« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

Coachella 2010: Jay-Z, Muse, Thom Yorke lead lineup


See the full lineup below...


The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival will bring a youth movement to the low desert this year. After several years of graybeard headliners, California’s signature festival is going back to the future with younger acts including Gorillaz, Muse, Jay-Z, Thom Yorke, MGMT, Hot Chip, Spoon, Vampire Weekend and LCD Soundsystem at the very top of the bill for the three-day concert that begins April 16 at the Empire Polo Field in Indio.

There are some flashback acts, including Woodstock icon Sly Stone and the Family Stone, 1980s alt-rock group Echo and the Bunnymen and reconstituted college-rock outfit Pavement, but they're not leading the bill as Paul McCartney, Prince and Roger Waters did in past years.

The presence of rap superstar Jay-Z will raise the eyebrows of those fans who like to think of Coachella as an indie oasis on today’s live-music landscape; hip-hop stars such as Kanye West, the Beastie Boys, Lupe Fiasco and Kool Keith have performed at Coachella in the past but none of them tap into the same street imagery and conspicuous consumption ethos that defines the $150-million mogul.

Jay-Z is also a somewhat unexpected booking because he has a performance -- for which tickets are still available -- at the Staples Center on March 26. The hip-hop star will close out the opening night of the fest on Friday, when other performers will be LCD Soundsystem, rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Specials and John Lydon's post-Sex Pistols experimental outfit Public Image Ltd. 

Saturday night will be headlined by Muse, Faith No More, DJs Tiesto and David Guetta, MGMT, Hot Chip and Jack White's The Dead Weather. Sunday will close with Gorillaz, Yorke, Spoon, Parisian electronic rockers Phoenix and dance veterans Orbital.

The desert event has won a reputation among fans for showcasing artists on the comeback trail, and rock acts such as the Pixies and Iggy & the Stooges made splashy returns at Coachella. Pavement, a staple of the '90s alt-rock scene, has been an expected Coachella headliner since announcing its reunion at the end of 2009.

Gary Bongiovanni, the editor in chief of Pollstar, the concert-industry trade publication, believes Coachella doesn’t need a boomer-friendly headliner such as McCartney, who performed last year, or Waters, who closed the event in 2008. A package built around Pavement, Public Image Ltd. and hipper acts, he believes, might even hold greater appeal for Coachella’s target young audience.

“Pavement was never an arena headliner, but it lends some excellent buzz to the lineup,” Bongiovanni said. “In a way, it’s like looking at what the Super Bowl had to do. They have the Who this year, and if you stop and think about it, ‘What’s the biggest act we can get that we haven’t already done?’ -- it’s a tough question to answer. If you take all these little things and put them together it becomes a compelling bill. There’s not a reliance on one name.”

Pavement already has a history with the event. Lead singer Stephen Malkmus has appeared at Coachella with his post-Pavement band the Jicks, and Pavement split soon after appearing at the first-ever Coachella in 1999. The latter performance has gone down in alt-music lore as one that showcased the band unraveling onstage.

JOHN_LYDON_HAL_WELLS Lydon has gone on numerous comeback treks with the Sex Pistols, but this will mark the return of Public Image Ltd. after more than 15 years. The band, which experimented with dance and electronic textures throughout its career, went through numerous lineup changes. The act that takes the stage at Coachella is not expected to feature original members Jah Wobble or Keith Levene, but will include onetime guitarist Lu Edmonds and drummer Bruce Smith.

Radiohead’s leader Yorke will be making a return to Southern California after sold-out dates in Echo Park and downtown in October. With Muse on the bill, he’ll be sharing the event with a band that’s long been compared to his showcase act, though Muse hasn’t reached the kind of sales success in the U.S. that it has overseas. Bolstered by its presence in the first “Twilight” film, Muse has become an MTV staple, and its 2009 effort “Resistance” has sold 370,000 copies in the U.S. since its September release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Synth rockers MGMT have a hotly anticipated album due in 2010, and the act will compete for best new artist at the Jan. 31 Grammy Awards. But MGMT won't be the only group expected to bring new material to the event, as Damon Albarn’s adventurous electronic-rock outfit Gorillaz has a long-awaited album expected to be released this spring.

Oh, and what about those question marks on Sunday's text in the concert poster below? No, that isn't saving a spot for a Smiths reunion or U2 debut on the Coachella stage, it's the way that Yorke presents himself as a solo star, the marquee at his Orpheum concert had the same punctuational flourish.

