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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Beat of the desert

    Reunions are one of the main reason’s Coachella has grown to be such a big deal. The Jesus and Mary Chain delivered a spot-on reunion performance, but much of the crowd seemed to be uninterested with the band’s dark sounds. Sadly, it was almost as if the young crowd didn’t know who they were.

    An exciting moment came when actress Scarlett Johansson joined the J.A.M.C. for their classic track “”Just Like Honey.”” Johansson’s back-up vocals weren’t very loud (or good), but this celeb sighting was one of the festival’s most talked-about moments.

    The big reunion performance, however, was that of Rage Against The Machine. The collective energy of the entire festival was unleashed as the band took the stage for the first time in seven years. Frontman Zack de la Rocha was virtually quiet other than his usual raps and grunts, but the song “”Wake Up”” featured a political speech of sorts. Fans cheered as he compared the George W. Bush administration to Nazis and war criminals.

    The audience was fairly tame compared to the hostility of Woodstock ’99, aside from antics such as a few people climbing on top of the main stage’s soundboard area. Thankfully, security responded quickly to prevent further idiocy.

    Not all of the weekend was gloom and doom, however. Dance and electronic acts kept crowds moving throughout the weekend. All the hip scenes were represented from French house (David Guetta, Justice, Busy P & DJ Mehdi) to American dance punk (LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, !!!). In fact, it was !!! who performed one of the most energetic and memorable sets of the entire weekend. Electronic mainstays DJ Shadow and TiÇsto also kept the beats bumping.

    With the full California sun in action, the festival’s tents heated up to nearly intolerable conditions. Catching a few bands in the Mojave tent during the day meant becoming totally soaked in not only your own sweat, but also the sweat of everyone around you.

    One such performance was British electro-nerds Hot Chip, who transformed their minimalist songs into complex dance jams. Crowds exiting the tent were completely drenched, but it was worth it. Fans at Coachella’s outdoor stages didn’t fare much better catching acts like Lupe Fiasco and Jack’s Mannequin in direct sunlight.

    The sun couldn’t set fast enough for festival-goers eager to see Icelandic weirdo princess BjÇôrk showcase some tracks from her new album, Volta. She claimed Friday night as her own as her strong voice pierced through the night air. Fellow headliner Red Hot Chili Peppers shook up the following night with their trademark California sound.

    Another celebrity was making rounds at the festival: Paris Hilton. The infamous star was spotted living it up during performances by CSS and Girl Talk. Hilton also was seen looking on as Air performed one of the weekend’s most disappointing sets. It’s not that the French duo sounded bad, but they went on nearly 30 minutes late, leaving only 25 minutes to perform. During the painful wait time, the crowd kept busy by hitting beach balls and flipping off Hilton.

    Other disappointments include having to wait through Nickel Creek’s entire performance (why were they there?) and Lily Allen forgetting lyrics due to some shady backstage activities. Interpol was also a bit boring, but that wasn’t surprising given the band’s serious demeanor.

    Despite these bad moments, Coachella offered an extremely solid lineup with plenty of superb performances.

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