Jhené Aiko | Coachella | 3/13/14 (PHOTOS)


It took me a couple weeks, but I FINALLY got through all of the photos I took the first weekend of Coachella. The irony of it all was that this last performance was one that I almost didn’t go to. At the request of an Instagrammer (<- Is that what you call them?…), I was urged to take pictures of Jhené Aiko’s performance. I’m certainly glad I did.

Jhené Aiko is an L.A. based singer/songwriter whose music can be classified as contemporary R&B. Her new studio album (her second full length), was released this month and is titled “Souled Out”.

Her performance was solid.  Her sultry looks (the high-cut dress didn’t hurt) perfectly complimented her soulful melodies and she had her fans eating out of the palm of her hand. She debuted a new song off of her forthcoming album (“Spotless Mind”) as well as performed songs she currently has spinning on the radio (‘The Worst”). In my opinion, her professionalism and stage presence needed no assistance, but of course, since this is Coachella, no punches were pulled.

Early in her set, she had Donald Glover p/k/a Childish Gambino join her on stage to perform their collaboration “Bed Peace”. Later in the set, she had Drake join her on stage to perform their duet “From Time” (the second weekend, she brought out her daughter and Kurupt). To be honest, I was at the next tent watching Slash and Motohead tear up “Ace Of Spades” when Drake got on stage, but I ran over to Jhene’s tent to at least snap a picture with my point and shoot camera of Drake.

I couldn’t find a setlist online, but if you happen to know all of the songs she performed, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll add them here. Thanks!



Motörhead | Coachella | 4/13/14 (PHOTOS)


My first taste of Motörhead came in my fraternity days at college. I remember hearing “Ace of Spades” blasting out a brother’s room, and when I asked about the song, my buddy simply said, “You don’t know Motörhead? Lemmy rules!” That’s stuck with me ever since. I’ve had a couple of opportunities to see Motörhead perform live in the past, but for one reason or another (Lemmy’s health or scheduling conflicts), I was never able to make it out to see Motörhead perform live … until Coachella.

Their set was everything I expected. It was a barrage of shredding riffs, thunderous and frenetic drums, accompanied by Lemmy’s gravelly and ominous voice. I was particularly impressed with Mikkey Dee and Phil Campbell’s playing. So vicious. So on point. So raw.

After getting booted from the photo pit, and not wanting to take a risk by joining the swelling masses in the tent for fear of damaging my camera, I meandered over to the next tent to take pictures of another artist. After getting the boot from that photo pit as well, I went back to Motorhead to catch the second half of their set. So thankful that I did. I think I got there for the tail end of “Just ‘Cos You’ve Got the Power”, and after a few songs their set had ended. At least I thought it had ended…

The next thing I knew, the band introduced “a friend” and Slash walked on stage. Holy Shit. Mind blown. Without hesitation, Slash comes in with the opening riff of “Ace of Spades”. Mind doubly blown. My frat brothers would have been going nuts.

Motörhead Setlist Coachella Festival 2014 2014, Aftershock Tour


Lana Del Rey | Coachella | 4/13/14 (PHOTOS)


Lana Del Rey’s fans are some of the most dedicated and passionate fans that I have ever met. Prior to her set, I chatted with several of them who were up at the very front of the barricade, with at least ten thousand other festival goers behind them. I asked them how long they waited where they were standing, and one of them said at least an two hours, having made their way up to the front during the prior act’s (Neutral Milk Hotel) set.

I scanned the line of fans at the railing (the greater majority of whom were young women … some of them probably girls) and most of them had their eyes fixated on the stage, as if they wanted to catch a glimpse of their songstress before the show began. One girl, standing between two friends who were having an animated conversation, was standing there quietly, when I noticed – no joke – her eyes well up with tears. Her friends paid no attention to her, but I sure noticed the tear that fell before she wiped her eyes with her left hand.

Almost on cue, security was called over to another side of the barricade as a girl was lifted from the crowd, apparently having passed out among the masses. Then another. I could feel the anticipation of the audience and its weight was palpable.

When the lights dimmed, the audience erupted. The music for “Cola” started playing, the shrieks got louder. When Lana took the stage, I was grateful I had invested in a pair of high quality earplugs. It was that loud. The payoff for the fans who had waited patiently for their siren to take the stage were rewarded when Lana made her way past the photo pitt to give out hugs to a lucky few.

Another highlight for her fans was the premier live performance of the first single off of her forthcoming, Dan Auerbach produced, album: “West Coast”.


Little Dragon | Coachella | 4/13/14 (PHOTOS)


I absolutely adore Little Dragon‘s music. Ever since their 2007, full length self-titled debut, I’ve been dying to see their music manifest live. It’s taken 7 years, but I finally got the chance to see them perform at Coachella, at it was absolutely marvelous.

