From Coachella: Still Woozy Causes Hallucination in the Desert | Arts
During the height of Friday’s desert heat in California’s Coachella Valley, hundreds of people flocked to the Mojave Stage – the second largest of the shaded stages at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival – to see the indie artist Still Woozy in the spotlight.
The American singer-songwriter took the stage at 4:25 p.m., following soul artist Raveena. Beginning with the first chord of the show – the guitar strum of “Window” – the crowd erupted in applause.
Indeed, throughout “Window”, the response from the public was electric: the tent echoed with the voices of the singer and his fans. Balloons suddenly appeared and bounced through the crowd like a surfer on a wave.
With smoke billowing in the air from every corner, the vibes of the performance were nothing if not groovy. Tripping visuals filled the giant LED screen and the crowd swayed from side to side with Woozy’s soft guitar thumps and silky vocals. The palm trees on stage transformed the venue into a desert oasis.
Just when the groove didn’t seem to get any nastier, Woozy asked the crowd, “Is it a good day for a funky-ass bass?” Bassist Legwurk moved to center stage, his strong and infectious basslines carrying the show in “Lava.” The deeper, longer wavelengths reverberated throughout Mojave so they could be felt in the bones and chest, creating a physical engagement with the audio-visual masterpiece.
Woozy, Legwurk and drummer Harry Terrell apparently had one goal in mind: to have an amazing time showing off their prowess. Their stage presence was unabashedly awkward, as evidenced by their interpretive dance moves. Woozy thrashed his limbs in unpredictable directions and swayed to the beat like a car dealer inflatable. Legwurk jumped and ran across the stage, occasionally hugging the palm trees and shouting into the microphone. In one instance, he clumsily crushed Terrell, much to the delight of the audience.
Between sets, Woozy and Legwurk simply encouraged the audience to have a good time, stay hydrated, and enjoy being around their best friends. Not taking themselves too seriously, they made candid and whimsical statements, which the audience absolutely loved. Legwork walked up to the microphone and said, without any context, “Tall people aren’t the only sexy people. Short people are sexy too… Shout out to my short people!
Towards the end of the set, Legwurk played the opening chords of “Habit” without lyrics. They were replaced by a long intro with bluesy guitar riffs and soft drums. For about two minutes, the audience eagerly awaited the opening lines as Legwurk improvised on electric guitar. When Woozy finally came through with “I Might Let You Have It,” the atmosphere, fans screamed the lyrics and swayed to the accented beats.
With the energy of “Habit” permeating the room, Still Woozy closed with “Goodie Bag”, arguably one of the most popular songs in his repertoire. Even louder than for “Habit”, the crowd sang and reached a climax of energy and passion. The energy in the room was invigorating, but cold at the same time. The laid back music accompanied by the band’s incredible stage presence led to an undeniably joyous performance.
Following the immense stress of the first day of the festival and the peak heat of the day, Still Woozy provided the reprieve and rejuvenation needed to endure a full day at Coachella. The band’s collective ability to effortlessly pull together a diverse crowd of almost a thousand people for 45 minutes demonstrates not only the quality of their music, but also the power of their captivating and downright goofy charisma.
As the crowd returned to the beating sun, the stage was immediately stripped and all signs of the performance disappeared, as if it was all a mirage.
—Writer AJ Veneziano can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @aj_veneziano.