By Scott T. Sterling
When UK house revivalists Disclosure took to the expansive outdoor stage on the final night of Coachella 2014, siblings Guy and Howard Lawrence were given a hero’s welcome from the capacity crowd that stretched deep into the festival grounds.
Launching into the song “When a Fire Starts to Burn” from the duo’s GRAMMY-nominated debut album, Settle, Howard Lawrence played a live bass line over the ceaseless 4/4 beat while his brother Guy triggered the song’s vocal samples of former NFL player turned motivational speaker Eric Thomas in real-time. Shifting into the stuttering 2-step rhythm of “You and Me,” Guy added live drums from an electronic percussion kit into the mix.
With a rotating cast of guest vocalists including Mary J. Blige, Sam Smith and Aluna Francis of AlunaGeorge, Disclosure’s hour-long set was a visceral, live performance that ranked among Coachella 2014’s most talked-about and well-received sets. It’s a rare distinction to be invited to perform at festival two years in a row, but rarer still can a band sum up both the past, present, and future of dance music in their set.