Festivals can be daunting. I've covered smaller "festivals" in the past, but Coachella is a Leviathan. And whether you are attending just for fun or on the job like myself, figuring out who to see can be harrowing. There were times I felt planning my class schedule for the coming semester was less stressful than planning who to see at a festival. And with this being my first Coachella, I am right there with you in making sure it is as memorable as physically possible.

Everyone has their few bands and artists they will risk life and limb to see at Coachella this year. But what about the rest of the performances? When it comes to an experience like Coachella, the beauty comes in making it well rounded. So, I have compiled a list, 405 approved, of 9 various acts that you should plan on seeing this year at Coachella.

Now, when reading, you may ask, "Where's LCD Soundsystem, Guns n' Roses, Wolf Alice, CHVRCHES? How could you not include The 1975? Matty is life, damn it!" Fret, not. Of course you should see them. This list is for those acts that aren't making the headlines every time they sneeze.

And if you don't want to see these acts, then don't. I'm a writer, not a cop.


Day 1

Savages, shot by Harsh Patel for The 405

Savages: On their website, the band writes, "Savage's intention is to create a sound, indestructible, musically solid, written for the stage and designed with enough nuances to provide a wide range of emotions." If that isn't a perfect descriptor for the band, I don't know what is. The quartet play righteous post-punk meant to melt your mind. Seriously, the dynamics and beautiful brutality they create is best captured live.

Mavis Staples: It is always surprising how many people do not realize they already love Mavis staples. The Gospel/ Soul singer cut her chops in her family's band during the American Civil Rights era. Her family was close with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the amount of musicians who consider her a friend is astounding- Bob Dylan, Jeff Tweedy, Win Butler. I mean, she recorded with Ray Charles. The massive debt popular music owes her is astounding. Her voice is still just as powerful as it was 50 years ago. This woman is an artist in the truest sense of the word.

Låpsley: The 19-year-old singer released her debut album last month and has been generating a buzz for some time. Her sound is soulful electro-pop. She has a voice mature for her years. While it is reminiscent of someone like Adele, don't get caught up in those comparisons. She has a darker reservation in her voice that will definitely keep your attention during her performance.


Day 2

Deerhunter, shot by Veronica Rose for The 405

Deerhunter: These psych-pop rockers know how to balance experimental with catchy hooks. They have a way of making complex guitar and soundscape layering look simple; especially when you consider how well they do it live. This is a band that has perfected jamming to guitar solos for the better part of 10 minutes. Front person Bradford Cox is also an enigma. He'll dress up in outlandish outfits and take command of the stage. While his antics have landed him in hot water in the past, he and the rest of the band know how to make sure everyone has a good time. If you like getting your mind melted into a perfect grilled cheese, this is the band for you.

Lush: It's been 20 years since their last full-length album was released. The Shoegaze pioneers split in 1998 and have recently reunited. Their layered guitar and pop sensibilities have laid the groundwork for countless bands. If you're a fan of DIIV and Sunflower Bean, then you're fan of Lush. Tragically their drummer, Chris Acland, took his own life in 1996. But, filling in on drums is Acland's and the band's longtime friend, Justin Welch. He has assured he's not replacing but making sure Acland's spirit lives on through the band's performances. Truly, a not-miss.

BADBADNOTGOOD: A little bit jazz, a little bit hip-hop and a whole lot of talent. This Canadian quartet utilizes live instrumentation to play their own tracks as well as curating incredible covers. I mean, any modern band that regularly utilizes a saxophone should garner the attention of everyone. And many high-profile performers have already taken notice. They've jammed with Tyler, The Creator; they've worked with Odd Future, Earl Sweatshirt, Ghostface Killah; At Coachella in 2012, they were the band in-resident and backed Frank Ocean. This is a band that gives jazz and improvisation a twist for the new generations. Your feet will be sore after all the dancing.


Day 3

Girlpool, shot by Jennifer Lo for The 405

Girlpool: If you are into truly incredible harmonies, then this duo is for you. They have been described as a folk-punk band, but even I'm unsure how to describe their sound. One plays guitar, the other bass and both have vocal chops that should be the envy of many. They have no drummer and don't need one. They are unique and will bring a breath of fresh air to the stage.

Alessia Cara: Another young chanteuse. The 19-year-old singer brings a witty insight and maturity to her brand of soul-infused pop. She's an admitted wallflower but don't let that fool you. While she may prefer nights in over bombastic parties, she has been generating a fan base that is exponentially growing. And for good reason. Her voice is the perfect vessel to carry across her lyrics. She'll still get the party going, but on her own terms.

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats: If you're into gospel, '60s soul, and good ol' Rock n'Roll, then this is a band for you. Rateliff's gruff and earnest voice has earned him accolades over the years. And with this project, the band has been generating buzz. Their song, 'S.O.B.' has generated radio play and for good reason. The combo of Rateliff's voice and the swinging band he plays with will get you jittering and shaking all over the place. Horns, guitar, and rollicking drums will keep you moving until the last note.