Top 5 Best Acts Of Coachella 2010

1.  MUSE

Muse

Muse at Coachella opening with "Uprising":


Music video for "Undisclosed Desires":


No other band’s sound fills a big space like Muse.   From the thumping of Chris Wolstenholme’s bass, the relentless beating of Dominic Howard’s drums, to the soaring of Matt Bellamy’s vocals, the 75,000 people that packed the field of the main stage took to a journey of cosmic proportions.   From the second Muse opened their set with “Uprising” and Bellamy opened his mouth and sang to the starry night above, you can viscerally feel the song lifting higher and beyond the spotlights that stood sentry to the open fields of Coachella. 


2.  FAITH NO MORE

Faith-no-more-b Faith No More opens their Coachella set with a tongue-in-cheek cover of "Reunited":

Faith No More does a cover of Michael Jackson's "Ben" at Coachella: 



Faith No More performs their hit "Epic" at Coachella:


Faith No More proved to the Coachella crowd that they haven’t lost their deep sense of irreverence and mischief by opening with an ironic cover of Peaches And Herb’s “Reunited”.   The soothing rendition lulled the audience into a slow-burn and then blew their minds with the sudden roar of hits like the crunching “We Care A Lot” and their influential rap-rock anthem “Epic”.  Singer Mike Patton remains one of the greatest frontmen of any band and his witty stage presence commanded the audience from start to finish.  One of the act’s highlight was a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Ben” and showed the textures of Patton’s voice hasn’t aged at all.  It was also probably the first time in history that someone had crowd surfed to the Jackson ballad.  


3. LITTLE BOOTS

LittleBoots1

Little Boots at Coachella playing the laser harp intro to her song "Earthquake":



Music video to Little Boot's "Remedy":


The petite synth-pop singer Little Boots (real name Victoria Hesketh) made a big impression with her crowd-pleasing performance in the Gobi tent.   Little Boots literally marched onto the stage to the drumbeat of her hit “Ghost”, immediately stamping her authoritative presence.  Anybody who was sitting down on the grass and expecting a casual show instantly got to their feet when the beat kicked in and her famous laser light show showered upon them.   Just seconds into the act, the entire tent was jumping to hit after hit, like “Stuck On Repeat” and “Remedy”.  The expansive Gobi tent was the perfect venue to her traveling laser show which closed with the laser harp intro of “Earthquake”.  Hesketh even called out Ke$ha for stealing the laser harp act on her Saturday Night Live performance that same weekend.   This is the second time I’ve seen Little Boots and she gets better with every performance.

4.  JAY-Z

Jay

Jay-Z and Beyonce perform "Forever Young" at Coachella: 


We know Jay-Z as many things:  innovative producer, successful mogul, and the luckiest guy on earth to be married to Beyonce.   But first and foremost, Jay-Z is hip-hop’s greatest live performer and he brought his A-game to Coachella.  Whether you enjoy hip-hop or not, Jay-Z’s stage presence was infectious as he was backed by a full live band and ran through his canon of hits and reminded us why he is a game-changer.   A visibly frustrated John Lyndon of Public Image Limited was on the neighboring outdoor stage and performed to a modest size crowd as over 80 percent of Coachella had their eyes and ears on Jay-Z.   Lyndon at one point screamed at his audience, “If you need an aspirin for Jay-Z, you better take a PiL!”  He had more right to be frustrated as his audience further thinned out when Jay-Z brought out Beyonce as fireworks exploded above her.   Poor PiL.

5.  THOM YORKE

Thom_yorke

Thom Yorke performing "Airbag" at Coachella: 


Thom York brought both a cerebral and bouncy performance as his band Atoms For Peace played almost every song off their tepidly received album ERASER.  ERASER was produced on York’s lap-top and sounded like it, more like a home demo than a studio produced product.  But as a live act, the songs that make up ERASER came off like cantos of an epic poem and the Coachella crowd marveled at the many layers of musical genius.  


Honorable Mentions:

MUTEMATH

Mutemath

Mutemath's famous stunt that ends their act:


Mutemath performs "Chaos" at Coachella:


Music video to Mutemath's "Typical": 


If haven’t seen Mutemath perform live, then you haven’t lived.   The band brought the house down in the Gobi tent on Sunday with their stunning but too short set.   Mutemath is best experienced in smaller venues where you can get a good look at their stage antics as the band members jump from instrument to instrument which usually culminates with drummer, Darren King, diving into the crowd in his own and unique way. 


LITTLE DRAGON


Dragon

Little Dragon performing "Feather" at Coachella: 


Music video to Little Dragon's "Constant Surprises":


Little Dragon’s singer, Yukimi, played to a bigger crowd as she sang with Gorillaz on two songs during their Sunday night’s closing act.   But Little Dragon’s own performance on the first day of Coachella brought some much needed energy, taking the crowd through gentle sounds to rousing dance hits that had everybody on their feet.

SIA

Sia

Sia does a cover of Madonna's "Oh Father" at Coachella:


Music video to Sia's "Breathe Me":


The Australian pixie Sia donned glow-in-the-dark spectacles as she treated Coachella to a string of old and new songs, highlighting with a cover of Madonna’s “Oh Father”.   The set was understated but yet upbeat and emphasized Sia’s quirky stage demeanor as she treated the crowd to her sultry and soulful voice.  

Mike Le is a writer/producer living in Los Angeles and he apologizes if your favorite Coachella act is not on his list.  He, unfortunately, could only be at one place at a time.  

You can follow Mike Le and his musings on Twitter:  @DFTVYP 

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