Everything you need to know about Coachella Day 1
Everything you need to know from Coachella Day 1
The sickeningly sweet smell of Banana Boat sunscreen, the ever-present thin layer of dust, and more flower crowns than one should see in a lifetime — it must be Coachella 2016. Indio’s Polo Fields are as perfectly manicured as ever, ready for another year of all-around debauchery.
While indie and electro crossover acts once again lined the Main Stage, house and techno royalty like Marco Carola and Nicole Moudaber found home amidst the shadowy depths of the Yuma Tent. From David Bowie tributes, to Kanye West cameos, and a surprise What So Not set at the Do LaB, day one kicked off in full form, setting the bar high for the rest of the weekend.
Words by Will McCarthy, Alex Hitchcock
LCD Soundsystem's reunion lives up to the hype
LCD Soundsystem have returned from the dead, and their resurrection may exceed their inception. James Murphy was in top form Friday night, providing a series of non sequitur monologues as he scuttled around the stage methodically adjusting instruments while simultaneously belting each and every hit. Always known for his attention to detail, Murphy took a brief pause in the middle of the set to make note of the gargantuan chairs in Coachella’s expansive art display, adding that the band had “paid a lot of money for those chairs to go along with the music”. However, given Murphy’s perennially cheeky disposition, he may have been joking, as he added “I built them myself.”
That LCD Soundsystem knows how to captivate a crowd is a self-evident fact. The legendary outfit’s Coachella set was one of the rare instances where a situation’s reality truly lived up to its hype. Murphy and his precocious clique enthralled the audience with a diverse array of songs like “All My Friends,” “Yeah,” and even (the satirically played) “New York, I Love You,” altogether playing for longer than their originally allotted time. Perhaps the most emotional portion of the set came when LCD devoted a portion of their set to pay homage to David Bowie, with a stunning cover of “Heroes.”
M83's new album fails to translate
When a band has reached such a stature as M83, fans are expecting to hear more of the same. It’s why so many DJs adapt alternate aliases to explore their darker or more radio friendly sides without upsetting their followings.
Up against an album as pivotal as Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, M83’s latest Junk falls a little flat on the live front. The noticeable change in crowd energy, for instance, between old classics “Midnight City” and “Wait,” with new releases such as “Go!” and “Do It, Try It” was more than palpable. Anthony Gonzales took a leap into left field exploring some of his oversaturated 80s influences but it seems most M83 fans aren’t quite feeling that same level of nostalgia. M83 still delivered an altogether captivating set, there’s just not much middle ground between the sound of their older material with that of Junk, which at times provided for a stark switch in tempos and overall mood.
Gallant captivates the Mojave
The most recent addition to the Mind of A Genius collective of meteorically rising stars is Chris Gallant, the young vocalist who performs under his valiant, nascent surname. Though his visual aesthetic is typified by his signature frowning shirt, he commenced his Coachella debut at the Mohave tent with no ennui whatsoever. Backed by a full band with energetic instrumentation, Gallant’s set was simultaneously sultry, soothing, and stimulating, characterized by his passionate croons and his band’s ecstatic instrumentation.
For most fans, the performance’s highlight manifested when Gallant’s recent mentor Seal came out to perform the latter’s own songm “Crazy”. Though their performance was undeniably charming, it was filled more with anticipation than elation, because fans new what was to come. In the second episode of Gallant’s “In the room” video series, the duo performed a mellifluous rendition of “Weight In Gold,” but that collaboration could in no way live up to the vibrant beauty of their live recapitulation. With two heralded industry larks joining to perform one of the decade’s most beautiful songs, Gallant’s set concluded by allowing the Gobi to shimmer to an unprecedented degree.
Bob Moses make their Coachella debut
One mark of a truly great live act lies in their ability to consistently display their best facets regardless of the setting, while also fundamentally changing their show with each performance. Though Bob Moses are still tyros in the dance music live circuit, they certainly won’t be for long. In addition to the acclaimed production of Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance, the duo has quickly become one of the few acts to successfully achieve this balance in their performances.
To see Bob Moses in a club and to see them at Coachella are homogenous to a degree. Since they favor original songs in their live production, the set list is largely similar within the two settings, boasting rousing renditions of cuts from Days Gone By, aided in their low-end auditory energy by the addition of a new live drummer. However, with the heavy emphasis of live collaboration in Bob Moses’ performance, the outfit is capable of playing a set that is analogous to their club shows in song selection but utterly distinct in its emotive sensibilities. As Tom Howie breaks out sultry croons and tasty telecaster licks, Jimmy Vallance’s melodic orchestration becomes jaunty enough to suit the palm trees that populate behind them.