Arcade Fire, Kanye West, Kings of Leon headline Coachella 2011

01.19.11 7 years ago


Arcade Fire, Kanye West and Kings of Leon will headline Coachella 2011.

The 12th annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival will be held April 15-17 at the Empire Polo Club grounds in Indio, Calif.

Other top acts include Duran Duran, Lauryn Hill,  The Strokes, PJ Harvey, Animal Collective, Brandon Flowers,  Erykah Badu, Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys, Robyn and Scissor Sisters.

[More after the jump…]

There seems to be a pattern to Coachella. From Column A, take a superstar rapper. Last year, it was Jay-Z, this year it’s Kanye West. From Column B, take a pretty straight-ahead rock band. Last year, it was Muse, this year, it is Kings of Leon. From Column C, take an alternative band that critics slobber over. Last year it was Gorillaz, this year, it’s Arcade Fire. From Column D take a veteran act that the young kids have never gotten to see and the older generation first saw at least 20 years ago. Last year, that was Faith No More. In 2009, it was The Cure. This year, it’s Duran Duran.

To be sure, that’s a bit simplistic, but you can almost see the execs at Goldenvoice, who promote Coachella, sitting in a room trying to figure out who fits what slot.That’s not necessarily a bad thing. With more than 100 acts, there’s always going to be debate about who has earned their seat at the table and who hasn’t. Who’s played the festival too many times already and who is always welcome.

This is Arcade Fire’s third time at the festival, but first time headliners. They previously played in 2005 and 2007. Kings of Leon also played in 2007, again, not as headliners. West performed in 2006.

In fact, many of the acts appearing this year are retreads. That means they did their job in past Coachella appearances. But, on first glance, the line-up just feels a little too safe for us. It’s a solid, steady list, to be sure, but where’s the Wow! factor. Where’s the great act that I can’t see anywhere else this year or the artist who hasn’t been on the road for ages who’s coming out of hiding for this gig? Big Audio Dynamite is the closest that meets that bill.  Off the top of my head: acts I’d love to see from the line-up include Big Audio Dynamite, Tinie Tempah, Marina & the Diamonds, Wiz Khalifa (just because it’s going to be so much fun to watch so many drunk people sing along to “Black & Yellow”), Cee Lo Green, and, we admit it, Duran Duran.

Here is the complete line-up: !!!, 12th Planet, Afrojack, Alf Alpha, Andy C, Angus and Julia Stone, Animal Collective, Arcade Fire, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, A-Trak, Axwell, Beardyman, Best Coast, Big Audio Dynamite, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77, Bomba Estereo, Boys Noize, Brandon Flowers, Brandt Brauer Frick, Breakage, Bright Eyes, Broken Social Scene, Cage the Elephant, Caifanes, Caspa, Cee Lo Green, Chromeo, Chuckie, City and Colour, Clare Maguire, Cold Cave, Cold War Kids, Crystal Castles, CSS, Cults, Cut Copy, Daedelus, Death From Above 1979, Delorean, Delta Sprirt, DJ Hype, DJ Kentaro, DJ Marky, DJ Zinc, Duck Sauce, Duran Duran, EE, Elbow, Electric Touch, Eliza Doolittle, Ellie Goulding, Emicida, Empire of the Sun, Erick Morillo, Erykah Badu, Excision, , Fat Freddy’s Drop, Fedde Le Grand, Fistful of Mercy, Flogging Molly, Foals, Foster the People, Francis and the Lights, Freelance Whales, fun., G.Q., Gayngs, Glasser, Gogol Bordello, Good Old War, Gord Downie, Goth Trad, Green Velvet, Gypsy and the Cat, HEALTH, Here We Go Magic, High Contrast, Hurts, Interpol, Jack Beats, Jack’s Mannequin, Jakes, Jenny and Johnny, Jimmy Eat World, Joachim Garraud, Joy Orbison, Kanye West, Kele, Kings of Leon, Klaxons, Kode9 and Kyle Hall.

Aso, Laidback Luke, Leftfield, Lightning Bolt, Lil’ B, Lorn, Los Bunkers, Magnetic Man, , Mariachi El Bronx, Marina and the Diamonds, Mary Anne Hobbs, MEN, Menomena, Monarchy, Mount Kimbie, Moving Units, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mumford & Sons, Nas & Damian Marley, Neon Trees, New Pants, Nosaj Thing, OFF!, OFWGKTA, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, One Day as a Lion, Ozomatli, Paul van Dyk, Phantogram, Phosphorescent, PJ Harvey, Plan B, Ramadanman, Raphael Saadiq, Ras G, Ratatat, Riva Starr, Robyn, Roska, Rye Rye, Sander Kleinenberg, Sasha, SBTRKT, Scala & Kolacny Bros., Scissor Sisters, She Wants Revenge, Shpongle, Skrillex, Sleigh Bells, Steve Angello, Sven Vath, Take, Tame Impala, Terror Danjah, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, The Aquabats, The Black Keys, The Chemical Brothers, The Drums, The Felice Brothers, The Henry Clay People, The Joy Formidable, The Kills, The London Suede, The Love Language, The Morning Benders, The National, The New Pornographers, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Presets, The Radio Dept., The Rural Alberta Advantage, The Strokes, The Swell Season, The Tallest Man on Earth, The Twelves, Thunderball, Tinie Tempah, Titus Andronicus, Tokimonsta, Trampled by Turtles, Trentemoller, Twin Shadow, Two Door Cinema Club, Warpaint, Wire, Wiz Khalifa, Yacht, Yelle and Zed Bias.

For a daily rundown, go to

Which act are you most excited to see at this year’s Coachella. Which artist do you wish were on the bill who’s not?

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