Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum has such a perfect voice live that it actually sounds like it has auto tune applied to it. No, Mangum was just pitch perfect at Sunday sundown at Coachella weekend two, though it felt a bit disrespectful to have their set lead into Lana Del Rey’s at the Outdoor Theatre on the final day.
I say this only because so many 16-to-25 year old girls started pushing their way to the front before Neutral Milk Hotel began even playing, trying to set themselves for up-close-and-personal with Lana. As they played through their album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, you did see a solid number of diehards singing along to all of Mangum’s unique lyrics. At the same time, it felt as though a good 25% of the crowd was not enjoying themselves as much.
“In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” was the song that piqued the casual crowd’s interest the most, and Mangum was particularly on his game for this set. The video boards turned off as well as Mangum kindly asking people put away their devices, it was one of the few Coachella moments that didn’t have to be documented every second of the way, which was a nice and refreshing change of pace from the rest of the weekend.
Words: Mark E. Ortega
Photos above via Instagram user, @B_Colllins67