MJA seemed sober on Sunday. Tehehehohohoehe.
5/22: Move D, Reaganz, Sassmouth @ Monarch
5/28: Refused, White Lung @ GAMH
5/29: Spoon @ The Fox Theater, Oakland
5/29: Max Cooper EMERGENCE @ PW
5/30: Neutral Milk Hotel @ Pappy & Harriet's
6/2: Kiasmos ft. Olafur Arnalds, Rival Consoles @ The Independent
6/6: Matthew Dear, Daniel Bortz @ Public Works
6/12: Christian Loeffler @ TBA
6/17: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ The Independent
6/21: Underworld, Jungle @ The Hollywood Bowl
6/25: Until the Ribbon Breaks @ The Rickshaw Stop
Thanks for the compliments about my shots, guys. I do what I can with my little Kodak point and shoot.
4/8-Jessie Ware (Wiltern Theatre)
4/10-12-Coachella Weekend 1
4/22-Kacey Musgraves (Rialto Theatre)
5/22-U2 (US Airways Center)
5/23-U2 (US Airways Center)
5/30-Will Butler (Crescent Ballroom)
8/29-Slipknot w/Lamb of God (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
9/25-Foo Fighters (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
For music dudes and dudettes in the UK - the vast majority of whom have never heard of Coachella
Coachella, I’m In Love
The fest takes place at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio California, approx 40 mins by car from Palm Springs and 120 miles east of Los Angeles along the I10 freeway. Just north of Indio is Joshua Tree national park and the Mojave desert. The climate is dry and warm all year round, with temperatures just starting to creep up into the 90s around festival time. It draws 85,000 music fans from all over the world, but mainly from America, Mexico & Canada and particularly from L.A. which usually means some Hollywood stars can be spotted under their hats & shades
The majority of attendees camp on-site. Car/camping is a popular option where tents are set up beside your car in marked out car park style plots. Day parking is free and within a ten min walk of the Polo fields. Bands perfrom across 5 main stages (including 3 tents) as well as the 'Heineken Dome' and the 'Do-Lab' which house less established and mainly electonic acts. The festival incorporates a variety of art exhibitions - many are interactive and very visual e.g. the Land Sharks (neon lit motorised robot sharks which 'swam' around the fields at night). There are 5 large food and bar areas which are separated from the stages and provide shade form the sun. Alcohol must be consumed in the bar which in addition to the novelty of most punters making use of recycling bins (unbelievable I know) means the Polo fields are almost devoid of litter.
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Friday 13th April - Never Hesitate
Over the last few years, the first band we’ve seen on Coachella Friday has been one of the very best of the weekend. Last year Hurts kept up the tradition. So no pressure on The Sheepdogs then. Hailing from Sasquatchian Canada, they sound exactly as they look; long haired, beardy hippies playing groovy guitar rock in the flavour of Free, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Band. This is the musical definition of ’less is more’. With a song titled ‘Southern Dreaming’, visually and sonically the goodship Sheepdog nailed it’s colours to the mast. Is it 1973? am I dreaming or in a coma? Either way, it’s brilliant - lush vocal harmonies and often two interwoven lead guitar parts. They kicked off confidently with ‘Who’ and followed it immediately with ’I Don’t Know’. A red and white maple leaf beach ball bounced around the crowd and The Sheepdogs were clearly enjoying their 1pm sunshine slot on the Outdoor Stage. So were we - could have listened to them all afternoon.
The Sahara Tent is in the southernmost corner of the Polo Fields. Typically it’s the home of all acts Dance, Rave, House and Pumpin’ House Rave Dance (you get the drift). It’s about the size of a football pitch and this year the ‘stage end’ and the entire length of the roof are adorned with screens that wouldn’t be out of place in Piccadilly Circus. In Breakbot I’m expecting a band on stage, as what I’ve heard sounds a bit like Jamiroquai / Michael Jackson. Wrong - it’s a bloke with a couple of laptops which isn’t usually our cup of tea, however the frobbing funk has heads-a-bobbing early and soon tapping feet give way to a few fousand doing a bouncy. Bottom lips all round (push your bottom lip out and nod your head - there, you’re doing it). ‘Fantasy’ the single released last June takes it up a notch … ’Dance, dance with me, life’s a fantaseeeeee’… it’s my kind of dance music, not too bass heavy, plenty melody, distinguishable verse & chorus - funky shit.
