Driving to this year’s festival (check out the windmills enroute to Indio) I decided that I was only going to watch bands that I:
a.) hadn’t seen before
b.) were foreign, because they don’t usually come to Milwaukee or
c.) bands I really really really really really loved. (Such as the Arcade Fire.)
Alas, things don’t always work according to plan, so check out who I saw and what happened instead:
Woman most likely to be Tori Amos Regina Spektor is quirky, plays the piano, and, according to my music-writer friend Paul Saitowitz, is smoking hot. Hers wasn’t the most inspired performance of the weekend, but it was a good opening act. Especially since it was 110 degrees out or something.
Bands I Missed The Cribs–although I saw them once at Spaceland in Los Angeles for five minutes. And they were good then. (I left early ’cause I had work the next day.) Hot Chip and CocoRosie I missed because of a scheduling conflict. Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello’s folksy, protest music project the Nightwatchman was a no-go for me too.
Band I Saw Because I’m a Masochist and Wanted to See Redheads Burn in the Sun The New Pornographers. Oh, and I love their music, too. But lead singer Carl Newman (who reminds me of my boss, Joe Vince) seemed a little cranky from the heat. He said something like, “So is everyone else at Peter Bjorn and John or something?”
Check out this video of The New Pornographers’ “The Laws Have Changed.” (Press play when the new window launches.)
Overrated? You Tell Me I couldn’t enjoy Peter Bjorn and John’s whistle-blowing set so much because the tent to see them was so crowded that I had to sit outside just to hear them play. I felt bad because it made me feel like I didn’t have a ticket to their sold-out show.
Here is a video of Peter Bjorn and John’s “Let’s Call It Off.” (Press play when the new window launches.)
Cuties of the Day Kings of Leon. I saw them because music writer and my Coachella partner in crime Araceli Cruz thinks they’re cute. Watch this video of Kings of Leon’s “Taper Jean Girl.” (Press play when the new window launches.) But I’ve seen them before, so in retrospect I should’ve seen Andrew Bird. Or the Decemberists (whom I’ve also seen before). Or !!!. But I didn’t want to lose my spot (or my friends) because the Arcade Fire was coming up.
Band That Made Coachella Worth It The Arcade Fire. The last time I saw them was at Coachella as well, in 2005. Back then its members played so hard they hurt themselves with drum kits and instruments; someone passed out onstage. This year wasn’t much different; still the same chaotic, beautiful spiritual joy but with added songs from their new album. Arcade Fire helps me remember why I love music, and why I worship musicians I love.
Watch a video of Arcade Fire’s “Keep the Car Running.” (Press play when the new window launches.)
Band I Had to See Red Hot Chili Peppers. Not because I am a huge fan now, but because I loved them with all my heart from the ages 12 to 15. Back then my big dream was to ride in a tour bus with them. I learned to play “Under the Bridge” on the guitar. I worshipped Flea. Oddly enough, they don’t look that different now that I am way older. Flea is still hot and has ripple-y muscles. However, Anthony Keidis now looks like Dave Grohl. For proof, watch the video of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Dani California.” (Press play when the new window launches.)
(P.S. I realized while watching John Frusciante that he plays guitar like our editorial assistant and ILL Groove Movement guitarist Adam Lovinus.)
A Semi-Letdown The Good, the Bad and the Queen was great because I got up close and personal to a jowly Damon Albarn, ex-Blur singer and Gorillaz mastermind. Ex-Clash bassist Paul Simonon totally co-opted himself for this band, but halfway through their boring set I wished I was at Tiesto’s instead. (Even though he does proclaim himself the world’s best DJ. Ick.)