Our friends in L.A. are on site all weekend covering the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. Stay tuned right here for the latest reviews, photos, and videos.
This is the first Coachella that I’ve had to work, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons. Like you can stick the game plan, or you can just throw caution to the wind and try and catch as many bands by floating around and vibing what’s going on around you.
Friday night, I was forced to just roll with it, but on Saturday we had a looser schedule. What I didn’t know was that it meant that, unlike Friday, I would be constantly on-the-go, dancing in and out of crowds, trying to desperately time things so that I can see as much of one band before I have to float to the next one.
It was fun. It was chaos. It was Coachella.
Trying to cover more ground at Coachella is sort of like being a soldier. You have an objective and it feels like the world is fighting against you to make this happen. Especially, when you are trying to cover more ground and see more bands.
You keep thinking, “One more song,” knowing that you should already be cutting through the crowd to catch a show by your next favorite band.
When I finished writing up the interviews at the 2011 KROQ Coachella House it was getting late and I needed to get to Coachella. While waiting for a shuttle Kat Corbett drove up and whisked me away in her car, saving me from likely getting lost or confused by the shuttle. We cut through back streets, driving up through the back entrance and up to security allowing me to catch the tail end of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Broken Social Scene[/lastfm].
I wandered around the Beer Gardens until I found my unabridged Coachella soul sister, Nicole Alvarez. Where we celebrated with beers and hugs–which if you didn’t know might be the name of the all girl band we’re too lazy to start–and took off to find a spot on the grass to watch [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bright Eyes[/lastfm].
I only needed to hear them play one song, “Lover, I Don’t Have to Love.” Sadly, lying in the grass, laying my head on some guy I barely just met, babbling about how he can be my lover, I don’t have to love. The sun was setting, I closed my eyes, and just enjoyed the end of the day as the sun melted into the desert hills.
[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Bright Eyes[/lastfm] experience was not just magical and perfect, but totally necessary, because I spent the rest of the night running to and from stages and dancing like crazy.
After watching [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Mumford & Sons[/lastfm] perform at the 2011 KROQ Coachella House, I knew I wouldn’t miss their Coachella Main Stage set for anything in the world. And it seemed like everyone else at Coachella agreed with me because the masses voyaged from all corners to sing along and dance to the British rockers.
There was a particularly perfect moment when the whole crowd chanted together and you could see it breathe as one and watch it bounce like the pulse of a heartbeat. So far, this was the most magical moment of Coachella 2011 weekend.
However, watching the crowd disperse after the end of their set was really incredible. People floated off in massive waves, disbanding to all areas of the park.
I stayed in place and watched the first couple of songs in [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Animal Collective[/lastfm]’s set knowing I’d have to leave about three songs deep to make it to see [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Paul van Dyk[/lastfm] spin. Mostly, I saw the beginning of their first song and listened to what was going on as I walked away. Little did I know, this would be the trend for the rest of the night.
The light show that accompanied Paul van Dyk’s set was absolutely awesome. It was like dancing inside of a star with thousands of my closest friends. Of course, that could only go on for so long cause I had to race across the field to get a good spot to watch [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Arcade Fire[/lastfm].
There were two things that caught my attention when I got up close, the fact that there was a giant container above the stage holding something magical and that I will never see Arcade Fire enough times.
Lead singer Win Butler addressed the crowd and said:
If you told me in 2002, that we’d be headlining Coachella with Animal Collective playing before us, I would have told you, you were full of s**t.
Too bad it was no surprise to me. However, it was nice hearing him lament about not knowing if he’d make it and then going on to say that he’d like to attend a future Coachella as a guest instead of a musical act. Even though we’d prefer Arcade Fire always perform, we can totally see where he’s coming from.
Because I’m filled with multi-tasking disease, I ran to see the middle part of the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Scissor Sisters[/lastfm] where I danced like you would not believe. And then I ran back to see if I could catch whatever was in the container above Arcade Fire and I made it with perfect timing.
As I walked up, they started playing “Wake Up” and Win says, “That was the peaceful thoughtful portion of the set, now let’s do something.” That something was opening the contents of the magical black box and from it fell hundreds of neon glowing white balls that dropped from the sky.
After it was over, I watched people gutsy enough to fight for a ball carry them to their car, which begs to ask, what will tonight’s headliner, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Kanye West[/lastfm], do to top the magic that Arcade Fire created.