Post by our very own Gilles LeBlanc (@ROCKthusiast)
I’ve never been to California, let alone the Coachella Festival, but it’s been destination viewing for me since 2008. They produce the best webcast in my opinion. I know pretty much every major music festival can be viewed from the comfort of one’s home these days, but for whatever reason, Coachella consistently keeps me glued in front of my computer screen all weekend. Maybe it has to do with the weather we usually have here in Toronto or the always-stellar lineups being beamed from the desert year after year, but I look forward to WATCHING Coachella more than actually going to some fests!
So after making a batch of shredded turkey chipotle crispy nachos, I settled in for a potentially looong night, which I’ll do my best to summarize as entertainingly as possible…
As the broadcast began, I wanted to be loyal to Canada and Stars, and had heard nice enough things about English folkster Jake Bugg, but this Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra were too darn fun to pull away from. They’re exactly as their name suggests – Big band sound (I saw at least eight members on stage), playing a jazzy-ska fusion that bordered on the frenetic (including a killer garage surf guitarist), and had everyone watching grooving, especially the rainbow-mohawked punks. Oh, and everyone appears to be of Japanese descent. Ever see the Simpsons episode where they visit the Land of the Rising Sun and go on “The Happy Smile Super Challenge Family Wish Show?” Kind of like that, but with a kick-ass cover version of “Born to Be Wild”. I sure hope Google Translate is right when I say, 素晴らしい (That’s supposed to be “awesome!”)
I thought Johnny Marr was great, and he looked spry too, but I found his set lacked the “epicness” someone of his stature rightfully deserves. I’m sure it’d be a different story if he wasn’t there as a solo artist, if you know what I mean. Back on Channel 1, I know these guys are everyone’s new indie darlings (and Dan Boeckner is a good Canadian boy), but I was a little bored by Divine Fits…honestly, I found Beardyman beatboxing the Tetris theme on to be more engaging.
I resisted the urge to surf between acts once Metric came on. Even though they’ve been touring for close to a year behind Synthetica, they’re still incredibly energetic. Much more so than Alt-J or Polica on the other channels, and what’s more, Emily Haines has better legs than all of them! Metric are looking every bit like a Toronto-based band who couldn’t wait to get away from the cold and ice and play in sunshine and 90 degree heat.