Coachella 2012: Stop taunting us, Jimmy Cliff
This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom for details.
Six hours in, the hottest memento at Coachella 2012 is one meant for the cold.
Today’s weather is more fit for the Yorkshire Moors than the usually balmy fields of Indio, and apparently plenty of revelers were caught short-sleeved. Commemorative black sweatshirts featuring the weekend’s lineup and a drawing of the famed windmills just west of Indio on Interstate 10 are popping up on hundreds of concertgoers who clearly came expecting to be just fine in cutoff jean shorts and tank tops. The weekend has barely started, and plenty of fans are already trying to remember it -- or remember a time when they were cozier, at least.
That made Jimmy Cliff and Tim Armstrong’s endearingly orthodox reggae set all the more poignant (or at least ironic). Cliff’s regal rendition of “Many Rivers To Cross” made constant reference to the white cliffs of Dover, and today’s gloomy atmosphere definitely complemented a song invoking to the soggy UK, as did their cover of Armstrong’s moody Bay Area dance-hall-punk hit “Ruby Soho.” But when Cliff covered “I Can See Clearly Now,” it felt like a jovially doomed attempt to make everyone forget they were skulking around in cold rain. Bright sunshiny day, this isn’t.
Speaking of San Francisco, across the field, Girls spiked their moonstruck rock with a bit of soul from a trio of backing vocalists. We’ve only ever seen the band in idyllic settings -- at the Hollywood Bowl and a prior Coachella -- and the bit of doomy precipitation underlined the sad vibes of songs like the rueful “My Ma.”
That said, NorCal, you can have your weather back now.
[For the Record: 8:00 a.m., April 14: A previous version of this post was mistakenly attributed to another writer. The writer is August Brown.]
-- August Brown
Photo: Jimmy Cliff, left, and Tim Armstrong of Rancid perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images for Coachella