Coachella Day 3: Gorillaz, Phoenix, Spoon, Matt & Kim, and final thoughts

Matt & Kim sent smiles for miles on their first Coachella trip

Gorillaz was everything I hoped for.  The concert DVD from their last album was spectacular, and we were provided a spectacle of beautiful visuals, perfect sound, and a number of guest vocalists reprising their album appearances with the band.  This time around, Damon Albarn was more out front, standing for his lead vocals.  It was one of those Coachella  shows that will likely be remembered eternally.

Other highlights in chronological order:  Matt & Kim took another step forward, delighting their overflow crowd in and around the mid-sized Mojave tent.  They deliver more smiles per capita than almost any other band I know of.  Florence & the Machine also drew an overflow to the smaller Gobi tent, and their crowd was equally enthusiastic in a different way.  She was in great voice as usual.  Julian Casablancas had a winning set.  Spoon and Phoenix both were spot-on with their well-received straight-forward large stage gigs.  Little Boots did well with the indie-electro peeps.  Thom Yorke had a good one and was joined by bassist Flea, who made a big difference.  Yorke seemed to have a great time, dancing frantically at times.

Promoter Goldenvoice now has a ten-year lease on the land used for Coachella.  Let’s hope this allows them to make improvements that will improve the parking and traffic situations.  Two hour delays coming and going are frequent enough to be unacceptable even though most fans deal with it pretty well.  For fans to sometimes wait over an hour just to enter the grounds is unacceptable.  This is why I term this annual weekend “love/hate”.  I love the fact that most of the shows are really good if not all my cup of tea.  I love watching bands like Hot Chip win over bigger crowds every time they return, or to watch people like La Roux or Matt & Kim play for the first time and blow people away.  Coachella crowds are great barometers and tastemakers.  Many artists owe a portion of their career momentum to Coachella appearances.  There are the memorable headline performances or even those magical individual songs that stick with us for years.  There’s the mostly chill but passionate vibe of 75,000 fans every day, and the heartwarming sight of young couples, obviously in deep affection, enjoying a special weekend together.

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4 Responses to “Coachella Day 3: Gorillaz, Phoenix, Spoon, Matt & Kim, and final thoughts”

  1. mike says:

    nice review!

  2. ravesraves says:

    Thanks, Mike. A compliment coming from a blogger who has one of the most interesting, diversified sites.

  3. Andy says:

    Another fantastic and pithy review. Man, I really want to make to to Coachella with you one day. It seems this logistical nightmare situation is only a problem in the US. Everywhere we use public transport or there are shuttle buses running from car parks into the grounds.
    I’m getting to see a few of the bands you mentioned at in July which I’ll report back on.
    Again, loving your work, and well jealous.

  4. ravesraves says:

    Thanks, Andy. It’s a true compliment coming from such an accomplished music journalist in Australia, as you are. I thought of you during Hot Chip’s packed, triumphant Saturday show. Crowd was easily into five figures and it was so tight I couldn’t meet up with some friends. First time I saw Hot Chip was with you at Big Day out in Melbourne. Maybe there were 100 people out front, but they were really good and we all danced up a storm.

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