Concerts in L.A. in April
A clear-eyed West Coast MC, Staples eschews the glitz of mainstream hip-hop for biting critiques of life as a not-quite-famous rapper, backed by sinister beats from the likes of Kanye West, mentor No ID and electro crooner James Blake.
The soulful, sensitive Swedish strummer returns with the Göteborg String Theory chamber orchestra in tow. Though he's still most famous for his downbeat cover of the Knife's "Heartbeats," his own material blends a love of alt Americana and Bert Jansch with his own Latino roots (his parents are Argentinian), and is thoroughly delectable.
Nearly 125,000 music lovers make a pilgrimage to the Empire Polo Club during each identical weekend of Coachella, whether bound for campgrounds or shuttling over from golf resorts and midcentury modern homes. Though its bespoke dining experiences and hotel party scene may try to steal headlines, Coachella remains about the relaxed desert air euophoria of a well-curated music festival. Coachella’s all-embracing three-day lineup consistently crafts the pool of performers from which all other summer music festivals borrow. Even in the face of an increasingly predictable pattern, it’s hard to argue with a fest that finds room for Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande atop its bill. RECOMMENDED: See our complete Coachella coverage
Ice Cube, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Mack 10, Warren G, Too Short, DJ Quik, Tha Dogg Pound and MC Eiht headline 93.5 KDAY’s annual hip-hop concert.
Most recollections of Bikini Kill—we suppose this one included—start with the trio’s legacy: their pioneering place among riot grrrl acts and the streak of fiery feminism they’ve inspired in music to this day. But the songs also stand alone; only a few seconds of female bonding anthem “Rebel Girl” is enough to convince you that Bikini Kill was onto something special. Bikini Kill will reunite for a select series of shows in New York and L.A. Frontwoman Kathleen Hanna, drummer Tobi Vail and bassist Kathi Wilcox (plus guitarist Erica Dawn Lyle) will play the Hollywood Palladium in April and early May. Outside of a small 2017 show, this’ll mark the band’s first major live shows together in two decades. Tickets for the final L.A. date go on sale Friday, January 25 at noon.
Strap on your cowboy hat and make the pilgrimage to country music’s biggest jamboree, taking up residence at Coachella’s digs, the Empire Polo Club. Stagecoach is coming back for a three-day fest, and headlining the event this year are stars like Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and Jason Aldean. Expect the usual mix of contemporary and classic country.
Southern California seems to have found its concert calling with the rise of oceanfront festivals. The latest: Back to the Beach, a ska-heavy ’90s and early aughts throwback from Blink 182’s Travis Barker and Goldfinger’s Feldy. The second annual fest at Huntington State Beach, slated for April 27 and 28, has augmented its ska-heavy lineup with pop-punk favorites. The 2019 lineup includes blink-182, Goldfinger, the Used, Reel Big Fish, the Story So Far, Streetlight Manifesto, the Aquabats and more. And since, let’s face it, that lineup caters to an aging cohort of concertgoers, the fest has positioned itself as a family-friendly affair (albeit one that still serves plenty of craft beer) with carnival games on the sand. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 25 at 10am. A limited number of passes will be available for $80, but we suspect prices beyond that to look a little more like last year (which was $99.50 for a single day ticket, $199.50 for a two-day pass).