Muse on Day 2 of Coachella 2010

Muse bring explosive live show to Coachella Festival

MGMT, Gossip, Faith No More round out Day 2

Apr 18, 2010 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern
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Muse drew one of the biggest crowds of the Coachella Festival to their explosive Saturday-night set. The band's recent slew of arena shows around the U.S. and the Coachella crowd's rapturous reaction indicate that the English trio are finally on their way to becoming as big Stateside as they are in the U.K.

Matt Bellamy and company performed several songs from their most recent album, The Resistance, with reckless abandon and their typical rock-star flourishes, holding guitars above their heads and dropping to their knees for guitar solos. The band incorporated riffs from Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana into their set, and played "The Star Spangled Banner" in its entirety with a tremolo guitar effect. In addition to playing songs from the new album including "Resistance" and "United States of Eurasia," Muse offered up several crowd-pleasers such as "Starlight" that got a massive sea of people jumping up and down underneath the band's elaborate laser display. The band concluded with an unabashedly epic two-song encore that ended with "Knights of Cydonia."

Just beforehand, MGMT played a more subdued set on the Outdoor Theatre stage that also drew a huge crowd. Despite the fact that the tracks from their first album have become party anthems, the Brooklyn band seemed to have trouble connecting with the crowdespecially on the new tunes. Frontman Andrew VanWyngarden looked visibly uncomfortable, and the band seems to be having a crisis of confidence about their experimental second album, Congratulations. "Please go buy our album," VanWyngarden told the crowd with a tinge of desperation in his voice. That said, their hits "Electric Feel" and "Time to Pretend" were the perfect backdrop for a festive Saturday night.

Faith No More performed to a modest crowd on the main stage just after the sun set. Coachella-goers, who tend to be indie rock and electronica fans, seemed a bit baffled by the band's heavy-metal funk-rock fusion, but charismatic frontman Mike Patton won many people over by the end of their brief set. The recently reunited band kicked off with a fitting cover of Peaches and Herb's "Reunited," and Patton showed off his impressive vocal range with a cover of Michael Jackson's "Ben," during which he dove into the audience and crowd surfed. The band squeezed a slew of hits from the 1980s and '90s into their set, including "We Care A Lot," "Epic," and "Ashes to Ashes."

Earlier in the day, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros brought their indie folk to the masses, with frontman Alex Ebert playing the part of the alluring messiah. His vocals occasionally fell a bit flat, but the 10-piece band's enthusiasm and joyous jangly tunes made up for it.

Meanwhile, Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto perfectly hit every high note and did an impressive job of getting the crowd dancing, clapping and singing along in the sweltering Mojave tent. "We've been a band for 11 years and this is the first time we've played Coachella," Ditto told the audience before launching into "Standing in the Way of Control."

The xx did their best to overcome their mid-afternoon timeslot on the Outdoor Theatre stage. The English trio's stripped-down, sexy tunes are much better suited to a dark, smoky club than an open field in the desert, but their set rang out clearly and demonstrated why the new band have generated so much buzz lately.



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