By Leighton Ginn
When Coachella announces it’s lineup, the last few years, it’s been met with disappointment.
As the leading music festival in this country, expectations are high, maybe too high.
I look at this year’s lineup and it’s impressive, yet I still feel disappointed.
Having said that, I’ve been disappointed when Coachella’s lineup has been announced the last few years, but I still go and have a good time.
The headliners are strong with Beyoncé, who will be performing for the first time as an act and not a guest. Radiohead is a longtime Coachella favorite. And Kendrick Lamar is on the brink of surpassing superstar status.
No doubt, Coachella will do well with ticket sales and buzz.
It also didn’t help that BottleRock Napa Valley announced it’s lineup, with Foo Fighters, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Maroon 5 are the headliners. It’s a matter of tastes, but I’m more excited about those headliners.
But for me, I go to Coachella with an open mind. What usually happens, I’ll find bands I didn’t know much about and fall in love with them. And acts I was so-so with, I’ll fall in love with.
The truth of the matter is Coachella has been evolving and expanding it’s reach, having made hip hop and EDM more of a staple over the years. With the broader base, there will be less bands I really love that will fill the line up.
But that’s cool.
There’s still enough bands I love, as well as a few new ones I’m really anxious to see. If I go with an open mind, I’m sure there will be an act I will fall in love with and it might change my tastes yet again.
So here’s a few of my highlights after seeing the 2017 lineup.
HANS ZIMMER?: If Coachella was going to book an act that is famous for scoring movies, I figured it would have been former Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman.
Zimmer has done the score of countless epic movies, including “The Lion King” and “The Dark Knight.” He’s even teaching an online “Masterclass” online for $90.
I always imagine that if Hans Zimmer does something, it would be with a huge orchestra in a venue like the Hollywood Bowl.
But this could be a very cool show.
It reminds me of when producer Mark Ronson performed at Coachella. While he doesn’t sing, he had a great show with tremendous guests.
A WOMAN, FINALLY: Beyoncé becomes just the second woman to headline Coachella, following in the footsteps of Bjork in 2002 and 07. It’s surprising it’s been a decade since Coachella had a female headliner.
But Beyoncé will be a spectacular way to end the drought. She stole the show at last year’s Super Bowl, and “Lemonade” was her latest monster hit.
It won’t be the first time Beyoncé has performed at Coachella, as she’s been a guest for several acts, including husband Jay Z during his 2010 headlining set.
It also brings up this interesting tidbit. Will Beyoncé’s appearance bring out the Obama family as President Obama has bought a home in nearby Rancho Mirage? They have been friends and Beyoncé and Jay Z were at the White House frequently.
Here’s a look back at Beyoncé performing with Jay Z at Coachella, singing “Young Forever.”
CATCHING THOSE I MISSED IN 2012: So at Coachella, be careful what you eat. In 2012, I had something that forced me to leave the evening session, forcing me to miss some much-anticipated acts like Radiohead and Bon Iver.
Luckily, both are here this year.
But I did get one reprieve. Thom York was at the Ace Hotel the following weekend, and he was DJ-ing on a Friday prior to his Weekend 2 performance the next day.
Another band that I wanted to catch but missed was Bastille, as they played a tent that was so overcrowded I couldn’t get in. Hopefully they’ll be on the main stage this time.
WELCOME BACK: Bands who had some of my favorite sets will be returning, particularly New Order, Two Door Cinema Club, Capital Cities, GroupLove, Local Natives and the Head and the Heart.
ACTS I WANT TO SEE FOR THE FIRST TIME: DJ Khalid, Empire of the Sun, Glass Animals, Phantogram, Bon Iver, Bishop Briggs, Declan McKenna and Tove Lo.
Follow Ginn and Topics on Twitter ( GinnandTopics), Instagram (@GinnTopics) and my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ginnandtopics )