Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Coachella Festival 2009 review - Day 2


After reaching such a high on Friday, almost everything else at Coachella paled in comparison the next day. Still there were plenty of great moments to be seen and heard.

Norwegian spitfire Ida Maria was a revelation. A cross between PJ Harvey and Joan Jett, she launched the Gobi Tent and easily whipped the big crowd into a frenzy with sexually charged alt-rock tunes from her just released debut, “Fortress ‘Round My Heart.” For “Oh My God,” Maria engaged in a little primal scream therapy, while “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” was trashy fun.

Former Husker Du/Sugar front man Bob Mould (pictured, above left) and his band attacked their fiery rock workouts with full-on energy, including a few from new album "Life and Times." Mould turned in intensely passionate versions of "See A Little Light" (from 1989's solo bow "Workbook") and Sugar’s “If I Can’t Change Your Mind.” Later, I saw him enjoying Superchunk's set on the Outdoor Theatre stage.

Who needs Amy Winehouse when you’ve got James Morrison? The immensely likeable young Brit (pictured, above right) played retro soul and modern pop music with panache. Complete with a small horn section and backing vocalists, the band nearly ripped the roof off the joint (er, Mojave Tent) and Morrison sang his heart out while playing acoustic guitar. “Save Yourself,” “Broken Strings,” “Precious Love,” “Nothing Ever Hurt Like You” (segued into Stevie Wonder's “Uptight”) and set closer “Wonderful World” with guest duet vocalist Joss Stone, left the most indelible marks.

Honorable mention: Band of Horses, The Killers, Jenny Lewis

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