If you’re following our Instagram and wondered why we’re currently in the United States, it’s because we’ll be attending the first week of Coachella 2017. But you don’t have to spend five months’ worth of salary like us – we’re not regretting it – as this has become the tradition back home; Coachella is streamable via YouTube. With 86 bands from its lineup to be streamed live over the two weekends, and its Yuma dance tent available via streaming for the first time, we wager it’s YouTube and chill for most Malaysians in the coming mornings (protip: Grab a Heineken can or two to simulate the live experience).
As Coachella’s penchant for cramming every single name on their poster has become a meme in itself, aside from Gaga, Kendrick, and Radiohead, combing through the lineup can be a bitch. So, JUICE has taken it upon ourselves to highlight the non-headliners on the first weekend’s bill whom we have our eyes on – and we’re even including their set times in accordance to our clock just to make it easier for you guys.
Stormzy (Outdoor) – 8.45am
Grime has struggled to travel beyond London for some time now. Def Jux tried to bring Dizzee Rascal to the States at the height of his popularity, and mentor Wiley was poised for crossover success as well, but these were to no avail. Now, with Skepta appearing on a (shudder) Linkin Park track and Drake culture vulturing the UK and Jamaica with More Life, grime seems ready to take a second stab at penetrating the Americas. Especially so with Stormzy being slated to perform on the first day of Coachella. Half of his latest album, Gang Signs & Prayers, is the rapper at his most commercially accessible, so hopefully no confuse Americans scratching their heads at the show.
DJ Shadow (Mojave) – 1.20pm
DJ Shadow’s debut LP Endtroducing legitimises sampling as an artform – and to a lesser extent, sophomore album The Private Press is a commendable follow-up as well. But ever since then, aside from his UNKLE stint, he’s struggled to maintain the critical acclaim he’d garnered early on, with his hyphy phase being the most panned by fans and critics alike. Each new collaboration – from Zack de la Rocha to Mos Def – was heralded as Shadow’s comeback, but it was only with 2016 album The Mountain Will Fall that the man was properly right back on track. Coachella 2017 is set to be a post-The Mountain Will Fall performance – that alone would guarantee a quality show, but even without the album, Shadow’s sets have always been on par even if his output isn’t as consistent.
Shura (Mojave) – 7.20am
If feather-light, John Hughes-soundtrackable pop music from a queer perspective is something that’s missing from your life, then English indie pop act Shura should fill that gap perfectly. It’s Tegan & Sara’s hormonal teen longings mixed with Dev Hynes’ ear for the pop zeitgeist of today and yesteryears – debut album Nothing’s Real is at its best uptempo, but its slower moments are just as potent; Rolling Stone describes it best as a “tangle of glam and glum.”
Gucci Mane (Sahara) – 3pm
Recently a free man, Gucci Mane is the father of a lot of modern rap (cue: “Dad” comments) that purists love to hate (cue: Mumble rap rants), which would explain why despite being on the top bill of the second day, he’s still more of a cult figure in hip hop. The Trap God’s oeuvre includes more than 2,000 tracks since gaining prominence in 2005, and has since influenced the ATL sound in ways that left the rest of the world frozen like mannequins while trap continues to evolve. Google might have turned the phrase “It’s lit” into a phrasal incarnation of the Steve Buscemi “How do you do, fellow kids” meme, but Gucci’s performance would remind you why it’s lit in the first place.
Toots and the Maytals (Main) – 8.15am
Amidst the Generation X legends and millennial favourites is the surprise addition of Jamaican band Toots and the Maytals – the pioneering act who was the first to use the term reggae on a song (‘Do the Reggay’). So it’s only obvious that they’re the best-known rock steady and ska band since the early ‘60s. The band is still actively gigging – though the ‘80s was largely a sabbatical decade for them – and their live prowess remains intact; inspiring other Jamaican and dub-influenced musicians to reach the same longevity.
Hans Zimmer (Outdoor) – 11.40am
Just watch the video below:
It’s Hans fucking Zimmer, bro.
Coachella’s full first weekend schedule below: