It is a lot like Christmas in January. The 2013 Coachella lineup is here. Feel free to disagree, but while the headliners leave a lot to be desired this lineup has some great acts. From the reunions of Jurassic 5 and the Violent Femmes to Concert Confessions favorites like Modest Mouse, Ghost and Dinosaur Jr there is plenty of great music to be heard out in Indio this April. Check out the complete lineup down below.
Good news for folks who want to appreciate the Coachella brand but hate going to the desert. You can now get seasick with Coachella instead. That’s right, the S.S. Coachella will set sail twice this December. Assuming you can’t read the above poster, the likes of Pulp, Warpaint, Girl Talk and Sleigh Bells will cruise from Miami to both the Bahamas and Jamaica. All the details including price is available from the official S.S. Coachella website which you can access by clicking here.
Oh and fuck you Goldenvoice for claiming you were going to drop this information tonight only to drop it at 2pm when I was grocery shopping.
3) Kasabian basically drives past Reverend Justito’s home in this video and he had no clue they were staying a few blocks away. Clearly he slacked in his stalking duties back in April. That said, stalking Reverend Justito (who is writing this and feels like a tool talking in the third person) just made it a whole lot easier to stalk him.
That said, enjoy the video for Kasabian Route Ten!
Coachella Announces 2013 Dates and Presale Information
Remember last Friday when we posted that image that the Coachella folks asked us to pass along? Not shocking at all, the announcement was that the 2013 festival will once again be two weekends. Those weekends will be April 12-14 and April 19-21 2013. Pre-sale tickets will go on sale on May 17th 2012 at 10 am PST. Click here to check out the official Coachella site for more pre-sale information.
Kasabian Share Their Coachella Experience With The World
Coachella was a life changing experience for our founder Reverend Justito. A big part of that experience was the chance to finally see his heroes in Kasabian perform live. The band has put together a mini-movie of their Coachella experience and we would like to share it with you. We hope you enjoy this as much as we do. To read a bit more about the band’s experience, check out this great article over at Spinner.
For the final day of my first Coachella weekend I arrived to the Empire Polo Fields much later than I had the first two days. I could tell by the time that I was to the Beats Antique tent that the energy had changed. You could see the exhaustion on the collective face of the crowd, sick and tired of having to walk into a cage to get a beer or take a leak. Security was a bit tighter on this particular day as well as for the first time all weekend I had to throw away contraband at the front gate (clearly Coachella is no place for Gummy Bears, especially the Haribo variety). Most important on this sunny spring day, it was a final shot for me to get my head straight one last time before returning home to reality and a new chapter in my life.
Fitz and the Tantrums
Fuck these guys. No, really fuck these guys. This is not a band, this is a fucking product. They make me so fucking angry that I am left but no choice to overuse the word fuck. The songs are simple, uninspired and I felt for the first time all weekend that I was at a Pop radio station summer festival and not Coachella. This metro-sexual Motown shtick doesn’t work. The fact that “Steady As She Goes” by The Raconteurs was stale, cheap and generic made me wonder if they add it in just to look cool? Fitz is nothing more than mass produced music for people who don’t want to be pushed outside their comfort level. I wouldn’t even bother to steal their retro recordings. Oh and spare me the “they are a fun band” argument, because the world has plenty of fun bands who make great music. Fitz isn’t one of them. Next please.
I’ve had a crush on Carrie Brownstein because she once did an experiment for NPR where she became a Phish fan for a week. I decided to check out Wild Flag because of this. I managed to catch three songs from up front before enjoying the rest with a few friends in the beer garden. While many in my group thought the music was terrible I had to disagree. While it would have been better suited inside one of the tents versus the massive Outdoor Stage, the all-female super group had a good energy going throughout the set and quenched my festival hunger for grrrrlrock.
For those who follow me on Twitter, you know all about my sworn duty to bust wooks. We all hate the dirty crusty scum who sell bad drugs, refuse to shower and call your sister “brah.” Well what if I told you they started a new genre of music to spread their message of filth and dishonesty? WOOKSTEP is here people; I nearly choked on my $5 churro when I saw this in action. Truly dreadful, I went and found an officer from the nearby Cathedral City Police Department but he refused to do anything. Check the footage below and then warn all your friends that WOOKSTEP is coming to a Wal-Mart near you.
I’d be lying if I denied being bored for a good chunk of Coachella on Sunday. I ended up taking a seat along the fence and watched a beautiful California sunset as The Weeknd took the stage. Before a single note played, I already knew this band was going to be huge based off the thunderous cheers from every young girl at Coachella. The Weeknd were not bad, but Canadian indie rock infused R&B sung by pretty boys is never going to win me over. So instead I just watched the day, reflected on the wonderful weekend that was coming to an end and thought about the day when I take my daughter to see a dreamy front man like The Weeknd’s Abel Tesfaye live.
The Airplane Boys
As I walked in a sea of people to go see Gotye, I noticed the Gobi Tent was deserted as a hip hop act played. I decided to go check it out and what I saw reminded me of being 16 and checking out a local show. The Airplane Boys are from Canada and what they lack in talent, they make up in enthusiasm. From running around the empty tent to getting what few fans were there to raise their hands and scream, you would have thought these guys were arena headliners. Alas they were just a few guys praying for folks to give em a chance on a night headlined by some of hip hops brightest stars.
This dude should have been on the Outdoor Stage and Wild Flag should have rocked this tent as there was a massive crowd gathered to witness the greatest one hit wonder of 2012. I can only assume he played the song everyone will be sick of by Memorial Day and it changed the lives of girls not old enough to get into the beer garden. Good times.
I would like to pat myself on the back as I successfully completed the Girl Talk Triple Crown. Three Girl Talk sets at three festivals in one single year. First we had Outside Lands in San Francisco. Then we had Voodoo in New Orleans. Coachella completed the Triple Crown. What I have realized with Girl Talk is that every show is exactly the same. Stressing that he only had 45 minutes, I stayed for about 20 before leaving the mash up madness and heading back to the main stage to wrap my weekend.
Fuck these guys. No really, fuck these guys. Unlike Fitz they are unique and talented. But the fact is long before Girl Talk started I gathered at the main stage to check out their 7:45 pm set. I watched my watch and 7:45 pm came and past. It was 8:05 pm when I finally said fuck this and left as fans started to get ugly. This is a festival set, you have an obligation to be on time for your fans. Justice wasted my valuable time and it was not appreciated. I heard they finally came on around 8:15 pm and only played for 30 minutes versus the entire hour that was expected. I hope they only got half of their paycheck. I did manage to catch the last song after Girl Talk, so enjoy the one photo I took of these tardy twats up above.
At The Drive-In
This was a moment I have waited years for. I never got to see At The Drive-In and I knew Coachella was my chance. With the sun now set the masses flocked to the main stage for a taste of El Paso in Indio. I knew the second the low end rumbling began that we were opening for “Arcarsenal” and I was ready to rage. For the next hour, the five piece band unleashed an all-out assault on Coachella that managed to sound well-polished while never losing its raw grit.
I really enjoyed the construction of the set and how the songs flowed. I believe it was “Lopsided” that flowed perfectly into “Sleepwalk Capsules” without pausing to quickly tune or allowing front man Cedric Bixler-Zavala to insult the audiences’ choice of clothes.
While I could have listened to the band play all damn night, I am happy that most of my favorites were performed. I was a bit worried that we would see two separate bands (The Mars Volta and Sparta) trying to be one, but on this particular night you could not see any divide upon the stage. The one thing I did find disappointing was the lack of energy from guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. After wishing us a Merry Christmas, the band wrapped the set with their lone radio hit “One Armed Scissor.” No longer yelling at folks not to mosh, At The Drive-In is back and sounds better than ever.
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg
Unless you are an E-Tard losing your cell phone out at the Sahara Tent, the final set of Coachella 2012 was the one set I was most intrigued about since the initial artist announcement. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg together again. I managed to catch Snoop last fall at Voodoo and found myself bored to death thirty minutes into the set. Could Dre and Snoop keep the interest of a casual hip hop fan? As it turns out they not only did but put on one of the best performances I have ever seen.
The celebration of West Coast Hip Hop from the past, present and future kicked off with “The Next Episode.” It was clear that the duo were well rehearsed and about to put on a show for the ages. Keeping the parting rolling, “Kush” and “Gin N Juice” followed giving tens of thousands of concert goers the chance to get in the right mental condition for a Death Row history lesson.
Now that we were all in the right mind frame, it was time to pay tribute to Nate Dogg. While we never did see a hologram performance as rumored, we did get to see Kurupt come out for a rocking take on “ Ain’t No Fun (If The Homies Can’t Have None).” After the tribute, it was time to get high again as Snoop Dogg brought out Wiz Khalifa to perform their hit “Young, Wild & Free.”
The first half of the show was jam packed with hit after hit. Some not even their own as both Dre and Snoop had a chuckle after a tongue and cheek performance of the House of Pain classic “Jump Around.” From there we got such timeless memories as “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and of course “Ain’t Nothing But A ‘G’ Thang.”
With massive energy in the venue, Dre sucked the life out of the show for a few minutes to show off his newest weapon Kendrick Lamar. Thankfully it was the breather we all needed as 50 Cent came out next shocking the Coachella nation. 50 breezed through three tracks in about six minutes. Fans went nuts as he performed his biggest hits “P.I.M.P” and “In The Club.” 50 sounded great and was no doubt a welcome surprise.
After a massive group rap-a-long for “California Love” it became time to pay tribute to Tupac via hologram. I will be honest, where I was standing, it didn’t look very good. In fact it looked more like a videogame than anything. This was cheesy, out of place and distracting in my opinion and I am going to pretend as if it never happened.
The biggest highlight of the night was Eminem. Em joined the fun for three songs, “I Need A Doctor,” “Forgot About Dre” and “Till I Collapse.” The reclusive rapper had a hoodie over his head the entire time and the good Dr. of course had to beg him to play the final song. Yet the excitement in the air after what had already gone down was not matched all weekend.
The set came to a roaring conclusion with “Still D.R.E.” as the incredible backing band jammed out the songs tail end, Dre and Snoop said their thanks as their respective platforms brought them below the stage. As someone who does not claim to know much about hip hop, Dr. Dre is one of the few artists whose catalogue I know. The set truly was one of the greatest performances I have ever seen as far as pure entertainment level and it was the perfect way to end my first Coachella.
I had three goals for Coachella on Saturday. See as many acts as possible while getting inebriated enough to enjoy Radiohead after having my Kasabian live cherry popped. All I have to say is Mission Fucking Accomplished.
