Saturday, May 3, 2008


For those of you who are regular readers of our Blog (do we have regular readers?) and are waiting for some new baking or knitting news you will be disappointed. While I always enjoy the fruits of Nancy's labor I will not be discussing her current projects. Instead I will be discussing my annual Coachella adventure. As Nancy mentioned in the previous installment she was unable to join me for the second year in a row. This year Jeremy and Courtney joined me on the jaunt to Indio. I stayed at the Embassy Suites Palm Desert which is the location I have been staying in for the last three years. This year I was fortunate enough to hear about a pre-party that is held every year by Filter magazine.

The party featured the band Wallpaper play (as shown above). They were a ton of fun and even covered a Michael Jackson tune. The party also featured free vodka and beer. It got to the point that one of the bars ran out of mixers so they decided just to pour half glasses of vodka (yikes!). After having too much fun, the next morning came around way too early.

Coachella Day 1

After the fun of the previous night we did not get as early of a start to the day that we had planned, but we still got to the Empire Polo Grounds at a reasonable hour thanks to no traffic on the way in. We started the day by seeing the Battles.

The sound quality in the Gobi was a little rough and I thought some of their songs went on to long but I would give them another listen in the future. We followed this set by checking out a little bit of Dan Deacon who is so much fun to see. He started with getting the entire audience to go through some stretches followed by a count down in which after zero we were all to yell "Matrix 3 really was a good movie, really" or something close to that. It was fun, we checked out a song or two and headed over to the outdoor stage to catch Architecture In Helsinki.

They were fun to listen to and had a sound a little reminiscent of the B-52's but in a good way. After an extended break (much needed in that desert heat) in which we leisurely heard a little bit of Tegan and Sara who I personally thought were awful we headed over to see Goldfrapp.
Goldfrapp were amazing! Her voice sounds live exactly as it does on the albums. The crowd really were happy with their performance and cheered and clapped. Alison Goldfrapp seemed genuinely surprised with the audiences reaction which was great to see. After Goldfrapp we swung by the Sahara tent to catch a little of Aphex Twin's DJ set.

After a short stint in the tent we headed back over to the Coachella Stage to check out the Verve who have recently gotten back together. I forgot to mention that when I had arrived into Palm Springs and was waiting for my luggage the Verve also happened to be waiting for their luggage which was kind of cool. Anyway back to their show. They sounded great and played some new material as well. I took a video of The Drugs Don't Work but I am having some trouble loading it up. I will try to add it at a later time. One thing that I did learn is that Richard Ashcroft is a chain smoker. He lit up at least 4 times during their hour long set. Now is the point where I have to rant a little. The crowd that had gathered for the Verve were a little annoying not Tool annoying but annoying none the less. Most of the people had obviously only heard of Bittersweet Symphony and proceeded to talk during the entire set. The most annoying part is one couple I was standing next to in their hipster clothing who fidgeted and talked the whole set until the second to the last song, which was of course Bittersweet Symphony. They then danced, sang along, and left immediately after. I do not expect people to be familiar with their work but at least give it a chance and do not talk through the whole set when others are there to see them perform other songs. OK enough with the ranting moving on, we then went over to the Sahara yet again to check out Fatboy Slim. The beginning of his set was fun but after the long day we decided to call it a night to prepare for the next day.

Coachella Day 2

We arrived a little earlier the second day which was nice. We got some lunch and listened to VHS or Beta (ironic considering Nancy's earlier post about our version of a Beta purchase). They were just OK. Maybe I am just getting tired of all the post punk sounding bands. The best of seeing them was when Courtney (who is a good 10 years younger than me) asked Jeremy and I what a Beta was. We proceeded over to the Mojave to check out Man Man who I really knew nothing about.

I think Jeremy said it best when he said you do not need to put your kids on Ritalin just put them in a band. They were crazy fun and put a big smile on my face. At this point we spilt up I wanted to see the Cold War Kids and Jeremy wanted to check out MGMT. I believe we were both happy with our choices. The Cold War Kids played some new material which was really good so I am looking forward to their new album when it arrives.

We met up afterward to check out Kate Nash. She was not really good live and looked terrified when she came up on stage. We ended up staying the whole set but I could have left after the first song. Following her set we headed over to an overly packed Sahara tent to catch Hot Chip.
They put a dance inspired set that got everyone moving. After the energy we spent dancing we decided that it was time for a break. We headed over to the beer garden between the Coachella stage and the outdoor theater to relax. This turned out to be a wise choice because we were able crash out and see Kraftwerk. Following our break we split up once again I heading over to see Portishead and Jeremy and Courtney heading over to see Flogging Molly who Courtney really wanted to see. Portishead were unbelievable. The bass was so heavy at points that I could feel my eyelashes vibrate. I am looking forward to the new album though it does sound like it will be different than previous albums based upon the material they played while at Coachella.

We stuck around for Prince but we only stayed for about 40 minutes due to lack of energy and also being so far away that we really could not see much. He was putting on a great show and brought along a ton of guests including Shelia E. who performed her hit from the 1980's.

Coachella Day 3

Jeremy and Courtney decided to bow out for day 3 since they had to work on Monday and had to drive back to Lodi CA. Having no one to hang out with or wait on at the hotel I ended up getting to the show the earliest of the three days. I checked out the Institubes when I first got there. I was not sure which member was spinning at the time but it was a good set of house music. One of the impressive parts of the set was when he through on a track that he sang to.

Perry Farrell came on next in the tent and I was expected just a DJ set but instead he came out with two members of Satellite Party and proceeded to perform dance versions of old Jane's Addiction songs. I thought it was quite entertaining.

I did leave a little early only because I wanted to see I'm From Barcelona and I am glad I did. They came onto the stage 17 members strong carrying giant red balloons that they threw into the audience. They had the whole crowd singing along and performing hand gestures to their songs. There was also plenty of confetti to go around. They finished their set by a couple of members of the band leaping into the audience and forming a Congo line. If they ever come to Boston I am definitely going to go and see them. I recommend if they come to your neck of the woods that you see them too.
This day turned out to be the day I spent the most time in the Sahara tent as I went to catch Deadmau5. His set was great and I danced my booty off for the entire hour. He did wear the mouse mask that he is known for but wisely removed it during the set since it was pretty darn warm.
I caught a little bit of Metric but was not really drawn in so I decided to wait until My Morning Jacket before seeing any more acts. In my opinion My Morning Jacket are the best live rock band around today. I have probably said this at least a 100 times but their albums do not do them justice. They performed a great if too short set which included my favorite Gideon which gives me goose bumps every time I hear it live.

Next came one of the most amazing concert experiences. Roger Waters performing Dark Side of The Moon and other Floyd hits. It was crazy. There was a surround sound system, giant inflatable pigs, pyrotechnics, and a giant prism like the one on the cover of the album. Oh yea and the music was good too. I did leave before the encore only to beat traffic and being completely exhausted after a weekend of baking in the desert sun. Additional pictures of the weekend including some of the cool art work can be found on the flickr page.

Well it is back to reality I am heading to Houston for a conference tomorrow and Nancy is studying hard for finals. Hopefully we will have some new and exciting things to post in the near future.

1 comment:

leigh said...

proud to be a regular reader.

and thanks for all the music info. I only knew a handful of those bands.