April 25 – 27, 2008
Empire Polo Field
Indio, Ca 92201
Written by Joshua Williams
Photographed by Amy Davidson
Cold War Kids
April 26, 2008 - Day 2
Cold War Kids
two found us checking out Cold War Kids first.
Cold War Kids hail from Fullerton California. They
are a basic indie rock four piece with singer Nathan
Willet also performing piano duties. The first song
“Avalanche” began with a haunting piano
intro, with Willets not unpleasant voice soothing
the crowd as the song built up into a nice staccato.
After that however, I became a bit bored. The band
has ability, but they seem to fall into a bit of
the cliché of the indie band. Every song
seems to be a slow angst ridden piece. It would
have been nice to hear a four count now and then,
and some good old rock. But they do what they do,
and there were enough people there to see them in
that omnipresent heat. So they obviously speak to
someone, just not me.
Death Cab For Cutie
up for us was Death Cab for Cutie.
An unfortunately, I have a bit of a problem with
this band. The problem is, I really love “I
will possess your heart”. It truly is a good
bit of songwriting, from the bass intro to the vocal
hook. It is a good song through and through. The
problem is, every other song in their set had me
bored to tears. I don’t want to like a band
because of one single. I know this is the age of
itunes, but I want solid albums filled with solid
songs, not one really killer song, and a bunch of
filler. Maybe I am not well-versed enough. I welcome
recommendations for listening.
Next up was M.I.A.,
so we headed over to the Sahara Tent. It was…insane.
This act should have been on the main stage, or
at least the outdoor theater. If her career continues
on its current trajectory, she will most likely
be there next year. M.I.A. took off when she began
to employ one of the greatest synthesizers ever
made, the Roland MC-505 groove box. With it began
a bit too long intro of gunshots. Then the beat
of paper planes got the crowd jumping. And by crowd,
I mean crowd. They spilled out of the tent and out
onto the field. Well beyond capacity. After the
previous two bands of angst ridden, morose indie
rock, it was refreshing to see someone cut it loose,
and get the place hopping. I have no idea how she
was able to keep up that much energy for so long.
Beth Gibbons of Portishead
We then made our way to what became our final set
of the evening. Coachella of course, is known for
reunions and acts that you wouldn’t expect
to see on stage again, and as mysterious as Portishead
is, it fits the bill of a band you may never get
too see. They were there in support of their new
album, Third, their first in eleven years. Geoff
Barrow, Beth Gibbons, and Adrian Utley brought down-tempo
electronic trip hop to America for the most part.
The new album is almost like being in the mid nineties
again, yet it does not come across as stale. The
three are definitely artists of electronica, and
Gibbons voice is still as fresh as it was a decade
ago. I wondered if some of the other bands on the
bill that day would be as warmly received if they
were to go on a decade long hiatus.
We were anticipating the arrival of the Purple One,
but apparently he doesn’t like photographers.
When we learned that we were not going to be allowed
to shoot his set, we decided his set wasn’t
worth our time, and the Casino down the street would
appreciate us a bit more. So, as it turns out, Portishead
was our final band of the evening.