Wallpaper., Girls, tUnE-yArDs @ Coachella

Two weeks ago, I was departing for Coachella Weekend 2.  This was the first Coachella I’d ever attended, so I had no expectations except that there’d be a cool hologram if I didn’t melt before the end of the weekend. While I did come close to sweating every morsal of liquid from every pore in my body, I lived (and missed the hologram in order to be back at my job in San Francisco by 9:00 am the following morning).

So although I didn’t get down with Tupac, I did catch three of the Bay Area’s elite and felt quite proud for our little part of the music contributing world.

First up was Oakland’s Wallpaper. The electro-rock fivesome kicked off the festivities in one of the tents and lead singer Ricky Reed was arguably more excited to be there than any of the fans. He gushed about having been an attendee at Coachella for many years past and that it was mind-blowing to have been invited to perform. The synchronized drumming and adorable pink-haired singer were definitely a fun way to get things started (and in my case to begin applying sun block at rapid fire pace).

Later that first day, I struggled to leave the shade to catch San Francisco’s golden boys Girls at one of the outdoor stages. Obviously, I couldn’t miss Mr. Owens and his amazing backup singers, so I dragged my ass to the sun soaked crowded field. I’ve seen Girls before (read my review here) and while I think the backup belters are the best thing going on in that group, I’m pretty sure everyone else in attendance walked away saying it was a favorite from the weekend. Sometimes, I just can’t help but swing against the current, what can I say?

However, when it comes to the East Bay’s tUnE-yArDs, I am part of the in-crowd. I fucking love everything about Merrill Garbus and her saxophonists and her bassist and their whole vibe and their set on the second day was just GREAT. That the band is able to reproduce its sounds so flawlessly live is just WHOA. Plus, she did this really awesome bit where she had the audience close their eyes then turn away from the stage. When she had us open our eyes to the beautiful Indio Mountains that she was viewing from her vantage point, she exclaimed something along the lines of, “Look at where we are! How cool!!” And it was...even if it was anything but cool in temperature.

--Justine Fields