Coachella 2014 Day 3
As the sand began to clear the air, the last day of Coachella began to take place. Some people did not last the weekend due to drugs, dehydration, or illness, while others instead had this is the big day. There was also tragedy as some people did have fatal accidents during Sunday which mostly were due to drug use, and with the rabid ease of access of them during the festival it was tragic that this was not a shocking incident.
With many major names and a band with a recently released album closing the festival, which we would later find out did a spoof; there was much to see on Sunday. The art and captivating landscapes were a must see for everyone as the sun rose and set on this final day of festivities.
This group based from London has brought back the “post-industrial” craze from the 80s using instruments in their lie set with Nik colk on drum and drum machine, Dominic Butler on synth and other electronic equipment, and Gabriel Gurnsey which added vocals, guitar, and samples. Their music has some similarities of a Joy Division or The Fall sound to them, but it gives of something beyond post-industrial and into a synth-noir style. The vibes and energy from the music give off a dark energy but at the same time move the body into a mind into a trace. Their live performance was also great to see as they were not just mixing music but instead playing their live instruments during the set. Although it was early in the day the crowd moved and jammed as the trio played in the tent with the sun beginning to shine bright. This was one of the few electronic artists to actually use instruments during their set which was rewarding to see after nearly two days of just seeing a light show and turntables for the majority f the electronic acts at Coachella
There were few people who were there and knew the artist Omar “Bambino” Moctar who is a guitar player from Agadez, Niger. He left his country at a young age to Algeria to avoid the Tuareg Rebellion and went to Algeria. Moctar then began to play guitar and was taught by a famous guitar player from the region and invited to play with the band under the name Bambino, which in Italian means ‘little child.’ Upon returning to Agadez in the late 90s, Moctar began to play professionally. In 2007, the government banned guitars due to tem being a “symbol or rebellion.” Two fellow musicians of Moctar were executed making him leave the country and return three years later. Dan Auerbach heard about Bambino and began to record his second international album, “Nomad,” which was the album that was mainly played during his show. The guitar was psychedelic with sounds similar to that of Hendrix of Jerry Garcia while still keeping true to the world beats from the eastern Africa regions desert folk music. His attire was reflective of his lands in the Sahara desert and looked ecstatic to be playing amongst the few hundred people at the tent.
Unfortunately the original content of an artist is not always what makes them known to the audiences. Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” overshadowed Leonard Cohen’s version. The remix of “Promises,” which was created by Nero was made famous by Skrillex and his remix. As well as Benny Benassi’s “Cinema,” was made famous by Skrillex. This is no different, with Adventure Club making the, “Crave You,” dubstep remix which was done originally by Flight Facilities. This duo from Australia got big in 2010 when their song “Crave You,” began to receive airtime in the Australian radio. They have gone by many names and have settled on Flight Facilities when in 2013 they were touring with aviator jackets. Since then their trance music has grown having songs like, “I Didn’t Believe,” which has a soul train video in the background, “With You,” being a type of anime, and “Stand Still,” a video in which a young kid is playing a virtual reality game. With the Sahara tent holding the big stars of electronic music, it was fun to have artists which were not only about a “drop,” but instead about the music. The audience was a bit lost when it came to the music since unfortunately a vast majority of the people in attendance were expecting the more mainstream sounds and were focused on hearing the duos big hit, instead of fully embracing the sounds of Flight Facilities. The transitions were flawless and it all blended perfectly sounding like a long track. The stage and logo shone brightly across the tent and was extravagant to watch as a live performer came out and sang the vocals to their tracks ending the set with their hit.
This duo from Los Angeles has been recently been getting a lot of recognition with their song, “I’ll Get You.” Classixx has done many remixes over the years for artists of all genres from Phoenix, The Preatures, Major Lazer, The Ting Tings, and Yacht. Psychic City is one of the famous tracks from Portland band Yacht which took to the stage to perform alongside Classixx. This surprise was what followed The Presets joining the duo on stage as well a few minutes earlier. This was then topped by Sarah Chernoff from Superhumanoids taking the stage and finally, Nancy Whang singing live, “All You’re Waiting For.” These songs show each different style that the duo is known for looking from R&B to something more electronic. The many different guest appearances added already to exquisite performance of these artists plethora of style such as having what appeared to be an old CRT monitor between the two and having designs and lights to go with the tracks.
