Saturday, April 17th, 2010
Day two of the festival was a humid day in the desert, and the shows rolled-on nonstop. Today was a definitive day of electronic and dance music. Now, while I'm not a Tiesto fan (not one bit), it was telling that for the first time since the festival's inception that a DJ/Electronic music producer headlined the main stage. It looks like 13 years after "electronica" was supposed to take over the popular music landscape, it finally has. But enough with waxing on about the changing landscape of music, and on with the reviews.
Craze and Klever
This was the day's jumping off point, and it set the day off with a bang. These two DMC champions went head-to-head in the dance tent to an electrified crowd of over 15,000. The pair dropped a set that went from uptempo 140 bpm bangers, with mad scratching on top, to rock tracks (Nirvana and Metallica specifically), then they flipped the script and went into a deep dub set that lit the crowd up.
Next on the agenda was Danish garage/psych duo The Raveonettes. As with a number of bands booked at Coachella coming from overseas, the Volcano Eruption in Iceland kept members of the band from making it to the show. This didn't stop the core duo of Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo from soldiering on and playing a fuzzed out set of garage goodness. This paired-down performance still conveyed the weight of songs, which is really a testament to not only their talent as performers, but their talent as songwriters.
This was my second time to see Hot Chip. The last time I saw them perform was in 2006, during their tour for The Warning, and their live show has improved dramatically! Where the earlier performance was them standing behind their keyboards a la Kraftwerk, this performance was with a full band. The performance was fantastic. See for yourself.
Having followed Diplo's career for the past 6 years, I've seen him perform a number of times in all types of venues. What I saw at Coachella with Major Lazer, the project he's doing with DJ Switch, was the culmination of all of the parties I'd seen previously. It was truly an awesome performance, complete with dancing Chinese street dragons, acrobatic performers and Skerrit Bwoy, a truly magnetic front man. When I'd seen Diplo before, you could tell he was on a mission. Taking his across-the-board brand of globally-influenced club music to the masses all over the world has been quite an accomplishment. Before it's over, it would be great to see Diplo/Major Lazer and his cohorts take over mantle that has been for too-long occupied by the Oakenfolds and the Tiestos of the dance music world.
Watch your back, because the Mad Decent train is rolling through.
Los Angeles based producer Flying Lotus continues his ascension into the mythical pantheon of electronic music royalty. As the artist who's evolved the legacy of Warp Record's tradition of putting out artists that have pushed the art of electronic music into another dimension, FlyLo has pushed the boundaries Hip-Hop to it's logical extreme. With complex and layered music, sometimes the studio magic doesn't always translate into a compelling live performance. This isn't the case with FlyLo.
To see the crowd of almost 20,000 riveted to every single note, and literally taking the same journey as the artist live was an amazing sight. His accompanied video performance was every bit as compelling as his music. And for this artist who's musical legacy is already a thing of mythology, it is only the beginning.