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Best Coachella 2012 Performances

Coachella crowd
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Week one of the 2012 Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival was awesome on all accounts: it broke attendance records and offered up a plethora of viral music offerings (though many now sadly shut down). We’ve selected the cream of the first weekend’s handsome crop — check our top 5 below.

5) Arctic Monkeys, ‘Florescent Adolescent’
Those British lads the Arctic Monkeys really have a way with words (especially that adorable cockney slang — what’s a ‘slag’?), and their performance of ‘Florescent Adolescent,’ a dirty little teenage ditty, shows them in all their rake charm. Check out our write-up of the set here.

Watch Arctic Monkeys ‘Florescent Adolescent’ Live At Coachella 2012 Video

4) Explosions in the Sky, ‘Birth and Death of the Day’
Explosions in the Sky, the Austin, Texas, quartet carved a wide swathe out of the post-rock spectrum with cathartic crescendos. They had some major ones in Indio, rocking the faces off of everyone in attendance with nary a word spoken. Really, the best word the describe that ‘Birth and Death of the Day’ build-up is transcendant.

Watch Explosions in the Sky ‘Birth and Death of the Day’ Live At Coachella 2012 Video

3) Wild Beasts, ‘Hooting and Howling’
Wild Beasts played a killer Sunday set. There’s something so haunting and fetching in leadman Hayden Thorpe’s voice — can’t help but get wrapped up in his poetic lyrics and hypnotic songcraft. ‘Hooting and Howling,’ off of 2009′s ‘Two Dancers,’ is one of the most mesmerizing.

Watch Wild Beasts ‘Hooting and Howling’ Live At Coachella 2012 Video

2) The Hives, ‘Tick Tick Boom’
The Hives closed their bonkers set with ‘Tick Tick Boom’ leadman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist was in top-level rapscallion form, taunting and provoking the crowd, threatening to “blow this festival up by pure will power’ if the whole audience didn’t sit down. After a moment’s rest, everybody went nuts, making the stage go “boom.” We love you, Pelle.

Watch the Hives ‘Tick Tick Boom’ Live At Coachella 2012 Video

1) Bon Iver ‘Beth/Rest’
OMG BON IVER. Anyone who isn’t in love with Justin Vernon at this point is in denial of some sort. The twittersphere just about crapped itself while watching his epic performance, and ‘Beth/Rest’ might have been the highlight. Gotta love that spaced-out ’80s ballad fragility. Makes me want to cuddle with a sensitive robot.

Watch Bon Iver ‘Beth/Rest’ Live At Coachella 2012 Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX97hfbYHYA

Check back next week — we’ll expand this into a full Top 10 after all the second weekend performances have gone down.

 

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