Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Weekend 2 brings a myriad of musical riches to Coachella
Singer Thom Yorke of the band Radiohead appears to be peering into the night as seen on one of the gigantic screens positioned over the Coachella Stage where the acclaimed British band headlined on Saturday, April 21. Bright Lights EP). Saturday's wide-ranging schedule yielded similarly-thrilling sets from early performers as well, although Coachella-goers had to contend with some of the highest fest temperatures in memory. Indeed, while checking weather conditions just prior to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals' 3:40 p.m. set time I saw 106 listed as the current temp for Indio. A far cry from the cold and rain that had marked Weekend 1 of the festival a week earlier. But baking in the sun was made a bit easier thanks to staff hosing down those positioned near the front of the Outdoor Theatre, the spot where I caught three solid performances. Orange County-based Suedehead's hard-charging sound recalled Paul Weller's The Jam while We Were Promised Jetpacks blended post-punk and '80's alt rock into a rousing mix. The aforementioned Potter and company opened with the infectious singalong "Paris (Ooh La La)." Potter strummed away on her electric guitar while nailing high notes with her amazing soprano on the way through a 40-minute performance that boasted the depth and range of a full-length concert set. Highlights included the blues-rock of "Stop the Bus" and a musical tribute to the recently-deceased Band drummer Levon Helm.