Coachella 2011: Day Two Roundup

Well, I survived it again. For the third year in a row I made it through this, at-times, grueling festival. As with anything, there was a lot of good and bad.  If you’re interested, here’s a rundown of what I thought was good and bad throughout it, day-by-day. Here’s day two.

Bad: The Heat. This day, unlike Friday and Sunday, was the hottest. If memory serves me right, it hit 99 degrees at one point. Way too hot for someone—i.e. me—that gets uncomfortable with anything above 75.

Bad: Missing Cults.  Not much to say about that other than, bummer.

Good: The Radio Dept.  I’ve been following this Swedish dream-pop outfit since I first heard their song, “Where Damage Isn’t Already Done,” off their 2003 album, Lesser Matters (which I love).  I never had a chance to see them, mostly because, up until February of this year they hadn’t played a Los Angeles show in ten years. Which was a damn shame. However, seeing them play “Pulling Our Weight,” and “Never Follow Suit” made it worth the wait.

Bad: [Again] Overlapping. There was a lot of bands this year (that I wanted to see) that played, give or take five minutes, at the same time.

Good: Bright Eyes. For some reason or another, I never got around to seeing Bright Eyes in concert. I’ve seen Conor under the guise of his other endeavors (Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Monsters of Folk) but never as the outfit that earned him the ill-advised title of the “next Bob Dylan.” Waiting x-amount of years to see Bright Eyes playing some of my favorite songs at sunset couldn’t have been more perfect. Worth it.

Good: The Kills. Several years ago, I saw the Kills play at the Palladium. They were opening for some band whose name is escaping me right now. I do remember their performance that day though. Not because it was good, but because of how much I thought they blew. It felt like they were a band that sounded better on their record than in a live setting.  Fast forward to 2011, and it feels like a whole new band— Alison Mosshart oozed confidence, and sexuality on stage, and Jamie Hince’s guitar sound sounded heavier, and tighter than before.  After this, I’d see them again in a heartbeat.

Bad: Smelly people. Hey, I get it. You’re camping, and some of those showers are gross. But, come one, use some deodorant or something.

Good: The Swell Season. What can I say about the Swell Season, other than they are such a great band to see live. The chemistry between Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová is perfect. Not to mention the beautiful vocal harmonies these two produce together. A must see.

Bad: Animal Collective.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Animal Collective. I’ve liked them since 03’s Campfire Songs. But, to not play anything off your most-accessible-and-most-solid album (09’s Merriweather Post Pavilion) was a little weird. Then again this is Animal Collective we’re talking about.

Good: Arcade Fire. Anthemic songs, crowd sing-alongs, lit up beach balls (see above)…Pretty Much Amazing.

Click here for Day One, Day Three.


talia says: April 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Animal Collective did close with “Summertime Clothes” (off Merriweather..). They just made us wait till the very end. I was disappointed that the bass and feedback was so loud at AC that i could hardly hear Empire of the Sun at the outdoor stage.

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