Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Dandy Warhols, April 26 at the Roxy

The Dandy Warhols might have hit their peak years ago but it doesn’t stop them from keeping the tours going.  They’ve already hit nearly every venue in L.A, from Universal and the Wiltern on down, so it was probably just time until they played the Roxy.  They had already been relegated to opening shows, though it got them to play Universal, but they could do a few nights at a (relatively) tiny club just to do it, if nothing else.  Promoters just slot them in at a place and they’ll pull a crowd, even years after they’ve made any music that had a significant impact.  Yet, it was still amazing that they were playing somewhere as small as the Roxy and that tickets didn’t sell out instantly.  As it was, I heard about it from a friend at work and who knew how long it had been been since the tickets were up.  We jumped on it, coordinating with Dayna & Carlos for an evening out with them.  Up to that point for some reason I had thought they were still touring to play Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia in its entirety and it was only at the show that I realized they weren’t.  They still put on a great show, as they do, and even better for being confined to such a small area they could fill with bohemia and rock n’ roll.  Also odd that they played there only a week after Coachella, which they played only once (back in ‘01), and didn't again.  Could they have been trying to get onto the festival bill and assumed they’d be in the L.A. area for it and when that didn’t happen they went ahead with a show anyway?  It didn’t seem to matter anyway and they still rocked it out.  They stuck mostly to ...Come Down and Thirteen Tales, at least knowing what the crowd was going to want, though they switched up the set-list most nights, at least for the first few songs.  We missed "Every Day Should Be A Holiday" -- yet again for me -- just the night before (and played solo by Courtney) but they made up for it with the rest, whatever they played.  Bonus: As we were mulling about after the show, most of the band members made their way out around the emptying floor and Zia was wandering, at least for a moment, on her own.  Yes, it was a good idea to leave, with Carla, as promptly as possible.

Dandy Warhols' set-list:
"Everyone Is Totally Insane"
"The Last High"
"I Love You"
New song? "Intensified"?
"Well They're Gone"
"Good Morning"
"Sad Vacation"
"All the Girls in London"
"Horse Pills"
"Bohemian Like You"
"Get Off"
"Pete International Airport"
"Boys Better"
"Daisy on My Toe" (Zia solo)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Coachella, April 18-20 in Indio