One of my top twelve bands to see at Coachella, I made it to the stage about ½ through the Flower Punkers set. I saw no barfing; I saw no guitars being played by cocks. Instead I saw a rather small crowd gathered around the band. Oh and I saw the wonderful Adrian Garro, who I then spoke with instead of actually watching the band. How is that for a deep journalistic review? (Update – per the user comment below I guess I missed the cock show. This is why you should never hang out with your friends).
I don’t watch a lot of TV, and what I do watch certainly isn’t on NBC (and if it was, do you think I would actually admit here that I am a fan of Parenthood?). So while I can’t talk about the skills at his day job, Donald Glover’s side job as a rapper is pretty fantastic. With a massive crowd at the main stage in the hot afternoon sun, Gambino delighted the crowd more with his charm than his mic skills. Highlights included “Heartbeat,” “Fire Fly” and a cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” I think for most in the crowd (at least the two in front of me) the highlight was no so much Gambino’s ZZ Top T-shirt, but his song “Asian Girls Everywhere (UCLA).” Then again, how could that song not be a hit in sunny Southern California?
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
There was a moment on Saturday when Miss Potter was dancing on stage in her bikini top and leather shorts and she spotted me amongst a sea of hippiesters. Perhaps it was the Phish shirt, or the fact that I was not moving to the groups hit “Paris (Oh La La)” but she gave me a look and it clearly said the following: “Hey, what am I supposed to do, I can play tiny shit hole clubs as a respectable jam friendly musician or I can be a whore. You whore in a cube all day, I whore on stage all day it is what it is honey now stop looking at my rolls when I turn to rock out with our drummer.” I get it Grace you are living the rock and roll dream we all have and I refuse to knock you for that. But damn I wish you had stayed more Bonnaroo instead of going Hollywood and for the record this performance was 1,000 times hotter than anything you have done in the past two years.
After checking out some of the installations at the festival/finding out Kasabian had cancelled their signing I decided to check out Zed’s Dead on the recommendation of our pal Jakob. The fans inside the Sahara tent were obnoxious and I really wanted to like the music but as more time went on it got on my nerves. This was the first real sign on this particular weekend that there is now an entire generation of music after the generation of music I grew up with. I am the old timer and I am going to need to learn how to accept that.
Just stopped in for a quick hello. They are legends after all. I dug the song I heard, it reminded me of Phish. On to the next thing.
The Head and the Heart
Knowing it was a long day, I sat just outside whatever tent these indie country types played at and found it rather enjoyable. Mellow, which was exactly what I was looking for at that point in time. Perhaps better in a small club than a festival tent but the band sounded good. The only thing that bothered me about the set was the pants worn by Charity Rose. Dreadful.
As far as old punk bands go, Buzzcocks came into my life about a decade ago. I was drawn in by their unique melodies and how they incorporated things like keys into their jarring sounds. With a massive circle pit causing a large dust cloud to rise inside the Gobi Tent, the few fans of punk who made it into Coachella were pumped for the career spanning set. The Buzzcocks saved most of their well-known songs including “Orgasm Addict” and “Something’s Gone Wrong Again” saved for the tail end of the set. I tell ya, the kids go crazy for car commercials as “What Do I Get?” got the biggest reaction from the crowd. Personally I am just glad I finally got a chance to see these guys live, a great high energy set performed by the boys from Bolton.
Caught the tail of the set by catching up with an old friend I grew up with. Not bad, but it felt like they tried too hard. But hey, better them on the main stage at 5pm than Kasabian. I did feel bad when the band begged fans to tell all their friends about them. Perhaps it is time I start a PR firm that promotes solid UK acts who never get a chance stateside? Oh and how bad ass is the above photo as I took it from about 800 feet away?!?!?!?!
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Gallagher’s stop last year at UCLA’s Royce Hall was magical. I didn’t know how well Gallagher would do on the main stage during dinner time but as it turns out that just shows you how lame I am. Gallagher is a genius and after playing show after show in the worlds largest venues he knew just what to do. He cranked the distortion up to 11, made sure the drums were heavy in the mix and rocked the fuck out. Songs from his self-titled solo effort like “The Death of You and Me,” “If I Had A Gun,” and “(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach” were transformed from well crafted pop songs into all out stadium rockers. While many in the audience shows zero reaction to Oasis songs like “Mucky Fingers” and “Little By Little” they did indeed go nuts when the band performed “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” This of course was problematic to Mr. Gallagher as scolded the audience for cheering when he said he had a final song and not boooing. Well played Noel, well played indeed.
We all know St. Vincent is incredible. Where Grace Potter failed at being sexy, St. Vincent oozed it. Opening with “Northern Lights” St. Vincent was not only confident she was dominant in seducing the large Gobi Tent crowd with her music. A flawless version of “Cheerleader” followed as the sun was now fully set upon the Empire Polo Fields. “Chloe In The Afternoon” came next and sounded even heavier than on the record. I would love to know what kind of pedal she is using to get that beefy crunchy low end distortion from her guitar. After being won over by her set last fall in Hollywood, I wish I could have seen the entire set, but as she launched into her fourth song “Actor Out Of Work” I knew I had to depart in order to experience a life changing event.
No, Squeeze was not the life changing event. They were just the act playing to all the parents who brought their young kids out to the desert. The song I heard, well I will just say if you don’t have anything nice to say, you must be listening to Squeeze.
If you have read the site, you know that this band has been my long running obsession. As soon as Squeeze finished I forced myself up to the front of the Mojave Tent and quickly discovered that it is not just I who had waited a long, long time for this moment. I met fans from Europe, Saudia Arabia and Reno who had made the trek to Coachella just to catch an hour with Kasabian. In the minutes before the band hit the stage, fans began singing to chorus to the groups hit “Fire.” It was the only time I have seen this kind of pre-set energy at Coachella. When the band did hit the stage at 8:35 pm sharp they opened with a fierce 1-2 punch of “Days Are Forgotten” and “Velociraptor!” I see a lot of bands, but I was truly freaking out like some 13 year old girl who just met Justin Bieber. It was Kasabian and they were loud and three feet away from my face.
The band playing a much shorter set than their typical headline shows did a superb job of mixing new material in with classic jams from their first and third records. With no proper US tour for West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum it was a treat when the band tore the tent to shreds with “Underdog” (which included some sweet improved lyrics from lead guitarist Sergio Pizzorno about the large amounts of marijuana being smoked in front of the band). Joking about how they were kids when they last played Coachella in 2005 “I.D.” from the bands self-titled debut was not only a welcome treat but the perfect song for the electronic heavy festival.
From what I could gather the band was winning over fans left and right, especially after a jaw dropping take on the Noel Gallagher dedicated “Club Foot.” A humorous moment came right before “Re-Wired” as lead singer Tom Meighan pointed out a fan with a mask of the Queen of England before promptly booing her Majesty. Sadly before things really began they were coming to an end. Now with a full on mosh pit going down in front of the stage, the group closed with the effective combination of West Ryder classics “Vlad The Impaler” and “Fire.” It didn’t matter how tired I already was at that point, I gave it my all jumping up and down per the instructions of Pizzorno. In closing, I have noticed many times in life you long to see a band you love and when you finally do see them it’s amazing yet expectations are not met. Kasabian in 50 minutes are the one act I have seen who went above and beyond my high expectations and I can’t wait to do it all over again on Tuesday night.
All I can tell you is that he was bummed he was almost out of time. Honestly, having just seen Kasabian, I don’t even remember what I heard here.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Godspeed is one of those bands I have always heard of yet never heard. Nothing like I expected, I think I assumed these guys were more like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. With little or no lighting, what appeared to be about eight musicians sat down and made these crazy post rock instrumentals. Really mellow, really different. Took in about two or three songs before going to grab a quick bite and beer before Radiohead.
I tend to be a music snob and have hated everything this band has done since OK Computer. I often get into fights with folks on twitter by comparing their music to “pussy farts.” Yes, two hours was way too long to be alone in a field, but I actually really enjoyed most of Radiohead’s set. Sure, I recognized the hits like “Karma Police” “Lotus Flower” and “Idioteque” but it was some of the non-hits that most intrigued me. The opening song “Bloom” reminded me a lot of Phish which was awesome. I was shocked to hear the band play the song “Lucky” but perhaps that is just because I recognized it. The entire presentation from the light show and video screens was incredible (I can’t believe I am calling something Radiohead related incredible). Hell they even teased Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” before playing “Everything In Its Right Place.” So perhaps I was wrong, perhaps Radiohead is more than pussy farts?!?!?! I am not rushing to call them the greatest band, but they no doubt changed my feelings on them with a pretty spectacular Saturday headline set.
There was a reason I have always avoided Coachella and that reason is the sun. Fact is my white ass doesn’t do so well out in the middle of the desert. So it is fitting that my first trip to Coachella felt more like my hometown of San Francisco versus the Palm Desert. Strong winds, sporadic showers and thick fog were a downer for everyone but me. But enough about the weather, let’s discuss the first Friday of Coachella 2012.
I have a pal, his name is James and the album title Get Laid by James has always made us laugh. So to pop my Coachella cherry I decided to start off with this long running Manchester band’s main stage set. I honestly couldn’t name a single song they played, I didn’t get to hear the song Laid, but I did run into my pal Brian so that was pretty sweet.
Gary Clark Jr.
I ran across the Polo Fields from the main stage to the Gobi Tent for the first act I was truly excited to see. With the wind blowing hard through the tent, Gary Clark Jr. hit the stage with a fantastic set of rock/blues revival. Song like “When The Trains Pull In” and “Don’t Owe You A Thang” felt more like Bonnaroo as the crowd danced under the tent. I ended up sneaking off right after he teased some “Third Stone From The Sun” action as I decided to check in on another hippie heavy act.
As I have shared in the past, I have been trying to see Grouplove since last summer. I still need to see Grouplove. With hurricane strength winds and extremely douchie fans assembled under the Mojave Tent I only lasted two songs. Sadly the band sounded terrible and I am not sure if it was the wind, the fact they are blowing up before they have the time to grow as a live act or a combo of both. I am sure Hannah Hooper is a lovely gal but someone should mention to her that when winds are whipping she may want to actually sing into the mic when she dances around instead of projecting from eight feet away. I split after “Itchin on a Photograph” with the thoughts in my mind that perhaps the third time is the charm.
In my pre-Coachella YouTube session, Death Grips caught me off guard. I have a thing for noisy bands and I am always down to check out any act who call Northern California home. With their road crew rocking San Francisco Giants hats, the band hit the stage to a very small crowd. I lasted about ½ the set and I have very mixed emotions on the band. Unaware of how long they have been performing live, you can tell the group needs some work on their stage presence, especially lead vocalist MC Ride. What I do like about this group is they are a new wave of acts that are the evolution of heavy music. I like the combo of aggressive beats matched with a hip hop meets DC hardcore vocal flair. It’s unique it’s refreshing and God damn did it make me feel old.
