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Coachella 2015: 25 Must-See Acts

The headliners and emerging artists that will define your weekend – and maybe your year

St. Vincent and Tame Impala

St. Vincent and Tame Impala

Jason Squires/Getty; Paul R. Giunta/Getty

For the 16th year, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is planning to throw a desert party that serves as the unofficial kickoff of Summer Concert Season. Here are 25 acts — huge names, upcoming talents, exciting reunions — that could set the tone for the weekend(s) and beyond.

Stromae

Roger Kisby/Getty

Stromae

This Belgian singer — a smash in his home continent — has mastered quite a range of styles. While his early material played with everything from Cuban beats to French chanson, his 2010 breakout pop hit, "Alors on Danse," mixed a healthy helping of all of that with hip-hop and Euro-house. Even though that song has topped 54 million YouTube plays, he's aiming at the United States. And his chances look good: After a big SXSW, he's sitting on an upcoming song on the next Hunger Games soundtrack.

Tame Impala

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Kevin Parker of Tame Impala performs on stage at The Shrine Auditorium on November 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul R. Giunta/Getty Images)

Paul R. Giunta/Getty

Tame Impala

Three years after Tame Impala's second album Lonerism broke them out as a critical favorites, the Aussie psych-rock group has slowly begun ramping up to the release of new LP, Currents. The record's first official single — "'Cause I'm a Man" — finds the group exploring cinematic, blue-eyed Seventies soul, while its other available tune, "Let It Happen," indulges a lite-rock approach to Nuggets-style kaleidoscope prog. Both top out at over seven minutes and were performed solely by main man Kevin Parker.

The Weeknd

HAMILTON, ON - MARCH 15: The Weeknd performs at the 2015 JUNO Awards at FirstOntario Centre on March 15, 2015 in Hamilton, Canada. (Photo by Sonia Recchia/Getty Images)

Sonia Recchia

The Weeknd

After profile-boosting collabos with Ariana Grande, Drake and Sia, the Weeknd now finds himself in a position where Jack White is serving as his opening act: He announced on Twitter on March 26th, "Just found out that I'm now CLOSING the night at COACHELLA. This is such an honor." The woozy, lovelorn Toronto R&B star ascends from anonymous Drake-approved mixtape marvel to full-fledged festival headliner with a pair of Saturday night performances. Fresh off his biggest solo hit yet with "Earned It," the Weeknd's Coachella gigs, which have some major special guest potential, will serve as a test run before Abel Tesfaye and company play Lollapalooza later in the summer.

Jack White

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Jack White

Last year's Lazaretto showed how Jack White has matured beyond his candy-colored blues-rock roots — its wide scope and elder-statesman attitude shored up his reputation as a musical innovator with chops and wit to spare. And now that he's partnering in a digital store to complement his vinyl-crazed Third Man Records — last month, he became one of the investors in the HQ streaming service Tidal — the White Stripes founder and keeper of real rock's flame can be seen as one of rock's bonafide businessmen. His Saturday's headlining gigs are two of the three scheduled shows he has in 2015 (he's flying to Honolulu in between). Plus, he collaborated with Robert Plant at Lollapalooza Argentina — even if his Coachella set doesn't bring a similar surprise, it'll still likely be one of the most explosive rock shows of the weekend.

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