On April 13 -- and then again on April 20 -- thousands of sun-worshipping music fans will head out to the desert in Indio, Calif. for the start of the 13th Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Radiohead, the Black Keys, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg headline the two-weekend event, while Swedish House Mafia, Bon Iver, the Shins, David Guetta, Florence + the Machine and just about every indie band and dance act that matters will keep the tunes going nonstop on the festival's five stages.
As we gear up for this year's six long, loud days on the Empire Polo Field, spread out over a pair of weekends, for the first time in the festival's history, we look back at 10 of the most memorable moments from Coachella's past.
10. Radiohead's 'Creep'-y Request
At the 5th Coachella, Radiohead-- who typically play second fiddle to no band -- had the daunting task of following the Pixies, who'd just played their first reunion set for the festival's first sellout crowd. To keep the '90s nostalgia alive, Thom Yorke and co. dusted off their rarely-played modern-rock anthem "Creep," taking a trip down their own memory lane by special request of Boston's finest. "When I was at college, it was the Pixies and R.E.M. who changed my life," Yorke told the jubilant crowd afterwards.
9. Kanye West Brings the 'Power'
Coachella wasn't known for booking mainstream hip-hop acts, but organizers threw the crowd curve ball in 2006 festival when, 24-hours before the gates opened, organizers announced that Kanye West would perform on the main stage. 'Ye returned to the California stage in 2011, bringing along a troupe of dancers, guest appearances by Bon Iver and Pusha T, and enough pyrotechnics to light up the field. He performed everything from the early hits like "Jesus Walks" and "Gold Digger" to "Dark Fantasy" crowd-pleasers like "All of the Lights" and "Power."
If you still have not seen his whole set, I suggest you watch it now and allow yourself to be blessed.
8. Arcade Fire Kills at Sunset
For every platinum-selling main-stage headliner, there are a dozen little bands with big dreams wooing the Coachella masses with their sounds. In 2005, one such act was up-and-coming Canadian indie-rock ensemble Arcade Fire, who made their U.S. festival debut on Coachella's side stage. As the sun began to set, the band electrified their largest crowd to date with a kinetic, chaotic performance of anthemic tunes. Not only did the gig prove to be one of the weekend's most buzzed-about sets, it brought Arcade Fire widespread acclaim as one of rock's most formidable live bands.
7. Madonna Rules the Dance Tent
Coachella purists raised their eyebrows when organizers announced the addition on Madonna-- the most mainstream act the alt-rock-leaning event had ever booked -- as the Sahara dance tent's headlining act in 2006. But Madge proved that she belonged in the desert as she delivered a dynamic 30-minute set of club hits that had everybody but the Tool fans shaking their asses.
6. Roger Waters' Pig Takes Flight
Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters brought all of the fog, pyrotechnics and props he could carry to Coachella for his 2008 headlining spot. One of those included a giant inflatable pig that hovered about the crowd during the song "Sheep." But Waters was surprised to see the graffittied swine -- which boasted the word "Obama" on its underbelly -- floating off into the night sky at the song's conclusion. "That's my pig," Waters uttered before leaving the stage (only to return to play "Dark Side of the Moon" in its entirety. Coachella organizers offered four free lifetime passes and $10,000 to anyone who found the pig, whose vinyl carcass was recovered in a Palm Springs country club several days later.
5. The Cure Can't Be Stopped
British goth kings the Cure are known for their marathon live sets, but in 2009, the band's show was literally cut short by the Coachella crew. After playing for more than two-and-a half hours, frontman Robert Smith began the band's third encore by informing the crowd that they'd had been instructed to play only one more song. The band played two more tunes without incident. But as the Cure broke into its 1980 hit "Boys Don't Cry," festival organizers cut the main-stage speakers. The band continued to play through their stage monitors, causing the crowd to rush the stage and join in an unprompted sing-along.
4. Prince Parties Like It's 1984
Three weeks before Coachella 2008 kicked off, organizers announced the addition of Prince as Saturday's headlining act. "I [came] to party," the pint-sized powerhouse screamed to the crowd. "You are in the coolest place on Earth right now." And just to make sure that was the case, Prince showed up with more than his arsenal of hits -- including "Purple Rain" and "Little Red Corvette" -- he also brought an all-star '80s entourage that included percussion queen Shelia E. and members of the Time, who kicked off the set with a medley of "Jungle Love" and "The Bird."
3. The Pixies Sell Out
After an 11-year hiatus, alt-rock godfathers the Pixies answered the prayers of Gen-Xers everywhere and announced a 16-date North American club tour that concluded with a headlining spot at Coachella 2004. The band's much-hyped appearance drew record numbers to the polo grounds, resulting in Coachella's first sell-out event, and garneried international for the festival as one of the globe's premier music events.
2. Daft Punk's Pyramid Lights Up the Night
Depeche Mode and Tool ruled the main stage in 2006, but the hottest action at the 7th Coachella festival went down in the Sahara dance tent, when electronic duo Daft Punk closed out day one with their first U.S. performance in nine years. Expectations were high, but not even the men behind the masks could have anticipated just how legendary the duo's set would become. Appearing onstage in their trademark robot gear for the first time, the Punks dropped beats from inside a 40-foot, LED-encrusted pyramid and whipped the crowd into a howling, fist-pumping mob for 80 minutes. Videos of the performance saturated the web overnight, and Daft Punk quickly re-emerged as the most talked-about dance act on the planet.
1. Rage in the Desert
Coachella had hosted many reunion gigs on its grounds before, but nothing shook the polo field quite like the return of Rage Against the Machine. Zack de La Rocha, Tom Morello and co. brought their politically charged songs to the stage for the first time in seven years and performed in front of an estimated 100,000 people -- the largest crowd in Coachella's history. The show was intended to be a one-off, but thanks to the overwhelming response from fans, the gig promoted a full-scale band reunion that continues to rage on.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the quality of any of the videos posted (besides the kanye one), they're all from the source oop. I agree with most of this list tbh. I'm really looking forward to this years lineup overall too.