Photo Credit: all photos courtesy of Coachella
Over the past decade, Dillon Francis has been somewhat of a fixture at the Sahara tent. Since making his Coachella debut in 2013, the impish moombahton mainstay has been a premier attraction at the festival’s rowdiest stage in 2014, 2017, and now, 2019.
To celebrate the milestone of his fourth Coachella appearance, he laced his energetic, primetime set with notable guest appearances from some of his choice collaborators. In addition to inviting DJ Snake to join him onstage for their hit, “Get Low,” Francis temporarily veered attention away from the decks, as lovelytheband came onstage to perform their recent joint single, “Change Your Mind.”
In an Instagram album recapping the set, Francis succinctly expressed how emotional the experience was for him, further engendering excitement regarding what’s in store for Coachella’s second weekend.
Dillon Francis will play Coachella’s Sahara tent from 9:35-10:35 PM on Sunday, April 21.
Featured image via Coachella 2019 by Miranda McDonald.
Each year, California’s premier music festival outdoes itself by booking an eclectic array of artists from throughout the dance music realm alongside its smattering of other genres. In 2019, these acts spread — perhaps more than ever before — throughout the event’s numerous stages, lending the opportunity to experience the diverse roster within equally diverse environs. While there are, of course, a number of fantastic performances from Coachella’s first weekend that are not represented on this list, we’ve narrowed down 10 sets which particularly impressed us.
Anytime a Frenchman takes the stage in a metal mask, Coachella history is soon to be made. And, amid a lineup filled with prodigal artists from the festival’s past, Gesaffelstein stood out as one of the its most formidable acts. After releasing the pop-laden album Hyperion in March, fans weren’t sure what to expect from Michel Lévy’s Indio return — would he focus on his newer, more mainstream fare, or return to his darker days of yore? Once he took the stage, donned in a shimmering, Vantablack metal suit, little question remained. For the first hour of nightfall in Coachella’s final day, Gesaffelstein melded his new releases with classic favorites and overwhelming live edits, synchronized against an ominously spectacular visual production. Indubitably, a new era lies on the horizon for the harrowing luminary, and Coachella provided the perfect backdrop for its debut.
Gesaffelstein will play the Outdoor stage from 7:40-8:40 PM on Sunday, April 21.
There are few acts in electronic who better embody the descriptor of “stunning” than Jon Hopkins. The British artist’s fusion of melodic ambient with erratic techno influences would set him a cut above the rest of his class, were there anyone else in his class at all. His Coachella set, which closed the Gobi tent for the weekend, dutifully matched the quality of his catalogue. Hopkins dove into mesmerizing, cathartic live edits of Singularity, his Grammy-nominated 2018 album, accompanied by a transcendent selection of video arrangements which culminated in one of the festival’s most emotionally evocative performances.
Jon Hopkins will close out the Gobi tent from 9:40-10:40 PM on Sunday, April 21.
For years, Richard James has been one of the most hoped-for additions to the Coachella lineup. Anyone with a semblance of dance music knowledge knows that his Aphex Twin project is one of the most influential pieces of electronic music history. Because James’ last appearance at the festival, in 2008, predated the “EDM boom,” his 2019 appearance marked the first time that many recent fans have been able to see him perform. Suffice it to say, he did not disappoint. Standing before a surprisingly roomy Mojave tent crowd, Aphex Twin put forth more than 90 minutes of eclectically arresting garage, techno, EBM, IDM, and downtempo music. Piercing lasers and a hysteria of often-unsettling visuals accompanied his arrhythmic score in a chaotic fashion which demonstrably proved that Richard James’ bite easily equals the bark of his hype.
Aphex Twin will close out the Mojave tent from 9:05-10:35 PM on Saturday, April 20.
Within the techno community, Nina Kraviz’s Coachella set was likely the most polarizing of the weekend. The Russian artist and Trip label-head is known for her highly energetic DJ sets, so the confusion at her decision to break from this mold in her live show debut is understandable. Indeed, for the lion’s share of her set, Kraviz dabbled more in avant-garde performance art, interacting bizarrely with set pieces more primed for a playhouse than a nightclub. However, once the peculiar producer moved on to the techno portion in her set’s second act, the patience of those who remained was duly rewarded. Kraviz’s cerebral, thunderous dance selections were awe-inspiring to say the least. And, when paired with the unique visual components which reflected her moves onstage, her set’s climax echoed Richie Hawtin’s stunning CLOSE performance, which debuted in the same Friday closing slot at Mojave two years earlier.
