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LOOK: Coachella Recap Part 3

By Staff on April 20, 2011


LOOK: Coachella Recap Part 3

We are now in the wake of Coachella 2011. Most of us are still tired, possibly hung over, and mostly in a fog from what we all experienced the last three-days. FILTER was on the grounds for the festival and snapped some pretty sweet photos. There are so many that we have decided to post them in three installments along with a little write up for each night and day. Below is night #3.

In case you missed them:

LOOK: Coachella Recap Part 1
LOOK: Coachella Recap Part 2

It was finally the third day of Coachella and we saw so much awesomeness and missed so much as well.  We would have loved to have seen such bands as Phantogram, Best Coast, The National, and Ratatat to name a few.  However, we stuck primarily with the main stage with a few choice exceptions.

We started off with J.D. Samson’s latest band, MEN, and you can always count on J.D. to deliver some serious D.I.Y. electro-punk dance fun, and today was no exception.  Another singer making his way in a new direction was Keith Morris (of Black Flag and Circle Jerks fame) and his new band, Off!  Along with former Burning Brides guitarist Dimitri Coats, the band pummeled the audience with their 2-minute bursts of rage.  After all these years, Mr. Morris still has the vocal chops and passion to deliver a set relevant to a much younger audience.

Before heading over to the main stage, it wouldn’t be a successful Coachella if we had missed the highly anticipated set by Brazil’s CSS, who last played the festival in 2007. Luísa Hanae Matsushita aka Lovefoxxx hit the stage in an Adidas Matador outfit and with the band immediately had the crowd dancing and popping.   For good measure, Ms. Matsushita dropped into the crowd for a short surf to keep the frenzy going, but even though it was welcome it wasn’t needed – the audience was already in love.

On the other hand, an artist, whom most people were not yet acquainted, Wiz Khalifa, made his name known by bringing a more genuine (read: better) hip-hop set than the Coachella’s headliner, Kanye West (we’ll come back to him in a moment).  And since most of the crowd seemed unfamiliar with his songs, we can forgive the Wiz for playing a hit song (Black and Yellow) followed by an album plug followed by another awesome song (On the Level) followed by an album plug followed by the great (Roll Up) followed by an album plug… Well, you get the idea. 

Khalifa was the perfect set up man for Nas and Damian Marley – a no-brainer for a Sunday at the Coachella Music and Arts festival.  With dreads down to his ankles, Marley shuffled to the stage while Nas looked fired up for his first Coachella performance as the beat from their stellar 2010 single, As We Enter.

Now one of the aspects of Coachella that this reviewer particularly enjoys is how the festival sometimes ‘traps’ the audience, making it sit through something it otherwise would have nothing to do with.  So while waiting for Duran Duran, The Strokes, and finally Kanye West, it had to endure the pummeling brilliance of the reunited Death From Above 1979.  If you were a fan back in 2001, then you were in heaven, but if you didn’t know them at all, it was a test of perseverance.  And though we were looking forward to the aforementioned closers, DFA 1979 still had a thunderous sound that the others, especially The Strokes, could only wish for.  Speaking of whom, the general consensus from people watching was that the band ripped and were super tight as they’ve always been, but the inconsistent Julian Casablancas was a bummer – hiding his face under a ball cap and sunglasses while giving the crowd no energy to latch onto.  It was great to hear them play New York City Cops, left off the U.S. version of their debut, but other than that…

Unlike The Strokes, Duran Duran who preceded them, were total professionals.  They are not a band at the height of their power of course, but they know how to give the crowd what they want while satisfying their own creativity – playing new songs interspersed amongst their super hits like Hungry Like the Wolf, Girls on Film, Rio, and the ever underrated set opener Planet Earth.  And for the hardcore fans, Chauffeur provided the deep cut.

Consistently having a problem with his own professionalism, Kanye West, of course, wasn’t on time for his set, which was really fine by us because it gave us the opportunity to enjoy the ‘real’ festival closer, PJ Harvey on the Outdoor Stage.  His entrance, on a crane arm hovering over the crowd, was mildly impression though it looked like while he was singing, he was hanging on for dear life.  And later, did we care about Mr. West’s confessionals on how he’s just trying to be a good person?  You can probably answer that question yourself, and in the end his set just didn’t live up to the hype.

And that is why we end our 2011 Coachella journal commenting on the subtly beautiful, yet heavy set from Ms. Polly Jean Harvey who focused most of her attention on her new material from the album, Let England Shake, while adding select cuts from her brilliant 1998 Is This Desire?, namely The Sky Lit Up and the ever haunting Angeline, among others from her catalog.  Ms. Harvey provided the intimate moments that make your last memories of the festival most vivid.  She brought you into her space, which the same can not be said for the scheduled headliner.

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