Performing at Coachella for two consecutive weekends must be intense for artists. They understand that each show is different, as is each audience. Doing an exact repeat performance of a set that has already been viewed around the ‘net by thousands of fans could be career suicide. (Well, at least Coachella career suicide.) Frank Ocean, an artist whose reputation has been built up by the Internet, is definitely someone who recognizes this, so he made sure to switch things up a bit this weekend by covering Lauryn Hill’s beloved “Tell Him” right out of the gates. The minute the crowd recognized the words, they went crazy. Not just because they were familiar, though, but because of the way Frank took the slow steady route, singing smoothly over the mellow instrumentals.
Ocean also gave the crowd another treat with his new song, “Forrest Gump,” which he explained to the rabid crowd as being on “one of his new jams” from his upcoming LP.
Tupac’sresurrection in the form of a hologram at Coachella this past weekend has everyone talking. Except, that is, the man who birthed the idea.
Dr. Dre’s idea to resurrect Tupac with hologram technology was brought to fruition with the help of Digital Domain Media Group Inc., the Wall Street Journal reports. They’re the same media company that created the digital version of Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. However, there are still a few unanswered questions about the ramifications of technology like this: Who financially gains from the Coachella performance of Tupac? (TMZ reports that Dre made a contribution, blessed by Tupac’s mom Afeni Shakur, to The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation for the rights to use his image). And how much money was dished out to make it all happen? (Reportedly, it could cost anywhere from $100,000-$400,000.) Dre isn’t saying, but maybe there’s a reason: Could it be that he doesn’t want to let the cat entirely out of the bag until after he performs at Coachella again this weekend as a means of trying to maintain the suspension of disbelief? Either way, we can’t wait to see what HoloPac performs this weekend. “California Love,” anyone?
“GANGSTA SH*T!” That was Snoop Dogg‘s reaction to performing alongside Tupac Shakur at Coachella last night. No, Snoop wasn’t just trippin’ on some super dope kush (although we’re pretty sure he was), the legendary 2Pac was brought back to life —on Greek Easter, no less!— and appeared in holographic form during Dr. Dre‘s closing set at Coachella last night.
We had heard earlier in the week that the late Nate Dogg was set to appear alongside Dre, Snoop, Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent and Eminem during Sunday night’s headlining set on the Coachella Stage, but then rumors started flying around over the weekend that 2Pac would be the one to be reanimated using hologram technology. There were rumors that the CGI Pac would team up with Dre for “California Love”, but 2Pac performed “Hail Mary” and “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted” with Snoop Dogg instead. We’ve got video of the moment for you above, but be warned that the language is a little salty and therefore NSFW.
As we type this, the gates are about to open in Indio, California for the thirteenth incarnation of the Coachella Festival, and for the lucky few (hundred thousand) with wristbands (and the jealous/curious rest of us), the festival has posted set times for this weekend’s insanely strong lineup. There’s at least one performer worth seeing at any given time, so if you’re going, definitely try to check out at least one band you haven’t heard before. (If you’re like us and are sitting hundreds or thousands of miles away from the Empire Polo Club, YouTube will be livestreaming much of this year’s fest.)
As anyone who has ever attended a music festival will attest, the most difficult part of the weekend is choosing between one or more of your favorite acts who are scheduled to play at overlapping times. With that in mind, we’re here to help! Here are this weekend’s five most crowded time slots, along with our recommendations about who you should see at Coachella this weekend.
Our insane jealousy for people who are en route to Indio, CA at the moment for the 2012 Coachella Festival was abated slightly last night when we got to see Pulp perform at Radio City Music Hall. However, the pangs of jealousy will surely once again surface once we starting seeing our Twitter feed fill up with “Wish you were here” type missives tomorrow. This year’s lineup is chock full of sure-to-be-awesome performances, but perhaps none more so than Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg‘s festival closing set on Sunday night.
It’s not being billed as a “One Night, One Album” kind of event (like 50 Cent’s performance of Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ at SXSW last month), but you can bet that their performance is going draw heavily from their landmark gangsta rap classics, The Chronic and 2001. Rolling Stone is reporting that Eminem, Warren G and Daz Dillinger are going to make “surprise” appearances, which isn’t exactly a huge shocker, but news leaked today about one TOTALLY unexpected cameo. TMZ is reporting that Nate Dogg, who passed away last year, will be appearing on stage in the form of a hologram (!!!), a la Will.I.Am during the 2008 election. We wouldn’t put it past Coachella promoter Paul Tollett to have invented an app that can call on Nate Dogg’s spirit from an astral plain somewhere, but more realistically, the hologram will be old footage of Dogg from one of Dre’s previous tours. Either way, this moment promises to be one of the most discussed concert moments of the year 2012.
It’s Coachella madness! Latest on the rumor mill comes from reports that the recently reunitedBlack Sabbath were planned to headline the festival, but that they cancelled last minute because of Tony Iommi’s sudden illness. Following the announcement of Iommi’s lymphoma, it seemed like the band would continue with their promised 2012 reunion tour and album — but if it is true that they cancelled Coachella it might throw all of Black Sabbath’s plans for 2012 into question. Iommi’s recovery is the clear priority, and our best wishes are with him and the band no matter what they decide for their 2012 tour.
Meanwhile, the rumor also casts speculation as to who filled the headlining spot in the wake of the last minute cancellation. Our money is on The Black Keys, who seemed like a less obvious choice for the top billing spot before we heard the rumor. We figure The Black Keys filled the hole reportedly left by Black Sabbath because the other headliners — Dr. Dre, Snopp Dogg and Radiohead — are such huge acts it’s incredibly unlikely any of them would have started off any lower on the bill.
Everyone is talking about this year’s Coachella line up, and we’ve had our own share of thoughts and questions about the highly anticipated festival and its diverse set of chosen artists. We’re rapt with the headliners, with veterans Radiohead and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg taking to the stage for what are sure to be momentous performances. And while we’re excited about first night headliner The Black Keys, we can’t help but be a little bit skeptical about the choice, given that super Britpop band Pulp were snubbed for the top spot.
In some respects, The Black Keys make an obvious choice for a headlining act. For starters, their number one album from 2011, El Camino, propelled them to the top of the pack and made them arguably the biggest rock band in America today. Their singles “Lonely Boy” and “Gold On The Ceiling” have seen a healthy run on the airwaves, Internet and television, not to mention their viral video for “Lonely Boy” being the talk of fans and industry alike in late 2011. But while The Black Keys have enjoyed a huge cult following for many years, it was only between the release of Brothers and El Camino that The Keys found mainstream fame, making them fledglings to the spotlight. Moreover, being a two piece band might not make for the exciting set that a full band could bring at prime time Coachella, rendering their music possibly more suited to a festival like Lollapalooza.
Pulp on the other hand, are a timeless, legendary UK band. Vanguards of Britpop, Pulp, alongside their contemporaries like Oasis, were seminal in shaping the genre and have enjoyed an ongoing popularity as such. Pulp reformed last year after a 9 year hiatus to hit the European tour circuit and played a roaring special guest set at Glastonbury. With allusions that this might be their last tour as a full band, it seems like somewhat of a misstep to not have them headlining Coachella given their veteran status and the importance of their reunion. However, it’s arguable that because they aren’t as well known in America as The Black Keys, or as “of the moment,” their second tier billing is justified.
We’re not exactly sure how we feel (as you can probably tell by our mixed emotions and adoration of both bands), so tell us what you think in our poll below and in the comments section.
We’ve been plagued with all sort of thoughts since the official 2012 Coachella lineup was unveiled last night. Mostly, we’ve just been wetting our pants with excitement (which isn’t doing much for our social lives), but between all the puppy dog-like urination we’ve been able to take some time to reflect on the line up — what we like and what we’re not so fond of, and how it all fits together with the 2011-12 music landscape.
… But Where’s Lana Del Rey?
Noticeably missing from the lineup is THE buzz artist of 2011, Lana Del Rey. We’re assuming this would have been a conscious choice on the part of either Coachella organizers or Lana’s team, but given that her debut album, Born To Die, is about to drop it doesn’t seem likely that Lana Del Rey would pass up the opportunity to promote it at Coachella, which leaves us wondering why her name isn’t on that poster.
Just moments ago, the official Coachella Twitter feed (@coachella) posted their 2012 lineup, which will feature headlining performances from The Black Keys, Radiohead, and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (!!!). Regarding the latter, this year marks the 20th anniversary of The Chronic‘s release, so we’re guessing that the pair might perform the classic album from front-to-back?
Also of note: It looks like Coachella organizer Paul Tollett is NOT a fan of indie chanteuse du jour, Lana Del Rey. At first glance, she seems to be the most obvious snub on this year’s lineup. More analysis to follow tomorrow!
If you’re not familiar with 20-year-old Harlem rapper Azealia Banks, now’s the time to get acquainted. She released her first track, “Seventeen,” back in 2009 (which was produced by one of her biggest fans and supporters, Diplo), but the hype didn’t really start building around Banks until last year. With her brand of aggressive, dance led rap, reminiscent of East London’s garage scene, Banks is kicking up a storm in the music world, taking girl rap back to the no-holds barred days when we first met the potty mouthed Lil Kim. Except that Banks is a little bit ruder, and much more raw. There are a million reasons why you need to know Azealia Banks right this instant, but here are the top 6:
Banks got a lot of attention for her 2011 release “212,” which was one of the biggest, most critically acclaimed tracks of the winter. Half dance club, half rap, “212” is unavoidably infectious, and comes with a generous helping of dirty words. Watch the video for “212” here.
2. The Cool List
NME put Banks at number one on their Cool List in 2011. Out of 50 musicians, that’s no mean feat for the newcomer. And we definitely don’t disagree with the decision — Banks has that “cool without even trying” nonchalant defiance about her.