Sunday, April 27, 2008

Coachella: Day Two, All Hail Prince

Day Two of the Coachella Music Festival is in the can and, to be honest, from all the reports I've read and received first hand, it sounds like it was a killer day. Temperatures soared into the 90s here in the LA area so I can only imagine how hot it got in the desert of Indio, CA. Here are a few pics from some of my favorite acts who played Day Two at Coachella yesterday:

Photo credit: Wireimage

Mark Ronson, the super producer for Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen and Robbie Williams, pulled off a "Coachella moment" ... Ronson recruited friends Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs, Jamie Reynolds of the Klaxtons and new protégé Sam Sparro to learn and perform songs from his new album Version. Day two had its share of other great moments, including the indie-electronica band, Hot Chip, and the pioneer electronica band, Kraftwerk, which put on a multi-media show that transported festival goers to inside the Matrix. Coachella is known for re-introducing bands to a new generation, and the festival accomplished this Saturday with a beautifully sculpted set by the English band Portishead. Their huge electronica sound is measured, never bombastic. Singer Beth Gibbons sounds like a tortured soul — which may be why she doesn't give interviews — but she has stretched her range without losing her experimental quality. Cold War Kids, Devotchka, MGMT and Bondo Do Role all put on good, wildly different shows. Unfortunately, they were all at about the same time. That's the good and the bad of Coachella. You have dozens of great bands all three days, plus other diversions on the polo field, such as beating your own rhythms on a percussion machine or watching a vaudeville circus called Lucent Dossier. And you just can't do it all.

This year's fesitval sounds amazing ... and Day Two had all of my faves ... Portishead, M.I.A., Mark Ronson ... but there can be no doubt who the main attraction was for this year's Coachella Music Festival ... [Source]

... his Purple Majesty, Prince:

Photo credit: Splash News

"Coachella, I am here." Prince hit the stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with that announcement, heralding his arrival as the much-anticipated headliner of the summer festival. Shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday, Prince strutted onto the stage wearing white pants and a white shirt with glittery fringe. His performance, the centerpiece of the three-day festival, was announced only two weeks ago, immediately making an already very hip festival of 125-plus bands significantly more in-demand. And Prince knew it. "You are the coolest place on earth right now!" Prince declared to a sea of tens of thousands. Prince, who had been sought out to perform at Coachella since the festival was founded nine years ago, told the crowd that when he agreed to perform, he informed the organizers that he would not only play, but party too. True to his word, Prince then launched his band — complete with a horn section and background singers — into "Jungle Love." Morris Day came out to sing his song, while Prince strolled around the stage with his guitar. For the beginning of the show, Prince preferred to let his guitar do the talking. He also welcomed the singer and drummer Sheila E, who took the lead for a song and then joined Prince in an extended jam. Finally, Prince satisfied the crowd with a celebratory performance of "1999." His classic "Little Red Corvette" soon followed. One of the big surprises of Prince's concert was his cover of Radiohead's "Creep," which was sure to be one of Coachella's most talked-about performances. With some lyrics adjusted, a ripping guitar solo and extended falsetto crooning for a finale, Prince's "Creep" had the crowd slack-jawed. To close the set, he gave another unique take on a song not his own: the Beatles' "Come Together." He urged the audience — whom he called his "choir" — to sing "Come together, yeah" over and over. And just as trepidation was beginning to take hold in the crowd that Prince might actually leave without playing "Purple Rain," he returned to confirm that even in the desert, it could rain purple. Even after the encore, though, he came back for more. "They're telling me that we got to go, but I can't leave!" Prince shouted. He then flew through a torrid version of "Let's Go Crazy." Prince had widely been considered the one act most all concertgoers — a diverse 60,000 of indie rockers, electronica dancers and pop fans — were certain to see. And by the end of "Let's Go Crazy," Prince had seemed to put his stamp on Coachella lore. "From now on, this is Prince's house," he shouted before triumphantly strutting off stage and tossing his guitar 30 feet behind him.

Man ... it sounds like Prince rocked the muthaeffin house ... and I am *so* jealous to hear about it. He has to be the most exciting performer I've ever seen. He doesn't rely on stage sets or lights, it's all about his energy and, of course, his music. I love hearing him play all of the classics ... to have Morris Day and Sheila E come out and join him on stage sounds like an amazing treat. I have to say, I'm starting to feel pangs of regret for having missed this performance. I've yet to hear word of a new album but hopefully Prince's stint at Coachella has inspired the man to hit the road for a tour sometime this year. [Source]