Waking up for Day 2 is painful. Your body screams NOOOO! as you try to coax it into getting ready for another 12 +/- hour day out at the fields. On the bright side, it seems the city of Indio got its act together and figured out the traffic thing (well just in regards to getting to the festival, unfortunately the same cannot be said about exiting parking lots.)
Upon arrival, I half-heartedly listened in/wandered by Zoe and Portugal. the Man. But, seeing as how I was never a big fan of either and the fact that it took me a good 6 minutes to realize Zoe was not even singing in English, I was more interested in finding a reception-friendly/shady refuge from the desert sun. Then, it was time for Camera Obscura‘s set in the Mojave tent. Camera Obscura was one of those bands I had dozens of songs from on my iTunes but they all just melded one right into the other so I never took much notice of them. Their performance was pretty much on par with their impact on my life: a quaint, pretty medley of music to enjoy pleasantly while you wait for your main course (Beach House, in this scenario) and you’re left wondering, “Should I be watching GIRLS at the Gobi tent right now? no, fuck it, it’s too far and too hot.”
A short set and wait later, the majestic Victoria Legrand of Beach House and her magnificent diamonds took to that same stage. Now, I don’t care if it’s my 4th? 5th? time seeing this band, I still get excited every time they hit that first leisurely and dreamy note. They leave you feeling as if you had just been floating on air and Victoria’s voice is the greatest driving force behind their sleepy ballads. The set was powerful and characteristic of the Baltimore duo, with its drum machines and shimmery notes, and it even held great promise for the future as they unveiled a little “work in progress” to their eager listeners.
Beach House – Norway (mp3)
Next on the agenda was a hefty little stretch at the Outdoor stage for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The xx, Hot Chip, and MGMT. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros held a couple of surprises that first needed to be dealt with. Like “Oh shit I forgot the former frontman for Ima Robot/Jesus is the front man for e.sharpe” and “Catherine from Greek is in this band?” So, 2 minutes later, I was able to fully enjoy this circus masquerading as a folk ensemble on stage before me. They played a bouncy, energetic set opening with the fantastic journey that is “40 Day Dream,” took turns crowd surfing, and closed with the massive sing-along “Home.”
FINALLY! it was time for The xx to report to the Outdoor Stage and make their Coachella debut. This young, English (now) threesome was one of Coachella’s key selling points for me this year (along with, of course, God aka Thom Yorke.) They filed out dressed in white, something out of character from their all black uniform of the past 5 years, and quietly took to the stage. After the fast-paced assault from the previous band, the xx managed to come out and control the crowd effortlessly, immediately causing a hush to envelop the outdoor area so we could hear them begin their luscious bass-filled, soothing songs that are the epitome of climactic restraint. The trio remained cool and collected and everything we want to be throughout their set, barely taking notice of MOFUCKIN JAY-Z taking in their show stageside or the main stage temporarily catching on fire, except for Oliver’s casual remark, “the roof is on fire.”
and here’s their no-holds-barred finale, never have I seen someone rock out so hard on a single cymbal as Oliver Sim did.
The xx – Night Time (mp3)
Hot Chip was the next act on, and it was a little surreal being jolted out of my stunned silence to readjust and dance my pants off. They played a BIG set, in that every song was meant to keep you on your toes because when you’ve only got 45 minutes you bring out your Bangers. Unfortunately, they didn’t play “Boy From School” so I am still a little upset. Not cool Hot Chip, not cool. However, “Over and Over” is always much appreciated, and I walked away with a renewed appreciation and love for the English group.
Hot Chip – Over and Over (mp3)
I have nothing of note to say regarding MGMT, but thanks for playing “Electric Feel” and assaulting us with a mess of songs from your new subpar album. Muse, well what I caught of it, was fun and powerful and energetic and I’m sure everything a ROCK CONCERT should be, but I missed “Supermassive Black Hole” and now my Twilight Life will never be complete, so that’s that.
Strangely, or maybe it’s really no big mystery, I actually enjoyed Tiesto‘s set. We walked back up to the Main stage just as he began playing “Kaleidoscope,” his first track off the album with the same name that features Jonsi’s vocals. As long as he played “Feel it in My Bones” (feat. Tegan and Sara) I couldn’t be disappointed, and he did! So, at least I won one battle that night. The rest of the set was fast-paced, extremely dance-y and not bad for a man standing on a giant stage behind some turntables.
BLARGH! Day 3 to come.