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.


Liz W. said...

JEAL to the OUS!!!!!

Nicole said...

Sounds like a dream of a weekend. I'll bet you're super exhausted, but it was all worth it. Kat was there too...did you run into her at all?