Posts Tagged ‘coachella’

We spent last weekend at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California with three days of music, sunshine and lots of running around to catch sets all across the Empire Polo Field. We’re only human, but tried to see as many artists as we could while filing daily recaps of what we were watching and listening to:

Weekend #1: Friday

Weekend #1: Saturday

Weekend #1: Sunday

To help those who couldn’t make it get a taste of what happened this past weekend, below are some of our favorite performances thanks to Coachella’s YouTube streaming of the sets. Watch below and click the titles to add them to your playlists!

Wanna hear more? Listen to our Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Channel on the Music Unlimited service!

Sony Entertainment Network will be out there again for Weekend #2 as part of the PlayStation Society tent alongside droves of other fans coming in (maybe even for a 2nd time) to join in the fun.

The Postal Service – “The District Sleeps Alone

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Music fans turned out one more day in the desert, rounding out a weekend full of sun, friends and live performances at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Two straight days of partying certainly took a toll on the at-doors attendance, but fans turned out in droves for the afternoon and evening sets.

However, there were some solid opening acts early on from bands to watch, including Little Green Cars and Robert DeLong (who are Phoenix and Mumford & Sons’ labelmates) as well as Wild Belle, Cloud Nothings and Smith Westerns. Mainstream rock fans started to trickle in for The Airborne Toxic Event on the main stage, whose familiar radio hits like “Changing” and “Sometime Around Midnight” have garnered them a large following.

Next on the main stage was The Gaslight Anthem, wasting no time by jumping into their breakout song, “’59 Sound,” which drew immediate critical acclaim and comparisons to Bruce Springsteen (it certainly helps that they’re also from New Jersey.) They also played new tracks from their new sophomore album, including “Biloxi Parish,” and the title track, “Handwritten.” Their straight-forward rock didn’t provide much pop and circumstance, but they sure looked cool doing it. Same could be said about Kurt Vile, who played nearby with The Violators on the Outdoor Stage.

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The first weekend of Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival powered through on Saturday, as likely even more fans made their way to the Empire Polo Club for another full day of music, art and partying. The initial rush of the first day had people trickling in slowly in the afternoon, but by the end of the night, you were swimming through people criss-crossing to catch their favorite acts.

Early in the day, Scotland’s Biffy Clyro dominated the main stage. An arena-level artist overseas, they had no problem filling the space of a big stage with bombastic presence, tearing through new tracks from their new album, Opposites, including “Biblical,” “Stinging Belle,” and “Sounds Like Balloons,” as well as fan favorites like “Spanish Radio.”

Shortly after, Allen Stone, hailing from Seattle, brought his impressive live band and overwhelming performing chops to the Gobi tent. This pastor’s son has a unique blend of soul, gospel and R&B, while hitting some impossible notes in 90+ degree heat. He tore through some of the major tracks from his debut, self-titled album, including “Sleep,” “What I’ve Seen,” and “Unaware,” and got the crowd in a frenzy by covering Bob Marley’s “Is This Love?” Most certainly an artist to watch in the coming months.

A few artists most certainly outgrew their stages in the last few months since they were booked for the festival, including 2 Chainz, who kept a massive crowd of fans spilling out of the Mohave tent for over 20 minutes after his set was supposed to start. Before it was too late, he emerged on stage, being intro’d while the DJ played “Mercy” (which he is featured on with Kanye West, Big Sean & Pusha T) and introduced him as “man of the year.” He also rapped over his part in Nicki Minaj’s “Beez in the Trap.”  Hip-hop was a major player on Saturday, with performances by Action Bronson, Danny Brown and Pusha T also on the bill.

Another group that packed the area inside and outside the Mohave tent was Major Lazer, with an obvious spill-over from the Sahara Tent of fans ready to dance. Their outrageous performance has become legendary and yesterday was no different. Between songs, they asked that fans take off their shirts and hold them up in the air. Not to be outdone, they then told everyone that they want the world to see how crazy Coachella is, and asked that everyone throw their shirt in the air. A wave of colored cotton flew above the crowd and set a fire through the rest of the set.

Over at the Outdoor stage, a much mellower experience was happening as the UK’s Ben Howard played a subdued set riddled with a few technical issues. Nonetheless, the band played on, as the multi-layered aspects of his debut album, Every Kingdom, played out well on stage. A large gaggle of girls sang along as he performed songs like, “The Wolves,” “Only Love,” “Black Flies,” and even some new, untitled material. Later on the same stage, Portugal. The Man also played new material from their upcoming album (releasing in June) and hits like “I’ve Got It (Almost)” to a more dude-heavy crowd.

Fans made some tough choices the rest of the night, with Grizzly Bear slowing  things down in Mohave and dance taking the forefront with Hot Chip on the main stage. Soon after, The Postal Service made their “official” return after a string of smaller shows and major anticipation from die-hard fans. Masterminds Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie) and Jimmy Tamborello (of DNTL) invited Rilo Kiley front-woman, Jenny Lewis as guitarist and vocalist as the “imaginary band” (as Gibbard put it) played through popular songs from their 10-year-old album, Give Up, including “The District Sleeps Alone,” “We Will Become Silhouettes”, “Sleeping In,” and of course, “Such Great Heights.” They also played new material and ended the set with “Brand New Colony,” showcasing the many talents of this now many-person band.

More conflicts arose with Two Door Cinema ClubThe XX and Franz Ferdinand playing overlapping sets, all of which packed large crowds in their respective tents and stages. Afterwards, fans rushed to the main stage to catch Phoenix, whose album Bankrupt! hits the Music Unlimited service on 4/23. They wasted no time bringing people in with the hugely catchy first single, “Entertainment” as well as tracks from their last album like “Lasso” & “Lisztomania,” as well as “Long Distance Call” from their 2006 album, It’s Never Been Like That. They played through more old songs and new material, but the biggest story of the night was R. Kelly jumping on stage during “1901” to sing “Ignition” on top as a remix. He also interjected verses from  “I’m a Flirt” in a new song, “Chloroform.” This was definitely the “Tupac hologram” of the festival so far.

Nearby, Iceland’s Sigur Ros played their brand of orchestral rock, mesmerizing the crowd with cinematic screens and the army of guitars, drums, horns  and strings that has made them a must-see live act.

One more day left and plenty of time for more surprises! Keep an eye here for more and listen to the festival’s headliners and more in the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Channel on the Music Unlimited service.

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An estimated 100,000 fans have infiltrated the Southern California desert, coming from all parts of the world to experience one of music’s marquee festivals, Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Sony Entertainment Network is out all weekend, hanging out in the PlayStation Society Tent and traveling the grounds to catch as much music as possible.

Early Friday got off to a quiet start as die-hard campers trickled in and the rest made their way into the Empire Polo Club. While fans got their bearings, the first round of bands kicked off the day, including California’s own Lord Huron & The Neighbourhood as well as UK’s Jake Bugg, celebrating the release week of his debut album.

Canada had back-to-back hits in the afternoon, with female-fronted groups Stars & Metric on the main stage and Japandroids packing the Gobi tent. The latter duo powered through tracks from their critically acclaimed 2012 album, Celebration Rock, and joked that the California heat was not suited for their Canadian bodies. Fans also endured the heat, crowd-surfing through tracks like “Evil’s Sway” and “The House that Heaven Built.”

Up next, Passion Pit played their first Coachella set since 2010, graduating from the Outdoor Stage to the main stage since their debut album Manners and the runaway success of Gossamer. Singer Michael Angelakos seemed in awe of the crowd, imploring them to drop the beat the start of “Take a Walk” and closing out with the massive hits, “Sleepyhead” and “Little Secrets.” Also on the set-list: “Cry Like a Ghost” from Gossamer. If you haven’t already, check out our exclusive extended cut of that video.

Modest Mouse made their return after years of sporadic touring, amidst rumors of a new album this year, the first since 2007’s We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. They played through a variety of tracks, including “Ocean Breathes Salty,” “3rd Planet,” “Paper Thin Walls,” “The View”  and a new track, “Be Brave.” A lively, almost giddy Isaac Brock teased the audience between songs, talking about some of the people he met during former band-mate Johnny Marr’s set and asking the fans to hum in unison for no particular reason. However, the chatter put them over their set time and the festival cut their sound towards the end of their breakout hit, “Float On.”

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs followed on the main stage, as a blond Karen O. paraded around the stage in colorful garb and trademark swagger. They performed old songs like “Zero,” and new material from their upcoming album, Mosquito, which drops next week. They even had a guy in a mosquito costume walking around the audience, in case it wasn’t clear.

