Turn On, Tune In, Rock Out

Catch stellar live gigs as music-fest fever sweeps the desert

Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos performing at the 2013 Tachevah: A Palm Springs Block Party. The event returns April 16.

Photo by Greg Peterson

From street performances to poolside parties and live music shows, the Coachella Valley is prime stomping ground for new and established acts. Industry execs and promoters scour our music scene to seek out the best up-and-coming artists — and revel in the acts of seasoned veterans.

With the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals taking center stage throughout the month of April, the whole area pulses with excitement. With those comes the arrival of many talented musicians — giving fans plenty of opportunities to see live acts between concert weekends.

One of the desert’s best-known music venues, the legendary Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace scores with live music and dancing — and mesquite barbecue. You never know who you’ll see kicking back at this favorite high desert hangout, which attracts an eclectic mix of celebrities, travelers, and locals. The always-packed house provides an intimate setting for mingling and rocking out, both indoors and outside in the beer garden. Coachella act Afghan Whigs plays Pappy & Harriet’s with Brody Dalle on April 10; Little Dragon heads there April 16. Moonalice’s admission-free gig is April 25. Check out the full April lineup at www.pappyandharriets.com.

Slated midway between the two Coachella weekends, Tachevah: A Palm Springs Block Party keeps the party rolling April 16 with a taste of indie music. The free, four-hour, open-air concert in downtown Palm Springs, near the Spa Resort Casino, features a Coachella headline artist and unsigned local bands selected for the event through online fan votes.

More than 80 bands submitted videos for last year’s event; 100,000 votes narrowed the field to three finalists. More than 7,000 fans attended and raised $15,000 for charity.


Five Live

The Wine Bar at Old Town: This bar’s great location and ambiance complement the live music and excellent wine selection.
78015 Main St., Ste. 109, La Quinta.
760-564-2201; www.thewinebaratoldtown.com

Vicky’s of Santa Fe: The region’s unofficial hub for smooth jazz hosts what its website calls a “lively crowd of locals, country club regulars, and hotel and convention guests” for fine food and cabaret acts.
45100 Club Dr., Indian Wells.
760-345-9770; vickysofsantafe.com

The Hood Bar and Pizza: This neighborhood joint attracts a following that appreciates live rock music; watch for impromptu jamming and open-mic nights.
74360 Hwy. 111, Palm Desert.
760-636-5220; thehoodbar.com

Ace Hotel & Swim Club: Steam up the dance floor or canoodle with the ultra-hip crowd while listening to eclectic live music in the Amigo Room.
701 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
760-325-9900; www.acehotel.com

Copa Palm Springs: A definite must-see, this happening lounge offers live cabaret and vocal acts. Catch a show and stay for the nightclub action and dancing after dark.
244 E. Amado Rd., Palm Springs.
760-866-0021; www.coparoomps.com


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