After missing Coachella ‘13, we figured we were done with the festival, for various reasons (chief among them financial -- for that much money we could go on a proper vacation, and we're adults now), and we were cool with that.  The biggest thing that could get us to reconsider it for another year, we knew, was if they whipped out a phenomenal line-up, one beyond what we could expect, something maybe even more amazing than we could ask for, which doesn’t seem completely impossible considering what they’ve come up with in years past but it would have to go some distance.  For me, it was mostly about one group, a band I had been slavering to see even before the first Coachella and had broken up well before then.  Then the announcement that they were going to be there in ‘15, something that had been hinted vaguely at but the line-up revelation being the first actual confirmation.  It didn’t hurt that the rest of the line-up was incredibly impressive (and included a number of the bands from my first fake Coachella line-up, being the guide to bands I had never seen, were favorites when I’ve seen them, and wanted to reunite).  There was no way we couldn’t go.  The rest of the kids were down for it, I made the hotel reservation (the day the line-up came out) and everyone got their tickets, so we were all-in.  We had our traditional Sizzler dinner the night before on our way out, got everyone together -- us, Vanessa, Noa, Rachel, Jen, and Dave, having his very first Coachella weekend, and the whole thing went off without a hitch, a fitting end to what we thought strongly would be our last Coachella.  To top it off, on our way in the first day, our carpoolchella-outfitted truck got spotted by the roving agents giving out prizes for carpooling in and we, with Vanessa and Dave, won VIP tickets.  We would have been fine without them but it was a nice touch for the weekend, with a relatively uncrowded place to rest, shorter lines for food and drinks, and, most of all, the Samsung tent, which we had access to since I had a Samsung phone, and that gave us a rest area with AC, lockers to leave my phone to recharge, more drinks, a concierge who helped me with some problems with my phone I was having, Carla got her hair braided, and they even gave us a $10 voucher we could use at any of the food-trucks or bars around there.  Membership has its privileges.  I liked the phone anyway.  We were in there some of the time, mostly because we could, but to see the bands it was best to be out and about.  Friday is the day we’re most likely get to in early, since we’re excited and full of energy, and since, as we’ve learned, there’s a mass bottle-neck to enter as the day goes on, with so many people coming out from L.A. at the same time.  So we were there early enough to see some of Preatures, who we found out are Australian, heard some of Wye Oak, not to hear from them again, some of Goat, which were apparently good enough while we were having drinks, and ZZ Ward, who actually wasn’t bad, with a boogie-bar-band going on, with some nice hips (the only other thing I knew about her was her image on a tin of mints I got from somewhere at some point, a promotional thing I didn't pay much attention to except for being some pretty good mints), then Grouplove a bit later from the VIP area, who are probably a fine band, but I couldn’t find much concern, even though, or maybe because, they’re local.  It was a good warm-up to get into the day and sunshine and groove.  The crash over the next day or two would happen when it happened; the first band we were there for were Dum Dum Girls, who I’d started getting into just recently.  They’d been around for a while already so I had to catch up, and I still wasn’t as deep into them, but a sturdy set there proved they were a good band to stay with.  I knew there was something about their music that drew me in a little more, maybe something that wasn’t captured so much live, and it was shortly after that that I discovered they were produced (including their newest, Too True) by Sune Rose Wagner, of my beloved Raveonettes, and that was enough of a connection for me.  It also doesn’t hurt when your mysterious and dark lead singer performs with black tape Xs over her nipples under a sheer, black top.  They don’t need to keep a gothy image and it might be a bit much to give out, but a drop of overt sexiness can be a nice bit of spice; again, a whole lot of it was all about the line-up.  There were so many bands I had taken as my own, it would have been ridiculous to not have gone.  I’d seen a number of them a number of times, and maybe more toward their peaks, but to see them all there together in one weekend, mixed together, in the here-and-now, the updated versions to show they were still pushing on (and relevant enough to play the festival), was a singular delight.  It wasn’t until we got out there and Carla pointed out that, even beyond a number of bands that were reuniting, which Coachella does well to pull, it was a whole lot from the ‘90s.  Maybe it was just being retro, and we were done with the whole '80s thing by then anyway.  It worked for us.  It was mildly surprising to see the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion in the line-up.  It almost seemed like a reward for them to have been there at the beginning (even if they weren’t actually at the very first Coachella -- they were supposed to be, and were even on some of the T-shirts, but ultimately weren’t, for whatever reason) and back again, with whatever happened to them in between, and not only were they still standing but they rocked as hard and as loud as they ever have, maybe moreso, earning that place on the line-up as much as anyway, not needing to actually rely on any retro thing and making anyone wonder how they could ever not be asked to appear.  They don’t really have anything else to prove but they played like their lives depended on it.  That’s how they played their best shows.  They tore into the material, not bothering with playing what everyone knew (which wasn't much in the first place) or shying away from new stuff (from Meat & Bone, as appropriate as anything they've done), just blasting through the set, burning it down, then starting the next song before wasting even a second.  The band still looks like they did 20-something years ago and that’s all they needed to round it out.  Spencer doesn’t let you wonder if leather pants are still in style or how hot he must be on stage in them, but maybe he'd give you a whiff of his pant-leg, baby.  It must have sucked for the bands on the bigger stages to be blown away but these veterans on the under-card.  No one recorded the set-list because to witness it was to be blown away by it; the Afghan Whigs were another surprise and another '90s reunion, even though we'd already seen them (twice) since they came back.  