Coachella: PiL’s jagged little edge



Who: Public Image Ltd. at the Outdoor Theatre.
In 3 or Fewer Words: Nothing rotten here.
I’ll Remember This Until the Next Reunion Because: PiL is still relevant. “Hellloooo, Coachella”¦ Nice to see you. And if Jay-Z’s starting to give you a headache, it’s time you take your PiL!” And that’s how it started, as legendary singer and provocateur (and I think we can admit he’s a legend for the latter, not so much the former) John Lydon introduced his second-most-famous band to a small-ish late-night crowd under a starry sky and waves of beats spilling over from Jay-Z’s headlining set one stage away. The artist formally known as Johnny Rotten then led his newly reformed band of post-punk experimentalists through a collection of dance-y, trance-y four-on-the-floor groovers and jagged bashers. Sure, the longform post-post-something iceflows of songs like “Albatross” and “The Flowers of Romance” seemed to be pushing the patience limits of the rapturous yet clearly exhausted audience, and Lydon had to keep his lyrics on a stand next to his mic (hey, even the Boss uses a teleprompter these days); that said, the spike-headed frontman’s irascible good spirits, pudgy mania and animalistic howls (not to mention crowd faves like the anthemic “Rise”) kept the fans’ feet planted firmly to the ground long after Lydon rebelled and pushed his band well past the one-hour scheduled set time. Older and larger though he may be, it’s nice to see (and hear) that some things never change.
What I’d Tell My Friend Who Was at Deadmau5: Hope you got your dance on.
–Travis Woods (Web In Front)