By this point we’ve unfortunately missed The Dear Hunter (check out ‘Echo’ & ‘He Said He Had A Story’) and are heading back to the Outdoor Stage for Yuck. Hmmm … the weather was getting slightly overcast and soon the mood was on a similar downward plane. I was attracted to this bunch by the excellent single ‘The Wall’ however they failed to impress. By the second song the singer/ guitarist is pleading for a spare amp. By all means scream at someone backstage to get it sorted but I think he’s reveling in the uber-indie-dom-cool that comes with being so skint and having to make do with unreliable old gear. I bet he bought that amp just cos it looked beat up. On the subject of looks, they just don’t look up for it. Shoegazing, no interaction with each other or the crowd. It sounds like a very poor man’s Teenage Fanclub. Mrs DA reckons they are nervous. I mellow in my opinion and give them the benefit of the doubt putting the performance (the biggest misnomer since Pussy Galore) down to a bad day at the office.
Its 4pm and we head to the bar area to pick up a $9 beer and watch James on the main stage. Man, I forgot how Tim Booth has changed his image. I wasn’t expecting the bald head and black goatee. Anyway …they go down really well. Sit Down is played second in the set (the crowd don’t). To prevent me finding myself ridiculous I’m asked to refrain from loudly singing all the words. ‘Ring The Bells’ is followed by the fabulous Pinball Wizard reminiscent acoustic guitar that drives ‘Sometimes’ and we’re on the move again to the Gobi Tent to get a good spot Gary Clark Jr at 4.30.
Gary comes on stage with mirrored shades under a black fedora, looking like a cross between Jules Winnfield and Huggy Bear. Kinda scary but impressive with it. Wearing a large red Gibson ES-335, he takes the path of the righteous man to the front of the stage and starts the vicious riff that leads into ’When My Train Pulls In’ to shepherd us through the valley of darkness. This is highest quality up-tempo blues guitar. Think Gary Moore / Jimi. A bit more stripped down and raw than the currently hip Joe Bonamassa. ‘Bright Lights’ and ‘Don’t Owe You A Thang’ follow - excellent stuff. He only has one e.p. out at the moment so new material soon would be great.
Next it’s GIRLS on The Outdoor stage at 5.40. The intention is to check ‘em out prior to Arctic Monkeys at 6.30 on the main Coachella Stage. Norm advised that the singer is a heroin addict and right enough he doesn’t look particularly healthy, in fact … he‘s a dead ringer for Kurt Cobain. Kinda explains the lyric in their excellent song ‘Honey Bunny’ from their Father, Son, Holy Ghost album -‘They don’t like my boney body, they don’t like my dirty hair‘. With their jangly guitars the band sound a bit like Weezer (which is a good thing) and they’re trying hard, but just like the sunshine isn’t not quite breaking through for me. The 3 girl gospel backing vocalists seem strangely out of place . We make to leave after the aforementioned ‘Honey Bunny’ but Norm says we must stay for the last song - their best song … (ok this could be interesting) … called ‘Vomit’ (it had to be that or ‘Overdose’ didn‘t it). It’s a slow paced epic with quiet plucked guitar in the verses pushing 6 minutes plus. ‘Looking for love’ is the chorus refrain. Pretty good, chilled, melancholy and finally the gospel 3 look and sound like they’re on the correct stage. Not bad but shan’t be running out to buy the album - so I bought the single.
We don’t quite get as close to the Coachella stage as we’d like to for Arctic Monkeys, however it’s a fairly central spot and we get an appreciation of Alex Turner’s new barnet and cool leather jacket. I may have seen them at the Scottish ‘Neds In The Rain’ festival a good few years ago but I can’t remember. Anyway … Matt Helders: what an absolute powerhouse of a Drummer! A great set filled with hits and new material from Suck It And See, was enjoyed by a slightly subdued crowd perhaps due to an increasingly cool evening. They gave it loads. Short, snappy, guitar stabby, slabs of pure indie rock with great lyrics and clear diction. Libertines take note - these guys are why you’re third rate. Highlights were 'Brianstorm', 'Don’t Sit Down..', 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor', 'Evil Twin', 'Brick By Brick', 'Teddy Picker' & 'Fluorescent Adolescent' - excellent. Alex Turner is the heir to Paul Weller’s throne (not Noel).