To have them in the mix would have been significant enough but we also knew they couldn't not put on a blazing set, especially a compact one that would go right for the jugular.  And they did.  They had enough confidence to fit in new material (from Do to the Beast) as half their set, that day not bothering with relative hits they managed to get on the radio (i.e. "Debonair") or usual set staples that are their best songs (i.e., "What Jail Is Like"), just burning through a set like they would have 20 years ago.  It was good enough that it wasn't even a bother that they ended 10 minutes early (as that stage seemed to be off all day).  Dulli once said to my face that he wouldn't play Coachella (because it was too hot).  He also said in that same conversation that the 'Whigs wouldn't get back together, but I had no problem at all that both of those became false; I was going on about how the line-up was the biggest deciding factor in us going that year, and it was, but I would have been there, on my own if I had to, just to see the Replacements.  It had been way too long waiting for them to get back together, and the rumors every year and Paul’s mediocre solo albums and seeing Tommy paying the bills with Guns N’ Roses, that it was agonizing waiting for it.  I told Carla on our first date that if they played Coachella that I would be there.  And so we were.  Now, I got on the ‘Mats train late -- right around when they broke up if I recall, and with their last two albums, which the general consensus says are their worst (whether I admit that or not, there’s still a very special place in my heart for them).  So all this time I’ve been patient about their getting back to together, for the chance to see them that I missed before, and thinking that they might never do it (though the Pixies proved that if any band could ever possibly get back together, it would likely eventually happen).  For all that I’d heard and read about their live shows for years I couldn’t know what to expect but I didn’t care.  Just to see them up on stage again, to hear at least a few of those songs, would be enough for me.  It could be a great show or they could play it drunk -- magic or a shambles, maybe decided as they stepped on stage, just like back in the day.  I’d read about their show there the weekend before, that it was sparsely attended and that they played a turgid set.  Well, it wouldn’t be a surprise.  It’d been quite a while, and no one had gotten any younger.  Could it have been too long?  Could they have missed the mark?  Maybe.  But I didn’t care.  I just wanted that one show.  Appropriately, I had drinks before, getting to just the right level of dippy-headed inebriation before they went on (maybe like them), and clawing our way to as close to the stage as we could get (and somehow digging the other kids from back in the crowd up with us).  And then they were up there.  In front of us.  And they tore into it.  They stuck to the older stuff, wisely if they knew their fans, with a few newer cuts but very purposely not a lot.  They started as a bar-band so putting together a set-list would be some kind of poison, but it’s not like they weren’t loose even on their tightest nights.  Even rolling out “Another Girl Another Planet,” a B-side cover rare on its own, even rarer to play (and the song I’d had in my head for days up to then).  If there was something that didn’t work the weekend before, it wasn't on evidence that night.  They could have done the whole thing like that but then they brought out Billy Joe Armstrong.  I’d probably be more excited to see him with the Replacements, his gods as much as ours, than with Green Day.  He was up there for only the few songs that they’d practiced but Paul encouraged him to stay.  Paul asked, “What do you want to play?”  Billy Joe shrugged.  Paul suggested a song, then Billy Joe said he didn’t know how to play it.  “Neither do we!”, Paul said.  Typically, classically Replacements.  Josh Freese, a brilliant pick for a pinch-hit drummer, kept everything on track with a strong spine while the guitarist (obviously not Bob or Slim) followed the others, and somehow it all fit together (as well as it could for such a shambolic band).  Paul spent most of the set on his back on a couch near the back of the stage, which could have been interpreted as him just being an old guy or pass-out drunk (or both), all of which would be appropriate.  It turned out that he was having back problems, which is a lot less fun than the other possibilities, but the fact that they clearly weren’t trying too hard to make too much of it was also typical.  All around it was just what anyone could have expected -- sometimes better than could be predicted but not in the way anyone guessed it would be.  We suspected they were going to stick around for a while longer, since they went to the trouble to get all this together in the first place, but their doing that show then and there in front of the world again was a declaration that they'd returned, maybe for the only other time, to finally put the rumors to rest and show that they could create magic out of chaos once again.  They weren't going to settle for a standard set and it was a highlight for the weekend, not just for me (though it was also a high-light for my entire year) but surely for anyone else with the taste (and age) to know that they could be as amazing as their legend had it; if we saw the beginning of the Knife, it was lost to me because I was in a post-Replacements daze and just couldn’t comprehend much after that; Outkast would have been a total high-point in any other line-up on any other day.  Here they were just the headlining band, and something we were kinda over by the time they got up there.  I’ve loved what albums of theirs I've had but they’re in a class by themselves live, or at least they used to be.  They were still great but they weren’t competing for attention being before other bands and really getting it out like they used to.  Seeing them years ago, they were one of the most amazing bands I’d ever seen for getting a crowd going and punching out a great show.  That night they already had the biggest slot and they could do what they want, including just gliding through a show instead of having to prove themselves, and to a much bigger crowd than they'd been in front of back in the day.  It was because of popular demand that they came back, and we thank them for it.  But they became just the headline band, as they were doing for that all-festival tour, cashing in on the dues they’d paid and giving it to the crowd together (more for getting Andre 3000 out) one more time.  They at least had the songs to carry them, even if they had no concern for new stuff, having enough confidence in their set to pull out “Hey Ya!” only halfway through, and that’s when we were leaving for the day.

