Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 8:23 p.m.
"What's going on over there?"
Jeff Mangum, the reclusive singer of Neutral Milk Hotel, halted a rare public appearance at weekend two of Coachella on Saturday night to call attention to a distressed fan. At first, Mangum wasn't sure what happened. "Sorry, I thought someone passed out," he said.
Then security rushed toward the young woman near the front of the Outdoor Stage.
"Are you okay?" Mangum asked, as security pulled the young woman over the barrier. The cellist performing with Mangum rushed to get water for the girl, and the singer walked over to make sure the woman was okay. The fan was conscious, but had a wide-eyed look of terror on her face as she was carried away from the stage by two guards.
Security had not noticed the young woman until Magnum pointed her out. It may be that Mangum had a better vantage point onstage, but it could also be that security was too busy making sure no one was recording Mangum's performance to see the woman in distress. (Mangum does not allow photos or video at his performances.) Whatever the case, she has Mangum to thank for people coming to her aid.
"I was at a show once where someone was being taken away in an ambulance and the lead singer kept going," Mangum said. "I was like, 'You're an asshole.'"
He waited until the girl was on her feet and offered words of well wishes before he continued performing his set, which consisted of many Neutral Milk Hotel classics. Coachella security who were present at the time of the incident told the Weekly
the girl fainted from heat and dehydration. They said she was treated by their medical staff and released.