The 5 Absolute Can't-Miss Acts At Coachella

With two three-day weekends, more stages than we can keep track of, and revelers ranging from Hollywood elite to dancing dads, Coachella is the quintessential American music festival. But, it can also be a bit overwhelming. Do you spend your weekend dancing to EDM, chilling in a beer garden, or searching for the next big thing? As is usually the case, 2014's lineup is defined by its unexpected reunions, massive headliners, and up-and-coming buzzy bands. There's no way to see it all. Having the best possible Coachella experience is simply a matter of knowing where to be.

With that in mind, we've selected five performances that should be considered required viewing on your upcoming trip to Indio. Any one of these shows would make your weekend worthwhile — catching all five will make it legendary.

Photo: Courtesy of Mike Vorass.
Future Islands; Saturday, April 12 & 19
Future Islands has been around for years, but the band's latest LP, Singles, is a true breakout. Following a performance of "Seasons (Waiting On You)" on Letterman that had the whole Internet talking, the Baltimore-based band is ready to share its soulful brand of synth pop with the world. Coachella could be its final push toward true rockstar status.

Photo: Courtesy of Outkast.
Outkast; Friday, April 11 & 18
Outkast may be stretching its reunion out over just about every music festival this summer, but Coachella's show has the makings for something truly special. It's early in the season, so Andre 3000 and Big Boi should be at their most hyped. Of Coachella's three days and multitudes of acts, this is the set that we're most excited to see. Watching the polo fields explode to "Bombs Over Baghdad" will definitely be cooler than a polar bear's toenails.

Photo: Courtesy of The Replacements.
The Replacements; Friday, April 11 & 18
At this point, it seems like just about every '80s and '90s indie band that could possibly reunite already has…except Minneapolis punk band The Replacements. Well, thanks to a change of heart (or some serious cash?) the rowdy Minnesotans are making an appearance at Coachella. While the band's live show was famously rocky in its heyday, early buzz on the reunion says the group is tight and ready to play. Honestly, we can't wait either way.
Photo: Courtesy of Neutral Milk Hotel.
Neutral Milk Hotel; Sunday, April 13 & 20
While Jeff Mangum has been touring for quite some time now, seeing him play with his newly reunited full band is something else entirely. It's easy to think of Neutral Milk Hotel as just Mangum with an acoustic guitar, but the band's current set — which includes just about every song it ever recorded — shows that rock aggression is just as important as those more sorrowful moments.
Photo: Courtesy of Elin Berge.
The Knife; Friday, April 11 & 18
A show by Swedish pop band The Knife is truly a rare thing. The duo hasn't played in the States in years, but Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer have a reputation that precedes them. Often employing dancers, whimsical sets, and elaborate lighting and effects, this pair's abrasive electronic pop should be a true highlight.