April 22nd, 2009 5:33 pm | by MARK STOCK Music | Posted In: Columns, Live Cuts

Mark Stock's Coachella, Part Two: Glass Candy

IMG_7950You have just tuned into part two of Mark Stock's Coachella wrap-up.

While the Killers pouted, the Chemical Brothers spun and Jenny Lewis strummed, a party was underway in the Mojave Tent. The sun had finally decided to leave the good people of Coachella alone and you could hear the deep inhale of a collective second wind.

Leaving the Chemical Brothers set seemed like a chore, until I realized they were putting on a DJ Set. In other words, the duo turned their favorite records, blending them with enough creativity to keep my attention for about two tracks. Something was developing a stage away. There were big smiles, beach balls and rays of neon pink and purple light - the makings of an enthralling Glass Candy set.

I'm confident that Glass Candy could lick any pro at partner karaoke. Vocalist Ida No and techie/producer Johnny Jewel match seamlessly, full of energy and encouragement. They play hard, often until one or the other is out of breath, at which point the other fills the gap with a trancey loop or animated dance maneuver.

Saturday's show was eye-opening. Most didn't know what to expect, lured in by the electro-pop/post-disco act's catchy name or Johhny Jewel's earth shaking synth samples (It felt like he had driven his equipment several hundred feet into the earth, the sounds boiling up from beneath like a volcano). Dressed in a unitard of primary colors, Ida No taught the crowd how to dance, leading by example and turning her stage into a blur of yellow and red.

Without pause, Glass Candy stuffed a fifty minute set so full it spilled out onto the pit and soaked even the most distant passersby. Hits like “Beatific” and the triumphant “Candy Castle,” a song I found myself shadow boxing to, set the people in motion. They played the playful, guitar oriented “Geto Boys,” downtempo compared to the majority of their material but still so driven by Ida's shrieks and Johhny's thumping loops that sweat continued to pour out of everyone within ear sight.

It was during “Animal Imagination” when people truly lost it, arms flaying to the song's trance-like skeleton and joyous disco drum beat. The Casio effects buried within the track made it feel personalized and tampered with and just like that, I was transported to a smaller venue. Despite the sea of people who tossed and turned to Glass Candy's allure, it was as if they were playing the Holocene. It felt down home and just for you.

Better still, the set felt like a treasure. Many at Coachella had followed the heard mentality to neighboring sets. Those who followed their rawest instincts ended up in the Mojave Tent, covered in a cooling sweat that enabled them to match the energy emitted by Glass Candy. Almost, at least.


Photos by Mark Stock
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