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The 14 Best Moments Of Coachella 2012 April 25, 2012

Posted by gwyoung in Concerts, Lists, Music.
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This past weekend was special for me, not just because it was my first time camping out at Coachella, but also because some of my favorite bands that I’ve been dying to see since my high school days graced the festival’s stages with their glorious presence. Radiohead, The Shins, Bon Iver, Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, Andrew Bird, M83, and countless others played at some point during the weekend of sweltering daytime heat and cool nighttime breezes, and their performances were all incredible. Tupac hologram and surprise Eminem appearance aside, I’ve decided to compile a list of the most memorable moments of my experience in youtube footage, for my sake as well as yours. Here they are, in chronological order:

Givers – “Up Up Up”

Givers completed their uproariously energetic, uplifting, and technically proficient set with “Up Up Up”, a song that captures the youthful jubilance of this Louisiana upstart.

Marley Carroll – “Our Chimes”

This video’s not from this weekend, but hopefully you can imagine stumbling out of the 108 degree heat and into the misting tent to dance to this refreshing track, all the while being sprayed with water and seeing rainbows everywhere in the crowd.

The Black Keys – “Dead And Gone”

My only regret is leaving The Black Keys to try to catch some of M83. I wish I could’ve seen the whole set.

Swedish House Mafia – “In My Mind”

Never miss a chance to see a big-name electronic/dance act on the main stage of a festival. The incredible beats, spectacular light show, and enthusiastic mass of audience make for a particularly incredible experience. This was my favorite from the three Swedes.

Childish Gambino – “Lights Turned On”

I was excited for Childish Gambino mostly because I’m a die-hard Community fan, but Donald Glover’s rap outfit is much more vulgar and explicit than his character from the show. His closing song was excellent, though, and it made for a great start to Coachella day 2.

Andrew Bird – “Plasticities”

Andrew Bird’s newer material is a bit too subdued to hold my attention normally, but it was actually perfect for cooling down in the afternoon as the temperature began to drop. Still, the best moments were the throwbacks to his earlier stuff, including this stunning rendition of “Plasticities”.

Jeff Mangum – “King Of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1, 2, & 3”

Only Jeff Mangum can get a crowd full of hippies and hipsters to sing in unison about love for Jesus Christ. His whole show was basically a sing-along for In The Aeroplane Over The Sea fans, and it was just as intimate and beautiful as I had hoped since I first fell in love with that album.

The Shins – “New Slang”

Another sing-along favorite, this time from The Shins. It was cool to hear James Mercer’s new band’s rendition of this classic, adapting the original lo-fi number to a richer and gentler sound.

Bon Iver – “Minnesota, WI”

Bon Iver’s live show sounds like angels singing the blues. Justin Vernon’s voice is filled with a profound sadness, and the epic instrumental backing is just godlike. This set was best enjoyed lying down on the grass and staring up at the starry sky.

Radiohead – “Morning Mr. Magpie”

“Morning Mr. Magpie” isn’t one of my favorite Radiohead songs, but the live version was so incredible that it stood out the most out of their extensive 2-hour set. I’m not sure if the audio in this video is good enough quality to capture the energy, but hopefully you can get a sense of what it felt like to be there, dancing to this.

Radiohead – “Kid A”

I’d never guess that Radiohead would play anything off of 2001’s Kid A, let alone the most experimental track of the album, which happens to be one of my all-time favorites. But there they were, playing a souped-up and surprisingly danceable rendition, as Thom Yorke’s bizarre moves demonstrate.

Santigold – “Hold The Line”

Another welcome surprise came during Santigold’s performance, when she rapped her verse from Major Lazer’s “Hold The Line”. The dancing horse was a nice touch.

Beirut – “Nantes”

Zach Condon’s voice carried his Beirut band through one of their best songs, “Nantes”, and you could really feel the connection between the crowd and the people on stage. Breathtaking.

Florence & The Machine – “Cosmic Love”

I wasn’t really a Florence fan before this weekend, but her live show blew me away. Her get-up and personality reminded me of a forest nymph, or the Good Witch of the North from the Wizard of Oz, and her band’s sound was equally magical. In between songs, she encouraged peace and love between audience members, serving as a good reminder at the festival’s close of what it was all really about.

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