It’s been an interesting 24 hours since the 2017 Coachella lineup came into the world. Most of us were so glad to get out of 2016 that the wave of feels transmitted by its presence came as a complete surprise. The comments section of articles and social media feeds are now thoroughly saturated with people spouting waves of elation, anger and ennui. Then there’s those weirdos in every thread who seem to be REALLY excited about Hans Zimmer for some reason. But before the rest of us start flinging poop emojis them, stop and realize that the award-winning composer’s inclusion on the bill is a lot cooler than you think it is.
For the typical Coachella audience, Zimmer’s presence on the poster looks like a typo. Or maybe there’s just some really ironic hipster band out there who decided to pick his name out of a hat when they were coming up with their moniker. Nein, zis is ze real Hans. You know, the German guy responsible for the music of just about every notable movie made after 1986? And somehow the name of this Oscar and Golden Globe Award-winning composer who scored The Lion King is sitting right next to DJ Khaled on Saturday’s lineup.
For those who don’t follow too many 59 year-old composers on a regular basis, you might’ve missed the fact that Zimmer actually has been on stage before. Since 2014, Zimmer and a massive band have performed in the symphonic orgasm known as Hans Zimmer Revealed. Notice we said “band” and not “orchestra” to describe the project. That’s because the intent of the show is not to celebrate some untouchable grey-haired god of movie music. It’s the sound of your favorite films in jam session form.
Piecing together a group of season accompanists, YouTube musicians and rock stars (including Johnny Marr on guitar), Zimmer is strumming and tickling the ivories along with everyone else. There’s no conductor’s pulpit, no penguin suits, no excessive amount of pomp or pretension. Instead, imagine the epic scores from Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight and Inception rumbling live right in front of you. Meanwhile, a hypnotizing light show and swirling visuals captivate you as you lay back on the grass smoking a joint and eating a churro. It’ll be like the greatest movie-less moviegoing going experience of your life.
In a weird way, Zimmer occupies the bill as both a nostalgia act and a hot new artist. His music has been part of your favorite movies for decades continues to pump out the jams all the way up to 2017 (anyone else psyched to listen to his work in The Boss Baby?). Realize that the soundtrack to the bulk of your Net Flix favorites are suddenly fair game. And of course being in close proximity to the pop world for two weekends in a row means the potential for all-star collaborations that you’ll never see anywhere else. The possibilities already have us coming up with potential band names (Radiohans, Kendrick Zimmar, BeyHansé, Lil Zimmi Vert…).
Amidst a lineup crammed with reliable and rehashed names we’ve seen before, Zimmer’s set is one of the few shakeups that feels like a watershed moment for classical music. Though orchestral accompaniment has been done before at Coachella, to have a slot for a composer on the bill is definitely a cool way to bring an unexpected genre into the tent so to speak. Not to mention all of the great Zimmer-inspired totems we’ll be seeing out on the polo field. Someone’s probably putting a giant Simba head on a stick as we speak.