Nina Kraviz will close out the Mojave tent from 10:15-11:15 PM on Friday, April 19.
Anytime Âme graces an American festival roster, they are an absolute must-see. More accurately, “he” is a must-see, as generally, Kristian Beyer performs DJ sets without his partner, Frank Wiedemann. Seeing Âme in the Yuma tent at the height of Saturday afternoon is a sensorily peculiar experience. As a benchmark of Dixon’s coveted Innervisions imprint, Beyer’s deftly crafted mixes of soulful balearic house, deep techno, and tribal club music transport the listener to after-hours parties in the White Isle or Berlin. Therefore, it’s easy to forget that the sun is shining brightly just outside the walls of Yuma’s pitch-black interior. A trip to the bathroom during Âme is a smack in the face from reality, but this just makes the imminent return to Beyer’s darkened fantasy realm all the more delectable.
Âme will play the Yuma tent from 4:30-6:00 PM on Saturday, April 20.
Undoubtedly, Deep Dish is the best kept secret on Coachella’s 2019 lineup. For those unaware, the duo, which disbanded in 2006, is comprised of Dubfire and Sharam. The Yuma tent provided an impeccable setting for this storied reunion, which Deep Dish more than duly reciprocated throughout their 90-minute set. Ranging from the house influences of Sharam to Dubfire’s favored brand of apoplectic techno, the duo’s reign over Yuma stood out as one of the tent’s most diverse — and best — sets of the weekend.
Deep Dish will play the Yuma tent from 6:00-7:30 PM on Saturday, April 20.
Charlotte de Witte
Over the past two years, Charlotte de Witte has grown from a hero of techno’s underground into one of the genre’s most sought-after acts for the festival circuit, and it’s easy to see why. During her prime Sunday slot, the Belgian DJ provided one of the Yuma tent’s darkest sets of the entire weekend — no small feat, considering her competition from ominous legends sharing the roster, such as Nicole Moudaber and Cirez D. From the moment she took the stage, de Witte plunged her audience into a uniquely aggressive realm, ensuring that all in attendance would be reinvigorated for the festivals final sets thereafter.
Charlotte de Witte will play the Yuma tent from 7:00-8:30 PM on Sunday, April 21.
In 2019, Coachella poured more resources into their preeminent onsite nightclub than ever before. The intricate lighting arrangements throughout the stage and ceiling of the Yuma tent exceptionally accentuated the deftly-curated soundsystem for each act on the weekend’s stellar lineup. With this pristine setup, Goldenvoice would be hard-pressed to find a better weekend closer than Eric Prydz. Impressively, albeit unsurprisingly, the Swedish icon artfully claimed the stage as his own during his sinister, 2-hour set as Cirez D. Prydz’s team masterfully executed the lighting system of the Yuma to its fullest potential, creating a monolithic experience which mirrored the environs of the artist’s former residency at Hï Ibiza. Though the bass often obscured the top-lines of Cirez D’s fast-paced, techno-heavy set, the aggressively sleek selections culminated in a larger than life experience, providing Yuma — indeed, all of Coachella — with the conclusion it deserved.
Cirez D will close out the Yuma tent at 10:00 PM on Sunday, April 21.
In the realm of live electronic music, an intricate visual production can be as defining (or more) an element of an artist’s set as the music itself. An artist’s decision to eschew any video or lighting component whatsoever is, therefore, quite the statement. As the sun set on Coachella’s second day, Four Tet shrugged off the visual effects at his disposal, opting to perform his entire slot in front of the Mojave tent’s black screens. With no other stimuli competing for attention, Four Tet’s eclectic selection of experimental house and garage-infused tech took center stage, leaving a masterful impact on all in attendance.
Four Tet will play the Mojave tent from 7:35-8:35 PM on Saturday, April 20.
