Before Coachella became the world’s highest grossing festival, before it started selling out sans band announcements, and before it ballooned into two three-day weekends, there were different rules for the acts that played it. To keep the “integrity” of the festival, bands were initially not allowed to play additional area shows around their appearance in Indio.
That’s all changed. Now, plenty of Southern California cities look forward to what the Coachella spillover will bring them every year. San Diego routinely gets a good crop of shows, and 2016 is no different. Here is a list of acts that are soon heading to America’s Finest City.
April 12, Belly Up
Kicking things off, the live-band project of Australian DJ Benjamin Plant hits the Belly Up on their way into the desert.
April 13, Belly Up
It’s back-to-back Coachella warm-up shows as L.A. singer-songwriter Ben Schneider brings Lord Huron to the Belly Up before playing in Indio on Friday.
April 13, Observatory North Park
Scottish synth-poppers Chvrches head to North Park on Wednesday. The Lauren Mayberry-led trio released their sophomore album, Every Open Eye, last September.
April 15, Observatory North Park
Baltimore indie rock duo Beach House returns to San Diego before playing on Sunday in Indio. The band released two albums, Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars, last year.
April 16, Belly Up
The British electro-folk five-piece will undoubtedly blur genres and preview new stage apparel when they hit Solana Beach before heading to the desert for their Sunday set.
April 17, Humphrey’s Concerts By The Bay (sold out)
Yup. The platinum-selling UK crooner’s Humphrey’s show is every bit as sold out as Coachella. But for savvy locals, there’s always jumping in a canoe with the other floaters in the marina to hear the 25-year-old sing on Sunday.
April 17, Observatory North Park
The UK quintet was just here in December for 91X’s Lump Of Coal Holiday show, but return to San Diego on Sunday after their Friday headlining spot at Coachella.
The Front Bottoms
April 18, Observatory North Park
Monday is cool again as the New Jersey twang rockers come to San Diego with Brick + Mortar and Diet Cig between weekends in the desert.
Ex Hex with Sheer Mag
April 18, Casbah
It’s a double dip of Coachella goodness as Mary Timony (Helium, Wild Flag) leads her all-girl rock trio Ex Hex into San Diego with funk punks Sheer Mag on the bill as well.
April 18, Belly Up
Jamaican singer Oje Ollivierre (aka Protoje) brings reggae vibes to the Belly Up between his two Saturday shows in Indio.
Silversun Pickups with Joywave
April 19, Observatory North Park
Despite playing on different days at Coachella, it’s another local two-for-one as L.A.'s Silversun Pickups and New York’s Joywave forge an indie rock alliance in North Park on Tuesday night.
April 19, Belly Up
The UK goth/punk legends return to the Belly Up, where fans will be forced to get sweaty and familiar with one another - the way Damned shows should be.
April 20, Observatory North Park
The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach shows off his recent side project that’s filled with longtime friends (including The Shins’ Richard Swift and Truth & Soul Records co-founder Leon Michels) at the Observatory on Wednesday.
April 21, Casbah
Bay-area black metal quintet Deafheaven return with their face-melting live show to the Casbah on Thursday. The band’s latest album, New Bermuda, was released on ANTI- Records in October.
April 21, Observatory North Park
Austrian DJ/producer Marcus Füreder (aka Parov Stelar) is all about inciting people to dance with his big beat-infused takes on swing, jazz, and house. An electro-swing pioneer, Füreder expertly marries the divergent sounds of Django Reinhardt and Frankie Knuckles, but also knows how to keep the party going.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
April 21, Belly Up
New Zealand singer-songwriter Ruban Nielson brings his now Portland-based band Unknown Mortal Orchestra to the Belly Up on Thursday.
April, 22 Observatory North Park
The Atlanta-based indie quartet produced one of their best albums ever in last year’s Fading Frontier - amazingly on the heels of bandleader Bradford Cox recovering from injuries he sustained after being hit by a car in 2014.
Scott McDonald is a writer, on-air personality and consultant with 15 years of experience in the San Diego music scene. He has interviewed hundreds of artists, from the legendary to the underground, for print and television. Follow McDonald and his melodic musings on Twitter @eight24_ or Instagram @scotteight24. Send your music musts to firstname.lastname@example.org