The lineup for the 2015 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival—you know it simply as Coachella—was released today, and it turns out some of the speculation was true: Goldenvoice has made AC/DC, Jack White and Drake this year’s headliners.

Of course, opinions on the lineup vary; much of the criticism focuses on Drake being listed as one of the three headliners. Also, many are scratching people their heads and muttering: Steely Dan is part of the lineup? Really?

Steely Dan jokes aside, AC/DC is undeniably a strange, yet compelling addition for Coachella. The classic rock band from Down Under is certainly worthy of headlining honors, but it’s hard to imagine enthusiasm from fans who attend the festival for its large offerings of indie rock and EDM. Also, the timing is unfortunate: Longtime rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young was recently admitted to a nursing home due to dementia, and drummer Phil Rudd’s future with the band is in question after his arrest in November on charges involving drugs and making a threat to kill.

Beyond the headliners, I tried to see the lineup’s silver linings—and I found many. Psychedelic rock group Tame Impala is just about to release a highly anticipated new album; the band played the festival in 2013, and a large crowd turned up to see them both weekends. Other notable acts include Flying Lotus, The War on Drugs, Florence and the Machine, The Gaslamp Killer, Bad Religion, Father John Misty, Bad Religion, OFF!, Jenny Lewis and Tyler, the Creator, to name a few.

There’s at least one compelling local angle: Former Kyuss drummer Brant Bjork will be playing with his the Low Desert Punk Band. The successful Los Angeles band Chicano Batman will also be appearing.

Coachella 2015 takes place Friday through Sunday, April 10-12 and 17-19. Passes go on sale at noon, Wednesday, Jan. 7, at www.coachella.com.

Brian Blueskye

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brian Blueskye moved to the Coachella Valley in 2005. He was the assistant editor and staff writer for the Coachella Valley Independent from 2013 to 2019. He is currently the...

2 replies on “Coachella 2015 Lineup: Weak Headliners, Compelling Lower-Lineup Acts”

  1. Wow! Upset that Steely Dan’s included, but lauding AC/DC? Really?

    I’m not a fan of either, but AC/DC seems even farther up the dinosaur scale than Steely Dan. And having Becker & Fagen is all you need for Steely Dan, while it sure sounds like there’s even less of AC/DC’s heyday lineup left.

    My suspicion is if you locked up most of the other musicians from this lineup in a room and forced them to listen to Steely Dan or AC/DC, they would slit their wrists much sooner listening to AC/DC. AC/DC’s arena rock / guitar god culture is a bigger clash with the indie rock / hipster / EDM culture than Steely Dan.

    AC/DC’s most redeeming feature may be that that the Young boys’ brother, George Young, was a member of the Easybeats, and co-writer of “Friday On My Mind”, perhaps the best song to ever come out of Australia by anyone not named Eric Bogle.

  2. Makes me wonder what the reaction would have been in ’69 if Duke Ellington had been invited to play at Woodstock…

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