Coachella 2013 Day One Recap: Stone Roses Draw Smallish Crowd, Karen O Wows in Crazy Outfits + More
For most fans, Coachella 2013 got off to a rocky start, as security lines backed up under scorching sunlight, but concertgoers quickly put that problem behind them as they walked onto polo fields filled with bands, rappers, folk singers, DJs and some really bizarre people dressed up like hippos. We saw a lot for one day, so here’s a quick recap of the highlights, lowlights and just regular lights.
Gobi Stage Most Valuable Player/Least Valuable Player: Justin Vernon
Many a plan was ruined early on, when Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) debuted his newest project, the Shouting Matches, and somehow wound up starting nearly 30 minutes after his scheduled time. No problem, as not only did he deliver a solid roots-rock show with that three-piece, but he hung around to perform with Polica, one of his favorite bands. Polica, for what it’s worth, were easily one of the mid-afternoon standouts, with frontwoman Channy Leaneagh proving hard to take your eyes off of, living up to Vernon’s famous endorsement and making many forget that they had probably missed another band to hang around for them.
Best Reason to Argue About Something Stupid: Divine Fits
When you have two outstanding leads in a band, it’s bound to create rivalries. But when two established stars come together as Britt Daniel and Dan Boekner have in Divine Fits, the only rivalries come from the fans, who seems to always be debating whether Daniel’s cool swagger or Boekner’s frantic passion plays best against the other’s foil. We couldn’t pick a side. But, honestly, as good as both are together, Wolf Parade and Spoon can’t be topped.
Best Dressed: Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs
You expect Karen O to pull out all the stops for Coachella, and just to look at the was spectacular. From a weird pope hat to a winged cape, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs leader used her imaginative apparel to accentuate the joy that she brought to the Coachella Main Stage, attracting the biggest crowd of the day and pulverizing homerun renditions of ‘Sacrilege’ (performed with the Hollywood Gospel Choir, ‘Zero’ and ‘Heads Will Roll.’
Least Crowded Festival Headliner of All-Time: The Stone Roses
Those in the know were happy, but there were more people sitting in the grass doing nothing than there were hanging out to watch the Stone Roses and Blur anchor the day. But Coachella is rarely about pleasing the masses and is more about pleasing the founder, and he got his wish to see a couple of British legends play on his biggest stage, and neither disappointed, with Blur’s Damon Albarn mad-dogging the audience from opener ‘Girls and Boys,’ on through other beloved tracks like ‘Beatlebum,’ ‘Tender’ and ‘Out of Time.’ The Roses seemed even less popular, though opening with ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ helped reel in some uncertain passersby.