With most radio stations now playing the newest pop sensation out of Manchester have been recently hitting the radio hard with their hit “Chocolate.” This music from their self-titled album which came out late last year has been in the top charts across the world from the UK, US and SCO. Although they have broken out last year, this band has been around for nearly a decade without a big break. Since then though, they have taken advantage of their rise in popularity playing gigs in decent sized venues in the UK as well as now playing major festivals across America. This indie pop style and soft vocals go perfectly with the rhythm of the bass which gives off the 80s pop style. The bands chorus and hooks work perfectly for fans of the band and festival goers around the world with them being reminiscent even after the end of the songs.
The British singer/composer/producer took to the sage as Blood Orange during the last day of Coachella at the Outdoor Theatre. Devonte “Dev” Hynes has worked with many artists and released his fourth studio album as Blood Orange. After having worked with breakout artists like Sloange who he wrote, “Everything is Embarassing,” for, Dev was more than ready to take on his own crowd at Coachella The bass and saxophone were another callback to the early days of R&B and 80s hits. During the interludes his feet would move to the rhythm of the slapping bass and synthesizer throughout the evening. The blasts of funk from songs like, “No Right Thing,” had audiences dancing along as Dev took to the guitar and showed his showmanship as a vocalist as well as a musician. Midway through the set he was joined by Samantha Urbani to perform, “You’re Not Good Enough.”
Neutral Milk Hotel
As the sun began to set there was much anticipation of catching Neutral Milk Hotel, a band who is a favorite of indie fans. With most fans anticipating a set with tracks mainly from In the Aeroplane over the Sea, which is their most critically acclaimed hit, there was much joy when half of the set lists were track from this album. There was an announcement earlier before the set to not use phones or take pictures of the band as the large side screens focused on the carousel that began to hide the sun as the band played on during the night. As a “fan” took out their smartphone Jeff Mangum broke his traditional silence telling them to like in the now and enjoy the moment. The live performance sounded just like the album with members, Scott Spillane, Julian Koster, and Jeremy Barnes on stage as well. Koster performed with various instruments from a bass to a banjo, and finally a steel saw. The evening ended as the sun hid behind the hills and carousel to the acoustic track, “Engine.” It was a beautiful moment and one which was one of the best sights to see and hear in this final day and final view of light for the reminder of the day.
Lana Del Rey
Unfortunately during Neutral Milk Hotel, amongst the avid fans which were singing along and enjoying themselves were people standing there idly watching and waiting for Lana Del Rey. Showing up early to a performer was not something that was done a lot during the festival, so to see people there more than an hour early was shocking to see. As Neutral Milk Hotel left the stage, the front was bombarded by Lana Del Rey, “fans.” Teens and tween, people who post constantly on Instagram, and a few other stereotypical people who make the festival have the surname “Brochella,” pushed through the crowd to get as close as possible to the Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, formerly known as Lizzy Grant, and known now as Lana Del Rey. Her popularity across Europe had her tour there until her Coachella appearance which kicked off her American tour. Her first album was more of a shoe gazer album which is what traditionally fans were used to hearing. She debuted her new single, “West Coast,” which had a video put up the day after the festival on YouTube. Although a majority of her fans were those who take Instagram photos of their food, it was a bit refreshing to see some of the same people who wear, “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat,” and neon tank tops taking in a bit of a non-electronic music. “Play Summertime Sadness and get it over with,” someone screamed to her from the audience which disillusioned the trance that Lana Del Rey had worked so hard to put the audience in especially following her performance on SNL. Although her music has had much commercial success, she still is loyal to her fans even to the extent of conducting an interview by the toilets.
Although a majority of the people that are fans of the English band that formed in 1975 known as Motorhead were not in attendance at Lana Del Rey, she was at their gig. After having the majority of floral headband, denim short, and heart shaped glasses wearing people attack the stage for their one or two favorite songs of “all time,” there was some relief in letting it all out during the band who played “Overkill.” The crowd was a sea of people in black or shirtless with a few people there just checking out the band from the back as the front area had the night start off with a small mosh pit. As the night went on a Panda joined the pit and made the circle that much bigger making it so that by the time Slash, legendary guitar player and musician took to the stage and played the two hit songs by the band, the pit took over nearly the entire front area. The set was a legendary thing to see and have one of the most influential band of rock finally play Coachella, was something surely not to miss.