Coachella rocks the desert

David Roman | Staff Writer

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BODY HEAT: Shoulders mashing, limbs rhythmically swaying, as
some 90,000 fans crowd onto the Coachella festival grounds.

Intense heat, blaring music, and college students with lost inhibitions. Yes, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival came and went again this year.

Starting off the music filled weekend on the outdoor theater stage was, locals of southern California band and past Viewpoints featured artists, the White Arrows.

The band delivered their promise of a completely revamped live show that included a great light show, Mickey Church donning a neon blue wig half way through and the premiere of a new song titled “City Boy.”

Their trippy psychedelic sound coupled with Church’s hazy voice and huge stage persona made for an incredibly enjoyable show that even out-shined their follow up, and past tour-mates The Neighbourhood.

Boasting a surprisingly large crowd later the same day, Alt- J, a British indie band wildly known for their recent single “Breezeblocks,” rocked the cramped Mojave stage.

Performing popular tracks off their debut studio album released last May, Alt-J’s lead singer Joe Newman’s perfect pitch and mesmerizing harmonies translated well in a live setting.

Headlining at the Coachella stage that night were the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who played an energetic eleven song set beginning with “Zero” and ending with their most famous song “Heads Will Roll.”

During this song, Karen O connected with the audience in a completely visceral way, evoking her ballistic energy.

While the decade sold alternative-rock band Blur closed out the night on the main Coachella stage, arguably it was Bassnectar’s closing set at the incredibly fun dance stage Sahara, that made waves as the best show of the night. The Santa Cruz DJ opened his set with “Encore” off his “Wildstyle” EP which got the audience dancing like it was their last night left to live.

Going into Saturday, The Violent Femmes reunited for the first time in four years at the main stage, and although the band hasn’t enjoyed huge success for the last couple of decades, the performance of their entire first album got the crowd cheering like it was 1983 all over again.

Dominating the rest of the day, the iconic Coachella main stage saw amazing artists such as another past Viewpoints featured band, The XX, who’s mixed performance of hits and new singles was a fan
favorite.

Closing out the night was Phoenix who’s highly anticipated follow up to 2009’s “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” dropped April 22.

Continuing the trend of too many acts and too little time, Sunday saw such influential artists like Mexican-American folk singer Rodriguez and popular indie band Vampire Weekend who also were
there generating hype for a new album scheduled to be released this May.

Their performance of “Diane Young,” which got all the hipsters dancing, was one of the coolest of the weekend.

The performance by the internationally known Red Hot Chili Peppers began with their new track “Monarchy of Roses” and they finished it out with classics like “Californiacation” and “By the Way” that got old and new fans singing along together in a display that can only be described as beautiful unity.

While you may get a terrible sun burn and the odor of ‘freedom’ stuck in your clothes for weeks after the festival, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is one that no other in the nation can compare to.

Its unique blend of art, music and southern California fun make it an unforgettable experience. If you find yourself with some spare cash next year, a trip to Indio to see some of the best touring acts is absolutely recommended.