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Coachella Caravan part two: concert reviews 

© Al Powers, PowersImagery.com

 

Haim

Written By Ashton Hall
It was their first time back to Vegas since the Life is Beautiful Festival and this time around fans really know who Haim is.

COURTESY PHOTOS

COURTESY PHOTOS

The Los Angeles, indie-rockers comprised of three sisters took to the stage after MS MR on April 17 at The Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool.

Playing a magical set with songs from their debut album, Days Are Gone, Haim was in full control of the audience from the moment they took the stage.

Sent into a hypnosis that did didn’t let up until the last song, the leather jackets and high-waisted shorts that seemed to over-populate The Pool swayed back and forth with PBRs in hand to Haim’s slower tunes.

Solidifying their spot as the number one Indie goddess girl-band, the sisters performed an enchanting cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well.”

And, just incase anyone had questions about the their vocal and instrumental capabilities they also pulled off a Beyonce cover that (in my opinion) was better than the Queen Bey, herself.

If it wasn’t clear before how powerful of a group Haim is, it certainly is now.

 

Lorde

Written By Fantasi Pridgon
Go to Las Vegas. Perform by a pool.

LORDE 2_13960067733_o

Those were a couple of things Lorde said she had never done before performing at the Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan last week. And while she was in awe at the fact that she had a view of the faux Eiffel Tower from the Mophie Stage, those who came to see the 17-year-old New Zealand native were just as floored.

With lyrics that rival the conventions of the current crop of 20-something pop stars, Lorde held to her idiosyncratic form that captivated concert goers.

She started her set with the understated “Glory and Gore,” arguably the darkest track on her debut album Pure Heroine, walking back and forth across the stage intermittently with breaks for her unmatched dancing. Her dark hair sometimes hit the ground as she crouched, getting into the synth pop beats that the crowd responded to with eagerness.

“You’re f—ing awesome,” one fan yelled.

The usual splash of the young was present among the audience, though it wasn’t uncommon to see the youthful middle-aged dancing as she performed her most notable tracks “Team” and “Royals.”

With “400 Lux” came a daydream like atmosphere of reminiscence as many quietly sang along in a way that seemed to express their individual connections to the words.

She seemed quite comfortable for a teenager headlining two nights in a row, though modest at the same time.

“This is amazing,” she said on a couple occasions after cheers and applause of acceptance.

Her subtle confidence is a shift from the spectacle that often surrounds others in the music industry. This difference is why she appeals to a variety of people — men, women, the young and the old.

Lorde is cut from a different cloth, and she is fully aware of it.

“You’re here because you understand me,” she said to everyone. “You get it.”

 

Future Islands

Written By Chase Stevens
It’s just a bit after midnight and Future Islands are a couple songs into their set in front of an energized and excited crowd at the outdoor stage at the Beauty Bar on April 16.

FUTURE ISLANDS 1_13936907161_o

The poppy, new-wave beats of “Seasons (Waiting on You)” dance around the audience, which is made up mostly of 20-somethings, but interspersed with the occasional middle-aged fan dancing and waving their arms around in an elated response.

The 8-year-old band out of Baltimore is made up of Gerrit Welmers on keyboard, William Cashion on base and Samuel T. Herring on vocals. The group performs like seasoned veterans with a tight-knit sound.

The trio navigates through songs from all four albums, balancing both the new and the old.

With songs like “Tin Man,” from In Evening Air (2010), the upbeat bass combined with the energetic synth-pop sounds contrasts much of the time with Herring’s emotional storytelling, singing “You couldn’t possibly know how much you mean to me / You couldn’t always view inside my tarot.”

In other tracks, like “A Song for Our Grandfathers” from the latest album Singles, the pace of the band slows down to a contemplative tone, but the energy remains.

From beginning to end, Herring maneuvers around the stage like a mad man, or maybe just how someone might dance when there’s nobody around. Herring sings to us in a commanding manner — echoing a bit of Meat Loaf, with the passion of Morrissey.

Somehow he manages to make it all his own, even more so with the random death-metal-sounding grunts he sticks in from time to time.

At moments Herring beats his chest, or throws his fist into the air. Other times he kneels down and serenades in a solemn manner to those in the front of the crowd.

It all seems a little odd initially, but it draws you in and at the end of it, you don’t want to let go.

 

Ellie Goulding

Written By Adwoa Fosu
On April 12, a lucky group of pop fans gathered around the Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan to enjoy the sounds of the English charmer, Ellie Goulding (and no, her charm has nothing to do with her accent).

© Al Powers, PowersImagery.com

The crowd was tense with anticipation as they waited for Goulding to come onstage — so much so that they barely reacted to the performance of the opening act, a funky rock band named Conway, whose bleach-blonde lead singer was reminiscent of Gwen Stefani.

At one point during their performance, a man called out, “Where’s Ellie?” garnering appreciation from others in the audience as they realized they were not alone in their yearning for Goulding.

When she finally graced the stage dressed in leather shorts, a black crop top and a leather jacket the crowd, which had been almost rigid before, swayed with relief as she performed her opening number, “Figure 8.”

Goulding’s sweet vocals were clear and controlled, sounding exactly as they do on her recorded tracks. The talent of her band and backup singers only added to the show as Goulding danced with them on stage, throwing out moves like the body roll and the running man (charming, right?). Occasionally, she would pick up some drum sticks and rock out with them as well.

The rest of the show carried on with Goulding performing more high-tempo numbers such as “Animal,” “Starry Eyed” and “Stay Awake.” Although at one point, the blonde songstress slowed down to serenade the audience with the Elton John ballad, “Your Song.”

Goulding saved her hits for the end of the show, sending the crowd into a wave of hysteria with “Anything Could Happen,” a number which she introduced as her “happy song.” She urged the crowd to dance with her during “I Need Your Love” and entranced the audience with flickered lighting when performing her most notable hit single, “Lights.”

Slipping into the strap of a black, electric guitar Goulding closed out the show with “Burn,” giving her fans a memorable farewell, as they had been “such lovely people” to the charming performer.

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