CVIndependent

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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Reviews

30 Apr 2016
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There are no bells nor whistles to Emmylou Harris does. Her show includes just guitars, bass, percussion—and stunning vocals. This lesson was learned by those who stopped by her headlining performance in the Palomino Tent on Friday night at Stagecoach. For one hour, she mostly stood in the same place, played guitar and sang. And it was magnificent. As Emmylou opened her set with “Here I Am,” any doubts about the strength of the 69-year-old legend’s voice were immediately wiped away. From start to finish, her set was top-notch, and the sound in the Palomino Tent was great. While she didn’t draw a huge crowd like Lynyrd Skynyrd did a couple of years ago, or ZZ Top drew last year, she transfixed most of the attendees who were lucky to find spots close to the stage. One highlight was a song on which she collaborated with Mark Knopfler called “Love…
29 Apr 2016
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Stagecoach is known for a diverse lineup which often includes talented unknowns—but Tigerman WHOA takes “unknown” to a whole new level. I could not find a lineup listing for the band from Lynn, Mass. (beyond a list of first names on Facebook). I sent an interview request … which was returned as undeliverable. The phone number for the band? Disconnected. However, this wild Americana-meets-punk band is worth a look: With an upright bass, an electric guitar, a mandolin and some punk-style drumming, Tigerman WHOA kicks ass. As the band took the Mustang stage, the emcee said that what Tigerman WHOA does is unexplainable, so he’d let them come out and explain it for themselves. The first song was a fast number during which the mandolin really came through. The band then changed the gears a bit with a cover of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”—but with a kick in the…
27 Apr 2016
Pappy and Harriet’s hosted the final in-between Coachella show last Thursday, marking the end of three days of great performances. Before the scheduled 8 p.m. show, I met a couple from Echo Park who gave the impression that they spent most of their formative years in the Echo and Echoplex—legendary Los Angeles spots for music. I also met a younger gal from San Diego who was at the show after spending three days at Coachella’s first weekend. The best part of these in-between shows: They attract real music fans who want to see a performance—they’re not present to be seen. Opener Bob Moses is a partnership between Tom Howie and Jimmy Vallance—melding a DJ with original rock. The result: very danceable beats, especially on the dirt dance floor of the outdoor stage at Pappy’s. Miike Snow, the indie pop band from Sweden that played Sunday night at Coachella, had me…
27 Apr 2016
Music fans at Pappy and Harriet’s last Wednesday had a choice to make: Go early and see a show by Deerhunter outdoors, or stay up late and see Melody’s Echo Chamber inside at midnight. I saw Melody’s Echo Chamber perform in front of thousands of music fans at FYF Fest last year—and I wanted to see her perform in one of the most intimate venues in the U.S.A., in between her Sunday gigs at Coachella. The Pappy’s staff had the herculean logistical task of emptying the inside of Pappy’s while allowing hundreds of fans to leave the outdoor stage. With the task done, the backing musicians completed their sound check to a nearly empty bar—while communicating in French. Since my French is limited to sorte and pomme de terre, I had no idea what adjustments they were making as they prepared for the show. Doors opened, and fans rushed in—with…
25 Apr 2016
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On Sunday night at Coachella, Major Lazer proved there’s not a stage big enough for the group. I was fortunate enough to see Major Lazer’s Coachella appearance in the Mojave tent in 2013, so I had some idea what to expect. That show was epic—and drew a crowd so large that there was no escape. When I took my place at the ADA platform on the lawn about 100 yards or so away from the Coachella stage on Sunday night, I knew that this year’s Major Lazer performance was going to be big: Major Lazer’s crowd made Ice Cube’s crowd the night before look small in comparison. Diplo, Walshy Fire and Jillionaire performed in typical Major Lazer fashion, combining their talents as producers and DJs to amp up the crowd—with some help from their female dancers. At one point, they had the crowd jump and then run to the right…
25 Apr 2016
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After he was announced as part of the Coachella lineup, Ice Cube said his goal for the performance was to get N.W.A. back together. It didn’t happen during Coachella’s first weekend. But on the Saturday night of Weekend 2, he managed to accomplish just that. Last weekend, both DJ Yella and MC Ren joined Ice Cube—but there wasn’t a doctor in the house. But this weekend, Dr. Dre was announced—and the crowd went insane. While it was late in Ice Cube’s set, Dre joined Yella, Ren and Cube for a shortened version of “The Next Episode,” as well as “California Love.” Other guests included The Game and Kendrick Lamar. Cube teased the audience a bit when graphics flashed for Parliament Funkadelic. Some people in the crowd thought George Clinton himself might come out and sing “Bop Gun (One Nation),” a 1994 collaboration between Ice Cube and Clinton that sampled Clinton’s…
24 Apr 2016
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When the original lineup of Guns N’ Roses (or what was left of it) fell apart due to acrimony in the mid-late 1990s, it seemed that Axl Rose would never again play with the other men who made the band legendary. Well, Axl made good with Duff McKagan (bass) and Slash (lead guitar) for a reunion at Coachella—their two weekends as the Saturday headliner have been pretty epic. While the band sounded great during the Weekend 2 show—although Axl’s voice is not as powerful as it once was, and he was sitting on Dave Grohl’s “broken leg throne,” as Axl is nursing a leg injury—and the band performed all the hits, the show felt less exciting and more nostalgic. As the band opened with “It’s So Easy,” it was obvious that the production budget was quite hefty. The new Coachella Stage, with visuals all the way across, flashed interesting images…
23 Apr 2016
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This is the fourth Coachella I have covered for the Coachella Valley Independent. I’ve seen many memorable performances. Motörhead was fantastic in 2014, while AC/DC rocked last year, and Major Lazer put on a spectacle in the Mojave in 2013. However, I’d never been blown away—that is, until I watched M83’s show on Friday night. Simply put, it was a perfect performance that was both fun and, in some ways, unbeliebavle. M83 first seriously piqued my interest in 2011, when I heard the band’s new album at the time, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. I was excited to hear the just-released new album, Junk—and could not wait to see the band when it was announced as part of the Coachella lineup. In some ways, Junk is a cheesy throwback to the ’80s. Many of the songs feature a new-wave vibe and funky bass grooves; the album art even features creatures that…