Coachella 2010 Recap
Wow! What a fantastic week that was!
Way back in January, my friends Jamie and Shelly and I decided we wanted to get a big rental house for this year’s festival. Criteria: a lot of bedrooms, pool, and a hot tub. With all the properties available you would think it would be easy to secure this, but we actually had to scramble. Fortunately, the place we ended up getting was awesome. Because it was in Palm Springs, and not closer in like Indio or La Quinta, we arranged for a driver to shuttle us back and forth each day. (Note: This was one of the best moves ever. No worries about parking or being too drunk/tired to drive).
Joining us after a few shuffles and cancellations were my friends Colin from PDX, Josh from SEA, and Switch, Suga, Kirby and Audra from OAK.
By some luck of the reservation system, those of us from the PacNW all ended up on the same Portland to Palm Springs flight and arrived late afternoon on Thursday. After a quick test run of the pool and hot tub, we walked to the store, stole a shopping cart, and brought home supplies.
The Oakland crew drove down and got into town around 2am.
Day 1 of the Festival
Our driver showed up about 1pm and brought us to the Polo Fields where we were greeted by the biggest clusterfuck Goldenvoice has ever created.
This year there were no single day passes available and the 3-day passes were sold out. We waited in one line for about 45 minutes, had our bags searched, then were released into a holding pen, where Security was exchanging tickets for wristbands. No lines, just mobs of hot, sweaty, and excited people swarming around the wristbands. The Security were constantly running out of the wristbands, which forced them to wade through the crowds to pick up more.
After 30 minutes or so of this, we then had to walk a half mile or so where we were greeted by another set of lines to have our bags checked again and our bands verified.
We had planned to be at the festival at 2:30 and barely made it in time for a 4:00 set.
Shaking off the bad vibes of the entry, I (and a rotating cast of my housemates) managed to see:
Proxy – Jamie was set on seeing this, so we headed straight back to the Sahara tent. Was really good and the perfect way to get into the festival mindset.
Aeroplane – Wow! Very unexpected. I had heard a little bit before but am now a fan.
She & Him – Didn’t stay long. I am a fan of the band, but the crowd was huge, and they sounded like the record, so moved on fairly quickly.
The Specials – DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER. I had so much fun reliving my Dance Craze days. While they all looked older, the music and stage presence were spot on.
Wolfgang Gartner – Caught the tail end of this. Enjoyed what I heard.
Pretty Lights – Another hit!
La Roux – Caught a few minutes between sets. The tent was packed, so we moved on.
LCD Soundsystem – I am a huge LCD fan. Have seen them many times. After listening to the new album, I was completely psyched to see them again. Unfortunately, I thought the show was just OK. No real reason why – just didn’t hit like I thought it would.
Benny Benassi – We kicked it in the grass behind the Sahara tent and regrouped with people.
Fever Ray – Probably the best set of the weekend. The stage show was creepy and awesome, the sound was loud but not overpowering, and the music was… beautiful.
Deadmau5 – To close out the night, we crashed the Deadmau5 tent, forced our way into the crowd and had our own dance party. Amazing way to end the night.
And then it was back to the house for a late night dip in the pool.
Day 2 of the Festival
For me, this was the “weak” day of the show. The one band I was truly looking forward to, Bad Lieutenant, were stuck in the UK due to volcanic ash. We mostly hung out around the Sahara tent, with occasional forays out to poke our noses into the other sets. Plus, after a couple of late nights partying, the day was a bit of a blur. I can safely say we saw Craze & Klever, Dirty South, The Raveonettes, Bassnectar, David Guetta, and Les Claypool.
We ended up calling an audible, and bailed out of the show early.
Day 3 of the Festival
Another late night, but that didn’t stop us from rolling out and raring to go.
Rusko – Hadn’t heard much before, but became a fan.
The Glitch Mob – Whoo hoo! Another one of my faves. Was a bit disappointed by the set. They seem to be turning into “musicians” who play “songs” instead of “DJs” who play “sets”. Still enjoyable though.
Florence and The Machine – Played to a pack tent. I really like this band, but I think I like them better in my headphones than at a festival.
Club 75 – Jamie, Shelly, Colin and I were camped out on the side of the Sahara and probably danced non-stop for an hour and a half. We must have been acting pretty wild, because we attracted a whole bunch of fun people who joined up with us.
Got split up by capacity beer tents and long bathroom lines at this point. Shelly and I bounced around listening to bits and pieces of Spoon, Phoenix, and Infected Mushroom.
Orbital – Another blast from the past. (Satan! Satan! Satan! Satan! Satan!)
The girls and I decided we wanted to head over to the main stage and stake out our ground. Got sidetracked by some food and drinks and a trip to the Heineken Headphone Rave dome. Had a good time dancing around with wireless headphones on.
Gorillaz – ZOMG! I had been expecting a show that incorporated their “hologram” characters and was wondering how they were going to pull it off with the wind that kicks up at night. When Admiral Snoop Dogg came up on the main screen and kicked off the set, I knew we were in for something different. Damon Albarn and crew played live with an insane multimedia show behind them. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the DVD for Plastic Beach.
And with that we bid farewell to the festival. Our friends from Oakland were scheduled to leave the next day, so we made sure to get our fill of the pool and hot tub that night.
Monday was spent decompressing and recuperating. At noon, we said our goodbyes to the Oakland crew. At dusk we headed out to the Aerial Tramway to see the city lights from the snow covered lodge. A nice steakhouse dinner and brief stroll down the main Palm Springs drag ended the night.
Tuesday, we packed up and bolted for the airport.
Every time I go to Coachella, I say it was the best year ever, and this year I am going to say it again. An awesome rental house, great weather, and the best group of people to hang with that I could ask for. It was a grand slam home run! Thanks to everyone who was there for a great week.
A Flickr set of house pics are here. Kirby borrowed my SD card during the festival so his camera has most of the concert pics.
(and a nod to the memes of the week: “music goes in my earhole”, “shots shots shots shots shots shots”, and “fucking iceland”)