If you have followed this site for a while you know I love Girls. I showed up about ½ way into their Outdoor Stage set and was delighted to see bassist Chet White rocking an old school San Francisco 49ers jacket. The part of the set I saw was heavy on last year’s outstanding release Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Highlights included Saying I Love You, Alex and the set closing Vomit. Towards the end as the song gets heavy and lead singer Christopher Owens is singing “looking for love” with the help of backup singers, the rain began to fall heavily upon the crowd. It was as if it was in synch with the San Francisco based group and the first truly magical Coachella moment I was lucky enough to experience.
After catching up with some pals, I caught my third Arctic Monkeys show from the beer tent. Shockingly, while I was not exactly watching them it was the best I have heard this band play. Highlights included “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” and the track recorded with Mr. Josh Homme just a few miles away “Crying Lightning.” The perfect dinner band, even if dinner is two quickly pounded cups of Heineken.
Hey look it’s Madness. Cross them off the list of bands I have never seen.
As I mentioned sarcastically in my Coachella preview, I know “Common People” and that’s about it. Yet despite not knowing much about the band they were the highlight of day one. The Jarvis Cocker lead act sounded incredible and he is a helluva front man. I love his rambling banter on everything from learning how to have sex to the admission that Coachella wanted them last year and it simply didn’t happen. Oh and Cocker hit me with a grape before performing “Babies” that was pretty awesome. I went to see Pulp knowing they don’t make it across the pond to the states very often, and I left their set as a fan. Oh and just to make assholes like me happy, you know they closed with “Common People” and it was all I had dreamed of and more.
The Black Keys
I knew this band was ready for headline status when I tried to catch them at Outside Lands and was at least two football fields back. Thankfully I was much closer on this evening and enjoyed most of the Akron duos set. Opening up with the 1-2 punch of “Howlin’ For You” and “Next Girl” the massive crowd erupted for the main stage headliners. Some of the background videos seemed to be glitching but no one really cared as the duo were bringing it hard. Other highlights included the duo ditching their back up band to go at it alone on older songs like “I’ll Be Your Man” and “Your Touch.” One of my favorites from their stellar new record El Camino, “Little Black Submarines” was the perfect way to close out my first proper show by The Black Keys in order to get a quick beer and a slice of pizza before ending my night at the Outiside Stage.
Explosions In The Sky
Granted most of the set was watched from the beer garden as I ate the earlier mention pizza and drank the earlier mentioned beer but I really liked what I heard from this Texas based post rock instrumental act. The music was beautiful and with no lyrics found a way to bring out emotions I wasn’t expecting to feel. By the time I finally got to the field, they were unfortunately just wrapping up their set. There is going to have to be a next time for these guys.
I never thought I would see these fine Swedes live. But there it was just past 11pm with the rain coming down rather hard. Opening with The Shape of Punk To Come my arms were forming goose bumps while the younger generation were forming circle pits. The band sounded amazing as if they had not been broken up for the past decade plus. In between rants of how the band has moved on from trying to overthrow our government, the band was crushing us with classics including “The Refused Party Program,” “Rather Be Dead” and “Summerholidays vs. Punkroutine.” What I thought was most interesting was how the band discussed their reunion. They explained how it would be wrong of them not to do it since so many fans wanted it. The band was humble (their last US gig was in a basement to 40 people) and appreciate of the fan as they rewarded the crowd to a balls to the wall set closing “New Noise.” As I sit here today, I still don’t believe it happened. Refused are alive and well and I saw it with my own two eyes.
In closing day one of Coachella was a blast. I am out in about 90 minutes for round two with the likes of Kasabian, Grace Potter and those pussy farting wastes of talent known as Radiohead.
With less than 72 hours till kick off, the set times for Weekend 1 of the 2012 Coachella Music Festival have been announced. While our own Reverend Justito tries to figure out how to be in five different places at the same time, feel free to check out the schedules below. (Click on the photo to enlarge).
The Top 12 Must See Acts of Coachella 2012 According To Our Shit Talking Loud Mouth Founder Reverend Justito
My only trek to Indio for three days of music in the desert was nearly 2 ½ years ago. It featured one band performing 8 sets for 45,000 devoted fans. Truth be told, I am a bit scared of my first Coachella experience. I am not really the violent type, but the right mix of mind altering substances as well as the heat and general stupidity of 89,989 fucktards rocking fedoras may just send me into a murderous rampage. I suppose it’s a good thing that the fine folks at Goldenvoice don’t allow weapons onto the lush green lawn known as the Empire Polo Fields. But enough with the hate, weekend one of Coachella is just days away and I want to share with you the top 12 artists I am looking to forward to enjoying in the middle of the fucking desert.
I tried to catch these lovable Silver Lake by way of the UK and Brooklyn yet formed in Greece hippiesters at the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco. Booked on the festivals smallest stage yet performing to a massive crowd my pals and I were so far back that we had no choice but to enjoy some whiskey and pretend that we could hear what was going on. With tours of a land down under and a few national TV appearances under their belt since Outside Lands, hopefully I can get a bit closer to the group this time around. If not, at least I will spend Weekend 2 of Coachella at my Best Friend’s House.
11) The Black Lips:
You don’t go see The Black Lips for the music (well maybe you do) you go see these Atlanta based Flower Punkers to watch them urinate on stage, puke on stage, chug beers on stage and spit snot rockets into the air only to catch it in their mouths and swallow it down. Hopefully around the time they play their guitars with their penises, I am vomiting all over those annoying racist white girls who dress like Native American Princesses. Don’t worry honey, I drink microbrew your moccasins will be just fine it’s the headdress that you need to worry about.
10) St. Vincent:
While I would prefer more METAL at Coachella, one thing that the festival is stacked with is great female talent. From Feist to that Florence chick who sounds like a dying pigeon when she sings this may be the best collection of ass kicking females in one place since Lilith Fair 1998. I was shocked at how impressed I was with St. Vincent when I caught her in Hollywood last fall. While I am not sure if her show will translate from a small dark theatre to a sun baked polo field if nothing conflicts I look forward to finding out. Oh and she may be the one individual at Coachella whose skin is more fair than mine. Perhaps we can share sun block after she gives me tips on how to kick ass on guitar as hard as she does.
9) The Buzzcocks:
For me classic punk bands are like Pokemon, I have to catch them all. With the likes of Angry Samoans, FEAR and Youth Brigade checked off the list, Coachella 2012 is my chance to catch the pride and joy of Bolton England. Here is hoping that “Orgasm Addict” and “Something’s Gone Wrong Again” make it onto the setlist.
8 ) Grace Potter and the Nocturnals:
Unknown to her, Grace Potter is my future ex-wife. Long before she was rocking VH1 award shows wearing fancy clothes, this Vermont native was winning me over with her hippielicious 70’s arena rock. Oh and the best thing about seeing Miss Potter and crew at a festival is the fact I can still enjoy her without violating that nasty court order saying I must stay 250 feet away at all times.
7) Childish Gambino:
If Foxy Shazam is White Music For Black People, does that make Childish Gambino Black Music for White People? Granted I don’t know much about hip hop, everything I have heard by this dude is great. It’s like Drake, but not a total fucking joke. Plus we both drink whiskey till we are grounded, here is to passing out in the tent during his set. That is of course when I am not puking on Asian girls from UCLA?
As an American, my vote is that you play “Common People” and then get the fuck off the stage so The Black Keys can rock. Oh and have a meltdown, because I have always wanted to see a Brit-Pop band have a breakdown on stage. I kid of course, granted I don’t really know much about Pulp, I have a thing for bands from the UK who don’t get the respect they deserve on this continent. So knowing they don’t come over here often, Pulp you best amaze the fuck out of me.
I get the feeling Girls will make a lot of new fans at Coachella this year. Their performance at the Music Box last December was their biggest US headline gig to date and they blew the roof off the fucking place. Their 2011 release Father, Son, Holy Ghost made it onto numerous top ten lists for good reason. From lush ballads like “Love Like A River” to Sabbath inspired rockers like “Vomit” and “Die” this band is truly something special and not to be missed.
4) Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds:
While I fully expect to see a water-downed version of Gallagher’s stunning November 2012 appearance on the campus of UCLA, that will still be far superior to the performance of Saturday headliners Radiohead. Having hit arena headliner status across the pond in Europe, I have no doubt that Gallagher’s well crafted songs will captivate the masses as the sun sets in the west. Likewise, ladies if you are crushed over his lack of “Wonderwall”, you can cry on my shoulder while Radiohead blow pussy farts across the Polo Fields.
Dead my ass! Refused are back and they are going to kick the living crap out of the hipster nation. Granted I get the vibe they would be better in a small club instead of on a massive stage, the fact is that in 2012 Refused are alive and I will get to see them with my own two eyes. I never thought I would have a chance, but Lord knows I plan to make the most of this one.
2) At The Drive-In:
You can pretty much take the above statement on Refused and put it here. The only difference is that I was going to see At The Drive-In live and then they went and broke up. I kid you not, when those loveable fucks over at Antiquiet broke the news that these mad men from El Paso were reforming I knew I had to finally make the trek to Coachella. Fingers crossed no one moshes thus ending the performance before it even begins.
CAN YOU FEEL IT COMING? Anyone who knows me already knew who the number one band was going to be. It has been 5 long years since Kasabian blessed North American with their presence. Super stars in Europe, Asia and Australia, there are many theories as to why this band has not taken off in America, but who cares. The fact is Kasabian is here in America right now and you are a damn fool if you miss their Saturday performance. Massive anthems from real rock and roll stars, Kasabian is the one act you can’t miss at Coachella 2012. See you in the fucking pit.
Goldenvoice Adds Coachella Week Shows For Southern California
Goldenvoice just posted information on which Coachella 2012 bands will be playing shows in/around the greater Los Angeles Area during the week between each festival. Highlights include Kasabian at the Fonda, Refused at the Glass House and Pulp at the Fox Theatre. Check out the above poster to see which of your favorite Coachella Artists are playing in Southern California this April. As always, check out the official Goldenvoice page for up to the minute details on these shows.
Kasabian, Refused, At The Drive-In and Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg – oh my. The 2012 Coachella lineup is out and it’s epic like elephant titties. Tickets go on sale Friday January 13th 2012 at 10 am PST via coachella.comWe hope to see you in the desert in April.
Update 01/13/12 1:00 PM PST
Both weekends of Coachella 2012 sold out in less than three hours. Our man Reverend Justitohas purchased tickets for the first weekend. If you are heading out to Indio, leave us a comment. Maybe he will buy you a beer.
