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Coachella 2009: The Liars roast the outdoor stage; stick a monument on top

April 18, 2009 |  4:37 pm

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The Liars, the wild, reckless boars of avant rock, made mincemeat of the die hard sunshine during the 2:30 slot at the Outdoor Stage, in similar spirit to last year's crazy Les Savy Fav show. Not cowed by the death star hovering above and sending dripping sweat down the tattooed necks, arms and flanks of the crowd, the Aussie American devil known as Angus Andrew gave competition to even the most vocal-cord-shredding of Tasmanian devils with his exorcism of yelps, screams and shrieks --  not to mention an onstage shimmy that was more unhinged barfly than coy flapper.

For the most part, Andrew and company left the disjointed experimentalism of "Drum's Not Dead" alone, instead laying into the fresher prey of their 2007 self-titled album. While Andrew was a riot of movement and vocals, drummer Julian Gross was expressionless behind jet-black shades, pounding out the music's deadbolt rhythms. Somebody has to be the guardian of the Liars' inimitable molotov of metal and art rock. Just think about a buzz saw cutting through the walls of the MoMA and you're somewhere close to the Liars' charm.

But what's nice about these guys, and what they may have forgotten in the past, is that they do what they do with a sense of fun, even if "fun" might mean a knife fight. In the middle of one of the most toxic of electro-metal moments, Andrew froze, shook his hair and then beamed the crowd a beatific smile. We returned it in kind.

--Post and photo by Margaret Wappler

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