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Warpaint Playful Yet Psychedelic


WRITTEN BY MIKE DUFFY

Warpaint has received lot of praise in the past few months for their first full-length album, The Fool, and after Friday’s seven-song set at Coachella, they are well-deserving.

Heavy, dark, brooding and spacey could all describe Warpaint’s style, although the all-girl quartet kept it light at times, especially in the interaction with the audience.

Clearly, Warpaint was having fun, as dual vocalists Theresa Wayman and Emily Kokal played off each other on both the mic and their Fender guitars. Bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg was a pixie in the middle of the stage, making sure to tell the audience mid-show how much she loooooved it.

And then there was Stella Mogzawa. At the beginning and end of the set, she smiled joyfully and waved. In between, she absolutely abused her kit with a menacing scowl that the Coachella camera crews made sure to highlight several times on the giant video screens flanking the stage.

This is when I thought Warpaint was at their best — when Wayman lays out a catchy riff and Mogzawa goes to town with a vicious stormy beat as they did on the third song of the day, “Composure.” Kokal takes the lead vocals and vamps ever so slightly while the percussion drives the song.

The finale, “Elephant,” was similarly thumping.

Warpaint also squeezed in one of their more prominent hits in “Undertow,” which really got the crowd going.

But the song that probably captured the essence of Warpaint’s playful yet psychedelic nature was “Billie Holiday.” Mogzawa lays the foundation along with Lindberg with Wayman and Kokol sharing harmonies on the lyrics from Motown legend Mary Wells’ classic “My Guy.”

“Nothing you can say/can take me away/from my guy.”

Definitely one of the best acts of the day.

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