View Full Version : What Were the Performances that Surprised You?

01-22-2007, 09:09 PM
One of the things I love about Coachella is being blown away by a band that you didn't think much about prior to going. For me last year it was Daft Punk, I knew there stuff, thought it'd be fun to dance to, and was not prepared for their show, it was all we talked about in the ride home.

2005 it was Arcade Fire - could this band have any more energy? (and honorable mention to Gram Rabbit whose music I love, but whole rabbit ear rabbit go go dancer stage show kicked off my day with a smile)

2004 I came to see the Cure but it was Crystal Method that amazed me - I thought, how exciting could two men standing behind machinery be? - Changed my whole attitude about the Sahara tent.

01-22-2007, 10:08 PM
Mine last year was the Magic Numbers' set. Even though it was hotter than balls when they played, I had a damn good time.

I really enjoyed Coheed and Cambria's set too. Dude played the guitar with his teeth! I know I'm a dork for digging that kind of stuff.

Depeche Mode impressed me as well. I liked their well known singles well enough, but after seeing them live I became a huge fan.

01-22-2007, 11:22 PM
Sonic Youth - Love their stuff but didn't think they would rock hard live given their somewhat older age. Boy was I wrong - so much energy, one of my favorite live performers since!

Black Keys - Rock n' roll.....

Secret Machines - Prior to Coachella, saw them open for Interpol and thought their set was dull. At Coachella they had upped the ante, their performance this time round dynamic and loud. And they continue to get better live.

The Kills - Sex on stage, enough said.

The Walkmen - Amazing sound, confident performers

Art Brut - So much fun!

01-23-2007, 12:03 AM
acts I knew little about going in but enjoyed
2003: Cafe Tacuba
2004: Dios
2005: Boom Bip
2006: Octopus Project

01-23-2007, 01:12 AM
2004-!!! blew me away, and I'd never heard of them. Q and not U and Erase Errata were both excellent as well. Muse made me a fan.
2005-Arcade Fire, without a doubt one of the best performances i've ever seen.
2006-Daft Punk was unexpectedly awesome. Deerhoof were so much better live than I thought they could be.

01-23-2007, 12:22 PM
Eagles of Death Metal were so great. Lotsa fun.

01-23-2007, 12:25 PM
Kraftwerk in 2004 - i've always been a fan of their music, but who knew that watching 4 guys just stand in front of their laptops would be so energizing?

Glamour Damaged
01-23-2007, 12:30 PM
2005- M.I.A.

01-23-2007, 12:45 PM
Animal Collective - 2006

01-23-2007, 12:57 PM
AIR...I was just like..."what the...son of a bitch I can't believe I missed most of their set!" as I walked closer to the stage

Not Afraid
01-23-2007, 05:49 PM
Air was such a plesant surprise - especially following another surprise in Belle and Sebastian. That was a lovely few hours!

Crystal Method was amazing.

Daft Punk was beyond amazing.

Franz Ferdinand surprised me! Great energy and the crowd was really into it.

Bauhaus was PERFECT! I was afraid to see the show. I saw them in 1980 at the Whisky and they were incredible, but I thought they would be a disappointment like the Cure was. Not at all. Still love them!

Arcade Fire - Fantastic!

Dresden Dolls - This band is only 2 people! 2! YAY for theatrical talent!

Basement Jax - nothing like walking over to the stage to find a Gorilla dancing on it.

01-23-2007, 09:11 PM
daft punk
kayne shocked me by just being there.

01-24-2007, 09:54 AM
WOLFMOTHER.....had just heard of them before the show and they rocked my balls off. Amazing show. Tool was great too.

01-24-2007, 11:59 AM
Jamie Lidell was awesome and I had never heard of him before that.

All That I Am
01-24-2007, 12:03 PM
damn a lot of bands have just surprised teh shit out of me
to name some.
Buck 65
Arcade Fire
Jamie Lidell
Wolf Mother

01-24-2007, 12:29 PM
Arcade Fire, Daft Punk, and Jamie Lidell. Three of the top moments in my entire life.

01-24-2007, 08:59 PM
I was so far back at Radiohead they were like ants, so after two songs I went into a tent (Gobi? Mojave?) and caught Mindless Self Indulgence. Never heard of them before. There were maybe 70 people watching them. They took my head off. I'm writing this without a head because they took it off. I saw them again in San Berdoo at Rokout last Thanksgiving and it's not even coming back, my head. Ever.

