Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Live Show Review- Coachella Sunday

The lineup for Sunday's Coachella was very solid. We got there early to try and see as much as possible. As we searched to no avail for grilled corn on the cob, I heard part of Friendly Fires in the Gobi tent and they sounded like they could be pretty fun, good dancey type of music. Defeated from our quest for our favorite desert snack, the first act that we saw was Okkervil River. I have seen them previously at Mr. Smalls and was very impressed with them live. They played the mainstage at Coachella around 2:30. Their performance was very good and energetic, at times with the lead singer kind of writhing on the ground. Its not quite the type of music, in my opinion, that warrants laying on the stage and screaming out your vocals.... but hey, i sure remembered it.

Next up, we made a pit stop at the outdoor theatre to catch some of The Gaslight Anthem before heading to see Brian Jonestown Massacre. Gaslight was pretty good, straightforward rock and roll. I'm not going to run out and buy their CD but I enjoyed the 15 or so minutes I saw of them. On to BJM, we almost went to see them when they came through Pgh about a month ago, but didnt make it. Of course their music is pretty good, but you really want to see onstage meltdowns and fighting at a show like this. One of the subjects from the awesome documentary "Dig", the band is notoriously self destructive, specifically lead singer Anton. The coachella performance was kind of a bummer for me. The band sounded awesome. Their music is really good and comes across well live. The band, however, was pretty much the most boring performance I witnessed at this years festival. Absolutely no crowd interaction, no life on the stage, no movement, no banter, nothing. What a waste of a good opportunity to win over some new fans. We left less than half way into it.

Next up on the mainstage was Peter Bjorn and John. They played coachella in 2007 in the Mojave tent and it was explosive. It was so much fun, I really felt like I was in an important 'moment' musically. Obviously, being on the mainstage during the day cannot match the intensity of playing a packed tent. The performance was pretty good overall though. I took the opportunity to spread out my blanket and relax in the grass and try to work out the hangover from the previous night that had somehow crept up on me as the day progressed (tip: if you ever attend coachella, a good rule of thumb is to save the alcohol consumption until nightfall, those who booze during the day do not last). I knew I had to conserve energy for the action packed nighttime lineup.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs were to follow on the mainstage. As with many of the bands this year, I have seen YYY a few times. Karen O. is definitely a great performer. The first time I saw them was at the tiny Club Downunder at Florida State Univ. back in 2003, they have changed quite a bit since then. They played a lot of their new tunes, which i am really liking. I especially enjoyed the ridiculously catchy 'Zero' and 'Heads Will Roll'. Karen was decked out in some sort of gold sequined outfit, she is looking pretty glam these days. I do think I saw her pour some beer over her head, but long gone are the antics of deep throating microphones, screeching and running about the stage dousing herself in beer. She really seems to have cleaned herself up, I miss the old craziness, but she still puts on a great performance.