missed: MS MR (a festival staple for a while and I'd never really seen them; conflict with Dum Dum Girls); Haim (conflict with JSBX, but we didn’t miss them much because they’re local (like, really local) and we knew we’d see them again before long); AFI (usually not on my radar but still great memories of their Lollapalooza set a few years before); Bastille (we decided to be an optimist about it); Kate Nash (too close to the 'Whigs but it’s good to see she’s still around and relevant enough to be playing a big American festival (I hadn’t kept up with her after Made of Bricks); Neko Case (heart-breaking to miss her but a conflict with the 'Whigs); Woodkid (conflict with the ‘Mats); Bryan Ferry (conflict with the ‘Mats, which was a real bummer because we probably wouldn’t get a chance to see him again, and he still does a healthy dose of Roxy Music stuff); Girl Talk (if you’re not on drugs and you’ve already seen him play once, you’re kinda over it); the Cult (another bummer to miss since it’s a band we hadn’t seen before and might not go out of our way to see again).

After Friday’s cornucopia of bands, peaking with the Replacements, Saturday could only be a lower level, even if on any other bill it would have been a high-point.  We got in about mid-day, not being in a rush but with a few acts in mind to see.  Since we entered by the main stage it was hard to avoid Cage the Elephant, and that was one of the big acts Noa was there for.  I always forget that I like them, mostly because it’s not enough for me to track down their albums, but I’ve enjoyed them live.  This was a lot like any other time I’ve seen them at a festival, though it was still fine and energetic; Bombay Bicycle Club is one of Carla’s bands, and being that they’re a poppy but solid band from England, you’d think I’d be all into them but by that time they were just another band in the mid-size tent.  Nothing wrong with them, and it was probably a great set for them, and Carla enjoyed it, but it wasn’t much for me, especially since I’d seen them do a full show already; Julian Casablanca’s set from a few years ago was a high point for me then but this time it seemed like a token appearance at best, a nuisance at worst.  The solo album he was touring on hadn’t grabbed me and even if he did some Strokes cuts it would have felt like he was desperate to offer anything the crowd would be into or just assuming he was automatically in their good graces.  It's apparent that the people love him for his original band.  For us it was just a set we wandered through after our lunch in the VIP garden (a reason to get one of those passes on its own) on the way to the next act; out next stop was the beer garden to the side of the main stage, so Kid Cudi’s set was mostly secondary to us drinking.  We saw just the end and he sure put a lot of passion into it but it mostly passed through us, except when he did “Pursuit of Happiness” which we knew only because of Lissie; we went with the kids over to Capital Cities but I knew it wasn’t for me.  I was already gone by the time they got into it but everyone said later that they were really great.  Maybe they were; if we saw Warpaint, it was only for the briefest bit at the end.  As much as we love them, we didn’t sweat missing them since we’d seen them and we knew they'd be around again.  They were a summer festival staple band and they got around.  They’re more like Haim in certain ways than not; MGMT were also festival whores, a band that kept showing up more than they didn’t, it seemed.  I made an effort at the beginning and they didn’t catch, and I knew trying harder wasn’t going to pay off.  As it was, we could enjoy them at a show, if we were in the lounge with a drink in hand, then forget a few minutes later that they’d even played; Lorde had been a hard sell for me -- I never did warm up to “Royals”, but after all the hype I checked out the album and really dug it, more as an album than as singles.  Even still, it wasn't enough to fight for a close spot to see her on the second stage, so we saw the first bit of her from a distance, enough to say I’ve seen her in case she has the ability to be something enough to seek out later on; I’m rarely drawn to DJs playing the festival but some years ago when I wandered by Fatboy Slim playing I saw one of the most astounding feats of live music-cutting and -mixing that I may ever witness in my life.  Enough to put him on the list to see again, and he had the longevity to make it back (even if that amount was big only anywhere but the States).  