Win Butler of Arcade Fire

Coachella 2011 Day 2 Recap: Arcade Fire, Elbow, Two Door Cinema Club, The New Pornographers, Wire

Plus The London Suede, Freelance Whales, Gogol Bordello and Trampled by Turtles

Apr 17, 2011 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern
Bookmark and Share


Day two of Coachella continued day one's comfort. Whatever advanced security they've implemented--or at least perhaps scalpers buying up lots of tickets that ultimately weren't used--has helped make this year a comfortable festival again. There's room to move around and enjoy just about every band. Even stranger, some bands that are legendary are experiencing small turnout. The only band that really drew a massive crowd was the Arcade Fire.

Curious and strange, as two of England's finest both made what might be their first U.S. festival appearance, The London Suede and Wire. Wire drew less than a hundred people as they stormed through their vintage punk and later period post punk. The London Suede drew a bit more, but still had the Mojave Tent far less than half full. Known simply as Suede in England, the band was the perfect answer to yesterday's headliner's lack of stage presence. Lead singer Brett Anderson built energy with each progressive song, singing his heart out and keeping the crowd excited like a frontman should.

Earlier in the day newcomers The Henry Clay People, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down and Trampled by Turtles each tried their own hand at winning over the crowd. The Henry Clay People, while enjoyable, were little more than a bar band form of rock. Thao with The Get Down Stay Down was an intriguing effort, a patient and mounting series of songs that showed off frontwoman Thao Nguyen's impressive guitar playing. Trampled by Turtles was even better. A true bluegrass band, Trampled by Turtles brought the raucous stomp that bluegrass is famous for to Coachella in style.

Using as many string instruments, but reveling in the worldwide cultures of its members, Gogol Bordello was a gypsy punk party at the main stage. Lead singer Eugene Hutz strummed away manically on his acoustic guitar while they effortlessly brought the crowd to singalong with them on their pro-immigration anthem "Immigraniada (We're Comin' Rougher)."

Two Door Cinema Club and Freelance Whales each won a large crowd over as well. Both in the vein of straightforward indie pop, but Two Door Cinema Club with a slightly more dance rock edge, the bands lacked the intensity of some of the day's better performers. No matter though, the crowd loved both of them.

The New Pornographers fell flat in their show, in spite of the presence of Neko Case. On record the band's music is a stunning mix of the three principal members respective backgrounds, but here they seemed more like a dis-interesting throaty rock band. Here We Go Magic also failed to impress, taking too much time to build any amount of energy in their performance.

Day two's best acts were Elbow and One Day as a Lion. Mercury Prize winners Elbow were a master's class in rendering beautiful, thoughtful music. Lead singer Guy Garvey kept the crowd enthused throughout the set, making it look easy to boast stellar stage presence while not being cheesy. Set against the day's sunset, Elbow was a step above most bands out there. One Day as a Lion were a focused smart bomb of raw energy. Vocalist Zach de la Rocha rocked with fervent energy while drummer Jon Theodore pummeled his drum set.

The night ended with a full set from the Arcade Fire. The band drew the largest crowd of the weekend yet. Win Butler and the large band looked joyous in their performance, rendering upbeat and meaningful songs grinning ear-to-ear. For their finale, a gigantic crate was lifted above the stage, ultimately opening to dispense an avalanche of large balloons. What seemed like a standard balloon drop at first, revealed itself to be an innovative trick to bring the band's light show to the crowd. The balloons were each capable of lighting up in difference colors, and for the duration of the show after that would light up in sequence with the songs played. From the video walls on the side of the main stage, a brilliant color display could be viewed. This was a strong performance from the Arcade Fire, and one that will surely cement their status as a festival headlining band.

(www.coachella.com)



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.