Coachella 2010: Pavement, Thom Yorke, Gorillaz

Friday got us dancing with LCD and Jay-Z, Saturday featured less clothing, and Sunday closed things out with a generally mellower lineup (plus more amazing weather). It was fitting the reunited Pavement played “In The Mouth A Desert.” Because the desert is where people were watching them. Even if it didn’t feel especially arid. Less great? The crowd they drew was sparse. Sparser than last year’s loveless gathering for MBV. (Another “influential” band who won’t sell out MSG.) Regardless, the faithful were present and Malkmus & Co. opened with “Silence Kit,” did “In The Mouth,” an moved forward to “Stereo” and “Frontwards” and onward. It wasn’t as long a set list as the band’s pre-Coachella warmup in Pomona — still, plenty of jams. As far as folks from the ’90s who don’t have to worry about packing a place, Thom Yorke/Atoms For Peace’s set was excellent: You don’t know how much The Eraser is missing Flea until you hear Thom performing The Eraser with Flea. (Yorke dedicated “Atoms for Peace” to Pavement, which is basically dedicating your band to another band, right?) After Thom and his Atoms worked through The Eraser, he returned with a solo “Airbag” (on guitar) and “Everything In Its Right Place” (on piano), then brought the band out for “some mad shit.” (Speaking of mad shit, what’s up with Sly and his extended delay/on-stage lawsuit tirade?) (A: Sly was just being Sly.) Another big finale set came via Gorillaz, who had a pre-recorded Snoop Dogg as well as real-life De La Soul, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, and Bobby Womack to help them bring their Plastic Beach to Indio. They also had strings and gay sailors. There was actually tons of this kind of cross-pollination and guesting: Justice did a set as part of Club 75, at the Sahara tent, Spoon brought Bradford Cox out again, etc … Sadly, though, no Beck for Charlotte Gainsbourg. Otherwise, regrets were few. As these photos — taken by lenses abler than ours — illustrate.