In addition to its eclectic, star-studded lineups, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has established a reputation for landing hot reunions — the Pixies and the Stooges among them. This year’s coup is the reunion of thrashing political rockers Rage Against the Machine, who have not played together for seven years.
The fiery quartet will reunite for a headlining show at the eighth edition of the festival — which will expand to three days, April 27-29, this year — according to an announcement from organizers. A report in the Los Angeles Times said the show will be a one-off; a spokesperson for the band could not be reached to confirm its long-term plans, and a representative for Rage vocalist Zack de la Rocha said the singer will not be commenting on the reunion. Rage also headlined the fest’s maiden 1999 edition.
Joining them on the bill as headliners are Coachella veterans Red Hot Chili Peppers, who headlined in 2003, and Björk, who played in 2002. Also on the bill for the Indio, California, festival are the Arcade Fire, Interpol, the Arctic Monkeys, Ghostface Killah, the Decemberists, Air, the Roots, Sonic Youth, Kings of Leon, Kaiser Chiefs, Travis, Lily Allen, Lupe Fiasco, Willie Nelson and reunited lineups of the Happy Mondays and Crowded House.
Although rumors were rife about a Rage reunion in the days leading up to the announcement, guitarist Tom Morello downplayed them in an e-mail message to MTV News earlier this month. The group splintered in 2000, with Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk joining former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell in the group Audioslave while vocalist/rapper Zack de la Rocha all but disappeared from the music scene. Though de la Rocha has sporadically appeared at public events and recorded songs with DJ Shadow, Saul Williams and Blackalicious, his long-rumored solo album has not surfaced and he has made few public statements since the dissolution of Rage.
Other acts on the preliminary list of performers include the Good, the Bad and the Queen (Blur/Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn’s new group), New Pornographers, Hot Chip, Grizzly Bear, Black Keys, Silversun Pickups, Fountains of Wayne, Regina Spektor, Jarvis Cocker, Placebo, Satellite Party (Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell’s newish band), Stephen Marley, DJ Shadow, Konono No. 1, LCD Soundsystem, Nickel Creek, Damien Rice, Blonde Redhead, Peeping Tom, Placebo, Rufus Wainwright, the Rapture, Explosions in the Sky, Richie Hawtin, !!!, Felix Da Housecat, Pharaohe Monche, Gogol Bordello, Infected Mushroom, Brazilian Girls, Soulwax, Jack’s Mannequin, We Are Scientists, Tiësto, Manu Chao, Brother Ali, José González, VNV Nation, CocoRosie, Comedians of Comedy, Justice, MSTRKRFT, Faithless, Julieta Venegas, Gotan Project, Paul van Dyk, Circa Survive, Ozomatli, Peaches, the Frames, Amos Lee and Peter, Bjorn & John.
Three-day passes for the festival will cost around $249, with tickets going on sale on Saturday. A limited number of one-day tickets will also be sold for $85 each.
The rest of the preliminary lineup features a mix of veteran performers such as Gillian Welch, Sparklehorse, Cornelius, Andrew Bird, the Coup and legendary Texas psychedelic warrior Roky Erickson and his band the Explosives. Also on the bill are emerging acts like Girl Talk, the Klaxons, the Kooks, CSS, Spank Rock, Tapes ‘N Tapes, Fields, Tokyo Police Club, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Tilly and the Wall, Amy Winehouse, Avett Brothers, the Cribs, Digitalism, Erol Alkan, Evil Nine, the Noisettes, DJ Heather, the Feeling, Fratellis and Fair to Midland.
[This story was originally published at 7:45 a.m. ET on 1.22.2007]