That’s Not A Mirage – Coachella 2012 To Take Place Twice
Good news for folks who hate a bunch for the nation of self-righteous hipster dipshits who still can’t grasp the simple fact that artists like The Strokes, Kings of Leon and Kayne West suck giant donkey dick. The 2012 Coachella Music and Arts Festival is adding a second weekend. Don’t believe us? Here is what is currently up at the main page over at Coachella.com.
We’re excited to announce Coachella 2012 will be held over TWO WEEKENDS. In an effort to try and accommodate everyone who wants to experience the festival, COACHELLA 2012 will be two separate events, held over two consecutive weekends. We will attempt to produce two identical festival weekends. That means same lineup, same art, same place, different people. We know many of you were unable to attend this year’s festival because passes sold out much sooner than anticipated. We were truly surprised by the overwhelming response and remain honored by your passion and enthusiasm. We also know some of you purchased through non legitimate sources and were inconvenienced, gouged or totally scammed. We hope that these changes will give everyone the opportunity to purchase directly from Coachella.com. Passes go on sale beginning this Friday, June 3rd, 2011, at 10am PST until the following Friday June 10th, 2011, at 10pm PST. This advance sale will be the only opportunity to take advantage of the Coachella Payment Plan. Passes will be available through a payment plan of 10% down and 8 equal monthly payments OR by payment in full. The price of three-day passes remains at $269 plus fees for the sixth consecutive year.
Coachella Weekend 1 – April 13-15, 2012 | Coachella Weekend 2 – April 20-22, 2012
Perhaps Coachella wants to give The Hoff and Troll Foot their own weekends? Perhaps they couldn’t find enough thrash metal legends to play in-between Coachella and Stage Coach? Perhaps it’s just the simple fact that the festival sold out so quickly in 2011? Whatever the reason, at least our own Reverend Justito can now skip Coachella twice a year* instead of only once.
So while concertconfessions mastermind/general pop off and wannabe cult leader Reverend Justito! didn’t make it out to Coachella, my co-worker Christina did. She was kind enough to let me share some of her photos here. We hope you enjoy.
On this seasonably warm Saturday evening New York City is lucky enough to be graced with the presence of Kasabian tonight in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan. Back in March 2012 the band was here in this very venue and the night was almost as magical as Derek Jeter’s final home game. Tonight we’re hoping for some of the same, as we’ll be 3,000 deep in the sold out Terminal 5. Bo Ningen is the opening act and the doors are set to open at 7PM.
When Bo Ningen walked out on stage there was some snickering and confusion around the area I was seated on the third floor, especially when the lead singer told the New York City crowd that the band (all of Asian decent) was from London and originally from Japan. Once this band broke into their first song nothing at all was funny anymore. They ROCKED. Songs were long and jam filled. Who knows if the lyrics were even in English let alone if I knew what the set list contained. I understood two things; First off, they were really gracious and kept thanking us for coming out early. Two: The intensity of the rock that they played (which I look up later to be known as ‘acid rock. Which makes sense) made me get into it. And yes them not being your traditional Bud Light American band of the month didn’t hurt at all. They rocked it til 8:30. Who the heck knew? Bo freakin’ Ningen.
At 9:05 this place was about to burst awaiting the Kasabian to hit the stage. It’s odd because I’ve spent the better part of two years mentioning this band to everyone who asks me about music I’m currently listening to (you can only go to the 90s well a certain amount of times before people stop talking to you) and I’ve found maybe a handful of folks who’ve heard of them. Yet here tonight in Hell’s Kitchen of all places at a venue where I’ve heard several concert goers in the past complain about sound and sightlines we’ve got a full house of adoring fans of a band that barely comes to this country. Is there an after party? The band hit the stage before 9:10, kicking the night off with a track off the new record 48:13 . The song is called ‘Bumblebee’.
There are times where you go see a favorite band who’ve recently put out a new record and they shove it down your throat the next time you see them live. Filling you with that “new car smell’ as I say. Tonight this was not the case as Kasabian seemed to hit every person in the building g-spot at some point during the evening. I keep turning towards the crowd because those kids are going bananas. They’re having so much fun and really, is that the point of all this?
It’s hard to call a 16 song set ‘career-spanning’, but band followed Bumblebee with Shoot The Runner and Underdog before hitting us with another new one Stevie, which rocked way harder than it did for me when I sat down and listened to the record recently. Sometimes it’s just better live. Days Are Forgotten preceded another track off 48:13 Eez-Uh,
followed by an oldie: Processed Beats. These guys are kicking my ass. I wanted to tweet some stuff during the set but I was firmly set with one goal in mind: Record This Entire Fucking Set. So when The Doberman went right into Take Aim right into Club Foot-I shot that.
When possibly my favorite track from this band Re-Wired got played before Treat and Empire-I shot that. And when the crazyiness of Fire ensued-well, you get the point. Jeez it was so hectic up in there when the band ducked off at 10:15. How does this band not headline festivals in THIS side of the pond? (Not counting once at Coachella)
If anything is obvious here tonight it’s the on stage bromance that Serge and Tom have going on is nothing short of BFF status. After more than a few songs Tom walks over and slaps Serge, who sports a raccoon’s tail hanging from his ass a five. Mailing it in is something this band isn’t about. Maybe that’s why the one cool Beatle left digs them. Serge and (if Wiki has it right) Tim are having a little guitar noise circus over here far left side of the stage, or right below from my point of view. The encore consisted of Switchblade Smiles, Vlad The Impaler and L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever). Before L.S.F., we got into a few minutes of a cover of Fatboy Slim’s Praise You.
That was a fun thing to throw in.
There was a keyboard/noise box thing near Serge and he’d go over and jam out on it on occasion and dance mid stage. At the end of L.S.F. Tom sings the chorus to
All You Nee Is Love and just like that in a blink of a eye Kasabian had once again conquered Terminal 5.. and it was over.
If you needed anymore proof that Americans are stupid it’s the fact that this band hasn’t “hit it big” here like they have back home. Now all 3,000+ of us in that building tonight are sitting asking the same question we asked two years ago: Will they ever come back? Even if the answer to that ends up being ‘No’, it’s good to know that I’ve been able to rock with them twice. If you’re viewing this and there’s only two videos up congrats, you showed up early. Every song from the evening is being uploading as I type and as you read and will be added as they publish. Until next time folks, thanks for having me.
For the third year in a row, Firefly Music Festival in Delaware is delivering another stellar lineup. Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters and Outkast lead the big names while Cage the Elephant, Weezer, Childish Gambino, Jack Johnson, Sleigh Bells,Young The Giant, Girl Talk, Chance The Rapper, Local Natives, Portugal. The Man, The Lumineers, Kaiser Chiefs, Grouplove and Pretty Lights round out the list of acts you may have heard of off the top of our heads looking at the list of over 100 acts.
Firefly throws a curve ball in it’s forth year by adding a fourth-day to it. The new format leaves our Homer Simpson four day weekend taking place June 19th – 22nd at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Tickets will be available through the festival’s website.
Below, check out the festival lineup unveiling video, because that seems to be the new way to announce festivals not named Coachella.
Last time the guy typing this recalls checking out Sleigh Bells, this two were jumping around like nuts making all sorts of unmitigated noise. This morning, I decide to check out their Letterman performance from last night, and congrats Sleigh Bells because this “Young Legends” will be in my head for the rest of the day. Acoustic guitar and Sleigh Bells in the same sentence. Cool.
Like half the artists in the artists in the world, they’ll be appearing at this years Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA. If you like to plan trips to the desert based on one song, then check out the video below. If you’re a believer of faith, then join me in prayer that this chick eventually tweets out a pic of boobs by “mistake”. Nice jacket.
In 2011 Deftones front man Chino Moreno got together with childhood friend and fellow musician Shaun Lopez, who plays guitar for Far, as well as Chuck Doom to form a new group that Moreno said would “be minimal and soothing…. kinda like the stuff I listen to when I’m not screaming my head off.” From their vision, Crosses was born. Technically its listed like this, †††… but that’s just a pain in the ass to type so we will stick with Crosses. The electro-downtempo rock project features Moreno on vocals, Doom on bass, while Lopez plays guitar, keys, and makes beats and weird noises with a Macbook.
Since their formation Crosses has released 2 EPs as well as many YouTube videos teasing their debut full length album that was originally due out in October… and then November… and now scheduled for release in February via Sumerian Records. To commemorate the occasion, Crosses announced a handful of Midwest tour dates that featured stops in St. Louis, Nashville, Chicago, and Detroit. I had the opportunity to catch the tour opener at Pop’s Nightclub in beautiful Sauget, IL, also known as East St. Louis.
The show started with tour support Dawn Golden, a producer who hails from the magical land of Chicago. I didn’t make it in time to see Dawn Golden, I actually walked in right as Crosses was walking out, but this is the description found on both the Facebook page and Dawn Golden’s official website: “Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross is meant to bring about a melancholy familiarity, like going back to the house where you grew up and finding it the way you left it, only 10 years later and everything is falling apart.”
Whatever that is supposed to mean… I did overhear a group discussing his set and they mentioned that he played “Ava Adore” by The Smashing Pumpkins. So there’s that.
Crosses started their set just about 9:15 P.M. Pop’s Nightclub was crowded and people were packed in by the stage, but it definitely wasn’t sold out. In addition to the main trio, Crosses tours as a five piece with the addition of a drummer and another guitar player. The stage was adorned with a backdrop that featured nothing more than three crosses (†††) as the band came on to eerie music and all red lighting. They didn’t waste much time as they went right into things with “The Holy Ghost”, a track from their first EP. Chino’s haunting vocals mixed well with the melodic yet heavy music. As he lurked around the stage, I couldn’t help but think of the White Pony era Deftones, but with a very ominous tone. Occasionally we would get a signature growl from Chino, but mostly just his actual singing voice. Think of what you would hear on Deftones songs like “Pink Maggot” or “Digital Bath.”
After giving the crowd the “What’s Up St. Louis? You all good?” shout out, they launched into “This is a Trick.” Also from the debut EP this song features more of the Chino we know and love. He has been performing to packed venues for 20+ years and his primal scream still holds up with the best of them. Chino loosened up a bit more and worked the stage as the night when on. When Moreno sang out “I’m so excited I can hardly take it” the crowd joined in and Chino let out another squeal. Moreno then announced that this was pretty much the first time Crosses has played outside of California and it was great to be in St. Louis. (Note: Crosses has played some international shows, but very few U.S. dates). A funky bass heavy number called “Telepathy” was next. I really enjoyed this one and it gave us a chance to meet Chuck Doom who slapped his bass around and showed off a bit. This song reminded me a bit of when Glassjaw’s Daryl Palumbo did the Head Automatica side project.
