Posts Tagged ‘music festivals’

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COACHELLA 2010: Sunday, April 18th (Part 1)

May 4, 2010

(Note: I only have some decent pics of my own, but zimbio.com has a ton of awesome ones from almost every set. So any pics of bands in this entry that are actually close/in focus are from there, haha.)

Jack Johnson Cherry Picker

After another good night’s sleep (for some reason I slept insanely well this year… probably because I was so utterly spent each night, haha), we rose for Day 3. Sunday of the fest is always kinda sad to me because it’s like “OMG! It’s almost over already… wahhh!” but, this particular Sunday turned out to be a major contender for my all-time best day at Coach, so clearly I managed to fight through the sadness, haha.

Before heading into the festival we made our most valiant push yet on the box of wine, getting good and liquor’d up (speaking for myself at least, haha.) What fun! Since it was so much cooler than normal weather-wise (don’t think it officially cracked 90 degrees at all… weird!), it was pretty enjoyable hanging out in the campsite (the sun was still pretty brutal, though.)

We made it in in time to see the last 15 or so of…

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King Khan and the Shrines – Ha! So enjoyable! King Khan is the dude in the Kaiser helmet and cape. He is the ringleader of the ensemble garage party rock band dressed all in green. The girl in blue is a cheerleader/dancer of sorts with a large pom-pom. The creature in orange is fellow Coach performer DJ Lance Rock making a guest appearance on their last song!

They are a blast and have tons of energy. Khan has a really cool voice, and the whole project brings to mind some of those crazy big funk groups of the 70s, like P-Funk or Sun Ra’s Arkestra. Definitely going to check out more of their stuff and try to catch any of their shows in the future.

Riding high from that awesomeness, we continued to the Sahara, where Rusko proceeded to DUB OUR BRAINS OUT. I’ve never really gotten into dubstep or tried very hard to do so, but now I COMPLETELY GET IT. Cause it’s pretty much the definition of DOOOOPE. Hahah!

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This was just one of the most fun, delightful Coach surprises ever. We got there at about 3pm and immediately joined the rest of the crowd in GOING TOTALLY CRAZY – couldn’t help it! The sound is just so awesome and fat and indulgent and satisfying. So gratuitous, yet so irresistible! It’s like your body just instinctively knows how to move to these beats.

Check out this awesome blog post for a lot more on Rusko and to listen to some dooope tracks. (Haha.. I think he’s really cute, but he definitely makes a lot of hilarious faces while he’s performing. Also, like so many hipster girls, he was apparently wearing a romper.)

We heard the last part of Mayer Hawthorne doing some smooove loooove groooves while we rehydrated and rested our dubbed-out bodies, haha. Then we had many tough decisions to make and were forced to do a lot of set-splitting for almost the rest of the day :\ , starting with…

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Matt & Kim – holding down the Mojave with their usual lo-fi sound and hi-fi pep (and zeal. What zeal!). They are definitely a crowd-pleasing feel-good Coachella band. Not that any of these others aren’t, but they both just seem like normal fun-loving folks who just climbed up onstage and started rocking out, inviting the rest of us to join them. Delightful!

florence

Florence and the Machine – Couldn’t get too close for this one, and only watched maybe 3-4 songs. Still, she sounded really good, and we could just see her flaming red hair and white flowing robes, haha. Her sound is an interesting one, I would call it something like bohemian indie soul. We heard “Drumming Song”, “Howl”, and “You’ve Got the Love”, three standout tracks from her debut album Lungs.

Julian Casablancas – Okay, we only watched about 3 songs, but what we heard was really cool.. good sound, AND we heard “Hard to Explain” (old Strokes favorite!) which was definitely a surprise, esp. so early in the set. Awesome!

Sadly, we left his set to try and check out Charlotte Gainsbourg, but when she was more than 20 minutes late, we decided to leave, since Jonsi was starting. Sorry, Charlotte; you had your chance! Ain’t got no time to stand around not watching nothing (That sentence just broke the record for negatives.)