Without much difficulty we weaved our way through the crowd at the Outdoor Stage to see the remainder of the Madness set. The return of the Camden 7 … again. All are looking very smart in black suits. Suggs is looking (almost) as young as ever albeit slightly out of breath. Chas Smash still can’t really sing but he’s still a great foil for Suggs. Chris Foreman’s hat is cool for cats but when tipped he’s looking his age. Enough of the Gok Wan stuff. The music has aged very well. I haven’t skanked liked that since … er .. em … the early 80’s. ‘Baggy Trousers’ was brilliant. There’s only one member of the classic line up missing - bass player Mark Bedford, but Graham Bush does a great job locking in with drummer Woody. The set finishes with ‘Our House’ and ‘Night Boat To Cairo’. Here at Coachella it’s 8pm but it’s just gone noon on the banks of the River Nile. Great fun.
Some say one of Pulp’s greatest performances was Glastonbury ‘95 when they replaced The Stone Roses. I say they were poor substitutes. This meant we were lending our ears to Frank Ocean at 8:15 in the Gobi Tent. It’s rammed. I’m not sure what to expect, but he‘s been recommended by big Kanye West fan - Buddha 99. I know he’s a rapper but haven’t heard any material. Bring it on Frank. The band are in place leaving a gap front and centre stage. He saunters on holding the mic like a gun. Dressed like an off duty basketball player, the crowd go nuts. I’m hopeful. The first song starts (Long Time Gone by Bob Dylan) and is instantly forgettable. Another starts, no vocal for a while then stops abruptly. Hmmm, was that designed? Another starts - a few mumbles form Frank, much pacing around the stage follows before it peters out. I’m not very hopeful. Tyler the Creator joins the stage for Analog 2. The crowd go nuts. Its better … at least it has a beginning a middle and an end. I’ll cut this short. He’s having a total off-night and the following day Buddha 99 agrees. I’m relieved it wasn’t just me.
A choice: The Black Keys or M83. We’ve seen the former at Coachella twice in the previous 3 years, so despite lovin’ their two singles we plump for M83 in the Mojave Tent. This is the closest Coachella has come recently to the return of Daft Punk so I’m surprised to see a full band on stage. The French ‘dance’ outfit (my words- not there’s) formed in 2001 and lead by Anthony Gonzales comprises two guitars, bass, drums & keyboards. It’s pitch black in the tent by this time and the laser visuals are great. They sound kinda like Faithless and I’m impressed by ‘Steve McQueen’. A cover of ‘Fall’ by Daft Punk precedes their massive hit ‘Midnight City’ from the epic double album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Love it. This is M83’s 'Insomnia' and the tent is bouncing. Closing the set, 'Couleurs' then runs to its full 9 plus glorious minutes. It’s hard to define what makes the band stand out but the songs are like musical maps. Peaks and valleys, rivers & motorways. They’ve supported Kings Of Leon, The Killers and Depeche Mode in the last 3 years and they’re not unlike the last two.
It would be wonderful but physically impossible to stay beyond midnight to watch Swedish House Mafia and/or The Horrors, so with an equally full day planned for Saturday we head back to base in Palm Springs.
Saturday 14th April - Wait.