They then launched into what appears to be the first single from the soon to be released album, “Bitches Brew”, a fantastic and catchy song with a very creepy music video that came out in November, when the album was scheduled to come out. Moreno asked the crowd “who’s ready to get loose? Its fucking Friday night!” as the band went into “Prurient”, an absolutely beautiful song that almost seemed at times like Moreno was struggling to hold back another signature growl or two. During “Frontiers” the fans down on the rail were greeted with a visit from Chino as he jumped in the photo pit area and up on the railing.
VIDEO CREDIT TO YOUTUBE USER: SbMick
After “1987”, a very trancy song that has lots of guitar and weird sounds in it, courtesy of Shaun Lopez’ Macbook, Moreno introduced “The Epilogue” in his best scary voice. “The Epilogue” was released a few months back to promote the original release date of the album, and is the first Crosses song I was actually familiar with. I really enjoyed it live. Chino then said “I hadn’t’t even noticed there were moterfuckers up top” referring to the balcony. They closed the set out with the guitar heavy “Option”, where Chino again came down to the rail to interact with the fans before a brief exit from the stage. The encore started with “Trophy”, a very mellow song from their second EP that a guy standing next to me referred to as “stoner metal.” Chino thanked the crowd one last time before they finished the incredible set with a song they recorded for a Batman video game called “The Years”, during which Chino spent a good chunk of the song laying out over the crowd screaming into the mic.
For only having a handful of shows under their belt, this band plays together like they’ve been doing it for ten years. This may have been my first show of 2014 but it will certainly leave a lasting impression on me and will most likely be in consideration for one of the years best. My only complaint is that their set was only about an hour long including the encore, but with only a few EPs under their belt there isn’t much more material they could have pulled out. Either way, I paid $10.57 for the ticket and would have happily paid $25. If you get the chance to catch ††† live, I suggest you do. They were recently announced as part of the 2014 Coachella Festival and their debut full length will drop on February 11th. You can pre-order it now right here.
Words by Jakob Ross, Pictures/Videos by Scott Ross
I woke up at noon. I ate breakfast. I showered. I brushed my teeth. I was dressed. My morning routine was not necessarily in that order, but who cares? You just want to hear about all the cool bands I saw on Day 2 of Spain’s preeminent music festival.
Bands I’d seen so far: 8
Hours of sleep since festival started: 6
Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get this show on the road.
Kurt Vile and the Violators
At this point in his career, Kurt Vile is pretty much a festival staple. He’s been playing Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza, etc. for the past few years, so it’s natural that he’d play Primavera, especially since it’s been a month since the release of his critically adored new album “Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze.”
I first fell in love with the music of the long-haired singer/songwriter when he released “Smoke Ring For My Halo” in 2011, and although I didn’t LOVE love his brand new album, I knew that he’d play a relaxing, hazy set that was perfect for a sunny Friday afternoon.
Kurt Vile’s dreamy set would be the first one I catch at Primavera’s main stage, the Heineken Stage, and he opened up his show with the 9-minute psychedelic behemoth “Wakin’ on a Pretty Day.” He played some brand new songs like “KV Crimes,” “Was All Talk,” and “Shame Chamber.” He also played some tracks from the aforementioned “Smoke Ring For My Halo” like “Jesus Fever,” “Peeping Tomboy,” and “Ghost Town.” He ended the set with two deeper cuts “Hunchback” and “Freak Train.”
Kurt Vile’s care free attitude and singing style reminded me of a really really cool mix of Lou Reed, J Mascis, and Bob Dylan. In fact, if Kurt dyed his hair grey and put on some glasses he could easily pass for J Mascis. Although he wasn’t my favorite show and he’s not my favorite singer of all time, his set was fun to watch, and unexpectedly loud at times. I mean, when you rub violently on the strings with your own distortion pedal, the resulting sound is bound to be loud.
If you’ve never listened to or heard of Daniel Johnston, then I highly recommend you watch the documentary “The Devil and Daniel Johnston” before forming your opinion. It really gives some insight into the mind of one of independent music’s most fascinating and skilled outsiders. But, for those who don’t care to watch, here’s the tl;dr version:
Daniel Johnston is a singer/songwriter from West Virginia. He suffers from bipolar disorder which has transformed into demonic self-obsession and perhaps even schizophrenia. Throughout the 80s he recorded lo-fi cassettes and passed them around, hoping to one day become as famous as The Beatles. His cassettes received very high praise from the few journalists who bothered to listen to them, and soon enough Daniel was building quite the following in the mid-to-late 80s, despite having not much actual skill when it comes to singing or playing the guitar. What attracted people to Dan was his childlike voice, honest and sometimes very dark lyrics, and life story. He spent the 90s in and out of mental hospitals, in between hanging out with Sonic Youth and Half Japanese, as well as being famously co-signed by Kurt Cobain. He still writes music and performs to this day, and he’s known for his odd demeanor and brilliant live shows.
Daniel would be performing at the one inside venue in the entire festival, which requires a ticket to get into (the tickets each cost 2 euro). And although the extremely long line would prevent me from catching the first half of his set, I did see what I wanted to see and hear what I wanted to hear of indie rock’s most polarizing singer.
I was able to hear some of Daniel Johnston’s most well known songs, which he performed with a backing band that seemed less than half his age. With his lyrics in front of him on a music stand and complete control over his band, Daniel performed songs like “Speeding Motorcycle,” “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” “Devil Town,” and the show closing fan favorite “True Love Will Find You In The End.” One of the coolest things about his show was not only the massive audience gathered to watch him, but also the complete silence of the audience while he was singing. If there’s one thing people at the festival liked to do, it was talk, especially when there’s a musician on stage. But for Daniel Johnston, all eyes and ears were on him. There wasn’t a peep until the explosive rounds of applause that followed each song. It’s easy to see why his live shows are so highly regarded; he performs with the same childlike innocence and emotion that he’s performed with for the past 30 years. Soon enough, his set was over and Daniel walked off the stage with his lyric notebook in hand. We were thanked and we left the crowded auditorium to make our way back to the ATP Stage.
Al Cisneros has a long history in the genre of heavy metal, specifically the doom metal genre, specifically the stoner doom metal genre. In the 90s he was in a band called Sleep with guitar player Matt Pike and drummer Chris Hakius, and they helped to pioneer this specific subgenre of heavy metal with the release of “Sleep’s Holy Mountain” in 1992, and the hour long song “Dopesmoker” a few years later. Well Sleep broke up, as bands usually do. Al and Chris took the “stoner doom” out of stoner doom metal to play spiritually inspired slow songs that usually stretch past the 10-minute mark under the name Om, while Matt took the “metal” out of stoner doom metal to play loudly and quickly in the band High on Fire. Om has become a festival favorite in recent years, and just last year they turned from powerful duo (Al Cisneros on bass and vocals with current drummer Emil Amos) into a power trio, adding singer/guitarist/synthesizer player Robert Lowe to the mix. And Robert’s cathartic vocals fit perfectly with Om’s sound.
I didn’t get to see all of Om’s set, but I did get to witness Al’s powerful and repetitive bass playing that I bet was perfect for meditation. Om took their name from the Hindu concept that the sound “Ommmmmmm” represents the natural vibration of the universe, as well as the true name of God. It sounds weird and certainly is, but there’s no one out there like Om. They’re the slow-burning Tibetan monks of heavy metal music. The bass notes rise like smoke from an incense stick, and the drums groove on the ride cymbal like the rhythmic bare feet of monks on cut lotus flowers. I didn’t notice any particular universal vibration, and God didn’t come down from heaven to praise Al’s bass playing, but I imagine that seeing Om in a more intimate venue allows for the full experience. Especially when you see the entire show, which I didn’t.
Yet another legend. For those of you who have no idea who Steve Albini is: first of all stop lying. He produced Nirvana’s best album. Second of all, go listen to Big Black. Let me remind you that this music was written and performed in the late 80s.
All good? Okay. Well, after the breakup of Big Black as well as the short-lived Rapeman, Steve Albini formed Shellac, a post-hardcore/math rock group that he performed with when he wasn’t busy producing some incredible albums by the likes of Pixies, The Jesus Lizard, Slint, The Breeders, Superchunk, Helmet, PJ Harvey, Don Caballero, Jawbreaker, Man or Astro-man?, Bush, Nirvana, Dirty Three, Neurosis, Flogging Molly, Owls, Mogwai, mclusky; the list goes on. Basically, Steve has had a huge impact on post-rock, heavy metal, punk, noise rock, post-hardcore, emo, math rock, alternative rock, grunge, you name it. But his longest running musical venture has been with his musical trio Shellac, which includes Steve on vocals and guitar, Bob Weston on bass, and Todd Trainer on drums. Together they play mean spirited and very cynical post-hardcore in unorthodox tunings and time signatures.
Although Shellac haven’t released an album in 6 years (they supposedly have one on the way), they’re a festival staple as well, and the fact that they’re playing the ATP Stage makes a ton of sense considering they’ve helped curate numerous All Tomorrow’s Parties lineups in the past.
Shellac sped through a fun and at times humorous set of complex riffs and the loud screams of Steve Albini. But one of the best things about any Shellac show is Steve’s banter and little bits of comedy. At one point he decided that the most offensive hand gesture is pulling your middle finger out of your mouth, producing a popping sound, and showing it off to whoever would look. He also complimented Spain on having the most attractive population of human beings. Shellac ended their show with their usual gag of taking apart Todd Trainer’s drum set piece by piece as he attempts to solo on whatever drums remain in front of him. Another bucket list act finally crossed off the list, and who knows, maybe Steve will reunite Big Black for a full on tour and then I can cross them off my list.
The Jesus and Mary Chain
If you happen to trace noise pop and shoegaze back to their roots, you’ll likely find them at Scottish band The Jesus and Mary Chain’s debut album “Psychocandy.” The Jesus and Mary Chain were one of the first bands to combine noisy feedback with pop songs, and they’d go on to inspire a legion of musicians to turn up the volume and use as many effects as possible.
Although they’d turn down the volume considerably with the release of their second album “Darklands,” J&MC would still always be the pop band with the really loud guitars. And although not all their albums featured this loud guitar, they certainly made sure it was heard on stage. The Scots hit the stage at around 10:45 with a giant illuminated cross on the stage, and launched right into “Snakedriver” from one of their lesser known 90s releases before playing “Head On,” off their 3rd LP “Automatic.” Pixies are also known for performing an incredible cover of this song.