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Jonsi – To be honest, I was actually a bit tired by this point and in need of a rest, so I spent more than half of this set lying down, half-asleep. However, the music sounded extremely pleasant in this state. When I woke up, Jonsi (the singer of Sigur Ros) had donned a crazy colorful headdress and festooned himself with fabric and such. That was pretty cool, haha. He has a really unique voice, and for some reason seems to me like a lost king from a distant magical kingdom or something.

(Stay tuned for all the lowdown on the evening of Day 3 in Part 2 of this post. Again split for length purposes.)

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COACHELLA 2010: Saturday, April 17th

May 4, 2010

(Note: Well, I *was* doing fine on getting these posted on schedule, but then on Saturday night after I had written more than half of the post, the stupid client froze and I lost it all!!! >< Sooo now I will just try to get them done as I can.)

coachlights

Well, after getting a much-needed good night of sleep, we arose ready for Day 2. Ventured in around 2:30 and watched partial sets by Portugal. The Man, Camera Obscura, Girls, and Band of Skulls. (All relatively enjoyable, I liked Portugal and Camera the best). (Haha, I don’t really feel like re-typing all the lengthier stuff I had written before, so I’m going to just move along.)

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Then it was time for GOSSIP. Yay!! This was one of my most-anticipated sets of the weekend, and they definitely delivered. Beth Freakin Ditto! God you are cool. And have an amazing voice. And are a delightful performer. Haha, the rest of the band looks fun too. I want to hang out with them. And judging from the crowd’s reaction, I’m not the only one. They bring the party! And they bring it with force.

They played about half the songs from their awesome newest album, Music for Men (alas, omitting some of my favorites, but it was a pretty short set), two of their previous hits (“Standing in the Way of Control” and “Now Listen Up!), and ended by bringing out James Murphy (from LCD) and some other guests to do a delightful cover of Grace Jones’ “Pull Up to the Bumper”! (One of the guests was a large black man dressed as Grace Jones.) (Grace had originally been slated to play on Friday, but was quickly dropped from the lineup. Sadtiems, but this was an awesome tribute.)

We heard/watched a little less than half of the XX while we were eating, so that was nice. Most of their stuff is too slow to hold my attention most of the time (haha) but it sounded pleasing and it was good in this context. Also they did their cover of “Do You Mind?”” (by pop singer Kyla) which I really liked.

hotchip

Then we jockeyed for position for Hot Chip. I knew they were gonna be great, and I was proven correct as they unleashed a set comprised of non-stop dance numbers, old and new. My first time seeing them was at Coach 2008, a late afternoon Sahara set, and they KILLED then too… I fondly recall how *every* single person at that set was dancing soooo hard, even the people way out the back of the tent! ❤

This time (actually their third time at Coach) they mainly did the more upbeat songs from One Life Stand, mixing in a a good amount of older favorites (start with “One Pure Thought”, season to taste with “Over and Over” and “Hold On”, finish with anthemic singalong favorite “Ready for the Floor”… recipe for success!). I can’t say it was better/worse than their 2008 set. Both were immensely enjoyable and I definitely would see them again (and probably will, many more times!)

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After this we ran back to the tent, passing by Faith No More while they were doing “Epic”, had snax and changed for the evening, and made valiant efforts to make even the smallest dent in our box of wine, haha. The camping was so good this year (other than waiting to get in, of course). We hurried back in to catch the second half of…

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Muse – HO-LEEEE SHITTT. Wow. WOW. Muse is a band I’ve wanted to see for a long time, but never have… UNTIL NOW. And I cannot imagine a more epic and perfect way to see them than in this manner… headlining the best festival (inarguable 😉 ) to a crowd of probably at least 20-30,000 people?!? I don’t think I’ve ever rocked out this hard before. It was face-melting. Brain-blowing. I don’t think I’ve even seen any other Coachella headliner that was nearly this awesome, in my opinion. And I’ve seen some shit. 😉

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Their sound is just so incredibly HUGE, and they add enough showmanship and cool lights to turn it all into a massive, epic blast of stadium rock at its best. Matt Bellamy, the badass lead singer/guitarist, issssss ahhmazing, and haha he was wearing these funny turquoise pants and STILL looked badass. They didn’t have their laser pillars sadly, so I guess I’ll just have to try to catch them again, haha.

