The last day and the weather has cooled. But has your passion for Coachella?
Tame Impala – A solid Australian band. I saw them in concert last year and I miss the super high dude who was hanging all over me at that show but I’m sure anyone who was actually at this stage was able to experience something similar. They specialize in Hendrix meets Beatles stoner rock.
Father John Misty – Bands sort of have two forms, one is communism and one is Lead Singerism. I guess a band that is just named after its lead singer’s chosen monicker is probably going to skew to the latter but this guy takes it to the next level. He swaggers around the stage, rants, and generally seems like an asshole but then the music starts and he has the voice of an angel.
Vampire Weekend – A fun solid set. I tried to look for the yacht they must have rode into Coachella but maybe they parked it near the bar? I couldn’t find it. Anyway this band works together well and on some of the harmonies they seem to be working very hard.
Nick Cave – Honestly the distinction between this and Grinderman is non-existent. They even have the same hobo/guitar smith in the same part of the stage. Much less of a jerk than Misty somehow even though his band is named after him and he’s been a lead singer for 50 years (approx.).
Pretty Lights – Some good electro breaks up the rock fest. Although they outro-ed with Smells Like Teen Spirit. Ever heard of that song?
Dinosaur Jr. – I love this band. They’re excellent noodlers. Sometimes the grunginess just washes over you but other times it clicks and the guitar is a perfect accent to the voice. The new cut they played sounds good live.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – The epitomy of the weekend, the walking KROQified corpse of modern radio shambles onto stage and uses their dark necromancy for the sake of rock and roll. What’s amazing about this band is they played for at least an hour and every single track was a radio hit. They have been pumping out hits for so long that they’ve joined the vaulted ranks of select few bands that can make a greatest hits album with no B sides, just pure Clear Channel approval. But despite the fact that they’ve been violating doctor’s recommendations for twenty years, necromancy wins out and they put on a good show. Like practiced magicians, hit after hit streamed out pitch perfect and you know all the words already so you might as well sing along.
In the end, this Coachella perhaps skewed a little too old to be perfect. In the past, Coachella has had several up and comers that I was interested in mixed with the old greats and it lead to a sense of balance. This year though it seemed like they really struggled to get either end of the spectrum together. Of the bands I was able to watch, only Purity Ring was a novel act. And for me with a more rock and roll then rock-pop palate, this year was milquetoast. So the earlier acts left something to be desired and the headliners weren’t exactly stunners either. There were plenty of great musicians this year, that’s for sure. But part of what makes Coachella special is it’s a purported snapshot into what’s going on in the music world. Who’s star is rising and which proven bands are returning to prominence again? Perhaps it is just a sign of rock’s ailing status in society at large, but they’re going to have to work harder on curating the lineup next year if they want to keep the festival from being religated to knock off Burning Man status.
Anyway I had fun watching this year Coachella. From a hot couch in a stuffy room, Cyano out.