Posts Tagged ‘music festival’

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COACHELLA 2010: Sunday, April 18th (Part 2)

May 12, 2010

spoonsky

We watched the beginning half of Spoon as the sun was starting to draw lower in the sky. Ever so nice; ever so picturesque. Ever so euphonious! We only stayed for about half, but definitely heard some favorites. “Don’t Make Me a Target”, “The Way We Get By”, “I Turn My Camera On”, “I Summon You” <333 Lead singer Britt Daniel is easy on the ears… and eyes. Haha.

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Had to tear ourselves away to catch the latter half of Miike Snow. Which was worth doing, but it again made me sad I couldn’t catch the whole set. They had a huge crowd going and everyone seemed really into it.

miikesnow

They also had a lot of fog and blue/white lights, made for a very mystical look and feel. These dudes know how to wield some frickin synths… their set very much had the aesthetic of a rock show, but with totally badass synths that act kind of like an electric guitar would in more traditional rock. Rly awesome! Heard many a good track from the album – “Black & Blue”, “Sylvia”, “Sans Soleil” (reeeeally gorgeous slow burner at sunset), “Plastic Jungle”, and of course finishing with a rousing rendition of “Animal”. Party tiiiime!

Then MORE set-splitting sadness, but we caught the last third or so of Phoenix, which was absolutely the largest crowd I can even imagine at the Outdoor theater, but it made it even cooler. You didn’t really need to see what was going on onstage (I guess their lighting guy got stranded because of Eyjajofafyullkullayahfyll) and the sound was sooo incredibly beautiful and perfect. This was just as the sun’s light was disappearing, so it was dusky and *magical*.

Every song was sooo so good, but I especially liked “If I Ever Feel Better” (wow, my new fave song.. where have I been all these years, haha), “1901” (ho-leee shit, biggest sing/jumpalong EVER? So sublime and heartwarming! Srsly.), “Love Like a Sunset”, et al. Thinking about this set always makes me feel warm and happy inside. It was such a special thing, and probably one of my all-time favorite Coach sets.

Ok, interlude… the art this year was SICKK. I already talked about the crane, but this electricity-tube organ thing was INTENSELY DOPE.

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It made the most dramatic sounds ever. People were lined up to take turns playing it. Throughout the fest you would hear hilariously dramatic electricity organ music to all kinds of amusing recognizable songs.

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Plus it just looked crazy awesome.

Anyway, this evening seriously blew my mind in so many ways, and it just didn’t stop. Next up was Little Boots. Whose name I feel should be announced like, LITTLE. FUCKING. BOOTS. Who DESTROYED me!! (in the best way).

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Holy SHEEEIT, GIRL!

I found out afterward a number of her crew had also been volcano’d, but I think it seemed to work out for the best, because not only is she an amazing performer/musician no matter what the circumstances, they tricked her out with some FAT LASERS and a really cool sparkly outfit, haha (‘Little Boots, and littler pants’ was my comment.) Having seen her show in SF in early March, I thought I had some idea of what to expect at Coach, but I was wrong, ‘cause this was even more ahhhmazing.. it was a little bit new and different and surprising, and above all… DOOOOPE.

littlebblast

The setlist was pretty much perfect. Similar to the SF show, but it was a shorter performance. The only omission that made me sad (and was probably due to volcano) was the bitchen keytar rockout on “Symmetry” (didn’t play that one, prob cause of no male singer present either). She started with “Ghost” which is such a cool opener (disco druid.. yes!), into “New in Town”, then proceeding through 4-5 more awesome tracks like “Meddle” and “Mathematics”, each one seemingly more awesome than the last, haha.

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Oh yeah, then she played her fucking LASER HARP. OH MY GAWWWWD. *dies* Coolest shit ever. (Note: Ke$ha’s thing on SNL srsly makes me want to PUKE. Preferably on Ke$ha. Fuck yoooou) I fondly remember when they first fired up the harp and she was playing the opening bars of “Earthquake”, and EJ to my right was shouting, “What the..? WHAT THE?? OH GOD!! OH FUCK!!!!” Pretty much saying what everyone was thinking. ahahahah ^_^ Sooo good.