I made my way over to the big DJ tent to catch some of his set, to see if it was something I needed to see the rest of, but by that time of the evening the place was packed and chaotic, the visuals loud and messy and confusing, and who knows if he was even mixing live like a DJ or just letting music play, or if that music was even worth listening to.  I saw that it was just too much for me, fairly typical for the Sahara Tent, and we moved on; the Pixies playing should have been a big deal.  A really big deal, for me.  They weren’t announced initially and added only when the set-times were released, and even then it didn’t feel like much of a surprise.  The line-up was already packed so it didn’t contribute much, and they had gotten around so much by then that the only surprise was that they hadn’t played every year since they did the first time, 10 years ago, which we already had seen, both Carla & I separately, and on top of how many other times we had seen them, they became just another band out there.  The only real reason to see them would have been to hear any new material, which we already knew was not much worth the effort, or to see Paz playing bass, which was welcome but not enough to balance not seeing Kim there.  Packing out the mid-size tent almost made up for not scoring a spot on the main stage -- a bummer because they would have deserved it more if it was all old stuff they were playing, if they hadn’t already done that show.  As it was, we saw the first half of them out of some kind of obligation then scurried off to the next act that we were actually excited about.  Side-note: At one point Frank Black was entering the VIP area just as we were so I said hello and thanked him for playing and shook his hand and he dismissed me as usual; Queens of the Stone Ages’ ...Like Clockwork was my album of the year so it was good to be able to see them play from it later in that tour, when I was more familiar with it than at the beginning, at Lollapalooza.  They tore through it, along with other great stuff, and more relaxed this time with having nothing more to prove (as if they ever did).  That was the high point for Carla, always meeting her expectations if not exceeding them, and they delivered, even though we had no doubt; after that could have been all extra, but it was still early.  We knew Pharrell’s set was going to be big, and you probably read about his guest-stars in an article more informed and more aware of pop music than this one.  We hung around to hear a few of the hits, songs we knew even though they were nowhere in our music collections, and maybe even knew we missed what was probably one of the most electric and electric sets of the weekend (and one perplexingly confined to the side stage).  But there was other stuff to see; Pet Shop Boys were another big attraction for me.  I’ve already gone on about seeing them, and being familiar with them I knew how great they could be live.  Even though probably every person over 25 knew who they were, their set, in the mid-size tent, was nearly empty (relatively).  It was just the two of them, as usual, along with a pair of dancers wearing mildly-Satanic-looking cattle skulls, and they rolled out a lot of the hits, even when those weren’t always hits in the U.S.  The music was good, the presentation was fine, the vibe was sexy and fun, but maybe it was the lack of an audience, and that they were aware of the size of it, or the fact that they’re used to a crowd turning the place into a wet discotech that they just didn’t bring much energy.  They usually slide through a set without a huge amount of effort, leaving the dancers to put out most of the physicality, but that wasn’t the best play for the place.  They had little to prove, and maybe they played just to show they’re still relevant, and even if their material was still great, it just wasn’t the place for it.  Maybe they could have done better in the DJ tent with kids so E-ed out of their minds that they’d dance to whatever, whether they could appreciate it or not.  It could have been not being able to fully appreciate them because of an overflow of acts that were great for other reasons, or because they just didn’t bring as good a show as they could have, or because it was getting late and we wanted to be able to get out before the mass exodus of the night, but we left halfway through and didn’t much regret missing the rest.

