Sixth Coachella Fest Offers Numerous Highlights
Performances from some of the world's most popular and influential bands highlighted the sixth Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, which concluded last night (May 1) in Indio, Calif. About 50,Performances from some of the world's most popular and influential bands highlighted the sixth Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, which concluded last night (May 1) at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, Calif. About 50,000 people descended on this desert town for the two-day event, which featured headlining sets by Coldplay and Nine Inch Nails, plus rare appearances from Bauhaus, Gang Of Four and hip-hop duo Black Star.
Coldplay's Saturday set went heavy on such anthems as "Clocks," "The Scientist," "Yellow" and "In My Place" but was bookended by songs from its upcoming Capitol album, "X&Y": opener "Square One" and closer "Fix You." The group also debuted new album track "Low" and "'Til Kingdom Come," the latter of which was penned for Johnny Cash prior to death but appears as a bonus cut on the upcoming disc.
Last night, the Trent Reznor-led Nine Inch Nails drew one of the biggest crowds of the weekend to the main stage for intense versions of "Head Like a Hole," "Closer" and "Piggy," plus its latest single, "The Hand That Feeds." That cut is the lead track from the new Interscope album "With Teeth," NIN's first since 1999.
Despite lead singer Bernard Sumner hobbling around with what he described as a torn ligament in his foot, New Order rocked through an impressive 11-song set last night that ran from vintage staples like "Blue Monday," "Regret" and "Bizarre Love Triangle" to brand new fare like "Krafty," "Jetstream" and the title track from its new album, "Waiting for the Sirens' Call." The group also drew roars of approval when it dusted off Joy Division's "Atmosphere," "Transmission" and a rousing rendition of "Love Will Tear Us Apart."
Playing their first show in years, Black Star's Mos Def and Talib Kweli hit the high points of their lone studio album, a 1998 self-titled effort for Rawkus, including "Brown Skin Lady," "B Boys Will B Boys" and "Re: Definition." In addition to versions of Mos Def's "Sex, Love & Money" and "Ms. Fat Booty," the pair brought rapper Common on stage for a tune toward the end of their Sunday set.
Pioneering goth rock outfit Bauhaus, particularly blonde, goateed frontman Peter Murphy, sounded sharp on such formative numbers as "Bela Lugosi's Dead" and "Flat Field," while the reunited Gang Of Four rattled off spare, angular funk/rock workouts such as "Damaged Goods," "Anthrax" and opener "Return the Gift."
Other noteworthy performances throughout the weekend were turned in by Wilco (the band had to cancel its 2004 appearance while frontman Jeff Tweedy was in rehab for a painkiller addiction), Secret Machines, Z-Trip, Pinback, Spoon and M.I.A., whose late afternoon Sunday set drew an overflow crowd to the Mojave tent.