Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coachella Day 2 Review

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - Empire Polo Club, Indio California aka middle of nowhere. Unfortunately we missed the first day (don’t talk about the war) due to our flight delays but all weekend I heard rave reviews about Jay Z’s set, especially his encore with Beyonce. Pretty cool to see that Z hung around to catch some of the other acts at the festival including The XX which were the first band I managed to catch.

Although a three piece (used to be four) on stage it is the dual vocals of Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim that stole the show. Dressed in matching outfits of a yellow shirt and black pants these guys almost looked as though they about to clock on for work. Their set was timid and while the songs were danceable I found it almost too mellow. For me, The XX were one of those bands whose performances don’t stray far from their sound on the album.

Leaving midway I decided to get a few drinks but what’s different about this festival is that the organisers have made it pretty hard to get pissed. At Coachella you can only drink in designated drinking areas which were not all that close to the stages. As a result weed seemed to be the weapon of choice for your average punter and walking through the crowd that’s all you could smell. It made for an interesting vibe – fewer fights and a very calm, blasé response to the HOURS it took trying to leave the venue. 

Drinks were about the same price as here only huge difference was their idea of a ‘cocktail’. Bourbon and coke…. Need I continue?

The sound at Coachella was pretty impressive but when Hot Chip came on you could tell it still had nothing on our boiler room. If you have ever seen Hot Chip a Big Day Out in Sydney you will know what I mean. Their live performances produce a cacophony of sounds and unless the five piece have moved away from trying to achieve this, then the multitudes of layers were lost across the venue. Then again I may have just been in a bad position.

Playing a good mix of song off their most recent album One Life Stand and from their back catalogue, Hot Chip were highly entertaining. The awkwardly adorable dancing of Alexis Taylor ensured that even people who know they can’t dance weer giving it a go. How would you not, their electro beats are highly infectious. No surprise that Over and Over was the crowd favorite followed by an powerful close with Ready For The Floor. 

Hanging around till the end of Hot Chip meant BATTELING through to the crowd to catch the end of Faith No More. Having only recently reunited I’m kicking myself for not seeing more of their set. At least I can say the final few tracks were Epic and I did happen to catch the highlight – Danny DeVeto runny across the stage. Apparently he is a regular at the desert gathering.

They got a less than decent review at Splendour a few years back and have pissed off fans by only playing a Sydney show when last in the country but despite all this MGMT were on my agenda. DAMN IT. Should have listened to what people were saying! Thankfully I didn’t sacrifice any other must sees but I did loose out on valuable beer garden time. Andrew VanWyngarden, Ben Goldwasser and their support took to the stage which was washed with (Oracular) Spectacular lighting. From the stages to the art installations the colours at this festival were amazing.

The audience was packed, everyone eager to see the electro/synth-pop duo. Sadly when it came to actually entertaining us it seemed as if they were too cool. Standing practically still through out their entire performance I would have rather watched one of their awesomely trippy film clips. Flash Delirium and other new tracks even replaced Kids. Thankfully they did play Weekend Wars, Time to Pretend and Electric Feel.

The people with half a brain (which I was not part of) slowly trickled away to get a good spot for Muse. This was another set that was almost identical this years BDO, I think Matthew Bellamy was even wearing the same outfit only this time his red pants were accessorizes with blue shades.

Veterans of the stage Bellamy, Christopher Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard knew how to get audience frothing and their lighting ensured the visuals matched their sound - their set borderline sci-fi. Playing their hits from all five albums Muse had almost the entire audience screaming the lyrics Supermassive Blackhole, Time is Running Out, Knights of Cydonia and Plug in Baby.

11.40 time for the act I most wanted to see today - The Dead Weather. This is what happens when you get a band fronted by Jack White (The White Stripes) and supported by Allison Mosshart (The Kills), Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) and Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs). All four had their own moments but as expected White and ‘Baby Ruthless’ Mosshart stole the show. Staggering around the stage as if wasted (she wasn’t) Mosshartwatch. After performing Hang You from the Heavens White came out from behind the drum kit that he had been trying to murder to take over lead vocals/guitar for a number of tracks. On stage each performer seemed to do what ever the hell they wanted and it worked. Treat Me Like Your Mother and Die By The Drop were absolute highlight and the only negative of this set was the beats from Tiesto starting on main stage seeped across killed the sound from where I stood.

Catching a bit of Sia before heading to 2Many Dj’s I fell in love with her simply from her between song banter. Egging people on to heckle her and taking the piss out of Madonna, Sia was a lot of fun to watch. This kid has a good sense of humour and I guess with a film clip like the one for Buttons you would have to. I managed to catch only a few songs including You’ve Changed before racing to Sahara stage.

I LOVE Soulwax so for me catching 2Many Dj’s is a must! Throughout their set they displayed album covers of the tracks they were remixing with the head of lovely Belgium lads replacing the faces on the original art works. Their set drifted in and out of themes my favourite of which mixed together a series of songs about $$$ including a legitimate mash of new and old skool songs that even featured ABBA’s Money Money Money and Pink Floyd’s.... you guessed it, Money. Their set closed with two confetti cannons and a massive wall of applause. They Even Played Kids

PHOTOS AND POST BY REEBAJEEB (more pics and vids to follow)

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