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20 Bands You Need To See At Coachella
  • April 19, 2012 : 13:04
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Sebastian Ingrosso

You may have to squint to actually see Sebastian on stage by the time he starts his set, since festival goers who attend Coachella for the dance music seem to stay at the three day party that is Sahara, but being there just for the experience is well worth it. Even if you’re not a fan of house music, by the time Sebastian’s set rolls around, we’re sure you will be in a mood to watch scantily clad women dance and make out with each other.


Teetering on the extreme side of the pandemonium scale is this years it band M83. With the release of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming late last year, people have been going crazy over the electropop king Anthony Gonzalez despite the fact that he’s been performing since 2001. Seeing M83 live is definitely an experience in itself, so suck it up and stand your ground amongst the hordes of other festivalgoers even if you can only see the screen.


2012 is the year of band revival, be it bands we want to see together or not. Thankfully, Plup is one band we’re happy to see. Get ready to party like it’s 1995 to (maybe) your favorite Britpop band in the heat of the warm desert night. Front man Jarvis Cocker, looking dapper as always, put on quite the performance for the sea of fans last weekend and will no doubt give the second weekenders the same.

Childish Gambino

Comedian, writer and Spacetime constable are just a few of Donald Glover’s talents, but out on the Coachella stage, he is one hell of a rapper. We’re not sure why reviewers are always blown away with Childish Gambino sets; they’ve been solid since he started preforming. Expect no lavish dance moves, Donald is sporting a broken foot which has halted him for other performances, but who can say no to performing for a huge crowd of fans under the hot Cali sun?


There are some people who bought a ticket for the second weekend just because they missed Santigold’s spectacular performance the first time. There weren’t many who missed it though, there was already a huge gathering waiting for her to come on the main stage. Between bringing audience members on stage for her hit song “Creator” and her incredibly gorgeous backup singers/booty dancers, there’s much to coax you in to checking out Santigold’s performance, not like you need it.

At The Drive-In

For many, it would be sacrilegious to miss the triumphant return of Omar, Cedric, Jim, Paul and Tony; your teenage self would probably travel in time to kick you in the shins if you did. Sure, we got The Mars Volta thanks to the dissolve of At the Drive-In, but seeing all of these guys perform together again is like watching a post-hardcore ballet. They’re the pros and defined a generation of angsty hooligans. Even if you’re not a fan, stick around their set for our favorite song "Invalid Litter Dept."

Azealia Banks

Playboy Magazine wrote about Azelia in this year’s music guide, so you know she has to be good. Although she hails from Harlem, last weekend was her first official gig in the U.S. and we have to say, it’s pretty amazing that it was a time slot at Coachella. Since her debut, her name has been all over the blogs and major media sites and giving Nicki Minaj a run for her money. The crowd gathered for her set around 30 minutes prior, so if you’re going to check her out, you better get there early for a good spot.

Calvin Harris

You may feel upset that you missed Rihanna’s ten minute cameo during Calvin Harris’ set last weekend, but it’s no reason to skip out on checking this Scottish house producer out. Be ready to hear him spin some of the best rave love songs of our time, even if the mega pop superstars that are sampled in it don’t appear in the flesh or as a hologram.

The Hives

The rock revival that The Hives were a part of may be long gone, but don’t think for a second these guys have taken any of it to heart, they still know how to put on one hell of a high energy show. Front man Peele Almquist also pulled off something extraordinary last weekend by convincing fans to take part in a reverse standing ovation. "Everybody sit down," he said. "You've been standing all day. It's hard on your legs and ligaments. VIPs, you're not that important. Sit down!" he demanded. "Just because you know somebody in middle-management at Coachella, you're not that important." 

Tupac Hologram

This one is a no brainer. Who wouldn’t want to see Tupac preform in 2012?! It’s without a doubt the biggest event talked about during the festival, despite the fact that The Black Lips front man peeled off all of his clothes during their midafternoon set. Performing alongside legendary rapper Snoop Dogg (not a hologram) we think you should smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, order a beer and witness one of the most remarkable sets Coachella has ever seen.

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