Coachella like your first Coachella, but this time I urge you to live this year like your first Coachella and your last. Basically live it up as best as you can. We finally can and the vibes are gonna be more immaculate than ever. Happy Coachella! We deserve it!

Coachella Band Preview: Turnstile

Only another 2 weeks before people from all over the world descend upon the fields at the Empire Polo Club. The stages are being built as we speak while all attendees get in any final preparations for their time in the desert. My hype level is high as I leave in just under a week from now. I still can’t believe it. In the last few months, I’ve been consistently listening to bands and artists I want to see at Coachella. This next band is one that I’ve recently been trying to get into in anticipation of seeing them at the festival. Their hardcore punk style of music is a genre I haven’t listened to much since I was in high school and college, but I kind of like it. They’re Turnstile from Baltimore, MD.

The band formed in 2010 and released their debut album Nonstop Feeling in 2015. The band is comprised of Brendan Yates, Franz Lyons, Daniel Fang, Brady Ebert, and Pat McCrory. They released two EPs prior with Pressure to Succeed in 2011 and Step 2 Rhythm in 2013. Their third EP Move Thru Me came out in 2016 followed by their second full length album Time & Space in 2018. Two more EPs Share A View (2020) and Turnstile Love Connection (2021) were released before their latest album Glow On dropped this past September. The album debuted at #30 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart and was listed as #8 on Rolling Stone’s list of Top Albums from 2021. For a hardcore band, that doesn’t happen very often. The hype surrounding the band has built up over the years, and it’s for good reason. They’re putting out great music. They have a much harder sound being a hardcore punk band, but also remind me of Turnover and other modern alternative rock bands.

Turnstile plays on Saturday during Coachella. I expect them to play in the heat of the afternoon sun. I would guess you might catch them at Mojave, Outdoor, or the Main stage depending on what time they play. I would love to see them at Sonora, similar to Turnover’s 2019 set, but I think they’re a little more popular than Turnover and will likely draw a bigger crowd. The only requirement for their set is that there needs to be enough room for a mosh pit. Their set will likely have the sweatiest and hardest dancing crowd. Sahara and Yuma aren’t even a competition. If you’re trying to mosh at Coachella, here are the Turnstile songs you should be listening to:

  1. MYSTERY
  2. BLACKOUT
  3. Real Thing
  4. HOLIDAY
  5. Gravity
  6. Generator
  7. I Don’t Wanna Be Blind
  8. ALIEN LOVE CALL
  9. UNDERWATER BOI
  10. Keep It Moving

Coachella Band Preview: Lost Kings, Flume, Emo Nite, Maggie Rogers, & Hayden James

In exactly one month, the 21st installment of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival begins in Indio, California at the Empire Polo Club, 81-800 Avenue 51. It’s all come down to this. One month left in the almost 36 month wait, once all is said and done. Since I returned from Mexico, I’ve been listening to my Coachella 2022 playlist almost every day. Over the last several Coachellas since I attended in 2015, the lineup has strayed away from my music interests. What was once a largely indie rock festival now spans across genres. My music interests have developed as well. I mean I was someone who never step foot in the Sahara tent in 2015. Coachella has become a festival of music discovery for me. There’s usually a good handful of artists I know and at least listen to on the lineup, but in recent years I’ve felt like I’ve used Coachella to become more interested in artists I don’t listen to as much or to discover new artists entirely. It’s broadened my interest in Arkells, Kungs, Maggie Rogers, and Petit Biscuit, and has helped me to discover artists like Dermot Kennedy, Daft Punk (Couchella 2020 was a thing!), and Dillon Francis. This week though I’m highlighting a bunch of artists and one style of music I’ve known and have liked for a while.

The first artists on this list are Lost Kings, the electronic music duo who have been releasing music since 2014. I previewed them as part of the 2020 lineup before shit hit the fan, so you can check out that blog here for more info about the electronic deejays. Since 2020, they released a new EP It’s Not You, It’s Me in December 2021. The EP contains all of their singles released over 2020 & 2021. Lost Kings play Friday to kick off the weekend and I’ll bet you’ll catch them and their progressive house style music sometime in the afternoon at the Sahara tent. These are some of the songs you’ll wanna know before you catch their set:

  1. Phone Down
  2. Oops (I’m Sorry)
  3. When We Were Young
  4. Don’t Kill My High
  5. First Love
  6. Anti-Everything
  7. You
  8. Stuck
  9. Look At Us Now
  10. Don’t Call

