|Helix Poeticus on the move. Photo: Robert Kinsler|
It may have been noticeably hotter today, but that didn't stop some young bands from making the most of their early afternoon spots here to start Day 2 (April 20, 2013).
Take O.C. quartet the Colourist: By the time they performed set-ending track "We Won't Go Home," a sizeable crowd inside the Gobi tent was going nuts, swept up in the group's big catchy choruses. Singer/drummer Maya Tuttle was especially strong, though the entire band (including singer/guitarist Adam Castilla, bassist/keyboardist Justin Wagner and guitarist/bassist Kollin Johannsen) collectively delivered a memorable 30-minute set.
Of the two retro-soul acts on the bill Saturday, Vintage Trouble had the bigger challenge, performing under a merciless sun at 2:25 p.m. (The band was moved to that slot after Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro canceled earlier in the week.) But make no mistake, the L.A. outfit blended rock 'n' soul with all the fierceness of nature's furnace today, so strong that I saw few of the thousand or so who braved the heat for their 35-minute set leaving in search of shade.
Singer Ty Taylor danced, sang, even waded into the crowd to keep the show moving at all times. He also tore his white suit pants, yet never missed a beat. Meanwhile, guitarist Nalle Colt offered a tasty display on his guitar, whether it was expounding on Chuck Berry-ish riffs with full-on blues rock chops, jazz runs or hard-edged slide work. The band (also featuring bassist Rick Barrio and drummer Richard Danielson) performed blistering tunes such as "Blues Hand Me Down" as well as tender ballads ("Nancy Lee" comes to mind) with equal conviction.
Soul singer Allen Stone's 45-minute set didn't reach the depths of Vintage Trouble's more artistically satisfying turn, but he sure transformed a well-packed Gobi tent into a bona fide party as Coachella Weekend 2 reached its halfway point. With his far-reaching tenor often extending into a pleasing falsetto, he and his seven-member band impressed on original material ("Celebrate Tonight," "Unaware") and his entirely reworked version of Bob Marley's "Is This Love."