Every song we heard was sooo cool, but some standouts were “Stockholm Syndrome”, “Time is Running Out”, “Plug-In Baby”, and best of all the last song, “Knights of Cydonia”, with the long intro with music from Once Upon a Time in the West (one of my favorite movies) GAHHHH SOOOOO FRICKIN COOL.

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Basically our whole night on Saturday was just constant awesome. We went immediately to the Dead Weather, who were whipping their crazy black hair all over the Outdoor stage with ferocity and a lot of hard, grungy rock from all corners. They have a new album coming out soon, and the set was split pretty evenly between material from the two albums (as far as I can tell). The new stuff sounds promising! They really work as a band, in large part because Alison and Jack are such dynamos. Plus, the video screens were broadcasting in B&W, which worked really well for them. (All their albums/promo pics have been thus far)

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And then… DEVO – Were just as good as I dared to dream!! (Alas, I really couldn’t find any decent pics of their set yet, and mine didn’t come out. Oh well.) They are back and indeed better than ever. It fills my heart with joy to see them putting on such an amazing show, and not only that, they were extremely well-received by a large crowd of fans in the Mojave tent at midnight.

Their new songs sounded GREAT, but they played a really good mix of favorites from each of their albums too. Every song was so so SO enjoyable. They also had a number of fun costumes (new blue powerdomes, silver half-mask-hat things, etc), and cool video/lights for part of the time. It was apparent they were having a great time and they just kept playing songs until well after their set was scheduled to end at 12:45. 😀

I’m telling you, my 5 favorite bands on Saturday contained a whole festival’s worth of joy in themselves. Devo was just the ultimate kicker to what had already been an increeeedible day. Really looking forward to catching any of these bands when they come through SF again (plz plz make it soon!!)

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COACHELLA 2010: Friday, Apr 16 (Part 2)

May 1, 2010

So, fur vest firmly in place, I set out renewed to begin the evening. Hurried back in to catch the tail end of…

neonpalms

Passion Pit – First of all, the crowd for this at the Outdoor stage was the largest I’ve ever seen there, and they could have easily played the main stage, given their popularity now. I haven’t been the hugest fan of them so far, but about a week before the fest I got pretty big into the Chunk of Change EP so I was actually very excited for this.

Anyway, I heard about 4-5 songs, all enjoyable, and culminating in a massive singalong/jumpalong to “Sleepyhead”. That was definitely a special moment, as I would probably classify that as THE big indie song of the year. I think their vocals sound a little better on the records but oh well. Also apparently they’re doing a huge tour with Muse now! Wow! Haha, kind of an odd pairing, but I’d sure not hesitate to buy a ticket. (if only they were coming to SF on the tour, damn them!)

From here, I intended to head to La Roux, but there was a half-hour break, so I decided to check out Them Crooked Vultures in the meantime. That sounded and looked really cool on the mainstage, massively hard rock delivered by seasoned pros of rocking hard. I think “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” is the main one I saw, which is good cause that one is badass!

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Dark had been falling pretty quick during Passion Pit, which made it all the better to enjoy the awesome art installations around the fest grounds…. Like this frickin awesome giant neon crane!

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Wandered over to Pretty Lights in the Sahara, which I had been really excited for, but unfortunately it was just way too LOUD, even with earplugs I couldn’t get within 200 feet of the tent without feeling in danger of deafness 😦 I am sensitive to these things. However the lights were *really* sick (I got a video which I will post eventually.) So, me being a grandma, decided to move on.

prettylightspic

Passing by Grizzly Bear I stopped in for a moment to see what all the fuss is about. They sounded and looked pretty neat, but it still didn’t really excite me enough to make me stay for more than one song, haha. Their stage was all awash in ethereal blue and green lights which seemed to fit their sounds really well. It was very soothing, kind of like lullaby music to me, haha, which was not what I needed right then because my 4 hours of sleep were starting to wear on me.

