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Nine Bands To See That Aren't Headliners at Coachella

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Don’t go for the headliners. Go for names like Benjamin Booker, Ryn Weaver, Allah-Las and more.

Nine Bands To See That Aren't Headliners at Coachella

Out in sunny Indio, California, Coachella begins its first of two weekends. The start of Coachella is the unofficial beginning of the music festival season, so it's a good day if you're a fan of live music and overpriced drinks.

With most of these events, the headliners are a rather/rinse/repeat exercise. Most of the acts are interchangeable, and the same is true with Coachella. Jack White and Drake have headlined a lot of festivals before, and AC/DC is pushing a new album/tour. This is all old news, and if you're going for the headliners that's fine.

But what really separates all of these festivals are the supporting acts that are booked and included all the way at the bottom of the poster. These are the bands you need to show up early for, and many of them will be acts that are on the rise. Some might even be headliners when all is said and done. Here's a look at nine bands/artists (three from each day of the festival) you need to catch that aren't headlining acts 

Friday

Allah-Las

This LA band has a serious throwback vibe. Just like Foxygen, Allah-Las are capitalizing on a strong nostalgic quality to their music. Seriously, listen to "Tell Me (What's On Your Mind)" and tell me you don't hear a sound reminiscent of the early Rolling Stones or other bands of that era.

Ryan Hemsworth

I caught this prodigious Canadian DJ/producer during CMJ back in 2012, and he was super impressive performing for an intimate crowd at Pianos. On the heels of his fantastic 2014 release Alone For The First Time, he'll have a lot more people watching him this weekend.

The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger

Sean Lennon's newest project, featuring the talented Charlotte Kemp Muhl, has an inescapable pull of psychedelic. You're in for a groovy performance when you see anything that Sean Lennon does.

Saturday

Benjamin Booker

One of the breakout acts of 2014, Booker got to cut his teeth by touring with Jack White last year. Booker's live shows are filled with energy and raw talent. His bluesy rock and gritty vocals are just the thing to start your Saturday.

Ryn Weaver

I was shocked to see Weaver this low on the bill. This young woman is an absolute star in the making, as her SXSW performance indicated. In a couple years, there's a great chance you could see her on the main stage, so get in on the ground floor with Ryn.

Jamestown Revival

This Austin, Texas folk act makes music that is just so silky smooth. Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance have sun-soaked voices that harmonize so beautifully, and their songs have the ability to just take you away from wherever you are and transport you to a lovely place.

Sunday

Saint Motel

After two long days at Coachella, you need to start your day off with a pep in your step. Saint Motel is the band that will do that. Their songs are like mini parties designed to get you moving and grooving in a rapturous way.

The Orwells

Maybe you're the type that needs to get your ass kicked in the morning. The Orwells are the band for you, then. You'll already be sweating in the California heat, so why not mix it up in a mosh pit to some fantastic rock music from Illinois.

Night Terrors of 1927

They definitely didn't make music like this in 1927. Jarrod Gorbel's newest project is the latest to take synth pop and make it shimmer. Catching these guys would be a great way to start your Sunday off in Indio.

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