Then an awesome danceblast version of “Remedy”, and a barnstormer finale with “Stuck on Repeat”. The bass was so fatt that my camera speakers got totally blown out in the video I took :\ Haha. Oh well. I can only be a little bit sad. Cause this is also one of my top amazing tiems had at Coachella ever! I might even say second only to last year’s Ghostland Observatory set in terms of sheer make-me-lose-my-mind-itude.

littleb

So anyway, I freakin love that Little Boots. Sooo much. She really kicks ass and is so talented with the songwritin’ and the singing and the synthing, and she is darn adorable too. Little B, let’s hang out, k? ❤

(Haha since Coach I have bought 2 diff formats of her Hands album – GAWD IT’S GOOD – a cd of it for my mom for Mother’s Day 😀 and the LP for meee. I also got her sickk Areceibo EP record at Coach, which has the sweet-ass-sweet long danceout version of “Stuck on Repeat” and several other good tracks.)

coachwheel

When that sadly had to end, we decided to make a run for the ferris wheel. The line wasn’t that long and we got to do it!! Yay! How neat. The festival grounds are such a magical place to me, and that has never been more apparent than on this Sunday evening.

Back on land, we rolled over to the Sahara to investigate what Plastikman was up to. Only stayed for maybe 10-15 minutes, weren’t all too impressed with the section we saw, TBH. I guess I was just expecting more, based on the videos I saw to check out who Plastikman was and why so many people were excited for his thing beforehand. It sounded like.. minimal deep deep house, and the tent was really dark, with a trippy red&black video projection in the center that wasn’t all that exciting. It was all pretty simple compared to pretty much every set I saw this year. Also I imagine it would probably seem cooler on *crazy* drugs. Hahaha.

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Annnd lastly… GORILLAZ. Wow. Now, there have been a lot of things said about this set. Many insults and rebuttals bandied back and forth. After contemplating it a bit, I feel it was a very good set overall, but the expectations for it were impossibly high/totally different from what they gave us. A lot of people seemed to expect 3-D holograms of the characters, but the band played as… themselves. I know I wasn’t expecting to see that, but when it’s Damon Albarn playing ringleader to a sizeable and eclectic posse of awesome musicians, it shouldn’t really be seen as a detraction.

(After the festival, they seemed to come up with a better story – that the “real”, cartoon band had too been stranded by Ejyafyallefakull, and that this real, live band were ‘”mercenaries” of a sort. They propounded this story on The Colbert Report soon after, also doing a cool performance of “Stylo”. Watch the full episode on Hulu.com!)

I will admit some parts of the set seemed off (like the canned rapping/other problems with “Clint Eastwood”, though the singalong chorus was awfully fun). but the music itself was incredibly awesome, and it was a really well-chosen setlist mixing mainly new songs from Plastic Beach with some favorites from Demon Days. However they ended with “Cloud of Unknowing”, a new, slow, melancholy and kind of haunting track featuring Bobby Womack, and this was not really the best way to end a festival. Especially right after “Feel Good Inc.” got the entire crowd, well, feeling good. The crowd seemed confused by this ending, especially when the band just walked offstage without a word… HmmmMMm. Strange, and not very fulfilling, but the day had been so thoroughly amazing I couldn’t really complain…

So that was it! We headed back to the campsite, where most of the world was swiftly being dismantled around us, with huge lines of cars queuing up to leave for hours into the night. Glad to say we weren’t among them. This was my first year spending Sunday night there, and I gotta say it beat the hell out of making that loooong terrible drive back up I-5 all night.

drivintoreno

Getting back home to SF was a 2-day ordeal since I decided to come back “via” Reno, which is of course not at all in the same direction. Haha. Driving back up the road through the Sierras was gorgeous though, and then I took the train to SF. Very fun/relaxing, and I saw all kinds of lovely scenery. And listened obsessively to all the great music from this year!!

monolake

We drove past this really pretty lake, Mono Lake, which has interesting salt formations called tufas. (The white rocklike things are the tufas.)

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Anyway! Tufas aside, that’s my writeup for Coachella 2010. What a grand time it was. It was not without its snags, but overall I think it was probably the best one yet for me. And I’m already looking forward to next year, gahh!! Haha. My top ten acts from this year (loosely ordered):

Little Boots, Muse, Devo, Phoenix, Gossip, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, Miike Snow, Rusko, Aeroplane. Runners-up: The Dead Weather, Gorillaz.

(One last entry on the topic will be my videos. I’ll try to get those up tomorrow.)

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COACHELLA 2010: Friday, April 16th (part 1)

May 1, 2010

coachcrowd

And so the festival began! Friday was the day I spent the most time wandering around checking out tons of bands rather than watching entirely whole sets. Also I was a little surprised that some of the things I had been most excited for beforehand were not as great as I was hoping, but it was still overall fun being at the fest! 😀 And of course I still saw tons of awesome stuff.

(Click any pic to enlarge. I’m gonna do a separate post with videos after the review posts.)

