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Kendrick Lamar (2:40 Friday, Coachella Stage): An early-afternoon main-stage spot is not exactly an enviable position for an ascendant rapper known for dense verbiage and quick-tongue delivery. But to see Kendrick live is to recognize that you're seeing a star in mid-birth. Kendrick's stage presence is fierce and intense, and his fans' devotion is absolute. This set, not too far from his Compton hometown, could be a real coming-out party, and he's also expected to show up alongside mentor figure Dr. Dre later in the festival.

COACHELLA BACK. And, this year, the bacchanalia stretches across two weekends featuring identical lineups, as well as an interim week of non-Coachella shows in L.A., so if you’re looking for live music in your city and there’s none to be had outside of that one bar band that always plays Happy Hour on Tuesdays at O’Halligan’s, this is why. This year’s Coachella contains another dizzying slate of intriguing prospects, and today we’ll run down 15 shows not to miss this weekend, featuring Radiohead, Pulp, Kendrick Lamar, God Speed! You Black Emperor, and more. Hit the gallery for the set time-sequential list.

Comments (17)
  1. Can I just want to see Pulp? Even though I’m nowhere near California, I still would like to see Pulp. Can they tour near my town? Ever?

  2. Flattering picture of Thom Yorke you found.

  3. i can only assume “Bonus points for (At the drive in) getting back together just because they wanted to, not because of the money.” is sarcasm

  4. Saw Explosions in the Sky with girlfriend… no “your hand in mine” saddest day ever :(

  5. I’m surprised at the lack of tUnE-yArDs. Their live shows are always fantastic.

    • Flying Lotus debuting his entire new album is definitely a must-see for me.

      Also I was thinking, isn’t Jeff Mangum sort of a “Don’t Miss Him”? His legendary reclusive status makes this performance seem like a now or never moment.

  6. Shouldn’t it be “15 Coachella 2012 Performances To Not Miss”?

  7. IMO Coachella has a weak lineup this year. When Lollapalooza has a better lineup you know its a down year.

  8. Elyse Howdershell  |   Posted on Apr 14th, 2012 0

    Woah! You totally have to add Death Grips to the list..They’re so sick! Come on..even Pitchfork is raving about them…they’re great!
    http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/13421-ive-seen-footage/

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