Tag Archives: mumford and sons

Coachella 2011: Day Two

Desert rain. (Photo courtesy of mirno.com)

After Friday’s dazzling displays and painless navigations, we knew the other shoe had to drop on Saturday. No, it wasn’t the volcano of last year, but it might as well have been during the face-melting heat of the afternoon. The sun became the nemesis of Coachella Day Two, turning up the heat to a slow broil for the hungover and clothes-less masses. Brains were scrambled for the festival hump day–one woman “mentally altered on substances” fell off the Ferris wheel–but the day still had its shining moments.

Though expected, the stupefying heat proved an obstacle that some bands couldn’t surmount. Positioned in the unforgiving sunlight, mid-afternoon acts Here We Go Magic and Erykah Badu suffered from low numbers and lethargic crowds. When lines for hydration stations are more dangerous than the gnarliest Gogolo Bordello pit, you know you have a problem. Performers fortunate to be under canopies fared better, wooing staggering festival-goers into sweaty, explosive dance parties. Lil B also drew some interest away from festival’s larger stages and toward the Oasis Dome as he was joined by the whole Odd Future crew (who oddly claimed they were kicked out) to turn up Saturday’s swag (also swag, bringing in your personal spatula for the cook dance.)

Fans who survived the endurance test were rewarded with mind-blowing acts by veteran performers Broken Social Scene and Animal Collective on the mainstage. At the end of the day, the final strains of Arcade Fire were worth the aching feet and absurd post-festival clusterfuck.

Some reviews from Saturday:

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The Wedding Band’s (Mumford and Sons) The First Dance EP

Mumford and Sons become The Wedding Band for their latest EP. (Photo courtesy of nh7.in)

First things first: we’ve never featured them before, but Mumford and Sons are something special, and it’s not just the banjo-lover in me that’s talking. A band that channels both Arcade Fire and Old Crow Medicine Show, M&S take folk-rock and turn it expansive, take epic songs and throw in moments of delicate almost-silence that force you to take notice—or would, if you weren’t already on the edge of your seat.

The band, now in the midst of a UK tour, has been throwing a surprise at audiences: a four-track EP under the name of their alter ego, The Wedding Band. The First Dance comes with the purchase of a ticket to the show, but if you’re stuck on this side of the pond, some of it is also available right here.

“Thumper” lays down a few phrases of nearly a capella chorals, then sways its way through to an up-tempo, fiddle-driven jaunt. Then, in “I Take Your Hand,” the band wheels back to earlier days with a marching-band-esque track peppered with some downright saucy brass solos.

“Susie” plays out as a slow waltz, showcasing Marcus Mumford’s gritty vocals with a background of dixie-style trumpets. And closing out the quartet of songs is an OCMS-style hoedown at finger-breaking speed, “She Said Yes.” And we said yes, too.

The Wedding Band – Susie (download)

The Wedding Band – She Said Yes (download)