Planned on getting to the festival at 12 O'CLOCK N00N, ended up getting in there at precisely 5:45 PM.
First of all there was a major traffic jam on 60 East driving through the mountains towards Indio, where the fest takes place. Definitely "COACHELLA TRAFFIC". That shlogged up an hour or so. Then, once we finally got off the highway, it was already like 2 PM and then the traffic was even more disgusting - mostly because of ONE broken stoplight doing the flashing red thing (awesome).
After parking and walking for probably literally 2 miles, we got to get in the back of a line that was probably literally about a MILE long. It took about an hour and a half to get through.
After getting through that line, you finally walk one last mile and you're in the valley - you've made it!!!
SHE & HIM*****
I immediately ran all the way across the field to see as much as I could catch of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward doing their thing. M Ward gives me a bit of a Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips) vibe which is cool, but of course when he plays and sings he sounds absolutely nothing like him. Zooey sounded good and looked cute. It was cute to see her putting on the "genuine smile" and dosey-doe type dancing the whole time. To me, she was "acting" - but she was putting on a damn good performance. Glad I got to catch some of it.
Let's GO BACK for a minute so I can tell you who I MISSED because of all the god damn unexpected obstacles getting in:
1:30 - P.O.S.
2:00 - BARONESS (so pissed about that one)
3:10 - AS TALL AS LIONS
4:20 - YEASAYER (just recently listened to Odd Blood for the first time and I fucking love it - also super bummed about missing these guys)
Ok...now back to where we were...
PASSION PIT (7:00 PM)*****
My sister, and my best friends Megan and Holly all talk these guys' live show up so hard! I was thrown off by a live performance of "Little Secrets" i saw on the Jimmy Fallon late night show one night. I thought the singers voice sounded weak and lame without the aid of the effects he uses on the recordings - also, his stage presence I found to be incredibly lifeless and uninspired. The actual live experience proved to be exactly the same. However, the music itself sounded fantastic and I do enjoy the songs he writes. The crowd was pumped and I am happy that Passion Pit is doing so well. I still enjoyed the set.
Skipped THEM CROOKED VULTURES, GRIZZLY BEAR, and LA ROUX who were all playing at the same time to go get some food with my hungry girlfriend.
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN (8:30 PM)*****
Biggest disappointment of the entire festival. They didn't play a fucking thing off of "Ocean Rain" as long as we were standing there. The shit they did play was horrible. And they looked like a wannabe Rolling Stones with a wannabe Liam Gallagher of Oasis on vocals. The only cool part about their set was him keeping his sunglasses on the whole time and him smoking a cigarette during their first song.
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM (9:00 PM)*****
One of my favorite sets of the entire fest. They played on the biggest stage - there was a million people watching and EVERYONE was madly into it. I was dancing harder than I have in a long god damn time. James Murphy rules. And there was a dude with a sweet skullet playing drums. I can't wait to listen to the new record more.
Skipped IMOGEN HEAP (because she played at the same time as LCD Soundsystem), VAMPIRE WEEKEND (because I hate them), and BENNY BENASSI.
FEVER RAY (11:10 PM)*****
Couldn't get very close and that bummed me out. The sound was kind of shitty compared to the last time I saw her - all of the lows were way too overbearing and they sounded blown out. Last time I saw her I was 5 rows back from the front and everything sounded flawless. Anyways, she basically played the same exact set and it was the whole record plus a Nick Cave cover. It was still fantastic. I went off during "Triangle Walks" and "When I Grow Up".
Sarah watched Jay Z by herself and that was her festival highlight. She made friends with some asian girls and shook her booty the whole time I guess. Yes, Beyonce made an appearance.
Got to bed too late the night before in order to get up early enough to see JOHN WATERS, PORCUPINE TREE, or GIRLS.
BEACH HOUSE (4:30 PM)*****
We DID get there just in time for Beach House though. Stood far away in the back and center. Their set just got better as it went. You had to sink into it. I love how hard the lead chick fucking rocked out even though the music is so gentle. She was literally doing hair whips at one point.
The XX (6:30 PM)*****
Didn't know the chick with the sexy voice was a hefty butch girl. That was fun to see. Watched most of their set - they had a nice interesting vibe. Not SUPER into this band but I dug what I saw of them. The record is good too.
DIRTY PROJECTORS (7:00 PM)*****
FUCKING AMAZING! One of the most talented and innovative groups I have seen in a long time! I get like classic screamo vibes from the song structures themselves, but then with a John Mayer vibe from the vocals and of course the primary icing on the cake is the constant backing harmonies from all three of the ladies! I want to see this band again!
HOT CHIP (7:30 PM)*****
Caught just a few songs of these guys which were awesome. Even from far away, everyone was going ape shit for them, dancing like crazy. They sounded perfect too and gave off really great vibes. But I had to jet to see the Faith No More reunion.
FAITH NO MORE (7:50 PM)*****
Haha what can I say? Mike Patton showed me why he is worshipped so much. I will continue looking up to him the way I did and expected to after seeing him live. He's a real singer (like Freddie Mercury) and we don't get many of those anymore. Also, his presence was intimidating - I couldn't believe it. Opened the set with "reunited and it feels so good", and also covered Michael Jackson's "Ben". of course "Epic" and "Last Cup of Sorrow" were fabulous too!