Before the set times were released we had a ‘to see’ list of 19 bands on Saturday = impossible. After the set times were released we had a few conflicts of two ‘to see’ bands playing at the same time on different stages. The first of these was We are Augustines and The Vaccines. I wasn’t a big fan of ‘Post Break Up Sex’ and Augustine’s album is fabulously reminiscent of The Gaslight Anthem and Arcade Fire, so an it was easy decision in the end. We Are Augustines on the Coachella Stage at 1.45pm. A more honest performance I don’t think I’ve seen. Singer / Guitarist Billy McCarthy is genuinely blown away the reaction of the growing swell watching the band. ‘Chapel Song’ and the pounding ‘Book Of James’ in particular are executed live really well by the 3 piece (Guitar, Bass & Drums), losing none of their studio qualities and retaining the raw stripped down feel that earmarks Rise Ye Sunken Ships. McCarthy’s Joe-Cockeresque gritty voice, the ’less is more’ arrangements and some sublime middle 8’s combine to make this set one I’d like to see in a smaller venue.
Next stop is The Gobi Tent for Azealia Banks. Mrs DA has advised her single is getting a lot of airplay in the UK. She comes on stage wearing a tight black and white vertical striped cat suit and immediately owns it. Machine gun rap, perfectly syncopated the crowd are on board from song 1. I don’t recognise the aforementioned single (‘212‘) but I do get ‘Valerie’ by The Zutons and the set closer a fab version of ‘Firestarter’. The DJ is great. The bottom end nearly destroyed my larynx but I was disappointed when the set finished 20 mins early.
We sit down, take on some sunshine outside the Mojave and listen to The Big Pink. I catch ‘Velvet’ - their best song in my opinion and ‘Hit The Ground (Superman)’ but am not compelled to join the half-full tent as I’m adamant I ain’t missing the recently discovered fIREHOSE, next door in The Gobi Tent. I’d heard of Mike Watt the virtuoso bass player but knew nothing of the band until about 2 weeks pre Coachella. I instantly liked what I saw and heard from vintage YouTube footage. They start with ‘Brave Captain’. It’s vital, primal stuff and Mike won’t turn to face the crowd - he’s almost standing on top of the drum kit playing his trade mark old dark red Gibson bass. The guitar and vocal could be a bit louder and I wish I knew more of their songs. Mike turns to sing lead vocal and he looks like your Dad after he’s just finished a 5 hour shift in the shed repairing broken lawnmower engines he bought from Alfie Flowers. The bass is feeding back something terrible and he growls his displeasure … a few times. I resolve to check our more material and I’m glad I saw them.
As we leave the Gobi we bump into a few friends from Canada. Status Reports and next actions are shared and compared. Buddah99 is off to the Do Lab for a soaking. Defender 68 and Team Arneaux are headed for The Outdoor Stage for tUnE-yArDs, while Dutch cant miss the Head And The Heart in the Mojave. Agreement is reached to have a fantastic Saturday and Sunday until we meet again in the bar overlooking the Coachella stage on the final day. There’s a substantial crowd for tUnE-yArDs but it’s not difficult getting to our usual spot front & centre, in line with the mixing desk and far enough back so jumping around and holding up crowd surfers is a lifestyle choice rather than a decision taken by strangers. I’ve heard the music Merrill Garbus makes dismissed as Kindergarten pop, probably due to the use of vocal sounds as much as lyrics and it’s like nothing I’ve heard before outside primary school other than perhaps Ob-la-Di Ob-la-Da and Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. Relevant at a festival in 2012? You bet! Especially so as some of the dismissive massive are still foaming at the mouth over some of the emperor’s new clothes in Radiohead’s wardrobe. Ms Garbus employs a sampler to loop and layer chord passages on her Ukulele , percussion and backing vox in the same way as KT Tunstall does in the live version of ‘Black Horse And The Cherry Tree’. She’s supported live by a bass player and a brass section. It’s simple, clever equally entertaining and a breath if fresh air on a Saturday destined to be dominated by indie guitars. If a score on the ‘Marshall’ scale of 11/10 represents a desire to run to the ZIA Records tent and purchase the back catalogue forthwith, this pleasant warm up to the evening gets an interesting 7.
