Monday, April 15, 2019

Live-stream Brings Sights & Sounds of Coachella to All

Inspired, colorful artwork greets Coachellagoers in 2019.
Photo credit: Getty Images for Coachella
What better way to prep for hitting Weekend 2 of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival than watching hours and hours of coverage of Weekend 1 via YouTube's three channels of continuous live-streamed performances and artist interviews? 

Most of the Weekend 1's high-profile performances staged April 12-14 were streamed so music fans who were unable to hit the festival at Empire Polo Club in Indio were able to see and hear the parade of artists showcased at the event. Goldenvoice has announced Weekend 2 (April 19-21) will also be live-streamed  go to for all the details.

"Overview Effect," a roaming art installation shaped like an astronaut.
Photo credit: Getty Images for Coachella

In addition, the online coverage provided viewers with a close-up look at many of the one-of-a-kind, large-scale art installations set up on the expansive grounds.

Here are some of the musical highlights yours truly caught over Weekend 1 courtesy of the live-stream:

Kacey Musgraves, left, with Baddie Winkle.
Photo credit: Getty Images for Coachella
Kacey Musgraves made the most of her first-ever appearance at Coachellafest, performing most of her multi-Grammy winning album Golden Hour on Friday. Countrified pop tunes "Oh, What A World," "Butterflies" and "Lonely Weekend" were among the shining songs she delivered in flawless fashion during her crowd-pleasing set. In what would be the first of many high-profile guest appearances that artists would showcase over the fast-moving weekend, Musgraves welcomed 90-year-old internet star Baddie Winkle to the stage for her set-ending "High Horse."

A R I Z O N A was terrific on Saturday afternoon, thrilling with the uplifting originals "Let  Me Touch Your Fire," "Summer Days," "Annie," "I Was Wrong" and more. This is a young group out of New Jersey I definitely plan to catch for the first time when I hit Coachella this weekend. The group blends pop, alt rock and dance styles with confidence and passion. 

Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, left, with Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas of TLC
Photo: Getty Images for Coachella
Weezer was a featured artist at this writer's first Coachella experience in 2005, performing on an impressive weekend bill that included Coldplay, Keane, New Order and Nine Inch Nails. Fast forward to 2019 and much has changed; modern rock is no longer central to the festival and Weezer is now a bona fide veteran act. But make no mistake; the Los Angeles quartet killed it during an hour-long hits-heavy set on the main Coachella stage on Saturday night, clearly outdistancing the set I caught 14 years earlier. Taking the stage with a driving "Buddy Holly," singer-guitarist/frontman Rivers Cuomo and company tore it up with "Hash Pipe" and upped the power quotient when the two members of Tears For Fears (Curt Smith, Roland Orzabal) came on stage to perform an energetic cover of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (a featured cut on Weezer's "Teal Album" released earlier this year).  TLC's Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas joined Weezer  for a  cover  of "No Scrubs" from that same covers album, and the millennials went nuts when the band performed its faithful cover of Toto's "Africa." 

From left, TFF guitarist Roland Orzabal, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo and
TFF singer Curt Smith performing "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."
Photo: Getty Images for Coachella

Australian troupe Tame Impala thrilled throughout their Saturday night headlining appearance at the festival, performing an enthralling 90-minute set of psychedelic pop from across their catalog. Singer-guitarist Kevin Parker noted at one point: "Guess what? This is our fourth Coachella...we came to play for all you guys." The group then performed a dreamy take on the classic "It Is Not Meant To Be." Other cuts delivered included classics "Let It Happen" and "Elephant" as well as newer selections "Patience" and "Borderline."

Billie Eilish not only lived up to the hype that led up to her appearance on Saturday night, but in a virtual instant (with her opening cut "Bad Guy") proved she will undoubtedly be a top draw at any high-profile future music fests where she appears. Performing in the wake of the release of her full-length debut When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? the 17-year-old singer-songwriter jumped and sang and artfully shared haunting moodscapes with the maturity of a tunesmith twice her age. What's more, Eilish's genre-defying sound draws no comparisons to any other artist performing today. I can't wait to catch her set on April 20.

CHVRCHES performing with special guest Marshmello on April 14.
Photo: Getty Images for Coachella

This year marks the third time that Scottish trio CHVRCHES led by singer Lauren Mayberry has performed at Coachella. The group didn't waste its return to the fest on Sunday, kicking off its tour in support of the newly-released disc Love is Dead. That album's material was well-represented in the 45-minute set, including an intoxicating versions of "Get Out" that launched the outing. Other highlights included the pulsating "Leave a Trace" and tender "The Mother We Share." CHVRCHES was also joined by guest Marshmello for the catchy dance track "Here With Me."

CHVRCHES singer Lauren Mayberry led her Scottish band through
a fantastic set on April 14. Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella

Robert Kinsler

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