missed: White Lies (it was a surprise they could still pull a festival slot but I wasn’t so concerned with them after their first album, leaving it in a place where I could enjoy it without having to connect it with anything else they did after); Chvrches (we weren’t familiar with them but they had a lot of buzz at that moment); Washed Out (probably couldn’t top what we’d seen of them before); Foster the People (probably the only time we would make an effort to see them.  But didn’t want to badly enough to have any regret for not having done it); Sleigh Bells (from an impressive list of bands that we missed, they just happened to stack so many of them on top of each other later in the day and sacrifices had to be made); Muse (like we were going to bother anyway.  The fact that they got them to do the festival -- yet again -- just seems like they couldn’t get another headliner and these guys, not currently on a tour, had the weekend open.  Not very adventurous but probably great for their fans); Skrillex (and I’m not sure why we even would have considered it.  It might have been interesting to see how his show -- whatever that is -- has changed since he’s gotten big but we weren’t going to make the effort).

As usual, Sunday was a late day going in, enough that our first act of the day was Neutral Milk Hotel, one of the big pulls for the festivals.  I knew how legendary they were since their heyday in the ‘90s yet I never found my way to them.  I know that I had missed that one since their set did nothing for me.  Surely an acquired taste like so many of my favorite bands but at that time, going in cold, barely even knowing what genre or sub-genre they subscribed to, the set just went through me.  I didn’t even remember that we had seen the entire thing but apparently we did; we saw the second half of Little Dragon.  Another one that didn’t leave an impression since I don’t remember seeing them.  But it had been a long weekend; for everyone else, Beck was the big act of the day.  Nearly for me too.  Even since the beginning I couldn’t say that I was a huge Beck fan, though I still managed to get every album he put out and kept them, even if I didn’t always hold them as dearly as any other artist I kept up with.  But part of the thrill of being a fan of his, to whatever degree, is following his various mutations and being there when he reached another high.  His newest, Morning Phase, was billed as a new Sea Change, but I liked the new one more than that older one.  And as difficult as it would have been to pull off any version of such a dour album, he brought it.  With a truncated set he probably left off more of the newer stuff than he had been playing, but he stuck with the gems, not always his best-known stuff but what was working with that band, in that context.  The whole thing would have been fine but he pulled out a secret weapon, the near-forgotten “Debra,” buried even since his first (and the first) Coachella festival.  Maybe it would have worked in any other set-list along the way, maybe even on the Sea Change tour if he wanted to get cheeky of a night, but that he had it there that night helped make the whole thing.  He might even have coasted through the rendition (which, as it’s so laid-back anyway, might have made it another version) but it was a high point.  If they did a CD of highlights from the weekend, one song from each artist, that one would have opened the album.  Beck did it again.  Then I left before the last song because I had my personal highlight for the day, if not the entire festival that didn’t include the Replacements; Motörhead isn’t a band you’d think I’d be into, but it’s possible you could say the same thing about most of their fans.  Cousin Jason introduced Brian and me to them somewhere in high school as something of a novelty, something that we would only marvel at and maybe make a joke from our ignorance.  Biker-metal was a lot closer to what Brian had ever listened to and especially as I was going through various alt- and British- and pop-phases, it wasn’t anything that I ever thought to listen very seriously or non-ironically.  That wasn’t fair but I didn’t know any better.  It was only in getting another stack of CDs from Columbia House and The Best of Motörhead was just another one to get cheap.  I always put it on as a really extreme thing -- everyone needs a bit of head-banger metal every once in a while -- but after a while the songs started to take hold of me.  Of course it started with “Ace of Spades” -- forever a stone classic -- but the other tunes started to grab me as well.  For one, there was never anything like it, even other biker-metal (wherever that was) couldn’t get near it.  Those were hard songs, but they were done as well as anything else in any other genre out there.  For what it was, it was true and honest to itself and didn’t care if you were in or out since it was going on anyway.  And of course there was the incomparable Lemmy, a star on his own even if you couldn’t get into the music (and a shame if you didn’t, but you always have time with the music).  I hadn’t gone much beyond that greatest-hits, probably out of fear, but I still had something for them.  And I had never seen them in concert.  Not really a surprise -- they weren’t going to play much any other festival, Coachella itself being one of the biggest shocks in their history, and it was a bit intense for me to see them on their own (a friend of mine, who had been in a pioneering speed-metal band, said that they were such a loud band that he couldn’t stay in the same facility when he had seen them).  I had my ear-plugs and I was ready.  I missed the first song just because it takes time to get across the field even when you’re sprinting but I don’t feel I missed a thing from it.  The volume from the rest of the performance made up for it.  Even Slash coming out for the encore was an unnecessary addition.  No one had any idea what kind of shape Lemmy was really in for that show, but they made the effort to make that go of it, and his fans will always love him for it.  It wasn’t too much longer that we all became exponentially glad that we got to see that show, and for that one, the first and only time I would get to see him/them.  (Some years ago he had brushed by me at the Rainbow Room on an ordinary Wednesday night and I was too overwhelmed to say hello to him.  Everyone has told me that he was really friendly and I regret that I never met him.)  That show was as perfect as it could have been; I think I wandered through Duck Sauce, whatever that was, on the way to the next thing but obviously what was there didn’t stick; the rest was Arcade Fire, though again it was just to finish up the night after a high-point.  By that time in their timeline, the band, while still great, had settled into being a reliable, if predictable, headliner, as they seemed to hit every big festival with their rolling extravaganza (as well as working their way up through the Coachella ranks and already having headlined once before).  Second only to their music was how they were impressive for being a (relatively) new band that earned headliner status, when that designation was getting few and far between for bands that had increasingly fleeting moments of impact then flitted away with the waning attention of the fans.  The Arcade Fire could either handily keep that attention or the people were just starved for a decent band to end the night with a longer set.  The band had just turned in Reflektor, their recent album that didn’t quite reach the heights of their previous efforts, but it played well enough live.  As it was, I muddled through the set until it was time to leave and we could be done with the day, and the rest of the festival, going out on the highest of high points, satisfied if we never did it again.

