After seeing AP, we headed out to the Outdoor Theatre to see a bit of Calexico before TV On The Radio started. I am not too familiar with Calexico, but it was nice enough in the background to chill on the lawn and absorb the Coachella experience.
I was surprised that people on the message boards think that TVOTR are bad performers. I've seen them at least 3 times and they are always full of energy. They have never disappointed, and nor did they here. Any act that plays during the day have the disadvantage of playing to hot people waiting for the scorching sun to go down, TVOTR managed to keep the crowd going though. Their new songs sounded great and they played with their usual intensity. I personally thought the bass and drums were turned up a little loud, with the vocals kind of muffled, but it sounded good enough. I really wanted to see their cover of 'Heroes', which i did not get.... but seeing 'Staring At The Sun' live is always the highlight for me. They played it as their last song, ironically as the sun had just descended.
Next we decided to check out Fleet Foxes. I have heard some of their stuff and it doesnt really do it for me. No one else that we wanted to see was playing at the same time, so again we wandered over to rest in the immaculate grass of the polo fields and enjoy the nightfall. Like I said, not really into their stuff but I think they were probably doing a good job up there. I taped a couple of songs for my friend who is really into them, so I guess I will let her decide.
I was excited for the end of FF, because Band of Horses, one of my more anticipated acts was to follow. BOH played one of my top 10 shows of Pittsburgh, so I was really looking forward to seeing them again. They really delivered. Its great to see a band who can capture a small club venue as well as a large Outdoor Theatre packed with 10,000 festival goers. The sound was great, the set was great. You could even clearly hear Ben's boot stomping the stage to keep time.
The first nightfall of Coachella is always a dazzling experience. The heat gives way to perfect nighttime weather. The palm trees are illuminated against the mountains and are always amazing to look at. It really feels like fake scenery. The amazing art of the festival really comes to light as well. This year had an addition called the Serpent's Mother. It was a large metal serpent with a mobile head and the ability of shooting flames along its entire spine at the interactive pushing of buttons. The Do Lab, I believe its second year in attendance, is the worst. It is located between the main stage and the outdoor theatre and pumps out loud beats all day and night. It really interferes with the music if you are on the outskirts of either stage. But, it looks amazing at night with crimson flowers aglow in the night sky.
As The Killers were the headliners of this night (dont get me started there), we ended our night after BOH set to catch the last 15 minutes of M.I.A. A late addition to replace trainwreck Amy Winehouse who was unable to get a visa because she beat up a fan or something, M.I.A. sure has seen a rise in popularity recently. Shes been at Coachella 3 times now, I caught part of her set in the Gobi tent back in 2005 only to be cast away by a freak swarm of bees. Her recent rise to popularity since then has catapulted her to a prime mainstage slot. I'm not really a big rap/hip-hop fan, but who doesnt like 'Galang' and 'Paper Planes'? After a supposedly horrible showing last year (I never go near the Sahara tent, especially after dark), she definitely brought the party this year. She invited fans to 'be athletic' and jump the huge barrier to join her onstage, quite a few made it. She was glowing in the dark with her neon shades, sneaks and jeans. 'Paper Planes' is really all we wanted to see and in the midst of ridiculous gunshots echoing all over the desert, I have to say it was a fantastic way to end the night.