Today’s the day, folks, the day in which you lucky Coachella attendees have to choose which of your favorite bands you’re NOT going to see this weekend (or next). The Coachella set times are out, and they’re brutal. Beach House or TNGHT? Band of Horses or Purity Ring? Divine Fits or Japandroids? And that’s just day one.
But we want to help out with at least some of your scheduling conflicts, by picking seven of the toughest set-time dilemmas and suggesting which band you should see. One caveat: we’re excluding overlaps that don’t last more than 15 minutes. For instance, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds play until 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, while Wu-Tang Clan’s set that same night begins at 9:15 p.m. You’ll miss some of WTC if you stay for the entirety of Nick Cave, but not enough that it’s a real problem. Have fun this weekend, everyone, and remember, see Japandroids.
Blur (9:55-11:15 p.m, Coachella) vs. Jurassic 5 (10:45-11:35 p.m, Outdoor)
No matter which band you pick here, you’re going to see a great show. You can stay for the entirety of Blur’s set, you can leave midway through to make your way over to the Outdoor Theatre for Jurassic 5 at 10:45, you can skip out on Blur entirely to be up close for the reunited LA hip-hop group. My suggestion: see both. Stay with Blur until 10:40, giving you a good 45 minutes of tales about how sh*tty it is to be British, then go see Jurassic 5.
The Stone Roses (11:40 p.m., Coachella) vs. vs. How to Destroy Angels (12 a.m., Mojave)
Not only those two, but also Tegan and Sara (12 a.m., Outdoor) and Earl Sweatshirt (12:05, Gobi). Music festival headliners are supposed to big-deal acts, bands that haven’t performed for awhile or might not perform again. When it comes down to the Stone Roses and How to Destroy Angels, think of this way: this is likely the only time you’ll ever see the Stone Roses, and really, you want Angels to be Nine Inch Nails, anyway. Stone Roses are the pick.
The Postal Service (8:50-9:40 p.m., Coachella) vs. Descendants (9:05-9:55, Outdoor)
Can you smell the nostalgia? If you pick the Postal Service, it smells like summer and Summer Roberts. If you pick the Descendents, mosh pit sweat. Decisions, decisions, but the Postal Service are who to go with here, if only because the Descendents will be playing Milo Goes to College until Milo celebrates his 50-year high school anniversary.
the xx (10:10-11:05 p.m., Coachella) vs. Janelle Monáe (10:45-11:35 p.m., Gobi)
the xx, a great act that’s all about filling the atmosphere with precious dread. In other words, not an ideal festival band. See them in an actual concert venue, and spend this time with the ball of soulful energy that is Janelle Monáe.
Phoenix (11:35 p.m., Coachella) vs. Sigur Rós (11:50 p.m., Outdoor)
Phoenix is one of the best “I’m not a huge fan of their albums, but when I heard them play live, it was f*cking amazing” bands out there, so with all due respect to Iceland’s finest pretty-music-makers, Phoenix it is.
The Gaslight Anthem (3:30-4:20 p.m., Coachella) vs. Thee Oh Sees (3:15-3:55 p.m., Gobi)
It’s the Gaslight Anthem, because even though Thee Oh Sees are a blast, they don’t have a song as great as “Great Expectations.”
Vampire Weekend (7:20-8:10 p.m., Coachella) vs. Father John Misty (7:40-8:25 p.m., Gobi)
After the mega-overlap of good bands on Saturday, Sunday’s a bit easier to navigate. You can go from Cloud Nothings to JEFF the Brotherhood to the Gaslight Anthem to Dinosaur Jr. to Jamie Blake without much hassle. Around 7:30 p.m., you’ll have to choose between Vampire Weekend, who are about to release their third album, and Father John Misty, he of “I Believe I Can Fly” cruise-singing fame (Aubrey Plaza’s a fan). Father’s the pick here (excellent live act), though if Steve Buscemi joins Vampire Weekend, all bets are off.
And here’s the full schedule: