Blink-182 vs. Chance the Rapper
Really, this is a battle between nostalgia and now. If Chance’s festival set is anything like those on last year’s Magnificent Coloring World Tour, the hip-hop holy man will likely ease in with some lesser-known cuts before hitting you with “No Problem.” Meanwhile, Blink’s set is sure to be a sing-along of the soundtrack to your adolescence—“All the Small Things,” “What’s My Age Again?,” “The Rock Show” and so many more. Your best bet? Wear running shoes: Start with Blink, race to Chance, then haul ass back to the pop-punk trio for the finish. If you collapse, your friends can carry you home. Na na na na na na na. Blink-182: Friday, 11:15 p.m.–12:45 a.m., Ambassador Stage; Chance the Rapper: Friday, 11:25 p.m.–12:55 a.m., Downtown Stage –Zoneil Maharaj
ScHoolboy Q vs. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
If you’re having a conflict with these two acts, kudos to you for having such wildly diverse tastes. Q is a former OxyContin-slangin’ Hoover Crip known for spitting head-busting raps. Andrew McMahon is not affiliated with any gangs that we know of, but the indie-pop darling has fronted Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate. If you’re in a mellow mood, start with the latter. But this is a festival, after all, so skip over to ScHoolboy just in time to turn up to “That Part.” ScHoolboy Q: Saturday, 7:25 p.m.–8:15 p.m., Downtown Stage; Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness: Saturday, 7:20 p.m.–8:10 p.m., Ambassador Stage –Z.M.
Muse vs. Wiz Khalifa vs. Kaskade
Are you ending your Saturday on the streets of Downtown with alternative rock, hip-hop or house? English rockers Muse have a pretty lengthy set that should be well-balanced between popular hits and deeper cuts, so start your Saturday-night finale with them. After you’ve gotten a sufficient fix, spend some time with Wiz and Kaskade—we suggest only a couple of tracks each, as both are regular headliners on the Strip—and then get back to the main stage to finish the night with Muse. The band’s laser light-fueled end should be nothing short of epic. Muse: Saturday, 10:50 p.m.–12:35 a.m., Downtown Stage; Wiz Khalifa: Saturday, 11:35 p.m.–12:50 a.m., Ambassador Stage; Kaskade: Saturday, 11:45 p.m.–1 a.m., Fremont Stage–Mark Adams
The xx vs. Haim
Don’t mind us, that’s just the sound of our hearts breaking. Choosing between the melancholic melodies of the xx and the retro rock revival that is Haim is like telling your dad he can pull off a male romper: You just don’t do it. Don’t fret, though: We’ve got a plan. Based off setlist.fm, both bands play balanced sets. So you’re going to get a taste of old and new material in a short span of time. Hit the xx first to get a handful of I See You and then power-walk over to Haim’s set. Based on past shows, this is when Haim plays covers (think: Beyoncé, Shania Twain) and charms you out of your fanny pack. Stick with the soul sisters to the very end, because they normally close their sets with an epic drum-off. The xx: Sunday, 9:20 p.m.–10:30 p.m., Downtown Stage; Haim: Sunday, 9:25 p.m.–10:25 p.m., Ambassador Stage –Amber Sampson
Gorillaz vs. MGMT
After four years of radio silence, MGMT released Little Dark Age in June, and you have the opportunity to hear the duo’s fresh material at Life Is Beautiful. Unfortunately, Gorillaz is in the same boat, with seven years of slumber until Humanz was released in April. Naturally, you’ll want to hear both bands’ new material live. But you don’t want to miss out when the crowd goes wild in the first few seconds of bangers such as “Kids.”
Here’s how to play it: You can bet on MGMT getting “Electric Feel” and “Time to Pretend” out of the way in the beginning, as the band has been trying to outdo the success of those debut singles for 10 years now and want to give prime time to new songs. Stick around for one or two of their openers and then head on over to catch Gorillaz, who might play an oldie-but-goodie before they perform some of their highly anticipated (and well-received) new material. Some of Humanz’s featured artists are on the Life Is Beautiful bill, so you wouldn’t want to miss out if a Pusha T or De La Soul cameo happens.
In short: Better plan on spending more of your time at Gorillaz after satisfying your electropop throwback craving. Gorillaz: Sunday, 11:20 p.m.–12:55 a.m., Downtown Stage; MGMT: Sunday, 11 p.m.–12:10 p.m., Ambassador Stage–Shannon Miller