Then it was time for La Roux! But, unfortunately, they had scheduled her in the smallest tent, which turned out to be a terrible mistake. The tent was so crowded and overflowing well beyond the end of the tent, so that even a few hundred feet back it was crammed and impossible to even walk through the crowd, people were shoving and it was impossible to get a good spot to enjoy the set. Plus, when she actually came on, the sound wasn’t loud enough for the huge crowd in the back to hear :\ I stuck around for probably 4 songs, and then decided it wasn’t worth it, especially since I had just seen her two nights before 😉

Walked by Echo & the Bunnymen, but mainly I was looking at the neat sky-art they had, these huge strands of balloons with lights attached to them, so in the wind they looked really cool 😀 (Pic from earlier in the evening, the sun was not rising again, haha)

balloonstrands

And then went to get into good position for LCD Soundsystem on the main stage. Maybe I was just really wiped out, but I didn’t get as into or excited by their set as I hoped I would.. (especially when they hoisted that disco ball the size of a car beforehand!). I was expecting it to be more like a crazy dance party, but in my opinion it was more like a mildly exciting rock show (their band set up was much like a normal rock band…) and they didn’t really play any of my favorite songs of theirs. (I should have prefaced this by saying I’m not their #1 fan, but I do appreciate a good amount of their stuff). Sooo I was kind of underwhelmed…

Caught the last 2-3 songs of Little Dragon which sounded good! Haha, their singer Yukimi has some amusing/unique dance moves. Would have liked to have seen more/all of this.

Then I took a rest, ate a delicious chocolate crepe, and waited for poor poor EJ, who had been waiting in line to get into the festival since about 7 pm (it was now almost 11 pm). Also heard/felt the pounding bass (and not much else) from Benny Benassi, holding court in the Sahara, haha.

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I hung out watching the Cubatron for awhile, met a friendly fellow with whom I had idle small talk for a few minutes. Then there was a pause, and he was like, “Dude. I’m frying my balls off right now.” And I was like “Oh!” hahahahaha.

Then I went to wait for Fever Ray to begin. Really wish I could have gotten some pics/video of this! (damn me) Never seen anything like that at Coach before, that’s for sure. From start to finish it was very mysterious and mystical and ominous. The stage was filled with fog and almost all the lighting came from about 15 antique lamps with neat, etheral old lampshades that would go off and on moodily. Karin and the band were dressed in crazy, crazy outfits involving spooky masks and headdresses, and had all kinds of weird instruments (we couldn’t even tell what a lot of them were). It was hard to see anything for sure since it was all pretty dark and moody. Once and awhile amazing lasers would fire out from behind them! Their sound was pretty much perfect and the creepy vocals had a ton of impact.

Unfortunately by this point I was literally about to fall asleep standing up :\ which sucked cause it was so cool, but I was just about to fall over. Luckily about halfway through the set, EJ came charging into the tent and I saw him go zooming right past me, so I caught up and YAY we were united!! FINALLY!

We decided to poke our heads into the Sahara to see what Deadmau5 was up to. It was so crammed we couldn’t really make it very far into the tent at all. The crowd seemed to be going nuts, so that was cool. Deadmau5 was debuting his new light set-up – this W-shaped video/light “cockpit” platform he was standing on, and his new LED mouse head (haven’t been able to find pics of this yet) which did look pretty cool. Overall his music isn’t the most exciting thing to me, but it can be ok in the right mood… which I was not in at this time, haha. I needed to lay down in a real serious way.

Sooo yeah! That was Friday. It was overall a good day and I saw a TON of bands, but overall it was one of my weaker Coach days of all time, cause the two things I was most excited for (LCD and La Roux) ended up being kind of a bust. My two favorite things from the day turned out to be afternoon sets, Yeasayer and Aeroplane.