Sunday was a good day for the noiseniks. Coachella-goers who arrived early enough were greeted by boxes of complementary earplugs as they piled through the gate -- vital accessories for a My Bloody Valentine showing, but also for the early afternoon tent performances.
At the Mojave, hometown heroes No Age were getting their sound tight for a wonderfully destructive good time. Early as it was, 1:45 to be exact, the tent was stuffed with fans and the sidestage burst with other musicians seeking to catch the glint off the Sub Pop band's grime-riddled shine. Randy Randall looked like a young Thurston Moore, defying the heat in a red flannel and tight black jeans, while Dean Spunt appeared perfectly disinterested behind the drum kit. At one point, as the trebly distortion gushes from the speakers in waves, Randall instructs the crowd to "Imagine the beach... just feel it," and soon the waters part for a "Teen Creeps."
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The audience cheered, crowd-surfing commenced and, as if on cue, the heavy black fabric backdrop behind No Age blew open. The stagehands scrambled to clamp it back down, those of us down on the grass knew they were fighting a force stronger than the wind. Seeing the band here, outside of the usual grungy dives and atypical venues they've preferred over the years, it's easier than ever to imagine No Age's inevitable legendary status down the line. Fleet Foxes, who yesterday enjoyed the largest crowd this journalist has yet to see at the Outdoor Theatre, may represent Sub Pop's day-to-day bread-and-butter (Band of Horses to some extent too -- anything Shins-y, really), our boys prove that the label's still got an ear out for the Nirvanas of the world. The smell, by the way, was cigarettes and sunscreen.