Coachella 2018 is history. While the festival was a huge success, it was a let down for fans of heavy mental as it focused too much on R&B, electronic music, pop, and hip-hop. Metal was grossly under represented at the festival, just as rock was given up for dead
So, artists like Beyoncé, Eminem, and The Weekend got to headline the festival. Even international pop star Rochelle Humes got an invite to Indio, albeit not without controversy. Metal acts were left out in the cold.
This is a shame as Coachella has had a long tradition of musical diversity, providing artists from all genres a massive platform to showcase their music. The inaugural Coachella, in fact, was headlined by rock acts Beck and Morrissey, techno band Chemical Brothers, rap metal act Rage Against the Machine, and metal band Tool. The annual Indio, California festival has played host to all sorts of artists, including metal icons Motörhead in 2014. Three years earlier, the trash metal Big Four of Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax put on a sonic blast of metal at its apex best.
But metal, along with rock as well, is seemingly no longer in the good graces of Coachella’s organizers, because in recent years very few metal acts have performed at one of music’s most popular festivals. This metal drought has been evident over the past two years, and it is a trend that is likely to continue. Then again, things can change in a year, and metal fans can only keep their fingers crossed that Coachella 2019 will feature more metal acts. Should that happen, here are some bands we want to see at Indio:
Ever since the release of “Demigod” way back in 2004, Behemoth has become one of the faces of death metal, and the Polish group are sure to give Coachella a rage-filled rampage onstage. Bruisers like “Slaves Shall Serve,” “Conquer All,” and of course, “The Satanist” will most definitely rock Indio into another world. Their video for “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel,” which we once described as the band’s “most unsettling and unique works” is still a visual masterpiece and may be near impossible to top.
California’s own, Avenged Sevenfold have refined their sound — originally rooted in metalcore — through the years, and are arguably one of metal’s most popular acts. M. Shadows is a show in himself and the band would be a welcome break from the safe sets that now dominate the festival.
Ghost’s rise to metal superstardom has been nothing short of spectacular, parlaying the success of <em>Opus Eponymous</em> debut into worldwide success. Their elaborate stage show will surely jolt Indio and the rest of California, and their mysterious persona will add a level of mystique to next year’s Coachella. Interestingly, they will be coming here later this year to San Diego. Coachella organizers better take note.
Cradle of Filth brought black metal to the US, and their gothic overtones will surely have a place at Indio. They’ve dialed back their sound a little bit, but they remain showstoppers, and will be worth the price of admission should they make it to Coachella.
Four of the best at a single Coachella festival is, of course, wishful thinking. But we sure wouldn’t moan if it happened. Either way, all we ask is for all genres to be well represented next year.