Chances are, those who catch Bassnectar’s closing Saturday night set at the Outdoor stage at this year’s Coachella won’t be seeing him for the first time. Over the last two decades, Lorin Ashton has cultivated one of dance music’s most dedicated fanbases. And, thanks to his high-octane brand of amorphous bass music and vibrantly chaotic visual productions, bass heads will attend as many of his shows as they feasibly can. However, Bassnectar’s set during the first week proved to be a unique experience in its own way.
2019 marks Ashton’s first Coachella appearance since he performed the Sahara tent six years ago, and the rare opportunity to witness the iconic artist from a spacious, open-air crowd is certainly one to be relished. During the first week, Bassnectar’s setlist echoed performances from one of his most beloved eras, the early 2010s. Perhaps due to his relatively brief time-slot, Ashton spent little time exploring his softer, more melodic influences. Instead, he opted to put forth formidable classics from his own catalogue alongside cuts from the likes of Gesaffelstein and a visually stunning, at times political, light show.
Bassnectar will close out the Outdoor stage at 12:05 AM on Saturday, April 20 (technically Sunday).
Featured image via Coachella 2019 by Charles Reagan.
Childish Gambino performed his headlining slot at Coachella Friday night/Saturday morning in coordination the release of his new movie, Guava Island, directed by “This Is America” Grammy-award winning director, Hiro Murai.
The energetic performance was met with dips and dives of energy, as seen in the clip below where Donald Glover’s performing alter-ego hit festival goers with an intense new song possibly called “Warlords” (according to a leaked setlist) followed by a ambient, gospel rendition of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” The new song covers tribal influences and energy through primal chanting, megaphone sounding vocals, and brooding tones.
Other highlights from the set included smoking a joint with a fan during “Late Night In Kauai;” dedicating “Riot” to Nipsey Hussle, Mac Miller, and his father, and the audience; and hugging Janelle Monáe after “This Is America.”
Photo Credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images
Ariana Grande famously proclaims herself to be “so f*cking grateful” for her ex on viral chart sensation, “thank u, next.” Grande, however, now has a lot more to be thankful for, aside from the sagacity that post-breakup introspection allows. The day’s reigning pop queen recently transcended “Grammy nominee” status, to secure a coveted golden statue for “Best Pop Album” for Sweetener. Prior to winning the first Grammy of her career, Grande gave Coachella the green light when the chic California affair offered her a headlining slot for the event’s 2019 iteration. Grande made history in her acceptance of Coachella 2019 headlining duties, becoming the youngest headliner in the festival’s history.
Grande’s list of accomplishments tumbles on as Grande sets yet another record, this one previously held by The Beatles. Grande is the first artist in 55 years to have productions concurrently occupying the first, second, and third spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Her thank u, next album inclusions “7 rings,” “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored,” and “thank u, next,” fill the consecutive chart positions. Grande is only the second artist in the Hot 100’s 60-year existence to simultaneously occupy the number one, two, and three spaces on the chart, and the first since John, Paul, George, and Ringo achieved the same feat in 1964.
The release of Coachella‘s lineup is a highly anticipated event every year, with fans attentively looking out for their favorite acts and fresh new talent amid the festival’s legendary annual billing. Aside from the drama surrounding Kanye West‘s departure from his headlining slot, the festival released their full lineup to considerable fanfare this year. Presenting one of the most diverse and electronic-heavy lineups in recent memory, Coachella has drawn both praise and criticism for their underground selections and electronic skew.
With such a deep pool of electronic acts, this list is a guide to the most crucial sets from the bottom portion of the Coachella lineup. From the debut of techno newcomers to emerging producers and vocalists, Dancing Astronaut has selected the fifteen undercard acts that you can’t miss at Coachella this year.
Rachel Narozniak, Christina Hernandez, and Alex Krinsky also contributed to this article.
Known for his truly inspiring live sets, Four Tet consistently amazes crowds with thoughtfully curated shows in intimate venues, while also adapting his invigorating performance for larger festival audiences. Striking a balance between analog and digital, between funky and rigid, crisp and distorted, Four Tet displays his mastery of sound and space with every set he plays. The highest billed artist on this list, this show will please everyone from casual house and techno fans to audio aficionados, without sacrificing creative ambitions and impulses.
