We'll make this fast… just escaped the hellish Coachella parking lot. Phone's dead. Need to get feet surgically replaced with new ones.
But first, three lessons learned at day two of Coachella 2010…
Jack White's still got it, not anyone ever doubted that fact. The Dead Weather's late-night set was a grimy, loud and fascinating affair, shot through with swampy guitar lines and Alison Mosshart's viscous growl. It was blues, it was hard rock, it was an exorcism. White, ever the show man, stepped out from behind the drum kit a few times, at once point to introduce each band member. Then he said the Dead Weather was from Nashville, Tennessee… “Nice Tennessee you all.”
Expectations matter less than you think. Take MGMT. They played during Coachella prime time–right before the headliner and on an outdoor stage–and they attracted a prime-time audience. The northwest quadrant of the polo field was nearly impossible to navigate during their set, so packed was the area with MGMT-watchers. But MGMT's been on a confounding-expectations kick, releasing the very not-easy-to-swallow Congratulations and an accompanying freaky single, “Flash Delirium.” They opened with that single, which not many members of the audience seemed to recognized. Still, the masses swayed and bobbed, seemingly game to pull enjoyment out of the circus-keyboard psychedelia. Then, of course, “Time to Pretend” came on and the crowd's size swelled even more, with kids running from concession lines to join in the dance party. By the time MGMT finished, no one seemed to mind too much that they hadn't played “Kids.” Why weren't people fussier? Might have something to do with the volume of the “WOOO” that went up when front man Andrew VanWyngarden asked, “How many of you are on drugs?”
Visual aids work. Give props to Muse for putting on a frothy, epic rock show, but lasers were the real star for the kids lying on our their backs a quarter mile away from the stage. Hot Chip, too, connected in large part with their lights–the band members themselves weren't doing much on stage. And though half of the Mohave tent emptied out after Devo played “Whip It,” the people who remained were treated to a kitschy (of course) explanatory video-thingy communicating the vastness of the universe and the awesomeness of Devo. Not that the latter needed much communicating, though.