With so many great artists scheduled to play at Coachella this year, here are a few strongly-recommended acts that should be on the top of any music lover’s list. I have selected a few acts scheduled to perform on each day.

FRIDAY

The Black Keys – With one foot in the steps forged by ’70s hard blues rockers Led Zeppelin and another in the powerful modern kick of the Foo Fighters, Akron, Ohio’s Black Keys return to the festival as headliners on Friday this year. The band’s most recent album, “El Camino,” makes a powerful statement that rock isn’t dead. The Black Keys will likely push that point with amps turned up to 10 when they play live in concert too.

Arctic Monkeys – Mixing up indie rock and garage rock into an exciting sound, English band Arctic Monkeys will bring 10 years of great tunes to Coachella, including the impressive songs from “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” (their 2006 debut is still the fastest-selling debut album for any band in the United Kingdom).

Other Lives – An Oklahoma-based quintet whose sound is so original that writers are reluctant to peg it, there is little doubt that singer-songwriter Jesse Tabish and the rest of the group captivate audiences on impact. The group has been opening for Radiohead on that legendary band’s recent American tour and there is plenty of excitement about Other Lives getting a chance to shine at Coachella.

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Dawes – For those who yearn for the days when Crosby, Stills and Nash crafted folk rock of the highest order, the twenty something’s who comprise Los Angeles-based Dawes are doing that in our times with jaw-dropping harmonies and beautiful songs that matter. Brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, as well as Wylie Gelber and Tay Strathaim may well be one of the biggest young artists to emerge in a schedule stuffed with talent. Fans of “Harvest”-era Neil Young and Bright Eyes will love Dawes.

SATURDAY

Radiohead – Saturday at Coachella is usually reserved for the biggest and most highly-anticipated artist to headline on the main stage. 2012 is no exception with one of rock’s most exciting bands set to perform on the heels of the release of last year’s “The King of Limbs” album. Fans may hope to hear favorites off 1997’s “OK Computer” or 2000’s “Kid A,” but it is a sure bet that Colin Greenwood, Jonny Greenwood, Ed O’Brien, Phil Selway and Thom Yorke will deliver the goods no matter what original material they play in Indio.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – With equal skills as a Hammond B3 virtuoso and breathtaking singer, Grace Potter and her talented group the Nocturnals are sure to slay the music masses when they make their first-ever appearance at Coachella this year. Their current CD “Grace Potter & The Nocturnals” features several outstanding songs such as Paris, Medicine and Tiny Lights. Their new release “Never Go Back” is due to hit the shelves June 6th.

Gary Clark Jr. – Although he is only 28, Gary Clark Jr. is already among the leaders of the celebrated Austin, Texas roots and rock music scene. A double threat as both a virtuoso guitar player and great vocalist, he ranks with Joe Bonamassa as one of the greatest young electric guitarists of his generation.

Squeeze – In South London in 1973. Teenage friends Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook formed Squeeze the band that would see them dubbed ‘The New Lennon and McCartney’. Over 35 years later,  Squeeze is still touring, reminding fans worldwide just why they have left such an indelible impression on the music scene. The Coachella Valley will be rocking on Saturday night when Squeeze dip’s into their vast catalogue of hit’s which include “Cool For Cats”, “Black Coffee In Bed” and “Pulling Mussels (from the Shell)” to name a few. The latest CD “Squeeze – Live at The Fillmore” will be released on April 17th.  This collection will also be released  as a Limited Edition 2 LP on White Vinyl (**ONLY 3000 copies pressed**).

 

SUNDAY

Florence + the Machine – Florence Welch and the other members of the British band will play their intoxicating mix of rock, indie soul and Baroque pop like they always do. Since releasing their debut “Lungs” in 2009, seemingly everybody in the world has fallen in love with the group. Coachella will likely do the same when they take the stage on Sunday night.

Wild Flag – Anticipation is high for American supergroup Wild Flag, whose lineup features former members of indie artists Sleater-Kinney, the Minders and Helium. The group is set to feature rousing material off its self-titled debut at the fest.

First Aid Kit – How did two young sisters from Sweden get mixed up in returning country music to its rightful roots? Johanna Söderberg and Klara Söderberg make beautiful songs that recall the magic of Johnny and June Carter Cash, as well as Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons. This is a sound that belongs in the desert.

 

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