Flume is no stranger to this blog. Since 2016, I’ve considered Flume one of my favorite electronic artists. In fact, Flume, also known as Harley Streton, was the first deejay to get me into electronic music. I may have liked a song or two before that point, but I really found an interest in most of Flume’s music after listening to some of his tracks before volunteering at and attending Sweetlife Music Festival in 2016. Flume was also supposed to play Coachella in 2020. Read that preview here. It would have been his third appearance, but thankfully he’s back on the lineup in 2022 and will be making his third appearance this year instead. Prior to what would have been Coachella 2020, Flume released his track “The Difference” ft. Toro y Moi. He’s dropped a few remixes since, but released a brand new single, “Say Nothing” ft. MAY-A, a few weeks ago. Flume will be dropping a new album, Palaces, in May and I anticipate Coachella will probably get some new tunes as a result. Flume plays Saturday night and I would suspect he’ll be moving to the Main Stage this time around. His 2016 set was at Outdoor Theatre. These are the Flume songs you should be listening to so you’re ready for Saturday night in Indio:

  1. The Difference
  2. Say Nothing
  3. Rushing Back
  4. Never Be Like You
  5. Say It
  6. Holdin’ On
  7. Sleepless
  8. Drop the Game
  9. Insane
  10. Smoke & Retribution

When the 2020 lineup came out, I was both stoked and intrigued to see Emo Nite listed as an act for the festival. For someone who grew up listening to emo bands and who has attended a few emo nights, I’ve never actually been to the official Emo Nite that started them all. I’m excited to finally see what this is all about at Coachella and who makes an appearance at the festival. Here is the Emo Nite preview I wrote in 2020. Emo Nite is slated for Saturday at Coachella 2022. I would anticipate it to be at one of the smaller stages like Gobi or Mojave. It may even be at Sonora, which would would be the perfect setting for Emo Nite as an all enclosed air conditioned space where everyone can mosh freely. Although it’s kind of tough to prepare for Emo Nite because there’s tons of emo music, here are a few staples that have a good chance of being played:

  1. I’m Not Okay (I Promise) -My Chemical Romance
  2. Dear Maria, Count Me In -All Time Low
  3. Misery Business -Paramore
  4. I Write Sins Not Tragedies -Panic! At the Disco
  5. Sugar We’re Going Down -Fall Out Boy
  6. The Best of Me -The Starting Line
  7. Ocean Avenue -Yellowcard
  8. MakeDamnSure -Taking Back Sunday
  9. Hands Down -Dashboard Confessional
  10. The Great Escape -Boys Like Girls

Coachella 2019 was the first time I saw Maggie Rogers perform. Honestly, I haven’t seen her since, but I’ve continued to listen to her since the last Coachella, one of my favorite festival experiences to date. Maggie Rogers was a small part of that because of her song “Back in My Body.” I became obsessed with the song while I was in Indio for three weeks and it was so cool to see her perform it live. The song now reminds me of that time in my life and working/being at Coachella. Since my preview of Maggie Rogers for the 2019 festival, she has released a new single, “Loved You For A Long Time,” and an album of old recordings, Notes from the Archives: Recordings 2011-2016. She’s recently been dropping mixtape EP’s with songs from both albums. A few weeks ago she reported that her latest album is done, but there’s no set release date as of yet. This makes me think she’ll be debuting a new song or two at Coachella. Maggie Rogers plays Sunday and I’ll be damned if she doesn’t play a sunset set at Main Stage or Outdoor Theatre. She played the Mojave tent in 2019 and it was far too small. I expect her to move up to a bigger stage just as her name moved up on the lineup. Here’s some Maggie Rogers songs you’ll want to know beforehand:

  1. Alaska
  2. Love You For A Long Time
  3. Light On
  4. Fallingwater
  5. Back in My Body
  6. Celadon & Gold
  7. Burning
  8. Give A Little
  9. Say It
  10. On + Off

My first exposure to Hayden James came in 2018 during EDC Las Vegas. If you’ve following my blog in the past few years, you’d know his song “Numb” became my top listened to song of 2018 too. Like many of the artists I mentioned before, he was slated to play Coachella in 2020 and now returns for 2022. I had the chance to preview him two years ago, since I was just as stoked to see him perform again then as I am now. Since 2020, the Australian deejay has released a handful of singles and a DJ mix. He’s also put out so much more music since I last saw him perform in 2018 at Electric Forest. I can’t wait to have the chance to watch him again. He plays Sunday at Coachella, and I can bet you’ll catch him at the Sahara tent. I’m predicting a late afternoon, early evening set. It might even be a sunset set. Here’s some old and new songs you’ll wanna check out before heading to his Sunday show:

  1. Something About You
  2. Numb
  3. Just Friends
  4. Foolproof
  5. Rather Be With You
  6. Hold Tight
  7. On Your Own
  8. Waiting For Nothing
  9. Better Together
  10. Just A Lover

These five Coachella 2022 acts have all been part of this blog at one point or another, whether they were previewed for 2020 or played in the past. The thing they all have in common though is that if I already previewed them once, then I like them and I’m hyped to see them play. I’ve been listening to all these artists for the past week, along with many others I’ve already previewed. Time is winding down. Dust off your flower crowns because before you know it, we’ll be back. Coachella will be back. The vibes, the tunes, the fashion, the art, the food, the sunsets, the views, and everything else you love about Coachella will be here before you know it. Get ready and keep listening. We’re almost there!