Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday Wrap Up

So walking into the last day of Coachella is like waking up on your last day of camp. You're sad. Really really sad and you're determined to have as much fun as possible.

We checked out at 10 and headed over to the site early. We had a long day planned

Super Mayer
No Age
Friendly Fires
Okkervil River
The Gaslight Anthem
Sebastian Tellier
Lupe Fiasco
Lykke Li
Peter Bjorn and John
Anthony and the Johnstons
Perry Farrel
Plump DJs
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Horrors
Christopher Lawrence
Grove Armada and

Once again we started the day off in the techno tent to amp up and because, well, that's naturally the first place Lauren and I gravitate to.

We saw 17 bands so I'll just give you the highlights.

Friendly Fires was much anticipated and for good reason. It was a 2:00 set and the whole tent was full on a 100 degree day. Why aren't they playing one of the bigger stages? I don't know. We were in the overflow but the happy energy got all the way to us in the back. Yay for cute sassy European boys with bands.

Lupe Fiasco provided some much needed hip hop representation and they delivered. See - this is the awesome thing about Coachella. You're in this giant field with 40K other people who love music, are just as hot as you, paid just as much money and well - you kind of stop caring about stuff, so if you hear music you like, no matter where you are or what you're doing, if you start dancing it's cool. If you just want to park it in the middle of a something you just pull up some grass. Everyone was just chill and fantastic and there was space to just be yourself. So while we were just kicking it on the soft polo grass with our shoes off grooving to Lupe there was this hilarious dude in front of us just dancing and dancing and it wasn't weird. I love it.

Lykki Li was amazing. What a show. That girl has so much freaking energy. What would we do without crazy Swedes? Seriously. She migrated over to the main stage to sing with Peter Bjorn and John for Young Folks (got that on video :D) too. It was a Swedish invasion.

Peter was chill and amazing.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are fun. Just plain fun. It's impossible not to have fun because they are having so much fun. They were on the main stage and they deserved it.

Christopher Lawrence and Grove Armada are juggernauts in the techno end of the world so we shook our groove thang for an hour or so and then frolicked over, a bit sadly for our last stop at Coachella for a whole year.

The Cure.

\There are not words for all the emotion that went into little old me sitting cross-legged behind a few thousand people listening to one of my favorite bands of all time. The Cure is one of those staples of my adolescence. They were this unassuming group that made all the difference to me. I will probably never see them again in my life time but this show was all I needed.

They were such a contrast to The Killers the night before. The Killers have this HUGE light and graphics show and its this whole visual experience as well as a musical one. Everyone is dressed in their rock version of tuxedos true to their Las Vegas roots. The Cure just took the stage. No fancy lights, no insane costumes, nothing like that. It was mesmerizing. Robert looked like he spent the night in a tree (as usual) and was in jeans and a hoodie comfortably taking in thousands of people with his guitar and the music. I've never experienced anything like it.

I cried as I walked out and swore that I'd be back and I will.

# of Bands seen: 29
# of hours slept: 12
# of times getting pulled over by a cop for a broken tail light smelling like, well, Coachella: 1
# of tickets received: 0
# of Redbulls drank: 0
# of times contemplating a Redbull: 234
# of people I wished would put some more clothes on: 38,908
# of hot guys I didn't mind so much being disrobed: 4446
# of times I cried at the beauty of what I was hearing or the gravity of it all: 15
# of dreams come true: 4
# of funnel cakes consumed: 1
# of random friends I ran into: 1
# of times I thought that there are too many people in the world who weren't hugged enough as children: 289
# of babies with airport ear covers on: 2
# of porter potty/trailer hook ups secured: 1
# of times getting misted down in the Dolab: 3
# of times I dug my bare toes into the grass thinking this was heaven: 23
# of blackberries rescued: 1
# of hugs from strangers: 3
# of sundresses I wished I had the good sense to have worn: 1,287
# of times I fell in love with Brandon Flowers: 8
# of times I fell in love with music all over again: 23,833

Viva Coachella!
Who is in for 2010?

OK - Pics and Videos

So pics first.

It was a gorgeous weekend. This is the check in tent. Bag check, ticket scan all that jazz. Typically these fields are lined up with people but luckily when we got there on Sat it was wide open. I forgot my camera in the car in my haste Friday night sadly so all I have is Sat and Sun. You'll get a good idea though.

Then right when you come in there is this huge dome with a mountain of amps and a DJ bumping some trance. It's like a portal to another world. There is a water refill station and merch and all that boring stuff in this proverbial foyer but then you go through another narrow gate and you see this.

We started dancing the second we walked in and didn't stop till we left essentially.

So besides all the stages they had all these amazing interactive modern art exhibits all over the site. I spent all weekend musing at them as much as the music. OK - well not quite so much.

And at night they all changed and took on a whole new life.

and they fired up the Tesla coil. :D

The tents at the back of the site were awesome. The techno lounge was always a buzz.

One act even brought out an alien to pepper the fiesta.

Twilight was the highlight of the day though

I have a ton more and videos galore. I took more video than pics I think. Upload is a long process and I don't have a lot of time anymore so we'll see what I get up. Maybe I'll make it a weekly thing. Coachella Pining Tuesdays or something.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Coachella (thus far)

So I've been here two and a half days and Lauren and I have made our way through the crowds of 40K+ hippie and OC kids masking to be hippies with our prioritized color coded spreadsheet of set times and clean hair. It's been an other worldly experience.

I've taken copious amounts of pictures and videos that I'll get up here soon but here is a list of bands I've seen so far.

