Coachella: Portishead Kick Our Asses @ The Main Stage

By Brandon Stosuy
For their first U.S. show in close to a decade, Portishead showed up as a chilly six-piece, delivering Coachella’s set to beat: Beth Gibbons, intense in black, looked both devastated and triumphant while Geoff Barrow rotated between drums/electronics/turntables, and Adrian Utley manned various guitars. The Bristolers brought it — both the sound and their performances were great. Mixing up oldies/newbies in a stream of icy “trip-hop” that managed to turn the slight Indio breeze into something capable of causing goosebumps, they opened with prematurely (and presently) loved Third opener “Silence” — they did know what we wanted! — following it with a mix from all their studio albums: Dummy (“Glory Box,” “Wandering Star,” “Sour Times,” etc.), Portishead (“Cowboys,” “Over,”) and Third (“The Rip” and its white horses, “Machine Gun,” “Threads”), etc. Consider us blown away. Don’t believe the hype? Listen for yourself, but imagine it coming through really big speakers. Supplement the audio with these visuals:

[Photos by Amrit Singh]