Missed: Counrtey Barnett (who we didn’t know at the time but became big fans of later and totally bummed to have missed her when we had the chance); Strfkr (who always seem to be at the fringes); Classixx (some local boys who were getting a lot of buzz at the time).

​OutKast set-list:
"Gasoline Dreams"
"Skew It on the Bar-B"
"Rosa Parks"
"Da Art of Storytellin', Part 1"
"SpottieOttieDopaliscious" (with Sleepy Brown)
"Ms. Jackson"

Big Boi:
"Kryptonite (I'm on It)" (Purple Ribbon All-Stars cover)
"The Way You Move" (with Sleepy Brown)

André 3000:
"She Lives in My Lap" ("Vibrate" intro)
"Hey Ya!"

Ol' school set:
"Hootie Hoo"
"Crumblin' Erb"
"Player's Ball"
"Elevators (Me & You)"
"So Fresh, So Clean" (with Sleepy Brown)
"Int'l Player's Anthem (I Choose You)" (Underground Kingz cover)
"The Whole World" (with Killer Mike)

Arcade Fire set-list:
"Reflektor" (instrumental outro tape)
"Get Lucky" (Daft Punk cover) (with fake Daft Punk on stage)
"Normal Person" (with fake Daft Punk on stage)
"Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)"
"Rebellion (Lies)"
"Joan of Arc"
"The Suburbs"
"The Suburbs (Continued)"
"Ready to Start"
"Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)"
"Crown of Love"
"No Cars Go"
"We Exist"
"It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)" (Régine on B-stage)
"Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" (Damian Taylor Remix intro)
"Controversy" (Prince cover; with Beck)
"Here Comes the Night Time"
"Wake Up"
"Wake Up" (with Preservation Hall Jazz Band)
"Iko Iko" (The Dixie Cups cover; with Preservation Hall Jazz Band)

