Coachella 2014: What to Watch, What to Avoid
Ever since Coachella expanded to two weekends in 2012, the dirty little secret is that both weekends are almost exactly the same. With some exceptions, the lineups are the same, the order the bands play is the same and, often, the songs they play and the order they play them in is the same. This isn't a surprise; touring acts tend to do repeat themselves as they travel from city to city, since they need to rehearse and choreograph the show beforehand.
Timothy Norris The Toy Dolls--Gotta see 'em
At Coachella it can be lame in that there aren't often surprises--even the surprise guests tend to come back for weekend two. But on the other hand, this means those weekend two attendees can know in advance which shows are likely to be good, and which are likely to suck. So, in case you missed our exhaustive weekend one coverage, peep our guide below to know who to see and who to avoid. Oh, and stay tuned: We'll also be covering the crap out of weekend two!
"As a dusty wind whipped behind her in hazy stage light, Solange and her ultra-slick backing band brought serious chops and swagger to the Polo Fields as nighttime fell over Coachella on Saturday. And then Beyonce showed up on stage, dancing to 'Losing You.'" -Adam Lovinus
With Saturday's high winds adding a moody touch of chaos in the background, Darkside -- Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington -- took the stage at 10:30pm and whipped up their own storm with a hypnotic set that fused IDM space noise and a guitar-laden jam band ethos. While brief (just under 50 minutes) this show had a depth and soul rarely heard in the musical buffet free for all festival circuit, and the crowd was the grooviest we encountered all weekend. -Katie Bain
"It was not like the old days where the gang was phoning it in, or drunk. Frontman Paul Westerberg often gave his all, playing harmonica, shredding, and really singing. Ironically, he seemed to care too much. The fairly small crowd of twenty-something assholes were going to have to earn his full efforts." -Ben Westhoff
"Haim performed a charged-up, decidedly homegrown vibe, including banter about how they've been sneaking into Coachella since 2004. The Fleetwood Mac comparisons fade in the live setting; the sisters Haim (Este, 28, Danielle, 25, and Alana, 22) bring a more playful, sassy attitude and way more shred. " -Adam Lovinus
"Warpaint's set offered a shot of noise-pop, climaxing guitars and huge three-part harmonies -- pure '90s alt shimmering through their classic stage gear. Their jams were stylishly packaged, yet monsterous. Warpaint are Coachella veterans, having played in 2011, but this time their sound was bigger and louder." -Adam Lovinus
The Toy Dolls
Neutral Milk Hotel
Below: These acts will probably suck