Since I didn't have the will to attend Coachella this year, here's a guest review from my friend Bill. He's got good taste in music (loving the hip-hop, indie rock but probably digging upbeat music a little more than I). Bill went on Saturday, saw quite a few of the same bands I wanted to see (with a few exceptions of course).......
First thing I did was drink a water and have a slice of pizza.
Fields - I really enjoyed their set of poppy rock with nice harmonies. The male /female lead voices worked really well together. It was a nice way to start the day I may buy their new record.
Pharaoh Monch - I had fun with him, he did the three songs by him I know and a few others. We raised our fingers at the war and all all agreed that the only thing that can beat hate is love.
Fountains of Wayne - I liked their set a lot. Of course I am a staunch supporter of this band and I don't understand why no one else likes them. I thought they picked great songs to play, except maybe one too many from the new record. Also I thought the mix was too loud, but I was close. And no, they did not do "Stacey's Mom."
Roky Erickson - Blues infused rock. Saw a few songs - Rockin!
Jack's Mannequin - I saw the end of this set. He did a cover of Tom Petty's "American Girl." The band was tight, the lead singer plays piano. They were quite enjoyable.
Hot Chip - I saw the end of this set as well. I want to hear their record. People were dancin' up a storm. They were fun.
Peter, Bjorn & John - They were very good. They played most of Writer's Block, with a couple of older songs and the audience clapped appropriately. The woman who sings the girl part of "Young Folks" came out for that song [ed note: apparently this was actually Bebban Stenborg of the Shout Out Louds, not Victoria Bergsman who sings on the record]. After which most people left. But they rocked harder than I expected. Although all the lyrics are in English - when they talked to the audience it did not feel that it was their first language [ed note: they're Swedes, English is not their first language, but they're fluent]. I would love to see them again.
Decemberists - I saw the end of their set as well. And it was good. Who knew I knew a song they did. Well I do. And they played it! I liked them. I will buy their record. There were some silly hippies dancing at this set.
Arcade Fire - Simply excellent. It is up there with the sets by The Pixies and QOTSA as the best sets I have seen at Coachella. They played everything I wanted to hear and I danced like a fool. (One of the benefits of going alone is that you can dance like an idiot and provide stories for those around you.) The quote from the lead singer “Thank you for your good manners, manners are the cornerstone to any great society” (weird eh – that’s approx what he said.) I will see them again!
Blonde Redhead - I saw the last 30 min of this set. I was amazed at so much sound coming from 3 people. But then I noticed the drummer had a trigger pad. The girl lead singer looks hot from a distance standing in moody lighting and fog. I have no idea if she really is. But I liked what I heard considering I didn't know them.
The Gotan Project - 10 well dressed individuals playing dance/world beat music. I enjoyed them. And would very much enjoy dancing to them with my girlfriend. 2 DJ/computer guys - 4 ladies in the string section, a piano player, a acordian player a singer, and a guitarist. Also fun video projections. A great (cut short) live show. They got started late and got kicked off because The Good The Bad And the Queen were coming on.
Cornelius - Crazy Japanese pop. 4 peeps on stage, cool visuals and I didn't understand a word. I saw a few songs then headed for the car. I liked it and would like to get a record by them. I would have watched more but it was getting late and I had been there for 12 hours. A great day.