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Coachella 2013: The Rock Bands You Need to See

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gaslight anthem coachella 2013

Gaslight Anthem

Photo: Danny Clinch.
Like last year's festival, Coachella 2013 will be taking place on back-to-back weekends, with the same acts playing on the same days each weekend. Running from April 12-14 and then April 19-21, Coachella (as always) features a diverse mixture of rock, hip-hop, dance and indie music. What follows is a rundown of the rock bands you should check out while you're there. (Note: Set times are confirmed for the first weekend only. Also, some set times might overlap, which means you may have to decide which act you want to see more.)

FRIDAY, APRIL 12 and FRIDAY, APRIL 19

Modest Mouse, 7:25pm, Coachella Stage

Modest Mouse started off as a punk-like indie band before making commercial inroads with their 2004 platinum-selling disc Good News for People Who Love Bad News, which contained the hit single "Float On." But their mainstream crossover hasn't diminished their ferocious attack or frontman Isaac Brock's dark lyrical introspection. Modest Mouse haven't put out a studio album in six years; maybe we'll get a new one in 2013?

Band of Horses, 9:30pm, Outdoor Theatre

Four albums in, Band of Horses deliver reliable, laid-back rock 'n' roll that's heavy on stoned guitar solos and comforting vibes. Supporting last year's Mirage Rock, frontman Ben Bridwell will serenade the crowd with fan favorites like "The Funeral," although hopefully he'll unleash more recent gems like "Laredo" and "How to Live" as well.

How to Destroy Angels, Midnight, Mojave

While Trent Reznor puts Nine Inch Nails on the back burner, he's turned his attention to a new project, How to Destroy Angels, which features (among others) his wife Mariqueen Maandig on lead vocals. (Atticus Ross, who collaborates with Reznor on his film scores, is also part of the band.) Their full-length debut, Welcome Oblivion, arrived March 5, so you should expect to hear a lot of it at these performances.

SATURDAY, APRIL 13 and SATURDAY, APRIL 20

Puscifer, 5:25pm, Outdoor Theatre

While we continue to wait (and wait and wait) for Tool to release a new album, we'll have to make do with Maynard James Keenan's other band, Puscifer. Their last album, 2011's Conditions of My Parole, was a real treat -- dreamy, melancholy, mysterious -- and illustrates what Keenan is capable of when he's not in full-on hard-rock mode.

SUNDAY, APRIL 14 and SUNDAY, APRIL 21

The Gaslight Anthem, 3:30pm, Coachella Stage

Poised for a breakthrough that never quite happened, the Gaslight Anthem keep pounding out emotional, straightforward bar-rock that's deeply felt and increasingly catchy. You can fully expect that pump-your-fist anthems like "45" and "American Slang" will sound great at the festival.

Social Distortion, 6:00pm, Coachella Stage

Social Distortion hail from Southern Calfornia, so these Coachella dates will be taking place practically in their backyard. Winningly melding punk with rock and country, the veteran band put out Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes in early 2011, their first disc in seven years.

Tame Impala, 6:25pm, Outdoor Theatre

If you love the Flaming Lips' ability to combine psychedelic elements with classic rock, you may want to check out Tame Impala, the alt-rock collective fronted by Kevin Parker. On last year's Lonerism, Parker produced a trippy set of songs in love with '60s rock. If Oasis ever decide to get back together, they absolutely must have Tame Impala open for them on the road -- and then pass them the torch.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, 10:15pm, Coachella Stage

This will be the third appearance for Red Hot Chili Peppers, who long ago graduated to elder-statesmen status in the world of alternative rock. Almost 30 years since the release of their self-titled debut, the Peppers are now members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and still putting out quality records such as I'm With You.
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