The Replacements set-list:
"I Will Dare"
"Nowhere Is My Home"
"Another Girl, Another Planet" (The Only Ones cover)
"I'm in Trouble" (with Billie Joe Armstrong)
"Kiss Me on the Bus" (with Billie Joe Armstrong)
"Achin' to Be" (with Billie Joe Armstrong)
"Color Me Impressed" (with Billie Joe Armstrong)
"Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out"
"I'll Be You"
"Bastards of Young"
"I Don't Know"
"Psychopharmacology" (Paul Westerberg song)
"Left of the Dial"
"Alex Chilton"

"Can't Hardly Wait"

Queens of the Stone Age set-list:
"You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire"
"No One Knows"
"My God Is the Sun"
"Burn the Witch"
"Smooth Sailing"
"Little Sister"
"…Like Clockwork"
"If I Had a Tail"
"The Fun Machine Took a Shit and Died"
"I Sat by the Ocean"
"Go With the Flow"
"A Song for the Dead"

Beck set-list:
"Devil's Haircut"
"One Foot in the Grave"
"Black Tambourine"
"Soldier Jane"
"Blue Moon" (Arcade Fire's "Rebellion (Lies)" intro snippet)
"Lost Cause"
"Sissyneck"/"Billie Jean" (Michael Jackson cover)
"Where It's At"
(incomplete, possibly out of order)

Neutral Milk Hotel set-list:
"The King of Carrot Flowers, Part One"
"The King of Carrot Flowers, Parts Two & Three"
"Holland, 1945"
"Gardenhead"/"Leave Me Alone"
"Two-Headed Boy"
"The Fool"
"In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"
"Ferris Wheel on Fire"
"Song Against Sex"
"Ruby Bulbs"
"Snow Song, Part One"
"The Penny Arcade in California"
"Two-Headed Boy, Part Two"

Pet Shop Boys set-list:
"One More Chance"/"A Face Like That"
"Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)"
"I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing"
"I'm Not Scared"
"West End Girls"
"Somewhere" (Leonard Bernstein cover)
"Love Etc."
"I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)"
"It's a Sin"
"Domino Dancing"
"Always on My Mind" (Brenda Lee cover)
"Go West" (Village People cover)

Motörhead set-list:
"Damage Case"
"Stay Clean"
"Over the Top"
guitar solo
"The Chase Is Better Than the Catch"
"Rock It"
"Lost Woman Blues"
"Doctor Rock" (with drum solo)
"Just 'Cos You Got the Power"
"Going to Brazil"
"Killed by Death"

"Ace of Spades" (with Slash)
"Overkill" (with Slash)

Pixies set-list:
"Bone Machine"
"Wave of Mutilation"
"Gouge Away"
"Magdalena 318"
"Crackity Jones"
"Ed Is Dead"
"Indie Cindy"
"Where Is My Mind?"
"Nimrod's Son"
"Greens and Blues"

The Afghan Whigs set-list:
"Parked Outside"
"Matamoros" (with Van Hunt)
"Fountain and Fairfax"
"Going to Town"
"The Lottery"
"Heaven on Their Minds" (Andrew Lloyd Webber cover)
"Somethin' Hot"
"It Kills" (with Van Hunt)
"Royal Cream"
"I Am Fire"
"My Enemy"

Bombay Bicycle Club set-list:
"It's Alright Now"
"Your Eyes"
"How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep"
"Home By Now"
"Lights Out, Words Gone"
"Always Like This"
"Carry Me"

"Be My Husband" (snippet; Nina Simone cover)
"Put the Gun Down"
"Til the Casket Drops"
"Hold On, We're Going Home" (Drake cover)
"365 Days"
"Last Love Song"
"Move Like U Stole It"
"Blue Eyes Blind"