MGMT (8:50 PM)*****
Second biggest disappointment of the entire fest. No one cared about any of the new songs, and the entire first half of their set was new stuff which I think killed the vibe of the entire crowd. The band themselves seemed totally dead - they barely moved and almost seemed nervous or maybe deep down they were upset about the response to the new material. When they did finally play the old singles "Electric Feel" and "Time To Pretend", it was nice but they lacked the power the recordings deliver and I think they'd already lost the crowd at that point. They closed with "Weekend Wars" which was awesome, but not enough to save their set. They didn't even play "Kids" either.
MUSE (9:30 PM)*****
Definitely felt like the BIGGEST performance of the whole fest. Their set up and light show was the most ridiculous shit I have ever seen. I walked up just in time to see them start ripping it up with Deftones' "Headup". It was amazing! He said it was his favorite "California riff". Anyways, me and Sarah split up cuz she was hungry but there was no cell phone signal and we weren't very precise about a location to meet. So I spent the majority of this set trying to find her amongst THOUSANDS of fucking people. It took about an hour but then miraculously she spotted me and called out to me!
DIE ANTWOORD (11:30 PM)*****
OMG. I am angry I didn't take any pictures of these guys. It blows my mind that an act like this can make it to a headlining slot at a festival like Coachella when they only have TWO songs. And they only played 2 songs! An intro, "Enter the Ninja" and then an extended version of their first song. But it still felt like a full set and it was fucking AMAZING! The visuals were off the hook- they sounded perfect, and when Yolandi got down into her gold hot pants - I kinda got into her the way every guy seems to be doing now. I think these guys are going to blow up into something bigger.
Getting in got easier and fast every day thanks to them opening an entrance on the opposite side on the 2nd day. After grabbing some lunch and drinking some booze (I hammered some sweet tea flavored vodka on ice) - we got in nice and tipsy around 3:30.
DEERHUNTER (3:30 PM)*****
So happy I got to see these guys. Their "Microcastle" record has been one of my favorites over the past year or so. I was vibin' to the entire set and Sarah and I were both dancing harder than everyone else around us. Made me feel like THE TRUEST DEERHUNTER FAN around.
Finally managed to meet up with Andrew Linde at 4:30 in front of the Playstation tent. I came running at him like Shadow at the end of Homeward Bound.
SUNNY DAY REAL ESTATE (4:45 PM)*****
Wow. Perfect. Most of their set was songs off of Diary which was such a crowd pleaser. And everything sounded flawless and exactly like the album. I think "Song About An Angel" was the highlight, which was always my favorite. That's what this picture is from.
JULIAN CASABLANCAS (5:30 PM)*****
Way too many people crowding this tent. Could hardly get to a good spot to watch. And from far away, it didn't sound that great. Even when he played the one song Sarah and I love, it just wasn't that good. Eh.
JONSI (6:00 PM)*****
He was fucking great. Seemed so happy to be there playing and of course he sounded beautiful. We laid down in the grass a ways back and just kind of relaxed during this fantastic set.
PHOENIX (7:10 PM)*****
Popped half a pill. Headed over here to try to meet back up with Linde and his crew but ended up not being able to find each other. So then I ended up watching almost their entire set too. They were okay - the songs themselves were nothing too spectacular but they gave off good vibes and they were definitely solid performers. Shockingly, they probably had one of the biggest crowd reactions at the whole festival. I couldn't believe how far back I had to walk to get away from a clusterfuck of people going ape shit for them.
GARY NUMAN (7:55 PM)*****
I walked up and was pretty much offended that there was almost NO ONE in the tent for Mr. Numan. After waiting ten extra minutes for him to start, a bunch of dudes who were not him came on stage and started playing. I waited through one song and when they started the second song and there was still no HERE IN MY CAR Gary, I gave them the finger and left. Apparently he got stuck in Britain somehow and couldn't get out for the show. So lame.
ORBITAL (8:10 PM)*****
Still wasn't feeling anything so I popped the other half of my pill. Halfway through the set, it finally kicked in! It was great to experience my first real TECHNO set and have it be ORBITAL, the only techno group who has captivated me since the mid 90's. They played all my faves from "Satan" to "Halcyon + On + On". Sarah and I both danced our asses off and I loved every minute of it.
Tired and sick of plowing through endless hordes of tightly clumped people, we decided (YES, I KNOW) to SKIP Thom Yorke... and go get up as close as possible for GORILLAZ. Waited for an hour and a half sitting clumped up with hundreds of other people in front of the stage.
GORILLAZ (10:30 PM)*****
Was a nice finale to the festival. Not holograms as we had heard rumors about but instead just Damon Albarn and the rest of his army with great variations of visual art for each song behind them. Sounded fantastic and overall I was just glad they were chosen as the headliners - a nice interesting mix of everything that makes music good. We left halfway through the set anyways cuz Sarah's feet and legs hurt too much :)
One of the best music experiences of my life. Great weekend. Glad I could share it with you a bit.