Dead Man’s Coachella Party: Danny Elfman set to be the breakout star of this year's festival

·Editor in Chief, Yahoo Music
Danny Elfman with Oingo Boingo at California's US Festival in 1983. (Photo: Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Danny Elfman with Oingo Boingo at California's US Festival in 1983. (Photo: Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

News leaked two months ago of political alt-rockers Rage Against the Machine, who played the first Coachella festival in 1999, reuniting to play Coachella this year. But now that this year’s official Coachella lineup has finally been revealed, fans of all ages are raging with excitement over the announcement of a rare appearance by another, even more surprising artist: Danny Elfman. The legendary former Oingo Boingo frontman-turned-film composer has promised that his Coachella 2020 Saturday set will encompass everything “from Boingo to Batman and beyond.”

Elfman, age 66, still occasionally performs with orchestras — notably at his famous Nightmare Before Christmas symphony shows during Halloween season — but he has refrained from playing typical rock concerts for the past 25 years due to his severe tinnitus. In 2014, he told Yahoo Entertainment, “When I stopped doing Oingo Boingo, I knew that I would never get on that kind of concert stage ever in my life again without totally destroying my hearing — what was left of it. So, there was a real, simple, clear reason to get out of that. So even though I'm finding myself once again on the concert stage, standing in front of an orchestra is way more controllable. Orchestras are not that loud when you're standing next to them. You don't hear about conductors going deaf because orchestras are too loud. So that's been an interesting way to get back into doing some performing.”

Though fans on social media are clearly hoping for a few Oingo Boingo new wave classics at Coachella, and are already tweeting their requests (or even begging for a full-fledged band reunion), it can be assumed that the four-time Oscar nominee will play many of his most iconic screen compositions — like the Simpsons theme and the movie scores for Pee-wee’s Herman’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and the one that truly launched his film career, the aforementioned Batman.

It is likely that Elfman will be this year’s Hans Zimmer: When Zimmer performed his famous movie music from The Lion King, Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight, and Gladiator with an orchestra at Coachella 2017, he was the surprise breakout hit of the weekend, among festivalgoers of all ages. And this year’s attendees seem even more excited for Elfman’s Dead Man’s Coachella Party, judging by the many tweets (including one from Coachella 2019 performer Janelle Monáe) and memes that made him a top trending topic on Twitter.

Who could ask for more, indeed.

This year’s Coachella festival, which along with Rage Against the Machine will feature headliners Travis Scott and Frank Ocean, will take place over two consecutive weekends — April 10-12 and 17-19 — at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif.

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