Lily Allen is a foul-mouthed misandrist pop starlet from the United Kingdom whose only hit on this side of the Atlantic, ‘Smile,’ was a favorite last year among the Pitchfork Media set. Allen’s backup band was in good form on Sunday at Coachella. The horn section in particular brought out an obvious ska influence that is sometimes lost in the polished studio production of Allen’s debut album, ‘Alright, Still.’ Unfortunately, Allen failed to live up to her band’s professionalism, stumbling through her songs with lots of energy but little lucidity.
‘I’m forgetting all my fucking words now,’ Allen apologized after ‘Littlest Things,’ later explaining, ‘I have had a couple of spliffs today.’
Eloquence didn’t seem to be a requisite for audience enjoyment at Coachella, however. Allen got more applause for her apology than she did for any of her songs (except perhaps ‘Smile’).
After Allen played her only stateside hit, many audience members left before her finale, a cover of Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass.’ To her credit, Allen got many of the words right.
Willie Nelson put on a good show, but the effort was largely unappreciated by the mostly 20-something Rage fans who seemed to know nothing of Nelson, save for his predilection for marijuana.
This became woefully apparent when he attempted to lead a sing-along on ‘Will the Circle Be Unbroken’ and was met with bewildered silence.
The biggest cheers during Nelson’s set came after the lyric ‘Too many pain pills / Too much pot’ in the song ‘Superman,’ which is not a paean to recreational drug use but a cautionary tale about Nelson’s diminishing health