Sleigh Bells – First band of the fest! They were all right, but definitely no Midnight Juggernauts (my first Coach band of 2008, haha.. sorry, that was just an awesome time). They are a guy/girl duo that kinda remind me of a more hardcore/less dancey Glass Candy, or.. Crystal Castles, maybe. They had a pretty good performance and I enjoyed headbangin’ to it. The beats were pretty deafening, but I had my earplugs so it was all good. 😉

yeasayer

Yeasayer – This was awesome. Probably my favorite thing of the day, actually! Their set had a very lovely look and sound, and made me feel good inside (and outside, haha). They have really cool, unique voices and harmonies, and delightful songs. Plus, in addition to being really talented musicians, they all look like models. Boyband done right? O;) My favorite song of the set was definitely “O.N.E.”, but I enjoyed the entire thing.

I saw the end of Hockey, but not as much as I would have liked. Oh well! Sacrifices. I pretty much scarfed a piece of pizza for “lunch” at around 5:30 while speed-walking to catch any of Hockey at all.

aeroplane

Aeroplane – My first foray into the Sahara tent, and I am pleased to report it was a fabulous one. Perfect timing for the late afternoon dance party! It was really dank in a different way from most Sahara stuff, like… more wandering and disco-y than hard and driving. Also had a really cool light/video set up, but I guess that was the case with almost everyone this year! I was constantly impressed.

aeroplaneshark

There were these blow-up sharks people were batting around like beach balls, so every so often one would go flipping high above the crowd. So cool! And one of my favorite moments: a couple was kissing near me, and right as they were doing that, one of the sharks ZOOMED IN from the sky and hit them right in the faces!! HAHA!

They also played their really cool Sebastian Tellier remix, and also had some fun messing around with Boys Noize’s “Jeffer”. 😀 I had a blast at this one. It was my other favorite (besides Yeasayer.)

Plus, I managed to snap some photographic evidence of this year’s fashion phenomenon I’d like to introduce to you: Fedorachella. (Last year it was the wayfarer sunglasses. This year…)

fedorachella

Can’t even begin to estimate how many thousands of these things I saw over the weekend! Haha, just found it amusing.

Then I checked out about 10 minutes of Ra Ra Riot and about 15 of She & Him (the M. Ward/Zooey D. collab), both enjoyable but neither all too titillating, though yes Zooey is adorable of course.

I then hustled back to the tent to change, eat, drink, and rest for a sec before beginning an evening of continued fun. Also took the opportunity to don my furry white vest, which turned out to be a highly lauded fashion choice ;D

Note: Ok, so I decided to split this entry itself into two parts, since it’s already so long and there are so many more bands to cover (and, incidentally, it’s way past my bedtime) so I will finish up Friday coverage tomorrow.

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Coachella 2010: Thursday, April 15th. The Trials and Tribulations.

April 30, 2010

glowtents

So, COACHELLA was exactly two weeks ago! I’m going to try to do an entry on each day this weekend for the corresponding day of the festival… like, this time two weeks ago, I was only halfway through my 4+ hour wait to get into the campground!! Awesome. NOT.

Anyway, before I get ahead of myself, I decided to just put everything up to Friday in this entry, since my actual fest entries are going to be long enough as it is. This entry won’t involve music and I didn’t take any pictures on the way down, but I want to write about my whole experience, and you get to feel like you were right there with me, eh Reader??

Well, you’re lucky you weren’t actually there, cause we spent at least 3 hours spent in traffic, and then had the camping wait on top of that… all in all made for a voyage of about 17 hours :X Soooo exhausting.

Also, I rode down with 3 nice girls I found online (none of us knew each other beforehand). Most of the ride was actually pretty enjoyable, up until the afternoon, and then things started getting unpleasant, haha. (Just the looong delays and wanting to GET THERE!!!)

carlot

By the time we finally got in and parked in the camping spot, it was almost 2 AM. OMFG. (We had left SF a little after 8 am.) Then I had to wrestle with my stupid tent, which turned out to be busted, finally only getting it to stand with duct tape borrowed from the neighbors.

By then it was about 3 and I was too tired to really wander or party or enjoy being at COACHELLA. 😦 Never thought I would say those words. But the campground setup actually was pretty good overall this year, and they added a lot of fun stuff for the campers, like the roller rink, glowing swings, art stations, etc.

One part that was not so cool was the pounding house music until about 3:30 am, once I actually laid down and tried to sleep. The soothing sounds of Deadmau5… haha. I put in earplugs and it did absolutely nothing. It pretty much felt like the entire earth was vibrating with that beat. I feel really bad for the people whose tents were right next to that!

Anyway yeah so it was not the best way to start off the weekend, but things improved majorly over the rest of the time, and there were really no problems after all this, so in some ways it was… kinda good to get all the dumb shit out of the way?? haha.

Afterwards I just did my best to forget this day ever happened. Like… Oh, I magically woke up and I’m at Coachella! I have no recollection of how this came to be, but I am joyful!