5. Beach House
Beach House are one of those bands that people kept talking about — you know, those buzz bands that get hyped up and are made out to be the new cool thing to listen to. However, Beach House actually does live up to all the hype. The indie rock duo is truly amazing; lead vocalist Victoria Legrand has a haunting yet soothing voice that is at once familiar and distant. Their atmospheric dream pop is slow and steady but has an effortless cool that commands your attention from the moment you hear it.
4. Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear are one of those indie bands who I’ve listened to here and there, but I’ve never really gotten into them, for whatever reason. I’d seen their music video for their song, “Ready, Able” and thought it was one of the coolest artistic things I’d ever seen, and it really got me interested in them as a band. As a result, I made it a point to see them perform at Coachella. Their performance had a brooding swagger that seems to fit perfectly with their melodic vocals and Brooklyn vibe. Their more upbeat songs had the crowd swinging and singing along with the band, while the slower, more hypnotic songs lulled the audience into a dreamy and intimate state. Their music is layered with harmonies and filled with depth and texture, and their unique delivery made them one of the best live shows at the festival for sure.
3. Thom Yorke and Flea
Seeing Thom Yorke perform live is one thing, but seeing him on the same stage as Flea, from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, is almost overwhelming. These two guys are living legends, so it was pretty special to see them collaborating on a new project together. Flea was doing what he does best — playing funky riffs on the bass and dancing around the stage like a madman. He is such a rock and roll veteran that he knows when to work the crowd, but also knows when to fade in the background and let Yorke shine. It was quite the sight to see both of them having so much fun on the same
stage. Yorke and Flea basically played Yorke’s solo album, The Eraser, in its entirety, as well as some other Radiohead songs. This was probably one of the most anticipated shows of the festival, and the energy in the air was electric.
2. The Dead Weather
I have been listening to The Dead Weather since they released their first album last year. I am a big fan of both Jack White of The White Stripes and Allison Mosshart of The Kills. I saw The Kills perform at Coachella 2009 and was blown away by Mosshar’s stage presence; her sexy, soulful, and raw performance embodied what a rockstar goddess is made of. Combined with Jack White, who is one of the most influential rockstars of our generation, this supergroup is an explosion of in-your-face rock and roll. Their performance was filled with swagger and the mark of true musicians who are at the top of their game. They have great chemistry as a band — especially White and Mosshart. They even sang into the same mic for one of their songs, which left the audience thinking they were going to kiss… but of course, it was all part of their flawless act.
1. Fever Ray
Let me just start off by saying: I was one of the few who decided to see Fever Ray instead of Jay Z. Yes, that’s right; I missed one of the biggest rappers of our generation just so I could see an indie band who is little known to the mainstream public perform. I am so happy I did. The show still gives me chills just thinking about it. Long after Coachella, I am still talking about how strange, scary and downright mesmerizing Fever Ray’s performance was. I had no expectations and only went to see them because everyone kept talking about how amazing they were live. The solo project of Karin Dreijer Andersson, who is also lead vocalist of the electronic duo The Knife — which I love — has a voice that is both beautiful and spine-chilling. Fever Ray hail from Sweden. Their music conjures up the shrills of Norweigian black metal and strange Bjork-like imagery. They dressed in what appeared to be shaman-like black magic masks and costumes. Many of Andersson’s die-hard fans even brought and wore their own masks to the show. It was hard to see details through the darkly lit, fog-filled stage, but for the most part, they looked like silhouettes backlit by green, blue and red color-shifting laser lights, which added even more visual complexity to the already distorted primal soundscapes. Fever Ray’s electronic and moody ambient sounds are reminiscent of ancient chants from an unknown land, and they create a dark dream-like state where nightmares become beautiful in their darkness.
Coachella Festival Photo Gallery
The Whitest Boy Alive