Goldenvoice is looking to strike gold in the Southern California desert once again.
The SoCal concert promoter behind the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals will bring together some of rock 'n roll's most influential names for a three-day event in Indio this October. The bands on the bill: Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, The Who, and Roger Waters.
Randy Lewis, a pop music writer at the Los Angeles Times, joined The Frame to talk about the genesis of the festival and why some of the world's biggest rock stars would head out to Indio ... to open a show for other rockstars.
How did this lineup come together? And when you have six Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members on one bill, how do they decide who headlines?
It's a fascinating bill. It does have a lot of veterans on it. Neil Young is 70 and he's the kid on the bill. We've heard the jokes about Old-chella or Boomer-chella, but the fact is that these are all acts that are still regularly touring and putting out new music, so that's what makes it pretty interesting.
As far as the headlining thing, from what I understand it's kind of fallen into place — there hasn't been a lot of jockeying about who opens and who closes. It's two acts each day. The first day, Bob Dylan will open and the Rolling Stones will close; the second day, it's Neil Young to be followed by Paul McCartney; and the final day is The Who, followed by Roger Waters.
One of the things that's notable is that, as it's grown in popularity, Coachella has skewed younger and younger, and it seems like more of an EDM festival at this point. Does this offer an alternative for the people who feel that they've been aged out of Coachella?
I don't know how much the older audience is generally interested in the festival experience where you're out all day long and there are dozens of bands. In the case of Coachella, there are 170 bands each weekend.
This provides a very specific alternative to that — it's two acts a night, all the music's on after sundown so there's no schlepping around in the sun, and it's focused on these iconic rock musicians who helped define music and pop culture.
If you look at some of the top-grossing tours from last year, while Taylor Swift was number one, a lot of the other top acts are what I'll call "vintage" bands — U2, Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac ... these artists could sell out a number of shows at Staples Center or the Rose Bowl. What's the appeal to play a festival like this?
Well, they're all touring on their own anyways, and my sense of it is that they're willing to share a bill with someone else because of the special nature of this booking. This feels like a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and it's going to be a very special event. If I were one of these rock musicians who'd been at the top of the ladder all these years, it would be fun to be on a bill with the other movers and shakers.