By the way, Underworld would be a lovely addition this year.

01-24-2007, 09:15 PM
I was really impressed by The Section Quartet last year. A great bunch of musicians, that's for sure.

01-24-2007, 11:05 PM
I feel like a Coachella Vet (2004-06): Best Acts:
04' was fucken hot and being that I am from Flagstaff doesn't help, so I only caught a limited amount of acts, but I did hang out in the Sahara tent a lot during the day.
At night, it rocked! The RAPTURE; the PIXIES (the excitement was uncanny)
same with that obscure band from the U.K. that played after them. WHAT A BACK TO BACK. ELECTRIC SIX.
05':: ambulance ltd.; rilo kiley; ah aaa i got to say it Weezer (my friends hated it, but I was loven it)(you can't blame them for wanting to debut some new shit). CHEMICAL BROTHERS; ARCADE FIRE (every time I watch the dvd i get teary eyed); NEW ORDER; NIN; BRIGHT EYES.
07' ANTICIPATIONS... Interpol; the good, the bad, and the queen.

01-26-2007, 04:53 PM
I would have to agree with Franz Ferdinand. I seen them at Inland Invasion and it was a good fit for them. I thought they weren't going to cut it on the main stage but they landed up being the best band on the main stage that night.

01-26-2007, 05:03 PM
bauhaus were amazing, my favorite of 2005 and im not even a huge fan

01-26-2007, 07:06 PM
Daft Punk blew me away last year. Sure I've loved them forever, but I really wasn't prepared for the complete awesomeness of that performance. Easily the best electronica act I've ever seen.

Also Cat Power was stellar and Jamie Lidell was my sleeper hit of the show. He was one of my most anticipated acts last year, but it was made all the better by the fact that it was drastically less crowded than most of the performances there. I saw him again at Voodoo Fest last October in New Orleans and he was even better.

Edit: Look for Andrew Bird to be the sleeper hit this year. He's total ownage.

01-26-2007, 07:52 PM
2004 - Q and not U (never heard them before, but they were good times)
2006 - Daft Punk (probably my 6th most anticipated set, and was by far the best)

01-27-2007, 07:14 AM
Basement Jaxx - they win the blew me away award from 04, even with the Pixies and Radiohead there, I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed them.

Lamb in 99 shocked me with how good they were.

Charlatans were much better than I thought they would be

Section Quartet - surprisingly good too

FC Kahuna - very nice early stuff in the Sahara

2 many DJ's - amazing live show!!!

01-28-2007, 11:18 PM
2004 - stellastarr*: only heard a couple of songs prior to their set, but have been a fan ever since
2005 - The Kills: all over each other without missing a note... incredible
2006 - Franz Ferdinand - not my #1 set last year, but pleasantly surprised with their set

01-28-2007, 11:31 PM
Jurassic 5 1999. I had seen them a few times before but they were in their prime that night. I wish they were still hungry last time I saw them they were terrible.

Carlo Von Sexron
01-29-2007, 01:21 AM
Arcade Fire - My favorite performance ever (Coachella or otherwise)

Gnarls Barkley - What a great set. I'm surprised it's not talked about more on these boards. Then again, there wasn't really that many people there to see it since 'Crazy' hadn't blown up yet. I was in about the 10th row and it was easily of the top 5 performances in my 3 Coachellas so far.

The Go! Team - Just as energetic and fun as I hoped they would be.

01-29-2007, 01:23 AM
I have seen Gnarls Barkley twice times since Coachella and it was a major letdown both times.

01-29-2007, 01:31 AM
I liked Gnarls Barkley's set. Twas entertaining.

01-29-2007, 01:41 AM
2005 - Arcade Fire! Their performance mixed in with the sun setting and the wind starting to come in and cool the hot polo grounds. Absolutely amazing!

01-29-2007, 01:31 PM
Stellastarr 2004

Stop Breathing
01-29-2007, 02:35 PM
Metric in 06, Emily Haines made me want to jump her bones onstage and
the band was on fire, just like my pants, WHOOO!

01-29-2007, 02:53 PM
Bauhaus (2005)

Ben Watt (2005) -- I had seen him about 7 times before Coachella, but never before had I heard him play such a GREAT, FANTASTIC set. The last time I'd seen him, in San Francisco about 8 months earlier, had been disappointing. This set was so great!