We first missed Kaiser Chiefs opening for The Killers on the 2005 NME Shockwaves Tour. The reviews were such that missing them supporting Franz Ferdinand would have been foolish. Since then they’ve hit the heights opening Live 8 in America, released a few more albums and taken an apparent sabbatical, so with the intention of being in the right spot for Noel later on we move effortlessly to the front of the Coachella stage to catch the last half hour or so of their set. It’s easy to forget how many freeway friendly hits they have recorded since ‘na na na na naa’. Ricky Wilson is at his energetic best, spending as much time in the crowd as on stage. He’s working hard and it’s good to see another band taking nothing for granted as they justify the maxim ‘everyone’s got something to prove at Coachella’. ‘I Predict A Riot’ sees Ricky climb the TV scaffolding 100 yards from the stage and he sings directly into the camera providing extreme close up on the HD screens flanking the stage. The band look relaxed and unconcerned with their singer’s travels- probably because he never misses a vocal line and the crowd are lapping it up. What a difference to the subdued reaction for Arctic Monkeys at the same time yesterday.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds are scheduled to take to the Coachella Stage at 6.30, unfortunately just slightly too early to benefit from the famous sunset. ‘The Chief’ saunters on with none of the swagger associated with Are Kid. Cool black leather jacket and Ray Bans in place and with no introduction the band kick off with ‘(It’s Good) To Be Free’ from Noel’s first solo album The Masterplan, then Mucky Fingers’ from Don’t Believe The Truth. The recent album launch interview saw Noel admitting he’s a reluctant front man, finding himself drawn to the lead vocal void by necessity rather than desire. Mrs DA detects a shyness and perhaps nervousness. He needn’t be. Despite a lack of bass in the mix, the new solo material comes across really well: ‘Everybody’s On The Run’, ‘If I Had A Gun’, ‘The Death Of You And Me’. Even better are ‘Talk Tonight’ and ’Half The World Away’. ‘Little By Little’ is fantastic. ‘AKA What A Life’ needs that elusive bottom end and is slightly disappointing as a result. Unfortunately the live version had graduated to ‘God Like’ status in my imagination in the weeks pre Coachella. Closing the set is the fantastic ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’. I have to admit when the first two piano chords rang out after Noel suggested ‘You might know this one’, I immediately thought … ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon - what a cool ending. Oops. Noel’s fault, not mine. There’s an option to see Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel next at the Outdoor Stage, however pre festival research put him in the ‘I don’t really get this’ pot, so we take the opportunity to refuel before the evening unfolds.
Having sold tickets to see Kasabian in December, on the basis that their U.S. tour placed them in SoCal in April and therefore a likely appearance in the desert, their appearance is one of the most anticipated of the weekend. Six or so rows from the front is a place we wouldn’t be at home for safety reasons, but tonight it’s a privilege afforded by the band’s lower profile in the U.S. It’s clear from the outset they are here to smash through that ceiling and show the locals why they are festival headliners in another galaxy. Bearded, Big-shaded, and wearing a black raincoat, Tom Meighan is right up for the good fight. The Mojave is absolutely bouncing from front to back. Highlights, apart from Serge’s bearskin haircut and Noel standing side-stage dancing like his dad, are ‘Club Foot’, ‘LSF’, ‘Underdog’, the opener ‘Days Are Forgotten’, ‘Re-wired’, ‘Switchblade Smiles’, ‘Vlad The Impaler’ and finally their answer to Kings Of Leon … ‘Fire’. I mistakenly predicted a laid back set on the basis that Velociraptor carries those vibes with ‘La Fee Verte’, ‘Neon Moon’ and ‘Lets Roll Just Like We Used To’ - Wrong! This was Kasabian at their tightest, rolling rock best. The second biggest conflict of the weekend was The Shins vs. Kasabian. To have travelled 5000+ miles to see a UK band rather than James Mercer’s new outfit was justified by Kasabian’s performance, but hopefully The Shins come to the UK later this year.
Miike Snow from Sveeden provide the penultimate show of the day on the Outdoor stage. I’m really keen to hear ‘Devil’s Work’ from Happy To You as I really like the video. Gutted! They don’t play it. The stage is dominated by a huge square black console that wouldn’t be out of place in the control room of a spaceship in a 50’s Flash Gordon episode. It looks highly analogue, in fact it looks like a piece of furniture they may have inherited from a deceased aunty. Frontman Andrew Wyatt immediately takes the focus away from the furniture. Looking like Serge Pizorno’s slightly more athletic younger brother, the vocal delivery is great. The light show matches the vocal. High point is the last song, the hit ‘Animal’ and I’m impressed by ‘Paddling Out’. I’d described their music as highly polished piano led synth pop. I also detect traces of early Floyd, Elton John and DMode.
Miike Snow finish in time for us to make our way across to the Coachella stage for Radiohead. They start about 10 mins late, however it’s not an issue for the headliners as the curfew in this town tonight is 1am. Sunday it’s Midnight. Tonight we had to bail out due to extreme fatigue and a minor dose of boredom at Midnight and up until then they blew hot and luke-warm. ‘Bloom‘, ‘Staircase‘ and ‘The Gloaming‘, kinda pass me by, but ‘Morning Mr. Magpie’ - my favourite and possibly the most conventional song on King Of Limbs, then 3 in a row of ‘Pyramid Song‘, ‘The Daily Mail’ and ‘Myxomatosis’, were excellent. I reckon we were 2/3 of the way back in the crowd towards the Gateway exhibit, perhaps 150 yards from the stage and the sound was crystal clear. Just as I was looking to leave ‘Karma Police’ chimed in, it was a fitting end to our evening - top song. I fell out with Radiohead when Kid A & Amnesiac were released. Hail To The Thief and In Rainbows were a 15 Step in the right direction but the fire originally lit by The Bends and stoked by Pablo Honey and OK Computer (Yes in that order) had faded by then. I still feel if a new band submitted KOL as their debut album it would be rejected by the record company. I’m slightly disappointed we didn’t hang to hear ‘Paranoid Android’ but credit to Thom Yorke for engaging the crowd more than he’s done any other time I’ve seen them.
Sunday 15th April - Too late
The mother of all Coachella conflicts comes alive early Sunday afternoon. Band Of Skulls, Metronomy, Le Bucherettes & First Aid Kit, 4 bands on the ‘to see’ list are all playing around 2pm. Band Of Skulls wins the vote (there was only one voter) due to the strength of their recent UK gig. We discovered this 3 piece at Coachella in 2010, shortly after ‘I Know What I Am’ was itunes single of the week. They blend sledgehammer bass & drums with delicate double (male & female) lead vocals and a lead guitar that Billy Duffy of The Cult would surely endorse. They look great; the guitarist more & more like a Pompeii era David Gilmour and the Bass Player more and more like Joey Ramone. The Floyd and Ramones influences shine on in the music too. The 50 minute set is a delight. The best of Baby Darling Doll Face Honey: ‘I Know What I Am’, ‘Fires’, Death By Diamonds And Pearls’, ‘Blood’, ‘Patterns’ and ‘Light Of The Morning’ were all showcased. From Sweet Sour, we are treated to the title track, ‘Bruises’, ‘The Devil Takes Care Of His Own’ and ‘You’re Not Pretty But You’ve Got It Goin’ On’. Live favourite ‘Hollywood Bowl’ goes down well as usual (why cant I find this to download?). It’s 94 in the shade and Band Of Skulls were hot!
We have a 4pm appointment with Team Canada so grab beer #1 and lie in the sun watching the balloon chains bobbing in the overhead breeze. Santigold sounds warm, fun & sunny too. At one point I sit up to observe about 100 people on stage. I think I’m hallucinating and lie back again. That dutch beer is stronger than I thought. It’s great to met our friends and talk music & pizza in the sun for a couple of hours - ok we missed a few bands we’d never seen nor heard of before, but what’s music without recommendations and opinion?
6pm Coachella Stage. The Hives. Before the festival I felt all their songs were great and sounded the same. My opinion hasn’t changed. Howlin’ Pelle (not Pete as I thought - dooh!) Almqvist was sensational. The band arrived on stage in full black morning suits, white shirts, black ties and wait for it …top hats. Very Cool. A set of 90mph rock ‘n’ roll followed. ‘Walk Idiot Walk’ and ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’: Incendiary. New single ‘Wait A Minute’: like all the rest - brilliant. Tight as your younger sister’s jeans, this is a real return to form 9 years since their last Coachella appearance. 24 Hours on from Ricky Wilson’s venture into the crowd, Howlin’ Pelle follow follows. He demands the crowd tell him how much they love him. We love him lots.
Gotye, the Australian Belgian who’s single is on every radio station worldwide, all the time, except when your radio is switched off are a ‘must see’ in the Mojave at 7.10pm. It’s rammed, although the crowd around me is decidedly female and under 25 years old. Annoyingly, this means a lot of them can’t shut up and listen throughout the set. When they do stop talking, it’s only to send a text, make a call (because that works at really loud gigs) or update their (get outta my) face book. To cap it all after the band play their inter-planetary hit song ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’, it’s like the fire alarm has gone off and they’re giving away glow sticks for free on the other side of town - the tent half empties. Anyway … the show… I actually enjoyed it more after ‘that’ song. The band seemed to relax a fair bit. Great light show too. Highlights were the Motown styled ‘I Feel Better’ and ‘Learnalilgivinanlovin’.
Beirut 8.30 - 8.37 Mojave Tent. Oh dear. Note to self - If you cant remember the name of the band just write 'shit', I’ll know who I mean.
After the disappointment of Beirut we take in Girl Talk from afar on The Outdoor Stage. Girl Talk aka Gregg Gillis produces live mash up remixes sampled from other hits. Think a modern Jive Bunny. A large crowd gathered and was treated to confetti blow outs, inflatables being launched into the air, 100 informal guests onstage and to top it all the ‘Jurassic Park’ theme to finish. Euphoric Party. Everyone was dancing dancing, dance the night away.
Florence + The Machine got the nod over At The Drive In (yes I know, I know - but they’re just a little too heavy for us). Florence has taken her Kate Bush impression to the max. She’s at her best when singing rather than howling and the big singles are a stand out in this show. Finishing with ‘Dog Days Are Over’, and ‘No Light No Light’, brought an average set to a great conclusion. She works the stage hard and her voice has a fantastic and powerful tone without resorting to falsetto - but it can get a bit annoying.
I had high hopes Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg would close the weekend far more brilliantly that Mr. Kanye West did last year. Dre hasn’t gigged for 10 years and Snoop was last at Coachella singing backing via video with Damon’s Gorillaz. They certainly delivered. Without question the weekend highlight. I’ve never heard so much *****, weed, mofo, feck, shit, mofo, *****, weed chat in all my life. Dre and Snoop have been homies for 20+ years. They were relaxed (no wonder) and natural together, although it’s interesting to note the off piste patter was identical both weekends. The stage sets were amazing, Hollywood quality and changed twice or three times. The first 5 or so tunes inclued ‘Kush’ and ‘Nothin’ But A ‘G’ Thang’. ‘Ain’t No Fun (If The Homies Can’t Have None) in tribute to Nate Dogg, followed and just as we’re thinking, ‘what’s next?’ the drop into a bouncing version of House Of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’ and the whole field is in raptures. Slightly out of place is a cover of ‘In The Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins (why?) anyway … Wiz Khalifa joins Snoop for ‘Young And Wild And Free’ and a huge blunt. Dre then introduces Kendrick Lamar for ‘The Recipe’. We step up a gear when 50 cent takes the stage for ‘What Up Gangsta’ ‘P.I.M.P.’, and ‘In The Club’. The next highlight is ‘California Love’ and Tupac miraculously appears and kicks off a twitter ripple that goes worldwide for a week or more. The crowd had become hysterical about 50 cent and the dial went off the scale at this point. Many were confused (‘but he’s dead?’) and by the time the penny dropped Dre hit another world series winning home run by introducing Eminem. One word - Beatlemania. The screaming was that loud. ‘I Need A Doctor’ was fantastically appropriate. Eminem hung on for ‘Forgot About Dre’ and ‘Til I Collapse’ before Coachella 2012 closed with two anthems ‘Who I Am (What’s My Name)’ and ‘Still Dre’. Awesome. A special mention for the backing band who were tremendous throughout. This was THE musical event of 2012. On the ‘Marshall’ scale, this one went to 11.
Last edited by Dede' Arneaux; 02-25-2013 at 01:41 PM.
Come a long long, come a long long way
Aw yay. It was very nice to meet you!