Band of Horses played a straightforward set afterward on the Outdoor Stage, lining up the die-hard fans who have been tracking them over several albums to the release of last year’s Mirage Rock. They made sure to play the single from that album, “Knock, Knock” as well as covering the hits like “The Funeral” and “No One’s Gonna Love You,” pretty early in the set.

As they played, Brit-pop legends Blur started their set on the main stage, drawing a huge crowd who have likely followed  singer/songwriter Damon Albarn through his many other projects, including Gorillaz and The Good, The Band & the Queen. They went from songs like “Caramel,” “Coffee & TV and “Tender,” to the band proclaiming, “Having a party?! Good! Get the big ones! Oi!” before launching into the joyous track, “Park Life.” All the people, so many people then launched into an absolute frenzy at the start of “Song 2,” with the entire grounds shaking to fans screaming “woo hoo!” across the field. Alongside the chaos was another big crowd at Jurassic 5’s set on the Outdoor Stage, with lots of folks dancing through the crowd as they walked by.

The 2nd headliner of the night, The Stone Roses, had an arguably more subdued, jam-heavy set, with a much smaller, but devoted crowd anxious to see the recently reunited band from Manchester. It was certainly a musician’s band, with other festival performers catching the set. While they played songs like “I Wanna Be Adored,” “Sally Cinnamon,” and “She Bangs the Drums,” Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt made his Coachella debut with the help of Flying Lotus and Tyler , the Creator and Bassnectar closed out the Sahara Stage.

More to come from Day #2, but for now, check out these artists and more in our Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Channel on the Music Unlimited service!

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Now that the dust has settled on Weekend #1, Indio is gearing up for Coachella Music & Arts Festival: Weekend #2! The same line-up will rock the desert once again and having experienced it first hand last weekend the Music Unlimited service has these helpful tips for your trip: (more…)

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“I love you Coachella! Do you love me?” The crowd cheered mildly. “I think you love me more than that. Let me hear it!” Louder applause. “That was about 4 ½% better. I’ll take it.” And so was the back and forth for 45 minutes between The Hives front man Howlin Pelle Almqvist and a crowd of about 15K people in front of the Main Stage. Over the course of the set the crowd would be playfully berated into submission by the arrogant yet amiable antics of Pelle and an arsenal of the catchiest pop-punk tunes created over the last decade. During the band’s hit song from 2007, “Tick, Tick, Boom,” the band actually stopped the song in the middle and got everybody – literally everyone in the crowd to sit down. Upon the signal from Pelle, everyone then jumped up and a melee ensued until the end of the song. (more…)

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Body paint. There must have been a memo, because everyone seems to have got it. Variations of face paint are expected from the peace and love set, but this year everyone from fraternity boys to techno girls are slathered with tribal paint on their face and arms like they just arrived with Mad Max and are looking for Thunderdome. Which appears to be the Gobi tent despite the lush sounds coming out of it; all the tribes are represented for the performance by The Head and the Heart. The Seattle collective has gone from complete unknown to festival highlight in one year thanks to incredible live performances and word of mouth. The Laurel Canyon revivalists would fit nicely on bill with their city mates, Fleet Foxes, but today are managing just fine on their own thank you. The applause after the closing number, “Rivers and Roads,” is deafening.

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The weather report had predicted rain, but beautiful morning blue skies said otherwise.  Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys chatted with a fan outside the hotel.  Scars on 45 packed their van, having played a radio station sponsored gig in the hotel the night prior.  The ride to the festival grounds were traffic free as the large number of LA based ticket-holders were still in route.

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Thousands of fans are already en route to Indio, CA for Coachella Music & Arts Festival 2012.  While the hundreds of artists performing are enough to excite any die-hard music fan, we’ve compiled our Top 10 most anticipated happenings during the upcoming weekends: (more…)

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The wait is almost over! The much-hyped Coachella Music & Arts Festival kicks off this Friday in Indio, California. Due to high demand, this year the fest  has been extended to two identical, massively sold-out weekends, packed to the brim with incredible music.

If you can’t stand the suspense, let loose by listening to the new Coachella 2012 Premium Channel, available now on the Music Unlimited service! This limited time channel is packed with over 100 tracks from many of the artists performing, compiled into one convenient location.

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