Singer, songwriter, and producer Rosalía released her sophomore album, El Mal Querer, at the tail end of 2018. Following up her mostly flamenco-leaning debut, Rosalía embraces textured electronic production behind her vocals, drawing comparisons to James Blake, Sampha, Blue Hawaii, and more. With her powerful voice, intensely executed choreography, and top notch production, Rosalía is a star on the rise, taking on what may be the largest performance of her career this April.
Few know their way around sound design like SOPHIE — a true master of eclectic electronica. Her groundbreaking album, Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides was a breathtaking evolution of her signature experimental sound, taking listeners on a wild ride across its nine tracks and eventually leading to her making Grammy history as the first transgender woman to be nominated for the honor. It was a true culmination of years spent exploring different soundscapes, and shows off a mature artist primed to continue leading the charge in her creative realm. Catch her on Friday for what’s set to be a hauntingly brilliant live performance.
While Grammy-nominated artist Jon Hopkins needs no introduction, the depth of talent on Coachella’s lineup makes it easy to miss even the most impressive of names. Infusing his live sets with synths and a variety of gear, Hopkins’ house and techno is filled with textures and subtleties that have gained global recognition. With an international superstar bringing an acclaimed live set to one of the largest stages in music, this set is guaranteed to bring entrancing vibes to the Polo Grounds.
With a career of performances spanning from Burning Man to Berlin, Tara Brooks is a perfect example of Coachella’s expanding body of house and techno artists. A Desert Hearts veteran with co-signs from Joseph Capriati, Sasha, and John Digweed, Brooks puts forth some of the best that deep and progressive house out there to date. Though an L.A. native, she will bring the experience of the world’s most coveted nightlife and festival scenes to Coachella this April.
It’s a surefire fact that when people saw Idris Elba’s name on Coachella’s lineup most of them went straight for Google. Many articles were written up on the fact that the man who portrayed Stringer Bell, Luther, and Nelson Mandela was going to be spinning beats at California’s biggest festival. CNN actually put out the headline “Yes, Idris Elba is playing Coachella” no doubt to many clicks. The fact of the matter is DJ Big Driis has been spinning for a minute — since he was 14, actually. He told Dancing Astronaut not only about his strife balancing his image as an actor and sexiest man alive with his passion for dance music back in 2017. Though it may be unbeknownst to many, Elba has collaborated with Fatboy Slim, was remixed by Pete Tong, and remixed Skepta. Far from his first major appearance, the 007 prospect made his mark in Ibiza, Atlanta, played Glastonbury festival, and has his sets on YouTube. He’s got that English charm, major relevance across multiple fields, and the skills to back it all up. Besides, it’s Idris Elba — you don’t need us to tell you to go see him.
Nora En Pure
Deep house and indie dance aesthetics intermingle with polished precision when Nora En Pure takes the decks. A melodic songstress, the South African phenom smoothly crafts live sensory experiences that invite attendees to delve into deeper house territory alongside the renowned producer. Nora En Pure’s catalog conveys her seemingly magnetic gravitation downwards to the lower boundaries of house music. It is with unparalleled finesse that the Don’t Look Back producer lifts her listeners from these deeper house stylings, to provide contrast in the form of airy, mellow sonic constructs that showcase Nora En Pure’s versatility, and the effortlessness with which she seamlessly bridges the ‘dark’ and ‘light’ tonalities of her music. Dulcet and fluid in the way that it unfurls, a Nora En Pure set is a Coachella must see.
Ross From Friends
Back in the 80’s Felix Clary Weatherall, better known as Ross From Friends, had a mobile sound system created by his dad, stationed in a van that bumped beats and toured around Europe, bringing a shared experience to music lovers wherever it wound up. Since his childhood, Ross From Friends wanted to create and connect like his father, through the use of music. However, one can follow in their father’s footsteps for only so long, eventually Ross From Friends carved his own path — one that led to a stage at Empire Polo Club. Only a few years ago Brainfeeder’s head honcho Flying Lotus casually recruited Ross From Friends and gave him the freedom to create with the advice, “make the album you want to make.”
In April of 2018, Ross From Friends released his Aphelion EP, displaying his sonic mobility while defining and fine-tuning his sound. Just four months later he put out his debut album on Brainfeeder, Family Portrait.
The Guardian deemed him “one to watch,” his sound has been compared to Jamie XX, Boards of Canada, and Four Tet. Fly-Lo gave him absolute freedom to astounding results, and that guy just knows. Whether the pull is musical curiosity or the desire to see an artist that is in the process of blooming, Ross From Friends’ performance at Coachella should not be missed.
