Still feeling a bit out of place in the LA metropolis, I figured I'd accelerate my immersion back into US culture by attending one of the biggest music festivals in the country. I'd to Coachella way back in 2003 when you could buy individual tickets to each day but a lot had changed since then, mainly the sellout crowd of 70,000+ per day which meant herding music fans through long gates and lines.
The heat and traffic kept many potential fans at the numerous day/pool parties going on during the day, though on average, our group showed up around 5pm to enjoy the music for each day that lasted til 1 or 2 in the morning. I was exposed to a lot of new music I'd missed by spending the last 9 months out of the country and can honestly say that the quality of the performances was the best of any music festival I've ever been to. Coachella is quickly becoming the must-see music event of the year in the US and I'm hoping to be able to come back as often as I can.
-With mostly indie and electronic names heading up the festival, Jay-Z had the most to prove and delivered by incorporating a live band and putting on one of the best stylistic performances I've ever seen. Much to my chagrin, Jay-Z did not hop on a NY-bound helicopter directly after performing and stuck around to support some of the lesser-known indie bands. Here's Mr. Carter doing one of my faves, check out the killer set design:
-MUSE incorporating Once Upon a Time in the West themes into their set and outright rocking my face off:
-Thom Yorke paying homage to the electronic nature of the festival, playing some music that Radiohead would never play, really upbeat and dancy.
-Jack White jumping around to every single instrument for the Dead Weather.
-2Many DJs putting together a hilariously creative audio portion to accompany their hard and heavy mash up of eletro and dance music.
-MGMT kind of sucking but bringing the crowd together with their singles
-Discovering amazing new acts like Miike Snow (who stole the show on Sunday for me), The XX and Passion Pit.
-Biggest letdowns for me were Gorillaz, Infected Mushroom and Orbital who just couldn't really contend with the caliber of the other acts sharing the stage.
-seeing Them Crooked Vultures with John Paul Jones (of Zep fame) on bass and Dave Grohl, who is a MONSTER on drums. They were the first act I caught on Friday and to see a band having that much fun on stage is something so entertaining and nostalgic for me: