Lindsey Best The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival kicked off yesterday…
- Posted on Jun 18th 2011 4:55PM by Richard Trapunski
The concert was the culmination of a "digital scavenger hunt" put on by AUX.TV (where it was also live-streamed). Fans lucky and savvy enough to follow the clues were treated to an intimate show by the Montreal indie pop darlings, who, by their own admission, fought hangovers in order to play. Bandmates and partners Amy Millan and Evan Cranley even brought along their baby.
"We don't get to play shows like this very much anymore," singer Torquil Campbell told Spinner. "The people who are here today are people who really love the band and went out of their way to get here... literally. To be able to play for them is an incredibly positive feeling."
It certainly showed in their passionate delivery, though, in Campbell's words, the songs are about "loss, despair, hunger for meaning and death." Not the most uplifting material for a fan-service concert, but the crowd nonetheless danced, sang along and took plenty of iPhone footage.
The show was partly a celebration of the recent release of 'The Bedroom Demos,' featuring raw demo versions of songs from their 2007 album, 'In Our Bedroom After the War,' so, fittingly, the set included a number of old gems. Tracks like 'Take Me to the Riot' and 'Your Ex-Lover Is Dead' displayed the same soulful, soft-rock romanticism that first caught the indie nation's attention.
An opening set from Chad VanGaalen also showed off his intimate side. Choosing to play alone rather than with his regular band, the off-kilter Calgarian musician's stripped-down take on tracks like 'Sara' and 'Heavy Stones' showcased his songwriting chops and falsetto more than his instrumental weirdness, though his lack of filter led to some decidedly strange stage banter.