From the bombastic artrock of U.K.’s Muse to the arena-sized dance music of Dutch DJ Tiesto, the 2010 Coachella Music and Art Festival’s second day was a world party on a massive scale. As midnight on Saturday (April 17) approached, the visionary 80s new wave band Devo competed with the South African rap group Die Antwoord, a band virtually unheard of in the United States until a baffling web video went viral earlier this year. Performing in neighboring tents, the juxtapositions spoke volumes about Coachella on Saturday: extraordinary in its scope yet incongruous at times.
Without an iconic figure like Jay-Z anchoring the night’s line-up, Indio, California’s Polo Field was transformed into a literal mash-up, a festival in shuffle mode, giving audiences a chance to sample a wide array of artists who brought humor and audacity to the grounds.
Coachella’s Saturday festivities closed with an emphasis on thunderous guitars, as U.K-based rockers Muse and Jack White’s The Dead Weather played sequential acts on the two main outdoor stages. Muse’s anthemic Brit-rock drew the night’s most massive crowd.
Mike Patton, in a candy-apple red suit, lead Faith No More’s “The Second Coming” in a candy apple red suit. The group delivered an angsty and aggressive set of metal-inflected rap that felt both classic and timely on the main stage. At times, Patton brandished a cane. At other times he was rap-rock’s rejuvenated genius, stage-diving into the crowd to songs that sound as forward-thinking today as they did more two decades ago.
Earlier in the day, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes kicked off a neon jamboree at the Outdoor Stage, that was followed with a run of The xx, Hot Chip and MGMT. Hot Chip delivered the day’s most exciting set, with an hour of four part harmonies and pulsing beats that sent the overflowing crowd into a twilight frenzy. MGMT leaned on their hits “Electric Feel” and “Time To Pretend,” which sent scores of hands into the sky. Unfortunately, audiences were not as patient with their newer, more adventurous material, which combines jangly vocal harmonizing with proggy pop song structures.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival wraps up Sunday (April 18) with big sets fron Gorillaz, Pavement, Thom Yorke and more than a dozen other acts.