Coachella Sideshows: Catch Big Acts before the Big Show


Two wristbands to Coachella for you and a friend: $800.

One car-camping pass to share among you: $100.

Gas from Long Beach to Coachella Valley round trip: $75.

Food and drinks for three days at festival prices: $100-$200.

That's a daunting bill for most college students, but fear not. Goldenvoice, the concert promotion group behind Coachella, promotes their Coachella Sideshows for the weeks leading up to the main festival dates. The shows are in great venues littered all over the southern California, and for a lot less cash you could be seeing some stellar acts in significantly more intimate spaces. Besides, there were numerous chances to see headliners Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar last year and while Lady Gaga is a fine replacement, losing Beyonce is. . . not cool. I've assembled some must-see performances, along with some of the most dollar-friendly shows, in the list below.

Glass Animals and Jagwar Ma at the Fox Theater Pomona April 18 - $38

First, do yourself a favor and search YouTube for “Glass Animals – Gooey”. If you're just trying to groove out to some “peanut butter vibes,” do not miss this show. Glass Animals hail from the UK and are not state-side that often. Their infectious, full-bodied pop rhythms and take-it-easy lyrics (“pineapples are in my head/got nobody cause I'm brain dead”) are sure to pair delightfully with the Australian, psychedelic, electronic currents of festival-frequents Jagwar Ma.

Car Seat Headrest and Preoccupations at The Regent in LA April 17 – Prices vary

I hate to advise that you try to get resale tickets at inflated prices when I'm trying to save you money, but this show will be a definite diamond in the rough. It's been sold out for a while now, but you can find tickets on some resale sites like Stubhub or Ticketfly for around $50-$60. Car Seat Headrest sounds like if The Strokes and the Arctic Monkeys had several children that formed a supergroup. Their cult following gained a lot of steam last year with the release of their album “Teens of Denial,” which topped a lot of best-of lists (Stereogum, Pitchfork, Metacritic) for 2016. Preoccupations, formerly Viet Cong, with their sardonic, bassy blend of new-wave and punk feels like the second coming of Joy Division.

Lil Uzi Vert at The Observatory in Santa Ana April 20 - $20

Trap music on April 20. Do with that information what you will. If you want an even better rap/hip-hop fix, I can also recommend Denzel Curry at the Glass House in Pomona on April 7. It will definitely be a topsy turvy moshpit at that show.

DJ Shadow and Sam Gellaitry at The Fonda in LA April 18 - $29

DJ Shadow should need no introduction. The man is a living legend - essentially the undisputed king of sampling, an all-around versatile and skilled DJ. If you have a pulse, his set will surely get you moving. OK, so he might be one of the acts that would be really amazing to see at Coachella, but $29 is a pretty sweet deal, right? Plus, Sam Gellaitry is a fairly unique artist and might surprise you.

Check out the full list of shows over at FYFpresents and see if anything catches your eye. One last thought while we're on the subject of shows: he won't be at Coachella, but Long Beach native Vince Staples will be at the Observatory April 10 for $25. Don't miss that one.

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