TUiW spent the past weekend in Indio, CA for this year’s Coachella festival. Here’s our recap of Sunday:
The L.A. band got a lot of support from the locals at Coachella, who packed the tent well in advance of their set. Local Natives worked through tracks off of their stellar debut Gorilla Manor, and brought even more energy to tracks already filled with plenty. Album stand outs “Sun Hands” and “Airplanes” sound even more gorgeous live, as the band’s stellar harmonies floated over a more raw, live sound. With a great debut and a tight live performance, the future looks awfully bright for Local Natives.
Owen Pallett brought his quirky, formal style of violin and looping (complete with a multi-instrumentalist accompanying him) and focused mostly on tracks from Heartland, his really good new album. The show also featured Pallett’s amiably goofy stage presence, like when he referred to the stage he shared with Jonsi and Bradford Cox as the “gay ghetto” and then asked his accompanist if he had tried “cornholing.”
Though they were beleaguered with technical problems, Deerhunter put on a fantastic live set, thanks in large part to the enthusiasm of frontman Bradford cox. During one particular technical setback, Cox improvised a Coachella songs, pondering the number of people who OD’ed or had faulty condoms. He also gave a shout-out to fellow Coachella performer Julian Casablancas before closing with “Disappearing Ink,” on which he admitted to ripping off Casablancas’ vocal style. The rest of the set was full of fantastic, fuzzed out jams, with the highlight being a great version of “Nothing Ever Happened.”
Yo La Tengo
It was oddly delightful to see Yo La Tengo, a band that has toiled so long in relative obscurity, play the main stage of a major festival. Their brief set functioned as a kind of greatest hits and the band tore through songs like “Autumn Sweater” and “You Can Have It All” (complete with some stylish dance moves) while saving enough time for one of their trademark noise freakouts at the end. All in all, it was an immensely satisfying set from a great band.
Continuing the theme of unexpected bands triumphantly taking their rightful place as festival headlines, Spoon played a great set to an adoring audience. While the show didn’t reach further back than Kill the Moonlight, it featured all of Spoon’s newest essentials, even if the crowd didn’t seem as into the songs from their newest album. Also, Bradford Cox joined the band on guitar for “Who Makes Your Money.”
For what we’d estimate was a sizeable minority of Coachella-goers, this was it. The reason we shelled out $300 and drove 20 hours to a desert in the middle of nowhere in California. So was it worth? Hell yes. From the first strains of “Silence Kit” to the triumphant finish of “Cut Your Hair,” Pavement was back with an energy and a fire that betrays the slacker storyline. Playing a range of music from across their career (but centered on Slanted and Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain) Pavement was, simply, everything we dreamed they’d be.
Thom Yorke and Atoms for Peace
They weren’t Radiohead, but Thom Yorke’s new band injected new life into 2006′s good-not-great The Eraser (which they played through from start to finish). Yorke was bouncy and energetic (and had a bit of an unofficial dance-off with Flea) and all the stuff he played was great, but the highpoint was when he played “Airbag” on just an acoustic guitar and then moved to a piano for “Everything in Its Right Place.”
A somewhat disappointing end to Coachella, Gorillaz much lauded stage showed was stripped down, with the band appearing as themselves as pictures and weird video clips playing behind them. The music was alright, but without the much discussed holograms or even a video of the cartoon’s singing, it was a fairly typical set. There was no Lou Reed appearance, as was the rumor floating around, but De La Soul (who performed on their own earlier in the day) and a video of Snoop Dog appeared to rock out with Damon Albarn and co.