Coachella turns up the heat in the Indio desert

Music lovers rejoice: The Coachella music festival begins today. Looking at this year’s lineup, it is clear that Coachella is continuing its pattern of featuring more and more well-known names to play along with its more traditional indie fare.

This year, well-established bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Franz Ferdinand and Passion Pit will be headlining, attracting even larger audiences to the popular music fest.

Music mania · Coachella is a popular music and arts festival among college students. This year, a number of names ­— big and small — will perform, including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers. - Courtesy of Coachella

Music mania · Coachella is a popular music and arts festival among college students. This year, a number of names ­— big and small — will perform, including the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers. — Courtesy of Coachella

Though the Chili Peppers are tried-and-true rock loyalty, many of the other better-known names have only just become mainstream and Coachella might be their proving ground for their newfound prominence. Here is a quick look at some of the big names, and some of the up-and-coming artists that are must-sees at Coachella 2013.

Rising stars and lesser-known indie artists worth seeing include Tegan and Sara and Beach House. Both are electro-pop artists but each definitely has a distinct sound. Tegan and Sara, a band formed by twin sisters, is like Passion Pit in that they have been on the indie music scene for quite some time.

The duo finally broke out with its hit “Closer,” proving that its upbeat, dance-y songs can translate to a mainstream audience. The Canadian sisters’ hit has an infectious beat and a message that promotes a fun, carefree lifestyle — which pretty much sums up Coachella.

Those who are interested in more alternative rap music need look no further than Earl Sweatshirt, who is part of infamous Los Angeles rap collective Odd Future. Earl Sweatshirt’s raps dig deeper than the typical rhymes  heard in popular rap music. He has a biting, sarcastic style and a tone that can range anywhere from angry to completely lighthearted.

In the title track from his self-titled album EARL, he raps about drinking a concoction of multiple drugs and the adverse effects this had on his body. Though this might sound typical of rap music, he delivers the lyrics in a different way than his peers. He is not rapping from a pedestal like big-name rappers do, thus he sounds much more accessible.

Alyssa Kennedy, a freshman majoring in psychology, said any attendees looking to discover a young, alternative sound should be sure to watch Earl Sweatshirt’s performance.

“Earl Sweatshirt is awesome. He’s not one of the bigger names in the lineup but he’s really talented — and he’s only 19. It’s cool to see younger people up on such an important stage like Coachella.”

Coachella 2013 will also feature Passion Pit, a band that has become increasingly popular recently. One of their songs, “Take a Walk,” has gotten lots of airplay on local radio stations and has catapulted Passion Pit even more into the mainstream.

The alternative-electric band has been around for a while, performing at festivals and gathering a substantial following in the indie music world. Appearing at Coachella this year will give the band an opportunity to solidify their presence in the main music scene.

Additionally, 2 Chainz, a rap artist on the rise, will be continuing his festival circuit with a Coachella performance. The rapper has been featured on tracks with many other well-known rap artists, from Kanye West to Drake, and is quickly gaining mainstream name recognition in the rap music world.

For fans of rap, 2 Chainz is definitely not one to miss, especially because he is often joined onstage by other local rap artists wherever he performs. Fingers crossed that Kanye will leave Kim Kardashian’s side and pass through Indio.

As Liam Jennis, a freshman majoring in business administration who will be attending the festival, said the rapper knows how to put on a show.

“2 Chainz is really fun to watch. He has so much energy on stage,” Jennis said. “Plus the fact that he has worked with artists like Kanye West and Big Sean is awesome. He is definitely going places.”

Of course, the aforementioned Red Hot Chili Peppers still remains one of the most highly anticipated acts to perform at Coachella. It’s hard not to know the legendary rock band. Native to California, this band still tours consistently, but fans will be sure to enjoy seeing them perform in the much more relaxed environment of Coachella.

Katie Durocher, a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism who will be attending Coachella, summed it up when she spoke about the band and Coachella in general.

“I’m really excited to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I love them and I am really pleased that they will be there,” Durocher said. “The lineup is really good for rock and indie music fans and it should be a great time overall.”

For fans of rising indie artists, as well as those who want to celebrate some of the most well-known and prolific bands of our time in a singular location, one thing is certain: Coachella is the place to be to hear your favorite music and discover some new talent while you dance the days and nights away.


Coachella runs April 12-14 and April 19-21.