In 2018, Burna Boy went from local Nigerian treasure to a global phenomenon. Dropping his major label debut, Outside, on Atlantic Records and nabbing a feature on Major Lazer‘s “All My Life,” Burna Boy has been exposed to a whole host of new audiences. The energetic 27-year-old rhymer is making sure his presence at Coachella is known, already taking to his Instagram to demand that his name be printed larger because he is an “AFRICAN KING.” Eccentric and talented, Burna Boy is slated to bring down the Polo Grounds with his distinctive Afrobeat style.
Polo & Pan
French indie-electronic duo Polo & Pan spent much of 2018 on the road, with two US tours and gigs around Europe and the Middle East allowing them to fine tune their live show. Coming hot off the deluxe re-release of their debut album, Caravelle, the pair now have a deep body of work to play out to the masses in Indio. With a fleshed out stage set-up coming in 2019, Coachella may be Polo & Pan’s biggest and most impressive show yet.
The French up-and-comer has breathed fresh life into bass music. Her avant-garde sound draws from a multitude of influences and her own classical training, making for captivating original productions and even more infectious live sets. CloZee’s growth has been particularly impressive as of late, where she released her long-awaited debut LP, Evasion, in 2018 and quickly earned slots at a variety of high profile festivals including Bonnaroo, Lightning In A Bottle, and even Coachella. We suspect her return to the Southern California institution will be pumped full of brand new music, and special edits of deeper cuts in her discography.
For house and techno lovers, Europe’s diverse club and festival circuit can leave American fans yearning for talent that often stays on the other side of the Atlantic. A prime example of this is esteemed German DJ Stephan Bodzin – though he tours relentlessly in Europe, playing his gripping techno tunes to engrossed crowds, a US appearance from Bodzin is a rare treat. With pounding bass, a melodic skew, and enough gear to fill an entire studio, Bodzin is set to tear down Indio with his old school style and boisterous swagger for one of his few US shows of 2019.
Since coming onto the scene in 2016, Rico Nasty has blossomed into one of the more colorful and abrasive characters in D.C.’s ever-growing hip-hop scene. Ranging from hard trap music to a punk take on rap, the 21-year-old and her rowdy personality are only boosted with production from Kenny Beats, one of hip-hop’s most in-demand producers of the moment, formerly of LOUDPVCK. With high energy music and a lively stage presence, Rico Nasty’s Coachella performance is a great opportunity to catch some of hip-hop’s finest rising talent.
Denmark-based DJ and producer Kölsch has built a path for himself by adding a melodic twist on four-to-the-floor techno production. Having graced the main stages of much of Europe’s techno festival scene and played a DJ set atop the Eiffel Tower, Kölsch has a deep catalog of work, most recently including his 2018 joint EP with Tiga. Bringing his anthemic sound to Indio, the Danish DJ’s set is sure to be one of many stellar techno performances headed to Indio this spring.
Bridging the gap between electronic and indie music, Superorganism defy genre in a completely unique way. Using a mix of harmonic vocals, distinctive sampling techniques, and electronic instrumentation, the band is sure to make an impression on any audience. Whether it’s jamming out on a funky synth or blowing bubbles through a straw, every track will be packed to the brim with intriguing textures. Check out their Tiny Desk Concert to get a taste of the creativity to come at the band’s Coachella debut.
Unsurprisingly, over six months in advance, the eternally trendy Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is already garnering a swarm of rumors regarding its 2019 headliners.
The scoop comes from HITS Daily Double, as the outlet recently reported via anonymous, “informed sources” that the imminent installment (set to run April 12-21) will house headlining performances from Childish Gambino (Friday), Justin Timberlake (Saturday), and Kanye West (Sunday). The artists themselves have yet to comment on these claims.
Coachella 2018 proved particularly eventful, with notable performances from both Beyonce, who brought with her over 100 dancers onstage during her headlining set—in addition to a cameo from husband Jay-Z—and Whethan, the 19-year-old Boy Wonder of EDM, who personally flew out the yodeling boy internet sensation for a special guest performance, which quickly went viral on a sundry of social media channels.
Via: HITS Daily Double