The Best + Worst of Coachella 2010
Sitting in a living room nearly 100 miles from my “home” this weekend, I’m trying to decompress from a 72-hour music festival I just attended in the desert â€” a little thing called Coachella. For four days I’ve been with some people I barely know and some that are my closest friends in the world. We came from England, Chicago, Germany, San Francisco and San Diego to stay in one house with a heated pool, a bitching hot tub and a gather-round style fire pit.
Here are some personal highlights:
*Jay-Z – Someone I would never pay to see live, but since he happened to be there, might as well. Hova is one badass thug who can entertain, and when he raps, I believe him. He also asked the crowd about 10 times how we were doing. I was glad he cared so much.
*Muse – Somewhere during the middle of their set I believe I experienced something as I can only describe as a full-body orgasm. This UK trio is like nothing you’ve ever seen, being equally some of the best musicians you’ve heard and offering one hell of a light show to boot. Easily the BEST band all weekend, hands down.
*Vampire Weekend – I wasn’t hip on their first record and so I really “didn’t get” the second one. Vampire Weekend played the same outdoor stage they did two years ago, this time filling a later evening spot. Rightfully owning the time slot they received, Ezra and the boys really delivered on what I thought was a hoax: their sheer enjoyment of loving the music they play.
*Passion Pit – They’d totally disappointed me about six months ago when they came through San Francisco to play Bimbo’s and lead singer Michael Angelakos’ vocals couldn’t keep up with the record. Since that time, I was impartial and put the record on the shelf. Now I’m pulling it back down and maybe playing it.
*Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes- When lead singer Alex Ebert was about to begin their 50-minute set, he accidentally dropped his mic stand and busted up the head of a photographer. He then spent the next few minutes taking off his what must be about seven days old wife beater to provide bandage for the wound he caused. That’s just the kind of guy he is. His music makes you feel good, feel young, and want to savor every tasty bit.
*Echo & the Bunnymen – I took a nice little nap. Then I danced a little.
*Phoenix – You like the record. I like the record. We all scream for Phoenix. Which is why they were on the wrong stage. Nearly half the festival stood in anticipation of the French band who were without a lighting designer â€” he was on a plane, and then there was this volcano thing, and yeah… Somehow Phoenix were still able to get 20,000+ to jump up and down with their tunes like “Armistice,” “1901″ and “Listzomania.”
Overall, it was a beautiful festival with an incredible line up. Their were problems though, as their usually is. Only this time, I think those problems may have me rethinking coming back, ever.
*Ticketing – There was entirely far, far, far too many people. With two-hour wait times on Friday for festival goers to even get in the door, GoldenVoice needs to step up its game and figure out how to get the masses in quickly.
*Beer Tents – Make them bigger. People like to drink.
*Cell Service – AT&T said that they had upped the amount of available bandwidth for customers, but I couldn’t as so much as connect to my e-mail. Text messages were coming in 30 minutes to four hours later than you had sent them. Phone calls to find your friends? Forget about it.
*People. People. People. – Three-day passes were sold out almost a week before the festival started. As it has been years prior. And let’s look at some numbers. 65,000 = 2009 attendance. 80,000 = 2010 attendance.
*Grounds – If you’re going to sell nearly 15,000 more tickets for Coachella, expand the grounds that said festival is on. Everything seemed cluttered, messy, and unorganized. Not to mention trashy. I’ve never seen so much litter on those fields in my life.
If you read all of that above, thanks. We’d like to know what your festival was like. You got some highlights? Find a band that you didn’t know about before and now you can’t get enough of? Tell us about it.