S.S. Coachella Cruise, Day One: Father John Misty, Yeasayer, !!!, Pulp
It is surreal watching these big acts playing in an enclosed room on a boat. In your head, you're grappling with the idea of being on a huge building that's swaying in the ocean. But then I didn't care so much and hungrily wandered around wishing there was an onboard diner. In this quest for more food, I ran into James Murphy in the elevator and had to pretend to not recognize him. That's why they do these cruises, of course. So that you can tell your friends again and again that you shared an elevator with James Murphy on the high seas until they really hate you.
It took awhile, but people finally started filling up the pool deck area where DJs were spinning. This is probably the only place in the world where "indie" music triumphs pop dubstep mixes.
Back in the Sky Lounge, !!! was, again, probably the most awesome band I've ever seen. I caught them at Ultra Music Festival two years ago performing under the Miami sun for about 50 people. But singer Nic Offer knows how to make any tiny crowd into a fucking fantastic otherworldly experience. A man after my own heart, he seems to always be wearing inappropriately short shorts. These were printed with the album cover of the Stones' Some Girls. And yes, he was the second of the three to throw his arms up and shake his hips. Fantastic. The lady next to me in a mod yellow dress said she'd seen !!! four times and flew here from Australia to watch them again.
Later, she was dancing like crazy to Pulp in the Silhouette Theater. Jarvis Cocker and his band had a sort of corny green laser light show going on with a hanging sheet as a projection screen displaying sentences like: "Are you feeling alright?" and "OK, I will meet you at the bar." There was even a Santa doing the running man.
Cocker (third hip-shaking dude!) sang in his deep delicious voice, donning a brownish suit with tie. As the sheet dropped, the whole theater danced. Pulp definitely brought the yummiest of Brit pop. This was the group's first time on a cruise, joking "We're all in the same boat together," calling it "a voyage of discovery."
That same sly British humor coursed through both the lyrics and Cocker's between-song banter. He joked about the letters "PULP" above the stage, lit up in blue and pink, swaying back and forth, saying he had a "sick feeling in my stomach, like I'm standing in the middle of a cruise ship."
But the ship isn't making anyone sick. More like it's making them drink and dance and making the men move their hips like ladies. Very sexy ladies.