Seventeen years ago, the first Coachella set the stage for what would host some of the greatest music performances of all time. Barring obvious festivals like Woodstock, and out-of-the-way festivals like Barcelona’s Sónar, Coachella is the place for musicians to try out new material and perform to their fans.
With this year’s Coachella quickly approaching, LA Weekly decided to put out their own ranking of best Coachella performances of all time, not an easy task by any means. Four electronic acts made their list, including LCD Soundsystem, Underworld, and The Chemical Brothers, at 20, 18, and 16 respectively.
The rest of the acts include huge names like Kanye West, Madonna, Rage Against The machine, and more. But our very own Daft Punk made #1 on their list. LA Weekly offered their own explanation, but we’ll attempt out own before we get to that…
Daft Punk had just released their third album, Human After All, the year before. Though not as critically lauded as their first two albums, Daft Punk themselves were at the pinnacle of their popularity and they capitalized on it in spectacular fashion. The stage design was so secretive that even Daft Punk’s own manager hadn’t seen the lights before the show started. It was a whirlwind of nostalgia, intrigue, and technology, all wrapped into a neat 75-minute package that likely changed the course of electronic music and stage design.
Read LA Weekly’s explanation behind the choice below:
“Whether into electronic music or not, Coachella-goers who missed this set are still kicking themselves. Moving way beyond the standard laser-packed, confetti-blasting DJ set at the Sahara tent, Daft Punk’s 2006 Coachella performance was the industry-wide wake-up call that established the current state of EDM as the most innovative and progressive musical movement in the United States today.
As night fell, a massive crowd — rumored to be as many as 40,000 — swarmed the overflowing Sahara tent. A thick sense of mystery filled the nighttime air, as nobody knew what to expect from the elusive French robots, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter. Then, out of nowhere, it appeared: a mammoth LED pyramid, towering over thousands of soon-to-be-converted lifelong fans.
Nobody had seen this amount of LED; nobody had experienced this level of evolved production. As soon as the call of the distorted robot voice blasted through the speaker walls, there was no looking back. Leaning exclusively on their original material, Daft Punk’s set consisted of never-before-heard, on-the-fly edits and remixes, creating new, mutated songs cut out of their classics and deeper tracks. The music alone challenged the status quo at the time of a DJ culture heavily reliant on playing other artists’ works.
This was the paradigm shift that finally placed electronic music as a worthy competitor against its big brothers, rock and rap. After Daft Punk, every active artist within electronic music — and arguably even beyond it — had to rethink their approach to live performance.
Anyone holding their breath for the return of the pyramid should give up all hope. Daft Punk are not ones to repeat themselves, and this performance is one that could never be recreated.”
Source: LA Weekly