The Jesus and Mary Chain played for a little over an hour (although it felt longer considering the fact that they played 17 songs), filling their setlist with mostly songs from their first four albums. But the most talked about moment of the night was when they invited Bilinda Butcher of My Bloody Valentine to sing the female part of “Just Like Honey.” They played for a little longer afterward, eventually ending their setlist with “Never Understand,” another song from their excellent debut album.
The Jesus and Mary Chain certainly are not my favorite band of the 80s, or of all time, but they put on a fairly fun show and I got to hear some of my favorite songs by them.
British singer/songwriter/post-dubstep producing wunderkind is as talented as it gets. He’s got one of the best singing voices I’ve ever heard in my life, he’s very knowledgeable when it comes to electronic equipment, and he knows how to take his complicated songs and successfully turn them into live songs with a full band. Although his new album “Overgrown” hasn’t been reviewed as highly as his self titled debut was in 2011, I think that both albums are incredibly well written and well performed.
I made my way through the massive crowd (James said it was probably the biggest group of people he’d ever played for) just as he and his two bandmates started right into the track “Air & Lack Thereof.” I was unfamiliar with the song so I assumed it was on one of his earlier EPs. They then played “I Never Learnt to Share,” a track off his debut album that goes from multi-layered vocal loops and 5 part harmonies to what is as close to a bass drop as you’ll find in a James Blake song. Suddenly the entire crowd was a dance party. I did not at all expect James Blake’s show to be so full of dance worthy moments, but I couldn’t help myself. They then went into the sample-heavy track “CMYK,” and then a few songs from “Overgrown,” including “I Am Sold,” “Our Love Comes Back,” and the Brian Eno-produced “Digital Lion.” James then led his group into the confusingly off-beat “Unluck,” which went into his famous Feist cover “Limit To Your Love.”
James would later end his set with the triple threat of recent material that was “Overgrown,” “Voyeur,” and “Retrograde,” but by the time James was humming the opening to “Retrograde,” my dad had left to go catch Blur, and I’d left to go catch Swans. James Blake’s live show is one that should not be missed, whether you like Skrillex or Fiona Apple or anything in between.
I didn’t see Blur, but my dad did. He said they were alright. He didn’t stick around for the full show.
There are two types of people in this world: those who have seen Swans live, and those who haven’t. And after hearing their magnificent 2012 album “The Seer” and hearing all the amazing things people have to say about their live shows, I decided to join the minority.
Swans formed in the early 80s as a musical project that defied specific genre terms. They were part of the “No Wave” scene in New York, but they incorporated post-punk, industrial metal, and noise music into their sound, creating an ugly blend slow burning powerful anger that was only uglier and angrier when performed live. According to firsthand accounts, numerous early Swans shows resulted in bleeding ears, vomiting concertgoers, and police shutting down multiple concerts. Soon, bandleader Michael Gira added Louisiana artist Jarboe to the mix, which softened their sound significantly. Swans headed almost into alternative country and neo-folk territory, before amping up the creepiness for their mid-90s magnum opus “Soundtracks for the Blind.” They broke up after releasing that album, but reunited in 2010 (sans Jarboe) to release “My Father Will Guide Up A Rope To The Sky,” which generated widespread acclaim among critics, but it wasn’t until last year’s release of “The Seer” and reviews of Swans’ new live shows started pouring in that I truly fell in love with this band. And as soon as I saw them on this year’s Primavera lineup, I knew I’d have to see them live. I was only a little bit scared.
Although Swans were originally supposed to go on at around 8:00 PM, their set was moved to 1:30 AM. The goth looking crowd started to pile in at around that time, and the 6-piece band (including Michael Gira on vocals and guitar, a guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, a percussionist named Thor, and a lapsteel player) made their way on stage and let their instruments produce drone and feedback before heading into the loud, heavy territory of their catalogue.
For a band who’ve just come off the release of a new album less than a year ago, they did not play much material from that album. See, Swans have always been about the brand new. I imagine that most of the stuff that they’re playing on tour now is stuff that they’re thinking of putting on whatever album they put out next. They’re trying to craft long, ugly pieces of noisy slowcore and doing a very good job at it.
Out of the 7 songs they played, only two of them are actually on known albums by Swans. “Coward” is from one of their first albums “Holy Money,” and “The Seer” is the eponymous track from their most recent album. Otherwise, everything on the setlist was either a rarity or a work in progress.
Swans played loudly, let me get that out of the way. Very loudly. Like, if I saw them in an inside venue I’d want to wear earplugs. And Michael Gira only wanted it to get louder. As they slowly moved from song to song, Michael Gira directed pretty much everyone. He was the composer as well as the lyricist, lead singer, and guitar player. He even told camera men where to go. He would decide how long a note would go on for, how loud it would get, and when the next note would happen. It’s the best example of cult-like behavior that I’ve ever seen at a concert in my life. And I loved every second of it.
As the show got louder and more and more insane, I felt my jaw drop as my brain tried to comprehend everything. Explaining a Swans show is a difficult task, and there’s no way I could use words to explain what was so great about it, why I was so moved, or what exactly happened during it. I left right before they played the final song of the night “Toussant Louverture Song” so I could join my dad in the already sizable crowd that was gathered at the Primavera Stage to see The Knife.
You might not like The Knife. Whatever, it’s cool. We’re all entitled to our own opinion. But seriously though, The Knife are incredible.
After pretty much dropping off the face of the earth for a few years (they briefly came back in 2010 for a collaborative album with some similar artists), they’ve resurfaced for their first album in seven years, “Shaking the Habitual.” And with this 96-minute monster of a record (which is also the best album of the year so far) comes The Knife’s second ever tour, and for this tour they promised to do a show unlike any other live event in the history of concerts, and I can safely say that what I saw The Knife do has not yet been attempted by any other act, and probably couldn’t be pulled off by any other act either. The Knife are currently touring with at least 8 people on stage, with a good portion of them stepping up to the mic to sing. So if you have no idea what the members of The Knife (Karin Dreijer Andersson and her brother Olof Dreijer) look like, then you’re probably out of luck here.
One main criticism of The Knife’s 2006 tour in support of the album “Silent Shout” is that they didn’t really actually play the music live. Well I feel like all those critics would lose their minds with anger if they found out what The Knife were doing for this tour. The show would consist of some very well done lip syncing by members of the group that were not the actual lead singer, as well as the use of fake instruments that look like they were designed by Dr. Seuss during an acid trip. So, no, The Knife didn’t ACTUALLY perform any of the music live. And that may have angered a few in the crowd, but the majority were impressed by the insane difficulty of some of these dance moves, and one can only imagine how tough it was to choreograph.
The Knife “played” mostly songs from their new album, but did do songs such as “One Hit” and “Silent Shout” from their 3rd album “Silent Shout.” The music was a ton of fun to dance to, and the dances that the members were doing on stage were disturbing at times, and The Knife were able to pull off one of the most ambitious live shows ever attempted, without ever actually playing a real instrument or singing into a microphone.
Despite the slight backlash from a few crowd members, the reaction was almost unanimously positive, and The Knife received a standing ovation that lasted at least 5 minutes. The man who I believe was Olof took the mic and thanked us. Smiles adorned all 8 faces on the stage, and we left, feeling very satisfied with the day. Again the subway didn’t open till 5 in the morning, so we had to wait a bit. But overall, Day 2 was a success and a ton of fun for everyone.
Words by Jakob Ross, Pictures/Videos by Scott Ross
“The day has finally come,” I thought upon waking up in my hotel room on Thursday, May 23. Washed up, grabbed breakfast, got dressed, etc., etc. You know how it is.
Next thing I knew, my father and I were riding a very dirty feeling subway train from our hotel to Parc del Fòrum—that’s Forum Park for those non-Portuguese speakers out there—where I’d take part in three straight days of late nights, loud bands, and the painfully bitter smell of Heineken and urine pervading my nasal cavity.
Before I get started on recapping my first day at Barcelona’s best independent music festival, let me start by saying: Hi. I’m Jakob Ross. I’m 16 years old, and last year I moved to Germany. You’ve already heard about the time I saw Sigur Rós in Munich, and you’ve probably read about all of my exploits in Atlanta and Seattle and Bonnaroo. But you’re about to read about my experience at Spain’s most well-known and most notoriously well stacked festival, Primavera Sound. Lineups for this festival over the past 10 years of its existence have included the likes of Aphex Twin, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, LCD Soundsystem, Mogwai, Television, Sonic Youth, Jay Reatard, El-P, Black Lips, Jesu, Sunn O))), Yo La Tengo, Low, Japandroids, Pavement, Sunny Day Real Estate, Pixies, The xx, Wire, Battles, Das Racist, Grinderman, Yuck, Sufjan Stevens, Suicide, Public Image Ltd., PJ Harvey, Mercury Rev; the list goes on and on and on into eternity. And this year’s lineup was as impressive (if not more impressive) than every major American festival combined, and comes with a guaranteed “Those ‘Big in Europe’ Bands Will Draw Big Crowds” that Coachella couldn’t deliver.
So, of course, upon seeing 2013’s expansive and “spend money to fly to Spain”-worthy lineup, I felt like I had to go. And with a wave of a magic wand, it seemed, I was there. I had my wristband after visiting the venue the day before and was preparing myself for an exciting weekend.
Author’s Note: As much fun as attending Bonnaroo last year was, it was really nice to have an air conditioned hotel room with a bed to come back to after a long day’s rocking.
The first band I expected to see at the festival was British post-punkers Savages, although I decided to watch the band before them just out of curiosity. My dad and I were among the first people to make it to the Pitchfork Stage (curated by the infamous website), and we got there about a half hour before Portuguese garage rock duo L’Hereu Escampa took the stage to deliver a short set of raucous, energetic songs that reminded me somewhat of mid-to-late 90s post-hardcore and emo. Think The Dismemberment Plan meets La Dispute meets Japandroids meets the Portuguese language. Obviously I knew literally nothing about the band and couldn’t tell you what songs they played or what lyrics they sang, but I can tell you they impressed me. Being in a largely Portuguese-speaking part of Spain, there were many people in the audience who knew most of the words and had prior knowledge of this band’s existence. But by the time their set ended I’d noticed a significant increase in crowd size. Perhaps a lot of people wanted to get their early for Savages, but it’s good to see bands like this get attention from an audience who’d otherwise never know they exist.
Also, quick shout out to the guy wearing the Snowing t-shirt underneath the Have A Nice Life zip-up hoodie.
So, you might not know about a band called Savages. You should probably change that. Savages are a British all-female post-punk group who just put out their debut album “Silence Yourself” earlier this month, and it’s one of the best releases of the year. They’re currently coming off some hype that’s built around them ever since the release of their debut EP, as well as some very well received performances at SXSW.