I worked Friday so I missed The Ting-Tings, Morrissey, Leonard Cohen, The Silver Sun Pickups, We Are Scientists, The Airborn Toxic Event, Conor Obrest, and Beruit. I like my job and boss (which I'll update on later) so I didn't mind working but I'm kind of super sad.

I was afraid I was going to miss Paul McCartney with the way parking was working. I fought traffic out of and during the 10 trek and THEN it was heinous all over when I got to the site. The fact that they *do* park the insane amount of people to do come is a slight miracle. Whoever puts this on should be an advisor for developing nations.

They put it on at the Indio Polo fields. There is the main stage which is HUGE. Like Huge. I've been to big stadium concerts but this beats them all. 2 jumbo trons, a light display you can see from space. It's a mobile World Wonder. Then there is the Outdoor Theater which is just off to the right that is still big but not tricked out like the Main Stage. Then there are 3 different massive tents down the line with normal sized stages and these canopies that must run 500' long and 100' wide and 100' tall. They feel like airport hangers. People can get out of the sun, pull up a piece of grass and just listen. It's magical. One is exclusively dedicated to techno so that's the non-stop party. And in between all of them are these amazing modern art displays and Tesla coils and these constructed grottos to get people out of the sun. THEN the place is surrounded with food vendors selling fair food and pretentious vegan curry and just about everything else under the sun. We had a funnel cake last night. I can't remember the last time I scored one of those. :D

On Friday, despite traffic and parking I did get there in time for The Presets, Paul McCartney and The Crystal Method.

The Presets were an AWESOME way to start my Coachella. They're like this new Aussie Depeche Mode cognate. People were spilling out of the tent but Lauren and I were in the thick of it and dancing our little cabooses off. I love them, they made the "CDs to buy list".

The Crystal Method were just as amazing in the the techno tent. Very different vibe than The Presets but fantastic nonetheless.

Paul however was as much of the legend as I was expecting. He had a long set, about 2 hours, and he was jammin and rocking like he was 20. I was totally amazed. I've sung with a Beatle. My life is getting close to complete. :D

Saturday was a full day. We didn't get to the site till 6 but I still left totally drained. We saw:
Zane Lowe
TV on the Radio
Fleet Foxes
Thievery Corporation
Band of Horses
The Chemical Brothers
and The Killers

Zane Lowe was a DJ in the techno tent. Must start and end the day with a party

We were ready to enjoy Glasvegas but they canceled so we meandered over to Calexico and they were fun. Kind of a chill, folky band with a Spanish lean. Neither of us really knew their stuff but we appreciated it while we were there.

Then we wandered over to the main stage for TV on the Radio. These guys are probably one of my favorite finds of 07. They've been around for a while but I just tapped into them two years ago. See - there was this one super hot guy that regularly came to a mutual friend's shows. Like jaw-dropping, loose your words kind of beautiful. AND not only was he a walking Greek god, he was brilliant too. He had a tattoo that was a quote from The Stranger on his perfect arm. Just stick a fork in me now. Anyways - this kind of beauty required MySpace stalking so that's what I did. Under his favorite TV programs he put "on the Radio". Hot. I know. So I looked up the band and was continually amazed by this specter or beauty's depth and taste. I haven't seen him since but he'll forever be embossed in my mind as this practically perfect man who led me to TV on the Radio.

I think the subtly of TV on the Radio is a bit lost on a big stage. I infinitely prefer them in smaller venues. I'm super happy they're getting this kind of recognition but I wasn't as into the set as I was expecting.

Fleet Foxes was next and they were celestial. Seriously celestial. Their music is quite the folk, baroque, rock hybrid and makes for amazing albums but I was wondering how well it would translate to a live gig. I was blown away. I cried through the first few songs for the sheer beauty of it. These guys are such an amazing talent its kind of scary. Their clarity is something that I don't think has been seen or heard since Simon and Garfunkel. The very loud bunch of Argentineans next to us almost ruined it but we moved and peace was restored to the universe.

We went over to Thievery Corporation while Band of Horses was setting up next and they were insanely cool. They're a DC band and reflect the multicultural aspects of the city. We caught one song about a pueblo and la voluntad de la gente. It kind of made me home/mission sick.

But we quickly made our way back to the outdoor stage for Band of Horses. They were charming and hilarious as usual. We caught the first half of their set and then jammed over to the main stag again for M.I.A

I was BLOWN AWAY (I've said that a lot, I know but this experience was one gust of awesome after another) by M.I.A. That girl had a baby a few months ago and 1) she looks great and 2) was jamming up there like it was something she did everyday. Which is probably true. Between the music and the colors the show had a distinct vibe. I felt like I was in a video game and I didn't mind. That girl is here to stay. She's totally money.

From there we booked it back to the techno tent. The Chemical Bros were playing. Now let me explain something about The Chemical Bros - my first introduction to techno in general was the movie Hackers. It remains one of my favorite movies but the Chemical Brothers did like half of that soundtrack. They're my entry point and therefore opus of the genre. This concert has been 15 years in the coming and I was EXHAUSTED before we even got there.

We were contemplating heading home before the Killers show because we had both gotten blaze reviews from friends of their shows but we just sat down for a few minutes and waited and ended up staying through the whole set and it was worth it. In my completely tuckered state they had me on my feet and dancing the whole hour and half and Brandon remains an example for LDS boys everywhere. He sings, dances, dresses well, is honest about himself and his faith, has his temple covenants AND is a rock star. It's possible people. Very possible.

Stay tuned -

We're going out with a bang today with the Cure.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday Giggles

"It's 2am! Still time to make one more bad decision!"

That's kind of the story of my love life.