I was pleased to see that they had packed the tent they were performing in, especially since their set was matched up against uber DJ Calvin Harris on the main stage, but this band from Gothenberg, Sweden (consisting of lead vocalist Yakimi Nagano, Kakan Wirenstrand, Erik Bodin and Fredrik Kallfren Wallin), proceeded to smack the audience in the face with their brand of downtempo, trip hop, and gave us exactly what we wanted.

Yukimi Nagano, in her flowing, bulbous dress captivated the audience with her understated vocal performance as the band expertly explored and delved into the futuristic sound that is present on all of their albums. Simply put, I loved their set at Coachella and I kicked myself wondering what took me so long to see them perform live. Well, better later than never. Though they’ve already wrapped up their west-coast tour engagements, I will certainly be keeping my eye out for tickets for when they are back in Los Angeles in the future.

As an aside, I just noticed that this year at Coachella there were many acts fronted by asian females (The Naked and Famous, Little Dragon, and Jhene Aiko [whose blog entry is forthcoming]). Being Asian (Korean) myself, and knowing how hard it is for Asians to break into the music industry, I am particularly proud of the fact that we were represented so strongly by women whose stage presence left a lasting, positive impression. Okay, enough of the social mumbo-jumbo. Enjoy the pics. 🙂

Little Dragon Setlist Coachella Festival 2014 2014


The Naked and Famous | Coachella | 4/13/14 (PHOTOS)


The Naked and Famous are an indie electronic/melodic pop, alternative rock band from Auckland, New Zealand. To the best of my knowledge, their performance at Coachella was the first after having recently wrapped up a stint opening for Imagine Dragons’ arena tour. They continue their touring in support their 2013 release “In Rolling Waves” with dates in the United States, Australia and Europe.

I enjoy their music. In fact, when I first heard their big single “Young Blood” years ago, I thought it was a Passion Pitt release, and I’m a huge Passion Pitt fan. My only criticism of their Coachella set is that I felt that their live performance lacked a bit of energy, which is odd because their music is so driving and lends to … well … energy. Now, don’t get me wrong … I enjoyed the set. In fact, I’d go see them perform again. I think I was perhaps just expecting a little more excitement. It may have had something to do with mid-day time slot, and perhaps their live act is much more suitable with an accompanying light show like this video on their youtube channel seems to demonstrate. It may have been the fact that I wasn’t entrenched in the dancing masses as I was watching them perform from the photo pit. If I do go seem them perform again, which I certainly would buy a ticket for, I’d make sure it was a club or theater venue as opposed to an outdoor festival.  As another, inconsequential aside, I like Alisa Xayalith’s hair longer. She’s still a cutie though… 😉 

The Naked and Famous Setlist Coachella Festival 2014 2014



Blood Orange | Coachella | 4/13/14 (PHOTOS)


Devonté “Dev” Hynes is a British singer/composer/songwriter and producer who performs under the stage name “Blood Orange”. What you may not know about him, however, is that he is a prolific song writer who has worked with high profile recording artists like The Chemical Brothers, Florence and the Machine, Sky Ferreira and Britney Spears, to name a few

He performed at Coachella in support of his fourth solo album “Cupid Deluxe”. Critics have described his music as alternative dance, “chill wave” or indie electronic, but his 80’s and 90’s influenced music can simply be described as … for lack of better words … “sexy-time” music. The mood Dev Hynes sets with his compositions is amazingly seductive. I would have preferred a set time in the evening- that would have really enhanced the overall mood of the set- but even under the blazing, desert sun, I noticed couples grinding to the music.

For his performance at Coachella, he was accompanied by several of the vocalists who appear on “Cupid Deluxe”: Caroline Polachek of Chairlift (on “Chamakay” and “Chosen”) and Friends‘ Samantha Urbani (on “You’re Not Good Enough” (my personal favorite), “It Is What It Is” and “Always Let U Down”).


Rudimental | Coachella | 4/13/14 (PHOTOS)


The surprise set of my Sunday at Coachella was Rudimental; an electronic music, quartet based out of Hackney, London. When I was doing research on them before the festival, I discovered that their first studio album, Homehad reached number one, and was certified platinum, in the U.K., and after watching a few of their live video clips online, I decided to make them a band I wanted to check out at Coachella. I was not disappointed.

Their set was AMAZING! Right from the start, their MC and hype-man, DJ Locksmith, whipped the crowd into a frenzy with his boundless energy, running back and forth across the stage, cajoling the late-afternoon crowd to join him and the band in their fervor. Though internet entries describe the band a a group of producer/DJs, they were backed by a full band and a full set of vocalists; each holding their own performing like their life depended on it.

