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Coachella Set Times Released - Let the Madness Begin

Well the long wait is over: those in power at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Goldenvoice) have released the set times for this weekend's affair. An initial glance at things shows a pretty smooth flow for the weekend, with minimal conflict for fans of the same genres. Picking the set times for such an eclectic lineup is never an easy task, but this year looks to be like another success for Goldenvoice. The complete set times with analysis by yours truly (this year marks my fourth consecutive year attending Coachella) is after the jump.

Let's crack this festival open and examine it, shall we? First, we have the set times for all three days:

Sir Paul McCartney will get, from the looks of it, a 2 hour plus set
for his 10 PM Friday slot, with no competition from Silversun Pickups,
who will be wrapping up their set a few minutes before 10 a stage
over on the Outdoor Stage. The Cure also get a massive slot for their festival-closing set on Sunday, a set that is sure to be rife with grown men in their late 30's and early 40's wearing black lipstick and capes. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Goldenvoice for planning three solid conflicts (four if you actually like Atmosphere) with The Killers' Saturday headlining set. I would much rather attend either Gang Gang Dance, Mastodon or MSTRKRFT's sets than The Killers' (be careful...that Gang Gang Dance set could be epic, not to mention Mastodon's). I know Goldenvoice isn't purposely trying to undermine the talents of The Killers, but wow -- that 11 PM timeslot on Saturday stocked with some amazing closing sets.

Sunday is, as per the usual since the festival expanded to three days in 2007, a bit slower than the other days. I had speculated that they would lead into The Cure's set with My Bloody Valentine, since 90% of either band's fan base loves both bands. I wonder why they have to stick Okkervil River in between The Knux and Lupe Fiasco like that on the Coachella stage, but I'm not the one picking these sets.

It's always overwhelming to see these all these artists lined up back to back like they are once the official set times are released. Just looking at Friday's lineup in the Sahara (dance) Tent is impressive, starting with Gui Boratto and going on through The Crystal Method. I had also pegged Valley favorites Dear and the Headlights for the opening band on Friday in the festival's smallest tent, the Gobi, but they exceeded my expectations and will open the much larger Mohave tent. That set is sure to be groundbreaking for the band.

I could go on and on until I am blue in the face, but the excitement surrounding this year's Coachella is now palpable, thanks to the confirmed set times. I must say that Late of the Pier playing a night set in the Sahara Tent is a pleasant surprise. Their set was, by far, my most anticipated for this year's festival. It's all set -- the plans are being made and all the hip kids are slowly making their way out to the Palm Desert for three long days of pure outdoor music festival bliss.

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Michael Lopez