Coachella 2011: Aquabats make dragons and Danny DeVito appear onstage

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Aside from conjuring their own origin stories, superhero ska band the Aquabats dole out plenty of epic mythology in their lyrics.

Nowhere was that more apparent in their Friday night set than in the performance of ‘Lucky Dragon Lady.’ In case the title doesn’t quite give it away, this slice of kooky balladry about two dragons in love was one of the more memorable tracks from their latest full-length effort ‘Hi-Five Soup!’ released in January.

Photos: Faces of Coachella 2011

The band took the stage at the Mojave tent around 9:30 p.m. A barrage of acid-trip cartoon video projections combined with lyrics like ‘I’m a dragon, You’re a dragon, we’re flyoneers in a covered wagon’ made this song a classic Aquabats moment.

Then they took it up a notch. Before song’s end, frontman Christian Jacobs (a.k.a. the MC Bat Commander) summoned onto the stage a life-size version of the dog-headed dragon Atreyu from the ‘80s fantasy film ‘The Never Ending Story.’


The rabid populace of masked and face-painted Aquabats fans sang ‘Fly away! Fly away with me!’ as the dragon emerged from the wings of the Mojave tent. Floating among the romping five-piece, the mythic beast brought the song to a climax, feeding the crowd’s desire for the band’s storied prop humor. One thing fans probably weren’t counting on was a legendary beast of a different sort. A party animal otherwise known as Danny DeVito. After segueing their dragon tale into the 1997 AB classic,'Super Rad,’ the actor hopped onstage before the final chorus came around, decked out in shorts, a hat and black shades.

A noted Coachella regular, he was expected to make a cameo at some point. A superhero ska show was an interesting choice. As the clock reached midnight, no doubt he was flopping around in a rave tent near you.


Images from the 2011 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

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-- Nate Jackson