Rosalia vs. BLACKPINK
Two acclaimed international artists who rarely play in the US are both making their Coachella debuts -- what’s a festivalgoer to do? Depends on your vibe. You can expect a vocally impressive set from the Spanish singer, who will most definitely bring some of her signature flamenco moves, whereas Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa will likely be decked out in elaborate outfits as they sing and rap in synchronization. Rosalia's on from 7:50-8:40 over on the Mojave Stage, while BLACKPINK will perform on the Sahara Stage from 8:00-9:00, so theoretically, you can run from Rosalia and catch 20 mins of the K-pop group.
Janelle Monae vs. Diplo
While their sounds have little in common, both of these artists are known for their high-energy stage shows. This one will come down to how much you feel like partying: do you want to bop and sway along to Monae’s funky moves and be blown away by her vocals, or lose your mind with the other glowstick-tossing fanatics at Diplo? The answer lies in how much energy you have left by 9:50 PM (Monae, on the Coachella Stage) or 9:30 (Diplo, on the Sahara Stage).
Christine and the Queens vs. Maggie Rogers
Chris -- the fourth-ever solo female artist to headline Coachella -- is known for playing out imagined theatrical concepts on stage, telling a story through choreography just as much as the music. Rogers (7:20 PM on the Gobi Stage) also puts on a stellar show, with the ability to bring intimacy to any sized venue (recently: Madison Square Garden, when opening for Mumford & Sons). So it’s another tough one, but the French pop phenom’s dance moves are unparalleled, so we’ve gotta go with Chris, who’s on at 7:45 PM over at the Outdoor Theatre Stage.
Weezer vs. Smino
Coachella is going to be singer-rapper Smino's biggest show yet, and he recently promised Billboard a “raw ass production.” But if you’re looking for something more old school, head to Weezer, who dutifully play their biggest hits (“Buddy Holly,” “Say It Ain’t So”) for festival crowds. Both acts are on at 8:35 PM, with Weezer on the main stage, and Smino on the Gobi Stage.
Billie Eilish vs. Aphex Twin
Aphex Twin is one of the most significant artists in all of electronic music, and we love him -- we really do -- but Billie Eilish is hotter than Flamin’ Hot Cheetos right now. And while you can technically see Aphex Twin for a bit (9:05 PM on the Mojave Stage), experts recommend arriving early to Eilish's set, which is going down at 9:35 PM....not on the main stage, which would probably be best at this point, but over on the Outdoor Theatre Stage. You’ve been warned.
H.E.R vs. CHVRCHES
Sultry R&B from a two-time Grammy winner, or Scottish-made synthpop? That’s the decision here, though again, pretty different sound from each. Both acts are on at 9:30 (Outdoor Theatre Stage for H.E.R, Mojave Stage for CHVRCHES).
Bad Bunny vs. Lizzo
Recent Billboard cover star Bad Bunny is helping Latin music take center stage both on and off the festival circuit, and this is going to be the best chance for many fans to catch the Puerto Rican star perform outside of an arena. Then again: Lizzo might play the flute. Truly, both are unmissable. It's a real Sophie's choice, we know, but you can try to sprint from Lizzo (5:45 PM, Mojave Stage) to Bad Bunny (5:40, main stage).
Ariana Grande vs. Kaytranada
Again: what’s your vibe? If you’re here to dance it out, head to Canadian DJ Kaytranada at 10:55 PM on the Mojave Stage. But expect a bulk of the desert to turn up for Ariana Grande’s blockbuster set, which will most definitely be magical, whether or not it manages to outdo #Beychella.