Pulp, Arctic Monkeys & The Black Keys live at Coachella
- By Hazel Sheffield -
- Apr 15, 2012
Maybe it was due to the Brit heavy line-up on the first night of Coachella 2012, which featured Pulp, the Arctic Monkeys and The Horrors, but there seemed to be plenty of British festival-goers circling Coachella's palm-tree-lined grounds last night. They fared better with weather that was more Glastonbury than Coachella. The merch stand never sold so many hoodies in a night. There was a queue for the single coffee stand that wound half way round the field.
It didn't stop SebAstian from putting on an unapologetic set of bass-heavy French electro mid-afternoon, filling his tent even though most ticket-holders hadn't arrived yet. Over the top of a gorgeous rose-garden, VIP guests sipped champagne on sofas and watched the ravers get going.
California's own Death Grips put on another early smash, mashing nihilistic beats under Stefan Burnett's growling lyrics. They sent a giant black inflatable out into the crowd at one point but there was too much dancing going on to keep it in the air for long.
Over on the Main Stage, Arctic Monkeys were on form, Alex Turner telling the crowd that the band loves Coachella. So much so that him and Matt Helders have just bought a new pad in LA. Bit chilly for a pool party today, lads.
The Monkeys played to their strengths, kicking off with 'Brianstorm' and slipping in old favourite 'I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor' among new tracks 'Evil Twin' and 'R U Mine?' The latter, the finale, proved the band are in good shape as they start writing their next album.
Pulp followed up with similar set to their comeback shows in Europe last year, starting with 'Do You Remember The First Time?' and playing hits 'Disco 2000' and 'Sorted out for E's and Wizz', where Jarvis Cocker thoughtfully changed the words to "Left a part of my brain somewhere in a field in California." Though 'Common People' was still a smash, it was notable that a lot of the set - 'This Is Hardcore' and 'Sunrise' especially - was greeted with silence from the crowd.
"There's a rumour going round that the miserable weather we had earlier is because there are two Sheffield bands playing today," Jarvis said early on. "You should think yourself bloody lucky!" he quipped.
It was a relief when The Black Keys came on and played a set that everyone could get behind, filling the main stage as people huddled together for warmth. Their blend of disco and blues seems to have connected right with the mainstream after over a decade on the sidelines, and the Ohio duo looked like they were enjoying every minute. Even the celebrities in the VIP lounge - we spied Mischa Barton, Vanessa Hudgens and Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul were up on their feet when the opening chords of 'Howlin' For You' rang out across the blustery desert.
Rumours for the weekend? Everyone's a-buzz with talk of who will appear on stage during Dr Dre's Sunday headline set. Word is that Tupak Shakur could make a beyond-the-grave appearance as a hologram.
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