By: Corey Tate
Portishead showed why they've been such a revered band over the past 10 years despite only releasing one proper studio album before this. It was pretty amazing in their Coachella appearance to hear such studio-based music come alive and not suck. Portishead transcended the recordings to pull off a sound as flawless as the studio version, with the immediacy and urgency of a live version.
Beth Gibbons was absolutely right on with her shaky tremolo voice. ... with the amazing live guitar on Glory Box as the band showed quite definitively why they have so many fans, so many years on from their debut release. "Good evening, thank you," Beth said sparingly after the song.
Watching guitarist Adrian Utley playing the opening slide guitar on Wandering Star with a pair of needle nose pliers invoked images of David Gilmour in Echoes-era Pink Floyd. The guitar became a violon, Portishead a symphony, the performance an echo of the collective unconscious onto itself. The crowd ate it up.
Portishead showed the difference between some of the high profile bands of the nineties and the indie bands of today, major label affiliation or not. The professionalism and depth that the band portrayed makes your average indie band of today look like they're one step away from playing a high school dance as a performance. This is what music is all about ... the absolute consumate experience between band and audience. I believe that everyone who walked off the Empire Polo Field that night had become an immense Portishead fan. I think I want Beth Gibbons to have my baby.
The new material completely held its own against the old material. "Thanks for waiting," Geoff Barrows said as the band walked off of the stage. It was worth the wait.
Listen to a preview of the new Portishead album as a free live stream at Last.fm: