Coachella 2014: Junior high band Unlocking the Truth glimpses future
No one remembers full sets at concerts. They remember moments.
Snapshot memories of a particular singer’s stage maneuvers. An excellent organ solo. An amazing EDM break. A bitter bit of banter from, say, Morrissey about the smell of burning flesh.
The early part of Saturday at Coachella will be defined in my memory for one incident as young band Unlocking the Truth made its festival debut. “Young” is an understatement. The Brooklyn band’s members are all in junior high school, but it didn’t show. Playing a hard, distorted blend of metal, speed punk and alternative rock on the main stage, they were as well-practiced as units three times their age.
By the end of their set the small but vocal crowd were so impressed that they started chanting, “One more song!” But if Outkast can’t do one more, neither can Unlocking the Truth. That didn’t stop the band members from wandering toward the fans, and when they did, something beautiful happened.
One by one members Alec Atkins, Jarad Dawkins and Malcolm Brickhouse were lifted onto the mass of hands, then carried Jesus-like above the crowd, surfing their way to the back to cheers, high-fives and handshakes. It felt like a portent, as if these adolescents were offering a time-traveled glimpse of Coachella’s future.
Not a bad way to spend spring break. The “What I Did Over Vacation” essay should write itself.
[For the record, 7:15 p.m. April 13: A previous version of this post misspelled Jarad Dawkins’ first name as Jared.]
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