Considering the fact that their album was very well reviewed on Pitchfork’s website, it should be no surprise that they’d be playing this particular stage. The crowd slowly increased in size in anticipation for Savages’ first performance at the festival. They sound-checked and prepared their equipment, and soon enough they came on stage and opened up their very intense and fun set with “Shut Up,” which is even more “punk” live than it is on record.
Savages, in my opinion, sound like what would happen if Joy Division replaced Ian Curtis’ dead body with Patti Smith. Thankfully that never happened, otherwise Savages would sound like a cheap knockoff, and not the fresh take on dark punk that they currently are.
The band is fronted by insanely charismatic frontwoman Jehnny Beth, who is apparently from France and not England like her colleagues. She sang with the same ferocity and passion that she sings with on the album, and plus she does these really cool downward fist-pumps that look like she’s about to roll dice, but she never actually does roll any dice.
If there was anything especially wrong with the set, it’s that guitarist Gemma Thompson’s guitar stopped working about halfway through the set. The rhythm section repeated the same phrase for a good 10 minutes or so while Gemma and the sound crew tried to figure out the problem. Although the band members were obviously a little frustrated with the situation (thankfully they did finally solve it and continue with the now abridged setlist), their ability to soldier through the technical difficulty and leave no band member behind was truly admirable, and probably won them many fans that night.
Their set eventually finished with the almost dance-worthy track “Husbands” as the friendly looking mosh pit near me grew in size. They thanked us and were treated to a long standing ovation, which was probably half praise for their incredible music and half praise for their ability to work through a technical difficulty with grace.
I don’t know what it is about Metz’s set that compelled me actually join a mosh pit, but something about the Canadian noise punk trio’s 2-minute bursts of feedback-driven sugar rush essence made me decide that moshing would be a good idea. And you know what? It really was. It also helped that the mosh pits in Europe were exceptionally friendly and not nearly as rough as they are in the States.
So Metz took the stage at 8:45 PM on the Pitchfork stage (which also makes sense considering the fact that Pitchfork reviewed their debut album very highly last year) and the crowd immediately went insane. Metz were playing loudly and energetically, and for a moment it felt almost as if I was in a punk club in downtown Whateversville, and not right next to the Mediterranean Sea.
Oh, did I mention that Parc del Fòrum is located right on the Mediterranean Sea? Because it is.
Metz sped through the rest of their 40-minute set with great ease, maneuvering in and out of different time signatures and even taking the time for some two-part vocal harmonies.
To be completely honest, not much more can be said about the set that I haven’t already said. Loud, check; noisy, check; mosh, check; trio, check; Canadian, check. All that I can say is that if you enjoy acts like Big Black, The Jesus Lizard, or even Nirvana, then I highly recommend you listen to their music.
Come on. Don’t pretend like you’re reading this website and you don’t know who Dinosaur Jr. are. Okay, well, Dinosaur Jr. are a North American alternative rock trio most famously consisting of lead singer and guitar god J Mascis, bass player Lou Barlow, and drummer Murph. Dinosaur Jr. would spend their career merging noise rock, punk, alternative rock, grunge, and even a touch of shoegaze into an impressive discography of well-received releases that would certify the band’s place in rock and roll history. The slowly-falling-apart band broke up in 1997 (with J being the only remaining original member) but reunited in 2005 with the three original members. I would finally get the opportunity to see one of my favorite touring acts live, although they’d have to play the show without Murph, since he couldn’t make it that day.
Dinosaur Jr. gloomily (are they capable of expressing any other mood?) played their career-spanning set that included classics (“Budge,” “Freak Scene,” “Sludgefeast,” “Feel the Pain”), covers (The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” J and Lou’s first band Deep Wound’s “Training Ground,” a song by Last Rights performed with Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham), and songs from their excellent new-ish album “I Bet On Sky.”
J and Lou stood on opposite sides of the stage and rarely interacted, which I guess is usual, but aroused a bit of suspicion from me. Either way, Dinosaur Jr. delivered an amazing set that would both impress the longtime fans and give newcomers something to talk about.
And back to the Pitchfork Stage I went to catch Atlanta rapper Killer Mike promote his excellent 2012 album “R.A.P. Music” and build up hype for his upcoming El-P collaboration “Run the Jewels,” which will be released for free. Mike and El-P have worked a lot together over the past year, and although El-P wasn’t able to actually appear at the festival with Killer Mike, he was there in spirit, as Killer Mike dedicated song after song to his newfound brother in arms.
At 11:20, 5 minutes before Killer Mike was to take the stage, the crowd was looking rather thin, and I was somewhat worried that the few of us in the crowd would need to be as loud and energetic as humanly possible to keep Mike’s spirits up. Fortunately though, the crowd had thickened and grown considerably by the time he took the stage. Killer Mike smiled and launched into “Big Beast,” proving that he had an incredible amount of energy and live capabilities despite being a somewhat overweight gentleman.
Killer Mike continued into a nonstop flow of energy that I did not at all expect from him, whether it was his bombastic song “Untitled” or his political masterpiece “Reagan,” the latter of which had the entire crowd, including yours truly, chanting “I’M GLAD REAGAN’S DEAD.”
The set continued through what were mostly songs from “R.A.P. Music” and Killer Mike never lost an iota of energy. He sweat like crazy but continued to deliver his lyrics with perfection and clarity, even coming down to the crowd to preach an uplifting pseudo-Christian sermon. He also had his wife sit on the side (she was even mouthing some of the words), and Mike introduced us and has us all say hello. He was easily one of the most surprisingly great shows of the entire three days, and I left his show feeling incredibly happy.
Rick Froberg and John Reis have had one of the most important partnerships in punk rock history. Froberg and Reis first collaborated in 1986, when they formed the band Pitchfork, one of the first post-hardcore bands in existence. Pitchfork broke up in 1990 just after the release of their debut album, and right around the time that John Reis formed his long-lasting garage rock/punk group Rocket From the Crypt, and John and Rick joined forces for yet another band, Drive Like Jehu. Drive Like Jehu stuck around for about 5 years, releasing two incredible albums that blended math rock and post-hardcore, being one of the first bands to do so. John and Rick took a bit of a break from each other while Rocket From the Crypt continued to release music, but during a period of inactivity in the late 90s, Reis and Froberg decided to form yet another band, Hot Snakes. Hot Snakes would incorporate all the musical styles that John Reis and Rick Froberg had worked with in all their previous bands, including post-hardcore, garage rock, and math rock. Hot Snakes and Rocket From the Crypt both broke up at around the same time, the mid-2000s, but Hot Snakes eventually reunited in 2011 and continue to perform festivals and small tours to this day. And that brings us all up to speed on John Reis and Rick Froberg.
Now due to a scheduling conflict with Killer Mike and Hot Snakes, I had to decide who I’d want to see more of. A few songs into Killer Mike’s energetic set, my dad and I both decided to watch Mike’s entire setlist and catch the last few songs of Hot Snakes’ set. So after Killer Mike was done, we headed all the way over to the other side of the festival ground to the All Tomorrow’s Parties Stage (which I assume was curated or at least sponsored by the famous festival) to watch punk legends perform some intricately strange tunes in the form of Hot Snakes.
To be honest, I’m not completely well versed on the music of Hot Snakes, so I’m not entirely sure what songs they played and didn’t play. But I do know that they played loudly and proudly, and John Reis and Rick Froberg both looked excited to be performing together again. Their partnership has been going strong, then nonexistent, then strong, then nonexistent, then strong again for over 25 years, and it really shows in seeing how in sync these guys are. The few songs of their show that I caught were a lot of fun to watch, and I’m glad I got the chance to see some legendary punks in a live setting.
So… Do you guys like Death Grips? Chances are that, if you’ve heard them, you either love them with a dedicated fan’s passion, or you have a strong dislike for their loud blend of punk, hip-hop, electronica, and noise. Whatever your opinion of Death Grips is, if you’ve actually listened to them, they’re an elusive group with a very dedicated fanbase and one of the most intense and cathartic live shows in the world of music.
Death Grips consists of mysterious lyricist and vocalist Stefan “MC Ride” Burnett, producer Andy “Flatlander ” Morin, and drummer Zach Hill, but Zach Hill would be sitting out of this current tour to focus on writing the screenplay for a film as well as working on some new Death Grips music.
At around 1:15 AM, on the same stage as Hot Snakes, MC Ride and Flatlander graced the stage with their rather disturbing presence. Ride looked as if he was possessed by some sort of demon (which he could be for all I know) and Flatlander prepared to unleash electronically produced hell on the gathering of people who came to watch. They opened up their set with “Lost Boys,” before diving right into fan-favorite “Guillotine.” One thing I noticed was that Flatlander was actually playing the beats using samples he’d collected and imported onto the keys of a keyboard. He was actually composing and playing the beats, not just letting them play on a laptop.
The crowd was extremely energetic, as I anticipated, and I shouted the lyrics until I had no voice left. My head thumped with a dull headache but I ignored it, because I was seeing Death Grips, one of my favorite bands. MC Ride danced on stage and shouted the lyrics at near perfection. It’s crazy that this guy gets on stage almost every night and shouts for an hour and can still have enough energy to do the same thing the next night.
MC Ride looks something like an anorexic Rick Ross, and he sounds like one too, but in a really good way. I just wanted to point that out but didn’t really have anywhere to put it.
Death Grips went from song to song with great ease, not taking the time to speak to or thank the audience (as if anyone actually expected that). Although I’m not sure of the order, they played songs like “Takyon (Death Yon)”, “Get Got,” “The Fever (Aye Aye),” “I’ve Seen Footage,” “System Blower,” “Hacker,” “Come Up And Get Me,” “Lil Boy,” “No Love,” and the set-closing “Lock Your Doors.” Death Grips were very loud, very intense, and at times somewhat frightening to watch. MC Ride has the looks of a homeless man and the skillful grace of a ballerina on DMT; and while Zach Hill’s presence was missed, it was still awesome to see one of my favorite bands live. And that’s all there is to it. Stay noided.
The last band I saw that night was Animal Collective, a.k.a. Exactly The Kind of Hipster BS That People Under The Age of 25 Pretend To Enjoy Ironically. I’m kidding, Animal Collective rules.
I got to the Primavera Stage an hour early and saw all four members sound checking their rather complex equipment, as well as setting up the stage, which would include a ton of balloons that formed the shape of a mouth. An hour later, at a little bit past 3 in the morning (yeah, these shows ran very late), Panda Bear, Geologist, Avey Tare, and Deakin all took their respective spots on the stage to perform their psychedelic brand of synthesizer based indie rock and folk.
