@ZackTeibloom The top 5 is one creamy crop of bands. At one point I had the thought: “Am I really working on a list where the lowest ranking band features Jack White?!” Good lord. We’ve got two supergroups, my favorite live act of ’09, the best rapper alive and the dance-rock band that sets the standard. Even if Andy doesn’t know it yet.
Without further ado, it’s time for Jack White and the top-5 bands I can’t wait to see at Coachella.
5. The Dead Weather (Saturday 11:05 p.m.)
It may be my third favorite Jack White band, (Why hide him behind the skins for most of the show?) but he has better chemistry with Alison Mosshart than anyone in his other bands. Sorry, Meg. I know you were married/fake siblings, but you’ve got nothing on Alison. When Jack and Alison share a mic and lean into each other, they have an energy John Mayer would describe as “sexual napalm.”
Alison can carry the band on her own when she has to, but thank god for Jack. Don’t tell anyone I said this, but if Jack wasn’t in this band, they’d still be a damn good blues-rock ensemble with any drummer in his place. Jack may be limited to singing two or three songs and will only pick up the axe once or twice, but you can be damn sure he’ll make the most of it. Like when he takes over the vocals and bellows them halfway through “Cut Like a Buffalo.” Or trades wordplay-driven “manipulate” lines with Alison on “Treat me Like Your Mother.” Or just sits behind the drums as his hair flops around.
The real firepower is “Will There Be enough Water?” which has been known to end their sets. It’s a 10-minute jaunt of rock that features Jack on guitar tearing up solos as little Jack keeps the beat on drums and Alison flitters about on stage smoking a cigarette and singing into Jack’s mouth. If that’s not enough, they’ll be debuting a new album of dark material. Around midnight.
4. Phoenix (Sunday 7:10 p.m.)
The last time we saw Phoenix, they were ending with “1901” to close out their tour at La Zona Rosa in Austin. I wrote
“1901″ was the breakout smash of the year and they did it up as big as they could. The rendition was perfect even before the two big surprises. Mars took his super-long microphone chord into the crowd and went all the way to the back, climbing up top to sing “fold it, fold it, fold it, fold it!” over and over to the adoring crowd who was in ecstasy. I patted him on the back as he walked passed and was almost disappointed in my now last row view from by the stage, but he came back and invited us all up on stage.
I lept up, jumped up and down a couple times, huddled by Mars and the band for the last 1/4th of the song and just felt happy to be alive, crashing and at the last Phoenix show of 2009 and one of my favorite sets of the year. My ears are still ringing. I’m OK with that.”
Since then they’ve dropped a free live album from Sydney that makes it clear they’ve got it no matter what side of the equator they’re on. They’re my favorite live act of ’09 and I have a feeling it will continue onto 2010. They’re on the victory lap for Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, but Thomas Mars is so genuine, he’ll pretend like it’s his first warm welcome. And he’ll get a warm welcome.
3. LCD Soundsystem (Friday 9:05 p.m.)
The best band I’ve never written about on Festival Crashers. Big statement I know, but the two shows of theirs I saw both blew me away. Once at the Hollywood Bowl opening for Arcade Fire where they stole the spotlight. Once at Lolla playing before Daft Punk. OK they didn’t steal the thunder from Daft Punk, but with “Daft Punk is playing at my house” they set everything in motion. They’ll be setting up Jay-Z. And they’ll get the crowd perfectly ready.
They’re back with a wonderful follow-up to the instant classic Sound of Silver. Their new This is Happening leaked despite James Murphy begging fans not to leak it at a surprise NY show last week. It’s too big to not get out there.
Here’s where it’s all gonna go down. 3:08 into “Dance Yrself Clean” (not a spelling mistake) when the “Ohhh Ahhh’s” turn into that fuzzy synthy beat. It. Will. Be. On. I bet they open with it. “Throw your little hands up.” Andy talked about being excited for seeing me react to things for the first time. He’ll forget he has a bad ankle for this one. We will dance ourselves clean.
2. Atoms for Peace (Sunday 9:00 p.m.)
Thom Yorke. Flea. What else do you need to know? Seriously though. So few shows have been played. All we know is that they play “The Eraser.” I couldn’t be more curious. This video gives me honest to goodness chills. I dare you not to feel them…
1. Jay-Z (Friday 10:50 p.m.)
And the winner is HOV. And he may not be alone. We’re hearing reports he may be joined by Kanye, Alicia Keys and Dr. Dre. When I told Andy this, he wrote “wowwww” like he was a slutty member of the Jersey Shore house. Yeah, that’s the situation we’re dealing with here. Jay-Z has been my favorite rapper for years and all I hear are raves about his shows. Prove it Jigga man. I have full confidence he’ll pull out all the stops and make the West coast his own. He already owns the East. I have a dream set list, but he can really do no wrong.
I debated making Atoms for Peace #1 with the irresistible combination of Thom Yorke and Flea, but Jay-Z is a sure thing. He’ll deliver the goods with swagger. He’l have us in the palm of his hand. Jay-Z seems to transcend all kinds of music fans. There’s a reason. As the man says, “I. Will. Not. Lose. Ever. Put something on it.”