New Songs, Surprises Abound At Coachella
Sixty artists from around the world graced four stages at the third Coachella Valley Music & Arts festival over the weekend in Indio, Calif., playing before crowds of 30,000 on both days. The evenSixty artists from around the world graced four stages at the third Coachella Valley Music & Arts festival over the weekend in Indio, Calif., playing before crowds of 30,000 on both days. The event featured its fair share of surprises and also gave a number of acts, including Oasis, the Strokes, Queens Of The Stone Age, and the Foo Fighters, the opportunity to unveil new material.
In its mainstage headlining set last night (April 28), Oasis previewed four songs from its forthcoming fifth Epic studio album, "Heathen Chemistry," including the recent U.K. No. 1 single "The Hindu Times," "Hung in a Bad Place," and "Force of Nature," sung by guitarist Noel Gallagher. New York rockers the Strokes wove two new untitled songs and the bouncy "Meet Me in the Bathroom" into their afternoon set, alongside such rock radio hits as "Last Nite" and "Hard to Explain."
Backed by shirtless Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl on drums and augmented by former Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan on two songs, Queens Of The Stone Age offered a host of new tunes from its highly anticipated third album, "Songs for the Deaf," due in August from Interscope. Bassist Nick Oliveri handled vocals on two particularly heavy cuts, including "Ode to Clarissa." The band, reared in nearby Palm Springs, also debuted the new album's title track, "No One Knows," and "The Sky Is Falling."
Prior to the Foo Fighters' own set yesterday, cult acoustic duo Tenacious D performed a three-song set that included "Tribute," "Lee," and the hilarious "F*** Her Gently." The Foos then wasted no time tearing into new tracks set to appear on their next RCA album, including "Overdrive" and a hard-rocking set opener that found Grohl proclaiming in the chorus, "I love it but I hate the taste."
The biggest surprise of the weekend came during DJ Z-Trip's late night set in the small Mojave Tent on Saturday. After spinning everything from Jay-Z and Green Day tracks for a lively crowd, he began playing Beck's "Where It's At." After a few seconds, he stopped the song and asked the crowd, "how about I bring the real Beck up here?" Indeed, Beck strode onstage to lead the audience through a live take on "Where It's At," and stuck around to strum the songs "Pay No Mind," "A**hole," and "The Lonesome Whistle"
Both audience members and artists alike embraced the beautiful California weather and impressive musical variety. "There isn't really another festival like this in America," Chemical Brothers principal Tom Rowlands told Billboard.com backstage, noting that the group has played all three Coachella events to date. "I like the diversity, and I think character is important. Otherwise, you're just getting whoever is hot."
Elbow's Guy Garvey agreed, marveling that "the audience was so attentive. Getting the chance to come over and do something like this is a beautiful thing."
Among the other acts that performed throughout the weekend were Bjork, Paul Oakenfold, the Prodigy, Belle & Sebastian, Mos Def, Jurassic 5, the Vines, and Siouxsie and the Banshees.
For a full recap of this year's Coachella Festival, visit Billboard.com's Live Reviews section tomorrow.