The big question heading into last year’s Coachella was whether the economy would take its toll on the festival, and the answer was a resounding no. Paid attendance topped 150,000, said Bongiovanni, and promoter Goldenvoice/AEG put overall attendance at more than 160,000. 

Additionally, the festival’s gross reached $15.3 million, according to concert tracker Billboard Boxscore. Those numbers topped such well-known destination events as Lollapalooza in Chicago and the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas.

Coachella also made some recession-friendly concessions, offering fans the opportunity to purchase tickets on layaway, which it is again doing this year. Three-day packages are $269, not including Ticketmaster surcharges.

-- Geoff Boucher and Todd Martens

Coachella 2010

Photos: Top left to right: Thom Yorke (Ringo H.W. Chiu / For the Times); Pavement's Stephen Malkmus (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times); Jay-Z (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times); Middle: John Lydon (Hal Wells / Los Angeles Times)

Comments () | Archives (29)

Haruki Murakami!

Jeez, I saw pavement in Houston back 1993 or 94 and have been listening to PIL since the mid 80s. It is strange that they are considered "younger hipper" acts. It is equivalent to having music from the late 40s/early 50s being billed as "younger hipper" acts performing at woodstock.

It is more proof that Rock is a declining genre.

One of the best and well balanced Coachella lineups thus far.

@tom: Coachella is not just about rock music. However, take a look at the top bills for each day for the genre: Them Crooked Vultures, Muse, Faith No More, Pavement, and Yorke. Rock isnt dead.

@tom, although I admit the rock genre proper is declining (being largely integrated with electronic, folk, or dance) you're basis for making that statement is completely untenable. Good art is timeless with continually renewing relevance.

This is far from one of the best Coachella lineups.

I think what they mean by "Younger Hipper" is the demographic that can afford and has the energy to attend a 3 day festival in the desert. For 25- 35 year olds, McCartney isn't exactly the "BeeZNeeZ".
Haven't been to Coachella for 3 years and am looking forward to this one!

Personally, the line up is too mainstream for me with some of the bigger names on there but, if i were to go (i doubt it too much dinero) I would definitely check out:

benny benassi
flying lotus
infected shroom

Sweeeet line-up. I might have to see Jay Z twice in two months so I can catch Them Crooked Vultures, Vampire, Echo, PIL.

Sounds like last years Glastonbury.

Past lineups weren't about any generations. Past years, 2008 and back, sported great cutting edge music early in the day with trans-generational artist headlining. The headliners were musicians and artist who had changed the music scene or whose fans could not be generationally classified.

Coachella you disappoint me.

It seems Goldenvoice sprung for some budget headliners. Muse? Gorillaz? (Are they still even relevant?)

This sounds like a KROQ-approved Coachella; even the lower tier indie bands aren't all that great. This is an extremely disappointing lineup.

hmmm, I don't know...

This line-up is bad-ass! Let's do this, people! FIST-PUMP!~

For those complaining about Gorillaz as a headliner, 1. they have a LONG AWAITED ALBUM COMING OUT 2. THEY ARE EPIC LIVE PERFORMERS and 3. THEY HAVEN'T BEEN TO THE STATES IN YEARS.


I thought in past years you could buy single day tickets?? I've never been but check out the lineup every year hoping there are enough people I like, and this years is pretty good. But am I crazy with this single day ticket thing? Because the site makes it looks like 3 day passes are all they are selling.

Edith, you will be able to get single-day tickets. I think they go on sale friday. Initially, 3-day passes are the only tickets sold. I have purchased single-day tickets the past couple of years. You should check it out...it's an amazing event.

Gorillaz coming back to play Coachella is SICK.

Yawn... I'll pass.

Least favorite line up ever at Coachella.

They should have added Paolo Nutini...that would have been a lot of fun.


Sorry, Goldenvoice. You might not be my money this year. Unless Gorillaz are playing their only show in the States at Coachella, I'll be better off making the trek to Lolla or Bonnaroo. I wasn't totally floored by last year's lineup; however Leonard Cohen was a historic show. This year, I'm even less thrilled.

What happened to Jon Bon Jovi, Creed and the decade's best Nickelback - all promised by Perry Bernstein.

that lineup is legit!

i will do my best to make it.

cant wait to see
Miike Snow
Thom Yorke
De la Soul
Benny Benassi

and so many more.

orbital was sad last year! . . . .this line up looks sick....can i be part of the URB promo staff?

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Recent Posts

Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: