There's no doubt if you have friends who hitched, flew or road tripped down to Indio for this year's Coachella music festival that your social media has been slammed with pictures of their sweaty, sun-drenched music holiday. Coahcella is a bit more though. It's situated in the progressive triangle: Los Angeles (creativity), Las Vegas (pure entertainment) and San Francisco (technology and know-how). That's why people often call it an “experience.” Nevermind the drug culture aspect (even though two Austrailian girls stopped me and asked me if they could buy some drugs. It must of been because I was wearing a backpack. Needless to say, their barter isn't fit for this blog. I pondered giving them two of the vitamins from GNC I had in my bag, but decided not to). The sun was cooking the green off the grass when me and my long-time Coachella co-conspirators made it from the pool to the venue.
It’s always pretty impressive when you walk onto the Empire Polo field. It’s huge and flat and it’s full of immodestly clothed, sexy people eating, drinking, dancing and hustling to the next stage – often with their pinkies in the air, a giant picture of Jim Carrey from “Dumb and Dumber” on the end of a stick or glowy-blinky objects in the air to keep track of their posse. I started the day off with Aloe Blacc, who you know from his Avicci remix, which is a song many could argue is country music. He he really stretches across any genre you can think of. Blacc is a very impressive, live artist.
From there I hit one of the few beer gardens and then off to catch a glimpse of Haim before I headed over to catch A.F.I. who stood in front of a modest, but appropriate black banner reading, “A Fire Inside.” “Day of the Pheonix” and “I Hope You Suffer” got the set going. It was set that had some technical problems seeming to make Mr. Havok none too pleased and the crowd less responsive as they might have been. It was the closer, “Miss Murder” that brought everyone around. By that time the stage crew had removed their backdrop. Boo!
At that point I wandered looking for my group as none of them had interest in watching A.F.I. They lived for the rumbling beats of the Sahara tent. As my phone dropped in battery life the sun was setting. I knew if I didn’t find them before darkness dropped, I wouldn’t find them until morning. Eventually, I made it to Martin Garrix who blew the minds of a strong fraction of the 90,000 attendees...all in a tent (and when I say tent, I mean a portable aircraft silo).
And the The Knife, who hasn't toured in...well, I can't even recall. They (and by them I mean Karin and Olof - brother and sister along with about 12 other dancers, singer, percussionists all dressed in shiny-colored jumpsuits. The crowd there to see them were about the most rabid fans I had seen at the festival up to this point.
The night ended with, what I think, was a lackluster holdout from the reunited Outkast. I was never much of a listener. Their first four songs were strong: “B.O.B.”, “Rosa Parks”, “Skew It on the Bar-B” and as I am not a huge fan I don’t recall the other. “Hey Ya” ended up be the soundtrack for our walk to the car for the hour plus wait to get out and make out way back to the compound and getting ready to do it again...stay tuned. Nas, Muse, Holy Ghost! and many more to come.