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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Crowds kicked it in the sun at Coachella

    Scissor Sisters played to a hot crowd on Sunday at the annual Coachella Music Festival.
    Scissor Sisters played to a hot crowd on Sunday at the annual Coachella Music Festival.

    Very rarely does the Arizona Daily Wildcat do concert reviews. But then again, very rarely does a concert come along that explodes with international talent and revolutionizes the world music scene at the same time. Besides Live 8, of course.

    The Coachella Valley Music Festival in Indio, Calif., is an annual bastion of the most talented artists, performers and musicians from all over the world. Two days, five stages and about 100 bands make the event as priceless as a Mastercard, except without the interest rates.

    Because so many wonderful performers were crammed into the festival this year, it was impossible to see everyone. For the sake of logistics, here are some of the highlights:

    Animal Collective: Considering that this band had just put out possibly the most creative and best album of 2006, it was surprising that most of its set consisted of older material. During the 45-minute performance, the band played maybe one song from Feels, and about five more total (the songs were relatively lengthy). Nevertheless, it was a diverse collection filled with chaotic mouth noises, distorted rhythms and purple paint that singer Avey Tare poured all over his body to emulate blood.

    Sigur Ros: This Icelandic experimental band came on the main stage right at sunset. With a background of pink sky and silhouettes of palm trees, the band jammed through 10-minute-long pieces craftily and with ease. The music was relaxing, beautiful and abstract due to a lack of clear melody.

    Daft Punk: This electronica duo was the highlight of Coachella and honestly the best performance I have ever seen in my entire life. In fact, it was 10 of the best performances I have ever seen in my entire life. For the hour and a half the band played, the dance tent was crammed with people and devoid of any air circulation whatsoever, making it impossible to breathe.

    But for some reason, it didn’t matter. The music was so powerful, so primal that it was hard to think of anything else. The duo appeared in robot suits, standing in the middle of a gigantic pyramid that exploded with bright, colorful lights, images and laser beams. Playing a DJ set, the two mixed all of their songs together instead of just playing one after the other, creating something new and exciting.

    Madonna: Although I only got to see her for a few minutes, the experience was priceless. For some reason, the big guys decided to put her in a tent instead of the stage, so the audience stretched outside for what seemed like miles, even reaching the tent next door, where another band was playing. Some people sat on port-a-potties and others must have waited for hours to see her. Just before she came on, four people on stilts with goth makeup tried to step through the crowd to get to the front. Dozens of people emptied their purses for ammo.

    Massive Attack: Although it may have been out of tune a few times, this trip-hop band performed an amazing night set on the second day. The songs “”Teardrop”” and “”Inertia Creeps”” were heart-wrenching to hear on a live setting, especially for Santino Rice from Bravo’s fashion design reality TV show “”Project Runway,”” who I stood next to.

    The Scissor Sisters: This New York band was the last thing I saw at Coachella, capping up the amazing weekend with pure energy and fun, danceable songs. The two singers came out dressed in gold, talking to the audience between every song and telling the audience to collectively howl at the moon together. They played a large amount from their new album that comes out in a couple of months, but interspersed it with classics such as “”Filthy/Gorgeous”” and “”Take Your Mama.”” They concluded by informing the audience that this might be the last Coachella ever (apparently, the festival lost its lease) and then bursting into their light-hearted dance tune “”Victim.”” It was an energetic end to an amazing weekend.

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