April 10, 2015
By Chrissy Mauck
Riding the high of critically acclaimed 2014 album Here and Nowhere Else, Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings packed their 45-minute set on the first day of Coachella with a full dose of electrifying rock.
The set, which kicked off at 1:55 p.m. in the Gobi Tent, drew a large crowd for that mid-afternoon time slot, and rightfully so. Their brand of breakneck punk-tinged grunge pop had the masses moving, as drummer Jayson Gerycz, singer/guitarist Dylan Baldi and bassist TJ Duke attacked their instruments with reckless abandon.
Duke set the tone to tracks like the slow-building “Swallow” and “No Future / No Past,” laying down a rumbling bassline as the rest of the band joined in. It was the perfect way to lead up to Baldi plaintively screaming the titles of the respective songs at the end.
One of Cloud Nothings’ latest singles, “I’m Not Part of Me,” was a big hit at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, Calif., sparking a lot of movement in the crowd that continued through the second half of the band’s set.
That motion came to a boiling point with “Wasted Days,” a nine-minute offering from their 2012’s Attack on Memory. The song is easily the longest in their canon, and it runs like a three-act revue, with the voltage running higher and higher as it rolls along.
Like a waterfall, Gerycz’s drums cascade over and over alongside Baldi’s screeching voice yelling “I thought! I would! Be more! Than this!” repeatedly. Eventually, “Wasted Days” breaks down as Duke’s thumping bass restoring order to the torrid waves of noise.
During the show, Gerycz wore a white T-shirt that said “Music is a ‘Natural High'” on it, and that could be a good motto to have this early in the first weekend of Coachella. If nothing else, Cloud Nothings did their part to jolt the crowd alive.