AnCo opened up the set with “I Think I Can” which comes off their “Fall Be Kind EP,” before going into “Today’s Supernatural,” “Wide Eyed,” and “Applesauce,” three songs from their most recent effort “Centipede Hz.” Although “Centipede” didn’t exactly get the same amount of critical or commercial praise that 2009’s “Merriweather Post Pavilion” got, I still think that a lot of the better songs from this album translate extremely well in a live format, especially the song “Monkey Riches” which would be the second-to-last song.
Some might complain that this set leaned a little too heavy on the fan favorites—including “What Would I Want? Sky” and “My Girls”—but I feel like Animal Collective jammed from one song into another with great skill and ease, and what specific songs they play doesn’t matter. Their live setup is so intricate and huge (excluding Panda Bear’s minimalistic drumset) that watching them actually navigate this complex equipment is a sight to see, whether you’re a mild fan, a fanatic, or you’ve never heard them before.
They ended the set with “The Purple Bottle,” a song from 2005’s excellent “Feels” album, which was pretty much their last guitar-driven indie folk record, and left the stage at a bit past 4 in the morning, making this an hour long set that would give us just enough time to sit outside in the cold for a half hour waiting for the subways to open (which it does at 5 am).
Overall, the first day was a success that left me with ringing ears, stinging eyes, and a pounding head. The subway ride that night would be extremely crowded and definitely suck, but the resulting sleep would bring me absolute tranquility. I slept from 6 am until noon and prepared myself for Day 2.
The Swedish metal band, Ghost, set out on a North American tour to support the release of their second album, Infestissumam. They made their first stop at Coachella and I had lost hope for a regular, but then they announced a show in LA and with that followed more US dates. I recently got into Ghost and was introduced to them by word of mouth by a friend and as soon I listened to them, I was hooked.
Also on this night, I finally got a chance to meet up with CC’s very own Reverend Justito!
Ghost started the show with the intro song to their 2nd album called “Infestissumam” then continued with the 2nd track “Per Aspera Ad Inferi”. The show continued with tracks from both their 1st and 2nd album so they did a good job of mixing it up. They played some of my personal favorites such as “Con Clavi Con Dio”, “Elizabeth”, “Satan Prayer, “Secular Haze”, and “Year Zero”. The whole night there was a ghoulish feel in air, but that’s due to Ghost’s appearance. The band sounded great, they sounded just like the album with very little difference. The crowd was into them. They’re not really a crazy band or anything so there wasn’t any moshing of any kind which was fine by me. Their stage setup was cool, they had a church-like setting with windows to add to the atmosphere of their music. I liked that they interacted with the fans during songs, that was nice of them to do compared to other bands that just play and that’s it. I loved the show, I definitely want to see them again. The day after the show I had the pleasure of meeting them for the album signing for the release date of their 2nd album. They were cool guys to talk to. With them being from Sweden you could hear their accents. They were nice enough to have small conversation with you and signed my album and poster that was given to everyone. A show like this is a must go for anyone that enjoys a ghoulish show and great music.
According to Google Maps, the Central Social and Pleasure Club is exactly one mile from my house. One would think as a live music fan, I would be a regular at the small venue that serves killer beer, features a glorious sound system and has a very chill Westside kind of vibe. Yet sadly that is not the case as the Central earns their keep booking bullshit DJ’s and electronica acts that bore the piss out of the guy who prefers his concerts to feature instruments over MacBooks. Thankfully there is a little something called Jamtronica and one of the leaders of the pact just so happened to kick off their latest tour at the intimate venue on the corner of 14th and Santa Monica Blvd.
The night kicked off with a group called NVO. Initially I was torn on NVO. Seeing as how they were from my hometown of San Francisco, we instantly have that bond, yet when my eyes noticed not one but two MacBooks upon the stage I said a quick prayer to God that I wouldn’t end up throwing my pint of Racer 5 Ale up on the stage. Thankfully, God answers my prayers as not only did my pint end up down my throat (and eventually in the pisser) but NVO shocked me by kicking ass. I couldn’t name a single song, but the hard hitting drums mixed with well placed samples (Talking Heads for example) and pounding noises pleased the only dude in the venue rocking a Ghost T-shirt. Fact is NVO is doing some cool stuff and even if I wanted to hate it based off what I believe music to be, I couldn’t.
The real reason I decided to head down to The Central was the evening’s headliners Conspirator. I’ll admit, I often troll The Central via social media because I want bands I care about to play in my hood (fat chance, I know). I often head to their website and sample upcoming artist only to either drown in mediocrity or wish I had a taste for designer club drugs. As a guy who has seen 25 Phish shows, I was aware of Conspirator but not sold on the idea of jamtronica. In fact, if it was not for the urging of the band for me to come out via Twitter, chances are I would have stayed home and changed diapers. I am glad I listened to the urging because as it turns out I was shocked at just how great Conspirator was.
I couldn’t name a single song with the exception of a dubbed out cover of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall, nor could I tell you where song breaks occur. What I can tell you is that Conspirator takes the listener on a journey into the unknown similar to Phish and other jambands. However, what set them apart are the insane noises they can generate from bass and guitars. I dabbled in dubstep last year at Coachella and found the scene to be rather frustrating. As a long time fan of the low end, some of the things bassist Marc Brownstein was laying down simply blew my mind. As I watch replays from last night via YouTube, I am still trying to figure out how he made those insane tones.
While I still don’t really care for musicians who rock crowds on laptops, I am thankful I challenged myself to think outside my norm and take something new in. While I don’t know if I would go and jump on the jamtronica wagon and seek this music out on a daily basis, there is something very fresh and exciting going on. Perhaps my local venue won’t book hard rock and heavy metal bands like Red Fang, Intronaut and Animals as Leaders, but I have no doubt that when NVO or Conspirator make a return appearance, I’ll be there helping to kick the keg of Racer 5 once again.
So by now, we shouldn’t have to explain to you how hard Japandroids rock. On the heels of last week’s blazing performance of “The Nights Of Wine And Roses” on Conan(Video of which you can check out here), the band has announce headlining dates in the US this Summer surrounding their various festival appearances. Supporting the band on tour will be Cloud Nothings in April and A Place To Bury Strangers for six dates in May and June. You can view the tour itinerary below, and see if you’re lucky enough to catch them.
Japandroids Spring/Summer US Tour Dates:
03/08 – New Orleans, LA // BUKU Music + Art Project
03/09 – Winter Park, CO // Snowball Festival
03/12-13 – Austin, TX // South by Southwest
04/12 – Indio, CA // Coachella Music Festival
04/15 – Santa Barbara, CA // Velvet Jones (w/ Cloud Nothings)
04/16 – Oakland, CA // New Parish (w/ Cloud Nothings)
04/17 – Oakland, CA // New Parish (w/ Cloud Nothings)
04/19 – Indio, CA // Coachella Music Festival
04/22 – Pomono, CA // Glasshouse (w/ Cloud Nothings)
05/24 – George, WA // Sasquatch! Music Festival
05/27 – Milwaukee, WI // Turner Ballroom (w/ A Place to Bury Strangers )
05/28 – Indianapolis, IN // The Vogue (w/ A Place to Bury Strangers )
05/29 – Lawrence, KS // Granada Theatre (w/ A Place to Bury Strangers )
05/31 – Austin, TX // Emo’s East (w/ A Place to Bury Strangers )
06/01 – Houston, TX // Free Press Summer Fest
06/03 – Baton Rouge, LA // Spanish Moon (w/ A Place to Bury Strangers )
06/05 – Carrboro, NC // Cat’s Cradle (w/ A Place to Bury Strangers )
06/08 – New York, NY // Governors Ball Music Festival
06/09 – Detroit, MI // Orion Music + More Festival
06/11 – Chicago, IL // Metro
06/13 – Manchester, TN // Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival
06/15 – Louisville, KY // Headliners Music Hall
06/16 – Pittsburgh, PA // Mr Smalls Theatre
06/21 – Baltimore, MD // Ottobar
Trent Reznor‘s latest project, How To Destroy Angels, have announced venues and dates for their first ever tour of the United States. The two dates you already know about are the Coachella gigs, the other nine dates span across Vegas, San Fran, Denver, Chi-Town, Boston and New Jersey before ending things with a night in New York City, at the Apollo Theater. No news on whether that show can be viewed at 1:05 AM after an episode of Saturday Night Live. For the dates, just scroll down below.
How To Destroy Angels Summer US Tour Dates:
04/12 – Indio, CA // Coachella
04/13 – Las Vegas, NV // Pearl Theatre
04/17 – Monterey, CA // Golden State Theatre
04/18 – San Francisco, CA // Regency Ballroom
04/19 – Indio, CA // Coachella
04/21 – Denver, CO // Paramount Theater
04/23 – Chicago, IL // Vic Theatre
04/25 – Toronto, ON // Sound Academy
04/27 – Boston, MA // House of Blues
04/28 – Montclair, NJ // Welmont Theatre
04/29 – New York, NY // The Apollo Theater
Earlier this month, The Postal Serviceannounced six tour dates around their appearance at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA. Well today, they let us in on a little more than six when they added 21 shows to that over the course of this summer. Barclay’s Center gets a second night added and thing end at the Greek in July. For all the North American Tour Dates, see below:
The Postal Service Summer 2013 North American Tour Dates:
04/09 – Reno, NV // Grand Sierra Theatre
04/10 – Davis, CA // Mondavi Center
04/12 – San Luis Obispo CA // Madonna Expo Center
04/13 – Indio, CA // Coachella Music and Arts Festival
04/12 – San Luis Obispo, CA // Madonna Expo Center
04/18 – Phoenix, AZ // Comerica Theatre
04/19 – Las Vegas, NV // Chelsea Ballroom at the Cosmopolitan
04/20 – Indio, CA // Coachella Music and Arts Festival
05/27 – George, WA // Sasquatch! Music Festival
05/28 – Boise, ID // Knitting Factory
05/29 – Magna, UT // Saltair
05/30 – Morrison, CO // Red Rocks Ampitheater
06/03 – Grand Prairie, TX // Verizon Theater
06/05 – Orlando, FL // Hard Rock Live
06/06 – Atlanta, GA // Fox Theater
06/07 – Raleigh, NC // Red Hat Ampitheater
06/08 – Columbus, OH // LC Pavilion
06/10 – Detroit, MI // The Fillmore
06/11 – Toronto, ON // Air Canada Centre
06/12 – Boston, MA // Bank of America Pavilion
06/14 – Brooklyn, NY // Barclays Center
06/15 – Brooklyn, NY // Barclays Center
06/17 – Philadelphia, PA // Mann Center for the Perofmring Arts
06/18 – Columbia, MD // Merriweather Post Pavilion
07/16 – Vancouver, BC // Rogers Arena
07/17 – Portland, OR // Rose Garden Arena
07/26 – Berkeley, CA // Greek Theater