Damn, Coachella. Not only do you knowingly keep us in suspense every year as we wait for the moment to start planning every hour of our festival experience, but now you make us skip dinner to salivate over your newly released festival set times for 2018. Whether it leaves you filled with joy or aching in pain, the three-day breakdown of Coachella’s 19th year is a hallmark of the final countdown to Indio. Before studying the nitty gritty of each heart crunching set conflict, it’s worth noting that for all people’s complaining about the overbearing hand of hip-hop on the lineup, look at how staggered most of the stages are in terms of style.
Friday’s lineup on the main stage sees the Tropical House of Kygo during sunset bleeding into the attitude-heavy R&B of SZA. As mad as we are about the fact the Jamiroquai’s return de force is getting upstaged by the molly-dusted fuck anthems of the Weeknd, we can also look to the beauty that is Daniel Caesar opening for The War on Drugs. Notable scheduling choices abound down the bill with Kelela, D.C.’s first lady of alt-R&B, warming up the crowd for the Zepplin-esque rock of Greta Van Fleet.
Even the Sonora stage, which was mostly billed as the rock oasis of Coachella last year, is getting a more diverse makeover featuring acts like rapper Princess Nokia and Hawthorne’s teenage crooner Cuco alongside local retro and indie favorites like Cherry Glazerr, The Regrettes and The Buttertones.
Saturday is basically an all-day dance party at the Coachella stage, containing a multitude of flavors from Nile Rogers and Chic to the brash hip-hop of Tyler the Creator, the radio-friendly pop of Haim all before Queen Bey slays the hive with a sticky tsunami of anthemic girl-power–pure ‘Chella bliss. Post Malone is taking the golden Gucci Mane slot at the Sahara Tent, closing out the night for the ravers and trap fiends by beckoning you to do whatever crumbs of random hallucinogens you have in your bag washed down with the last sips of lean from your well-hidden flash until you feel like a rockstar. Sounds like a perfect ending after a day full of nonstop booming bass courtesy of AC Slater, Party Favor and Snakehips.
Sunday sees the rise of two titan artists finally getting their due…prog-leaning, pop-loving Portugal. The Man and LA jazz legend-in-the-making, Kamasi Washington. Both are on at 7 p.m. at the Coachella Stage and Outdoor Theater respectively. The only thing that can derail our pride is our remorse for Jesse Ware having to go head to head with Cardi B. (consider the fact that most people are gonna have to make some serious money moves to get their spot in the crowd early). Eminem of course is more or less getting the Sunday crowd all to himself, depending on how much of hist new material he decides to play. We’re already sensing an early walk back to the car on that one for some lukewarm fans who have no interest in seeing what surprise guests Em brings out to make headlines. Speaking of surprise guests, the fact that the DoLab went out of their way to mention how many they have this year should tell ye kandi kids you not to wander too far away this weekend.
Anyway, enough yammering, time for festivalgoers to check out the set times below and let the joy and the pain wash over you as you try and figure out the next few days of your life. Enjoy!
Nate Jackson is the gatekeeper to your dreams of local dive bar stardom. If he writes about you, expect your band to be offered at least one more drink ticket than the rest of the bands on the bill. Get his attention with some groovy tunes and he might just do it. Then, boy will you feel special.