The beauty of Coachella is that it has something for everyone. One of my complaints, however, is the huge ticket price and the insane rush to buy tickets. This problem is caused by the larger acts, who have expensive price tags and drive up ticket demand with their sheep-like fan bases.
For the most part, I'd stick to the "smaller" acts. You still won't be able to get close enough to see them sweat, but at least you can avoid looking at a megatron all weekend. Besides, many of these acts will be headlining in a few years...
in no particular order:
Twin Shadow has the charisma and songwriting talent to make him one of the best bands of this decade. His lyrics and melodies touch a common nerve. His grooves and basslines will have people moving.
Delorean used to play emo-core type of stuff when they were young teens in the Basque region of Spain. Now they live in Barcelona and play some damn fine indie dance rock.
!!! have been around for awhile but their live shows are anything but old. Funk is the game and lead singer Shannon knows how to be the team captain. Unfortunately they are playing during the hottest hours of the day, but that's only an excuse for him to wear some short shorts.
Foals are from the UK and get primal without loosing sights on their target: creating beautiful chimey art rock with lots of pop sensies to spare.
Tame Impala come from down under and sound like The Beatles if George and John lead the group and Paul was just the bass player (and a woman).
Warpaint is the best all female live group in the world. If you see them, count how many times people around you mention the drummer.
Empire of the Sun wrote a song on par with MGMT's Electric Feel and their live shows are apparently just as spectacular. Be prepared for some costumes that rival Lady Gaga. Hopefully they will debut some newer stuff; it's been awhile.
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All is the Wu Tang of now. According to their lyrics, their goal is to scare your mom and hook up with white girls. Good chance there will be a riot. They really DGAF.
I have to post two video for these guys because they have more angles than a dodechedron:
Broken Social Scene is a bands' band. They put out one of the greatest indie rock albums ever, You Forgot It In People, back in the early 00's and have featured some of Canada's best talent including Feist and Emily Haines from Metric. They are a locomotive of pure musical genius.
Swedes The Radio Dept. have been around for about a decade but just recently gained massive recognition stateside from their last album, which featured sample-heavy pop grooves and casual melodies. Note the basslines.
Annuals, Appleseed Cast, Astrud Gilberto, Band of Horses, Barrington Levy, Beach House, Billy Joel, Bjork, Catfish Haven, Chad Vangaalen, Cocteau Twins, Cold War Kids, Cursive, Deerhoof, Descendents, Dog, Dr, El Goodo, Elton John, Final Fantasy, Georgie James, Ghosty, Gil Scott Heron, Joao Gilberto, Lewis Taylor, MGMT, Maritime, My Bloody Valentine, Panda Bear, Phoenix, Pinback, Pink Floyd, Professor Murder, Ra Ra Rasputin, Shocking Pink, Shout Out Out Out, Shuggie Otis, Starflyer 59, Suggie Otis, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Brother Kite, The Changes, The Cribs, The Delta Spirit, The Forms, The Golden Dogs, The Little Ones, The Office, The Sounds, The Sundays, The Whip, These Arms Are Snakes, Todd Rundgren, Tokyo Police Club, Wilderness, Working For A Nuclear Free City, the Beach Boys, the Beatles
Mad Men, Primer, Twin Peaks, Wet Hot American Summer, Willy Wonka