Their infectious sound, which I would describe as a mix of R&B, dubstep, house and drum & bass, was perhaps the most exhilarating, live (i.e. with a full band), party-music I have heard since … honestly, I don’t even remember. Though I had to leave their set slightly early because I had to catch an act across the festival grounds (thus missing the their Fugees cover of “Ready or Not” and the surprise appearance of John Newman to perform their hit “Feel The Love”) I can honestly say that I was definitely impressed with their live performance, and would no doubt purchase tickets whenever they are performing in Los Angeles in the future.



The 1975 | Coachella | 4/13/14 (PHOTOS)


Earlier this year, I heard a little buzz about an indie-rock band from Manchester, UK called The 1975. I really didn’t know much about their music, but a lot of my female friends on Facebook had posted about them, so I decided to check out their set to see what they were all about.

I didn’t know much about their music, so I kind of assumed that it would be something akin to music of that era like Queen or Led Zeppelin (considering that they were from the UK and they were called The 1975). Rather, it was more like the pop-rock of HAIM. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of 80’s influenced, indie rock, I suppose I was just anticipating, although a bit unfounded, something a little harder of an edge.

I liked their music. With the support and push of their label. I don’t think this band will have a problem breaking into the american, mainstream market. The tunes are catchy and consumer-friendly, and the lead singer, based on a female friend’s opinion, is “a good looking, if not waif, guy” … and I’m assuming that most of the crowd would have agreed as they seemed to be mostly female (you should click the instagram video below … It’s not surprising that there is a girl yelling, “I love you, Matty,” at the end).

I liked their music. If you like bands like HAIMCHVRCHES or Vampire Weekend, you should look into The 1975.


Chance The Rapper | Coachella | 4/13/14 (PHOTOS)


There were a lot of acts that I was interested in catching at Coachella, and Chance the Rapper was definitely one of them. As he was forced to cancel is weekend two performance due to the flu and tonsillitis, I was grateful I got to catch him perform the first weekend.

I have a twitter account (@methodman13) and I hand picked accounts to follow for music news. Sometime in 2013, I noticed that Complex Magazine’s twitter handle had changed its avatar to the cover of a mix-tape by a rapper I had never heard of. Complex was pushing the mixtape hard, and after a couple of weeks of ignoring the various tweets they shot out with links to the free mix tape, I finally caved and downloaded it. It was “Acid Rap” by Chance the Rapper, and I was glad I set aside my music snobbery to download it because it was an amazingly well put together mixtape and is definitely one of my favorite hip-hop albums of 2013 .

Call it Psychedelic Hip-Hop/Alternative Rap/Underground Rap … call it whatever you want, it’s melodic music that tells stories as eloquently as they come. Sure, the album relies on a lot of samples and interpolations (as is the trend for mix-tapes), but it doesn’t take away from what Chance adds to those familiar melodies and rhythms.

The surprise of the set, though I was already ushered out of the photo pit by the time, was Justin Bieber’s cameo for hist duet with Chance called “Confident”. I wasn’t as excited as some others about the guest appearance, and truthfully, I don’t think that the audience was all to into it if the luke warm (to say the least) reception was any indication, but it did have the internet buzzing with gossip.

I’m a fan of Chance The Rapper’s current output and musical style. If he does, indeed, intend to give his music away for free and only charge his fans to watch him perform, I’ll be one of the first in line to purchase a ticket to his next show in Los Angeles.

I wasn’t able to find a setlist online, so if any of you Chance the Rapper fans know what songs were performed the first weekend of Coachella, I’d love to know so I can add it to this entry.


Fishbone | Coachella | 4/13/14 (PHOTOS)

After sleeping in to get get some much needed rest after two grueling days of “festivaling”, the first band I went to go see at Coachella on Sunday was Fishbone. Having recently seen Angelo Moore perform as Dr. Madd Vibe at the Troubadour, I knew that it was going to be a high-energy, positive set to kick the day off with.

Under the bright desert sun, Fishbone took to the main stage and played their brand of ska/punk/funk infused alternative rock to a raucous group of early festival arrivals. Angelo Moore’s energy was contagious, his stage presence easily filling the largest stage of the festival. He even abandoned the stage to sing to and greet those in the front of the audience. The definition of a showman.

The band was a well-oiled machine too. Horns, Bass, Keyboards … they all had there moment in the sun (no pun intended), and it was nothing short of wonderful. The third song they played summed up the overall feeling of their set, “Everyday Sunshine”, and from that moment on I knew it was going to be good day. The two highlights of the set, for me at least, were when (i) Angelo, Walter Kibby and John Norwood Fisher (the three founding members of the Fishbone who still play in the band) took center stage to perform, and (ii) when they covered Sublime’s “Date Rape”. Though I had been kicked out of the pit by that time, I felt that if there were another band that had the right to cover that classic tune, it would be Fishbone.

Sunday was off to a great start.