hmv.com reviews… Day 3: The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2015
Wake up and pinch face. Yes, still alive. Legs starting to feel heavy from two days standing and singing. (Read about Day 1 and Day 2). But Coachella veterans know you just push through because Sunday often brings out the biggest surprises and Coachella 2015 was no exception.
Dressed in a green sequined jumpsuit with two large cherries on your head is one way to wake up the early Sunday crowd at Coachella.
Marina Diamandis quickly asked the crowd “Are you hungover?’ while explaining she was with a giggle. So hungover, with huge sparkling cherries on her head, Marina impressively bounced into a poptastic set pulling from 2012’s Electra Heart and new album Froot.
The cherries were dispersed with by the time of set highlight “Primadonna” with big crunchy bass synth lines ringing out across the green polo fields Coachella. Sunday was on its way.
As day turned into night at the outdoor stage, Annie Erin Clark and the three other members of St Vincent emphatically placed their presence upon the expectant crowd. “Digital Witness” and “Birth In Reverse” from St Vincent were several set highlights showing Clark’s amazing guitar skills at her full potential.
With full black eye make-up and robotic shop window model moves, Clark and co. never stopped keeping your senses on overload. At one point near the end of the set you could hear audible roars and gasps as the guitar shredding and technical complexity of what Clark was doing, all while shooting the crowd with her guitar. St Vincent won Coachella today but seriously, was their ever any doubt they would? Indietastic!
EDM at Coachella, while not new (even back in 1999 Coachella put DJs on in a tiny tent), has of late exploded. Last year Calvin Harris literally had the whole field of 60,000 jumping on the Sunday afternoon. Kaskade stepped up as this year’s hero of the decks for the main stage and would have blown the roof off… if there was one.
Pulling many tracks from last year’s album collection of major dance hits I Remember, the decks maestro had the crowd at his fingertips. San Francisco-reared Kaskade is a major hero in California. However, it’s also Ryan Raddon’s honesty that shines through as a genuine lover of the music that holds an important connection with his fans.
Production was off the hook again this year as Kaskade conducted his crew of loyal followers, with visuals set to play mind bending tricks. Set highlight was when the bass in “Atmosphere” shook Indio to its core.
Florence Mary Leontine Welch was born to perform. Simply put, Florence + The Machine’s Coachella set was absolutely astounding and a new dawn for Ms. Welch. Decked out in all white with her flowing red hair, the energy in the performance was breathtaking. Running barefoot across the stage and into the crowd for what seemed like the full 60-minute performance, you could not help but think you were witnessing something extremely special.
Welch’s vocal ability is well documented but coupled with such energy and production, it was as if we had been transported back to a 70s heyday of free love and musical enthusiasm… as if the world’s future depended upon it.
Explaining to the crowd the meaning behind new single “Ship To Wreck” from this year’s forthcoming full length, How Big How Blue How Beautiful Welch said that even if you go on a bender and almost wreck your relationship… not to worry. It happens to the best of us.
Finishing her set with the hit “Dog Days Are Over” from 2010’s Between Two Lungs and asking us all to hug, take off a piece of clothes and let it all out, gleeful fans obliged. Showing by example, the visual of Welch running across stage swirling her top above her head, exposing her designer lace white bra, with ultimate abandon will stay with us a lifetime.
Find the festival Florence + The Machine are playing near you this year, and go. You will not regret it.
Toronto native Drake had the honour of closing out festival proceedings on the main stage this year. Those who doubted his ability to pull off a headline slot had their tails between their legs pretty quickly. The pure size of the expectant crowd for Drake before he arrived on stage 25 minutes late was by far the largest of the weekend for any performer.
With such expectance in the air, you could cut the tension with a knife. However, within seconds of him opening with “Legend” from new album If You're Reading This It’s Too Late you could just tell this was going to be Drake’s night.
The headliner’s set featured other live debuts for new cuts “Jungle” and the impressive “10 Bands.” Another set highlights was “Hold On, We’re Going Home” from 2013’s full length Nothing Was The Same.
Rumours abounded about who a special guest might be though it’s fair to say few expected the queen of pop herself to materialize. Yet when Drake launched into the new song “Madonna” who should appear but... yup, Madonna. Talk about a show-stopper. That Madonna planted what looked like a very staged kiss upon Drake - leaving the crowd wondering if it was or wasn’t planned – only upped the ante. Oh, the pair also played Madonna’s “Human Nature.”
Drake followed with a further 10 songs and rounded it up just as he started with “Legend” and many Coachella 2015 festival-goer singing along as they departed the desert.
So with that another Coachella is over … well until next week that is!
Surprise Artist of the Day
With no room in the tent and difficulty even seeing what was going on inside for thousands outside the tent, Long Island’s Brand New took everyone by surprise and may have to be moved next week from the Mojave tent. Set highlight “Jesus Christ” from The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me.
Other notables for Sunday – Jamie XX, Fitz & The Tantrums, Ryan Adams.