Coachella 2009: Cure, MBV, Antony Assault The Sound System
Surprise, it wasn’t My Bloody Valentine’s 15-minute aural assault “You Made Me Realise” that caused Sunday’s biggest audio mishap. Organizers cut the speakers during the Cure’s “Fire In Cairo” (two songs into a third encore) only to watch the band play three more songs before the power was killed completely, forcing Robert & Co. to sulk offstage. I know all this because like many of you I experienced Coachella vicariously through Twitter. Amrit and Brandon are presently heading back to Brooklyn, hopefully after a long shower (nullus). Their Friday and Saturday recaps are here and here and among other notes they tell me some of Sunday’s best moments came from Antony Hegarty, Genesis P-Orridge, and Devendra Banhart. Gender ambiguity FTW.
“Something different” is how Antony & The Johnsons explained a set of dusky electro rewrites of Mr. Hegary’s songs featuring beats pre-programmed by Matthew Herbert and Doveman live on keys. The sound system briefly imploded on “Another World,” but those issues were quickly resolved and the new beautiful rearrangements received thunderous applause. After their controversially bright NY debut, I wondered if the logistics of Throbbing Gristle’s Coachella slot would make their lighting design a non-issue. Brandon tells me the stage was again super bright, so I think we can safely say TG are doing this to fuck with typical audience expectations. As they should. A small but dedicated crowd awkwardly danced. One band that was on time and sounded good was Peter, Bjorn & John. We are slowly forgetting and forgiving that SXSW debacle. The pop trio invited fellow Swedes Robyn and Lykke Li onstage to guest on “Nothing to Worry About” and “Young Folks,” respectively. Devendra Banhart was dressed for a tropical vacation and, appropriately enough, debuted a tune called “Baby Baby Baby” that was described to me as a “coconut/rum song.” Yeah Yeah Yeahs (did you guys know they have a new album?) were excellent, and the desert heat couldn’t keep Karen O from getting her leather on. The “Zero” eyeball served as a backdrop and also adorned inflatable balls in the crowd. Sunday’s celebrity sighting (David Hasselhoff) was not as exciting as Saturday’s.
Despite some technical glitches, it sounds like a pretty successful weekend (Kanye says it was the shit, duh) and almost everyone went home a happy camper.
Please enjoy these pics of practically every act that played yesterday. (The ones of Etty Farrell and a bloody Pink Eyes shoving their crotches in folks’ faces look especially unpleasant!) Amrit and Brandon will return tomorrow with first-person final thoughts and perhaps some photos of undressed hipsters.