Depeche Mode (2006) -- I was expecting to be disappointed with the live show as I was with New Order, but was pleasantly surprised.

Massive Attack (2006) -- I knew they were going to be good but I did not understand HOW good they were going to be. Wow.

Infusion (2006) -- GREAT electronica from Australia! I didn't even know who this group was, and they were totally awesome.

01-29-2007, 04:09 PM
Arcade Fire - My favorite performance ever (Coachella or otherwise)

Gnarls Barkley - What a great set. I'm surprised it's not talked about more on these boards. Then again, there wasn't really that many people there to see it since 'Crazy' hadn't blown up yet. I was in about the 10th row and it was easily of the top 5 performances in my 3 Coachellas so far.

You must have gotten there early. They were too big for the Gobi Tent, I got caught in the event horizon with the sun blazing.

I'd like to add '04 Kinky to the list. Anyone catch that set? It was 105 degrees and the main stage was a better dance party than the Saraha was all weekend.

01-29-2007, 07:06 PM
2006 - Sigur ros they were amazing! It made it even better that they were playing during sunset.
Also Franz! lotsa alotsa fun!

01-29-2007, 07:13 PM
2005 - arcade fire for sure, they were amazing and why i am so stoked for saturday. also the dresden dolls. ive seen them a couple times since then but nothing was as awesome as their coachella set. and i had never heard either of those bands before.
2006 - i cant remember their name but there was this latin band on the main stage early in the day who just fuckin rocked my balls off. oh and gnarls barkley.

Carlo Von Sexron
01-29-2007, 08:29 PM
Bauhaus (2005

I nearly forgot...I had heard a few of their songs before, but was very impressed by their show.

01-29-2007, 09:41 PM
2006 - i cant remember their name but there was this latin band on the main stage early in the day who just fuckin rocked my balls off.

Los Amigos Invisibles --- "saw" them from a distance (Beer Garden), and I agree that they were entertaining.

Alligator Bogaloo
03-13-2009, 10:18 AM
In 2007, I didn't feel like waiting for Air anymore so I walked over to the main stage and was rocked off my ass by Manu Chao. Hadn't listened to him before the festival and was pleasantly surprised. That band has a lot of great energy... Hope he comes back to Coachella in the future.

03-13-2009, 10:37 AM
2004: stellastarr*. never even knew they were. very enjoyable.

2005: Bauhaus. I was already a fan but had never seen them. When Peter Murphy came out suspended upside down and sang "Bela Lugosi", I lost it.

2006: Daft Punk. i don't have to explain. You know what i mean.

2007: Hot Chip. I ended up right in front of one of the speakers and when they started playing the vibrations actually made my esophagus convulse.

2008: Portishead. I still have a lump in my throat.

03-13-2009, 10:44 AM
06-Daft Punk, TV on The Radio, Gnarls Barkley

07-The Roots,Bjork

08-Portishead I knew it was going to be good but I had no idea it was going to be the best show I've ever seen

03-13-2009, 11:27 AM
Daft Punk

Gogol Bordello
Konono No 1

Akron/ Family
I'm From Barcelona (and i had high expectations)

03-13-2009, 11:56 AM
06: TV On The Radio

07: Manu Chao

08: Kate Nash

03-13-2009, 01:06 PM
07: The Avett Brothers! I had no idea they existed and they absolutely rocked it.

03-13-2009, 01:19 PM
Sonic Youth - Love their stuff but didn't think they would rock hard live given their somewhat older age. Boy was I wrong - so much energy, one of my favorite live performers since!

Sonic Youth is my favorite band and i've seen them many times, but in 2007 they were the ones that surprised me in a different way. they gave what was easily their worst performance ever. volume was low and "gentle", even during what were supposed to be the most epic parts of songs, they played WAY too much stuff off Rather Ripped, they lacked all their energy that i had loved from other times that i had seen them, and their set was extremely short (well that was partially because Jarvis Cocker is a selfish piece of shit).

but yeah, it was hard watching them sound so bad. did you see them in 07? i wish i could have seen them in 03 if it was as cool as you say. other shows of theirs that i have been to have been great, but i figured they would own coachella.

Raptor Clinton
03-14-2009, 08:11 PM
'06 - Animal Collective
'07 - the Jesus and Mary Chain/ Peaches

Peaches was far worse than expected, so I saw Jesus and Mary Chain instead, who I had never heard, and was really blown away by.

'08 - Prince.

'nuff said.