The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, one of the country’s biggest music gatherings, took over Indio, CA this past weekend. And the world famous KROQ Los Angeles was all over it… every hot, sticky, bikini-filled, ear-splitting moment. Here’s what they heard and saw and smelled and probably tasted, knowing those guys.
Girls, and lots of them, in all our favorite shapes and sizes. Some wore bikinis. Some were covered in tattoos. All were having a good time. We at Mancave Daily would be remiss if we didn’t lead with what’s on our minds most everyday anyway. Take a moment to enjoy the scenery.
And now on to the music…
This year’s Coachella featured a whole slew of acts, from obscure indie artists to seasoned headliners, from nouveau classic rockers to four-to-the-floor electro-poppers to controversial rappers. The music stretched out over three glorious days on multiple stages. No one caught it all, but KROQ came pretty damn close.
Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Bringing the cool, sweet, calm influence of the arty synth pop/shoegazer scene of 1980s New York, Pains of Being Pure at Heart are one of those understated indie noise pop bands that could just fall through the cracks. They could also have a hit and become huge overnight.
From watching their live Coachella set, this is something we anticipate for Kip Berman (guitar/vocals), Peggy Wang-East (keyboard/vocals), Alex Naidus (bass) and Kurt Feldman (drums). Although the band’s been around since 2007 and built up quite a cult following, POBPAH could benefit from a lusher, more produced live sound and a little more energy.
With just a little more delicate, artfully done “pizazz,” Berman’s humor and cheeky smile and Wang-East’s sexy, yet shy demeanor could easily make POBPAH a more successful, highly recognized band.
As a huge fan of their recorded work and their artistic sensibilities, we think POBPAH could get a better and later slot next Coachella. And we’ll be there to watch the magic.
The crowd got visibly excited when this classic ’80s dance rock act took the stage. Duran Duran are the godfathers of the new wave/synth pop sound. But the mood changed to disappointment as the set went on. They sounded incredibly stale, though not from lack of stage presence on Simon Le Bon’s part however.
Some of their songs, like “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Girls on Film,” still sound fresh when performed live, but others sounded like what they were–old songs. Ana Matronic from Scissor Sisters jumped on stage to join in on “Safe (In the Heat of the Moment)” with them. And that livened things up a bit.
They were a little boring, which is okay. Duran Duran is a much aged version of their younger selves. But they’re also a reminder of where much of the Coachella lineup originated.
People either love or hate Kanye West, as both a person and an artist. But no one can deny that he gave one of the most amazing performances we’ve ever seen. This wasn’t just a concert; this was an artistically conceptual hip-hop opera with a fully formed storyline.
The massive 24-song set list included “Power, ” “Jesus Walks,” “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” “Monster,” “Flashing Lights,” “Good Life,” “Love Lockdown,” “Heartless,” “Gold Digger,” “Runaway,” and “Lost in the World.” The set was beautifully produced, though his hungry, street-smart rap took on a dark side. The crowd was in complete awe.
Rihanna and Katy Perry didn’t show up, though Justin Vernon of Bon Iver contributed some wonderful vocals. And there were plenty of fireworks to go around, including, well, fireworks. Pretty much everything about the show was amazing, from Kanye West being lowered on to the stage from a crane to the creepy angelic backdrop and the tan-clad dancers to the passionate, sublime look on West’s face as he performed.
West always brags about his grandiose concepts and hypes up a lot of his art. Luckily for him, the hype always lives up to the end result. And his stunningly theatrical performance at Coachella is sure to quiet many of his naysayers.
A little druggy, psychedelic 70s rock during a Coachella dusk seemed like the perfect way to chill out after running back and forth from tent to tent. Aussie Cream-esque fuzz trio, Tame Impala, brought that and a lot more.
One reason we were curious to catch these guys is what we like to call the “hipster hype.” Loosely defined, “hipster hype” is the obsessive adoration a brand new band gets until they’re totally forgotten about six months later.
Tame Impala lived up to the hype, though they’re also so sonically classic and timeless that they would’ve fit right in at Woodstock. The band seemed really nervous for the first half of the set. Only when they started to connect with the audience and loosen up did their performance became exceptional.
Are these past-inspired musicians the wave of the future? A lot of indie bands are going down the tripped-out sonic path to buzzy, reverb land. And Tame Impala could be the ones to lead this musical movement. They’re definitely a band to watch out for.
Mumford & Sons
All the action didn’t take place on the main stages. Marcus Mumford and his band Mumford & Sons stopped by the KROQ Coachella House while the sun exploded all over the Coachella Valley. Despite their obviously pale complexions and the sweltering triple digit heat, they performed a few songs and sat down for an interview.
Mumford & Sons are an English folk rock act with a literary bent. They’re noted for their energetic live performances. KROQ’s Stryker noted that the band has been playing ”The Cave” non-stop since they exploded onto the music scene. Watching them perform it is magical because each time seems like their first. They just play it with “So much intensity and enthusiasm.”
The band doesn’t tire of playing the same songs over and over. As Marcus explained, “I don’t think we would play them every day if we didn’t [like them].” The conversation moved on to fashion, as they discussed Winston’s now-famous yellow trucker hat and converting jeans to shorts to deal with the blistering heat.
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