Widescreen: There's another chance to see Danny Elfman's buzzy, 'Batman'-meets-Boingo Coachella concert online

  • Film composer and Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman was the surprise star of this year's Coachella festival in California.

    Film composer and Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman was the surprise star of this year's Coachella festival in California. Associated Press

  • Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who died last week at 67, at one point had said he'd lost track of the number of times he'd played Zanies in the suburbs.

    Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who died last week at 67, at one point had said he'd lost track of the number of times he'd played Zanies in the suburbs.

 
 
Posted4/22/2022 6:00 AM

If you know the name Danny Elfman, it's either as the frontman for off-kilter '80s rock band Oingo Boingo or as the composer of memorable film scores, most notably for Tim Burton.

Last weekend at the iconic Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival, audiences in the California desert and around the world on YouTube were delighted by both -- and can be again this weekend.

 

With a shock of orange hair and a bare torso covered in tattoos, the 68-year-old(!) Elfman played frontman for an all-star rock band that included guitarist Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit) and drummer Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails), backed by an orchestra conducted by Boingo bandmate Steve Bartek.

The wildly diverse set featured avant-garde heavy metal songs from Elfman's 2021 solo album, performances of music from "Edward Scissorhands" and "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," a medley of songs from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and Oingo Boingo staples like "Dead Man's Party" and "Only a Lad." I've never seen anything quite like it.

The clip that went viral on Twitter featured guitarist Nili Brosh hammering a virtuoso solo amid Elfman's theme from "The Simpsons." You'll have a hard time finding that now thanks to a copyright claim, but you will get another chance to see Elfman's diabolical musical concoction this Saturday during Coachella's second weekend slate.

The free, "curated" livestream of the weekend's performances begins at 6 p.m. Friday at youtube.com/coachella, where you should be able to find the lineup and set times in the video description. (It was unavailable as of press time.) Other performers include Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, Harry Styles, The Weeknd and Chicago-based band Beach Bunny.

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'Gilbert' in the suburbs

Gilbert Gottfried died last week at 67, and the documentary about the unassuming man with the loud, vulgar stage persona is now available to a wider audience.

"Gilbert," the 2017 film directed by Neil Berkeley and first available on Hulu, is now streaming for free at PlutoTV, Peacock and The Roku Channel. The adults-only feature documents the two very different sides of Gottfried's personality. One was the proud father of two who speaks adoringly of his beloved sister Arlene, a New York City photographer. The other was a fearless comedian with an undefinable, endearing quality that seemed to excuse his unimaginably filthy jokes.

The familiar sign of St. Charles' Pheasant Run Resort -- which closed March 1, 2020 -- is also seen in a memorable sequence from "Gilbert," the 2017 documentary about comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who died last week at 67.
The familiar sign of St. Charles' Pheasant Run Resort -- which closed March 1, 2020 -- is also seen in a memorable sequence from "Gilbert," the 2017 documentary about comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who died last week at 67. - Daily Herald file photo

The film features two relics of the suburban past: Zanies' St. Charles comedy club and the Pheasant Run Resort. In one of the film's most memorable scenes, Gottfried spends some time before one of his many Zanies shows at a military history convention at the resort, where he encounters a group of attendees who have made a rather questionable fashion choice.

• Sean Stangland is an assistant news editor hoping to see 91-year-old John Williams conduct an orchestra at next year's Coachella with a lightsaber baton.

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