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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Best of Coachella Weekend One: Saturday, April 14

Posted By on Sun, Apr 15, 2012 at 11:59 AM

coachella-chris victorio-ferris wheel.JPG
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

See also:
*The Best Of Coachella: Day One
*"What My Spirit Hood Means To Me": Coachella-Goers Explain
*Coachella Preview 2012: Everything You Need to Know About the Performers
*Radiohead, Weekend 1: No Alarms, No Surprises

Radiohead certainly had the most pre-festival buzz for Saturday, but once we got there, we found there was so much more to be excited about. Be it the seeing the reclusive Jeff Mangum, the underrated fIREHOSE, or closing out the evening with a ferris wheel ride with Radiohead as the soundtrack, here, our team of Coachella writers share their favorite moments of Coachella Day Two.

Jeff Mangum, Timidly Brilliant
Jeff Mangum hates having his image disseminated; photographers aren't allowed to shoot his shows, and at his Coachella appearance on Saturday he wasn't even shown on the giant video screens bookending the stage. The horror! In fact, it was just him in his newsboy cap with his acoustic guitar, sitting down in a chair, playing the songs that so many thousands of kids grew up weeping to. He performed most of the 1998 Neutral Milk Hotel classic In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, his voice as bracingly heartwrenching as ever, and then on the title track, just when you started wishing for the horns, out they came, by way of a trumpeter and french horner marching out. Later, they were joined by an accordionist and a tamborinist; while I realize these aren't real words, it was most certainly a wonderful show. -Ben Westhoff

Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly

fIREHOSE, Underrated
fIREHOSE should've had a massive Coachella crowd, but they didn't. The fact that the punk power trio played for just a select few proved how underrated the San Pedro band was. Even when they were active in the mid-'80s to the early '90s, no one recognized that fIREHOSE was the West Coast's answer to the Talking Heads. On Saturday, despite feedback problems, Mike Watt and company showed us they were everything we remembered: funky and loud, proggy and bouncy, tight and exceedingly fun onstage. -Lilledeshan Bose

Lykke Li Appears With Miike Snow 
Miike Snow's live set had a technical and emotional intensity that pushed it a step above their recordings. (They actually sound better live.) The show peaked when fellow Swede Lykke Li joined the electro-pop group on stage; lead singer Andrew Wyatt (the lone American) announced that she just got engaged. Li seemed as happy as can be, singing a number and then dancing joyfully offstage. The band closed with its hit "Animal," which would have brought the house down, except we were outside. -Kai Flanders

Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

Manchester Orchestra, Indie Goes Big
This was one of those shows where you walk away ready to buy the band's full catalog having entered knowing just a couple of tunes. Tightness. It's what makes Manchester Orchestra great -- the ability to play with maximum precision, five musicians as one unit. Every dynamic is deliberate, with no throw-away notes or approximated rhythms. This sort of tightness is typical to metal bands, as it makes for powerful-sounding music. But Manchester Orchestra's guitar tones are vintage rock & roll, and the vocals key on melody, not growl. There's no processed djent-djent-djent, no creeper lyrics, no hesher element. Just beautiful, airtight indie rock that loves going big. -Adam Lovinus

Best Overheards
"I was like 'Oh my God, is that his penis?'"-- in front of Gobi, right after the Black Lips

"Are those girls curling their hair?" -- by Lot 10, car camping

"Dude, is that  Jonah Hill?" -- at the Farmer's Market

 "Oh my god guys! It's the freaking Shins! The Shins!!!" -- in front of the Shins

"What the hell? He looks like a skinny Jonah Hill!" -- exiting the festival

"Woah, dude, that shit was, like, covered in shit" -- outside the porta-potties

-Neda Salamat

Ending the Day on the Ferris Wheel
Lacking interest to battle on the frontlines to see Radiohead, I was instead lured by the bright lights of the Ferris Wheel. In a small box slowly circling high above the masses, I was perfectly placed at the top to see them play. Gently swaying in the breeze, I enjoyed the perfect vantage point for taking in the sights and sounds, and discovered a great way to end the day. -Gabrielle Canon

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