Ah Coachella Day 2. Welcome back kids to my Coachella 2009 series. The journey continues, as I explore the musical styling of some of my old favorite artists, and realize new ones. But I won't give an arbitrary opening any further. Let's get to the nitty.
Coachella Lesson #4: BRING A COOLER WITH YOUR OWN DRINKS IN IT! You might not be able to bring in your own drinks to the actual festival, but if you're camping there, you will likely die of thirst by about 7am, no joke.
Renee, Dan and I hung out all day in the tent, saying hello to fellow campers as they passed by our shade, and charged our phones for the impending day's madness. As you'll learn next year when you go, there's really not a whole lot to do on the festival grounds if your performers haven't started yet, as you'll want to save your energy (and lower back) for the rest of the evening. In the morning on the campgrounds, there are fun, childish activities like face painting and similar tomfoolery whilst having fun in the sun.
Around 6, the gang and I headed for the front gates of the grounds, where I met up with my upstate home girls, Alexis A. and Robyn D. We headed straight for the main stage, where we made camp in the cool grass, to await the sound check for TV on the Radio to be completed. While I don't know what the exact set list for the band was, I had a few notable favorites. The band started off with a version of their first song, from their first album (The Wrong Way- Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes), complete with a horn section that was amazing.
Also on the set list was a faster version of one my personal favorites from Dear Science, Golden Age.
What I loved about this band is how much energy they gave the crowd, and the humor of front man Tunde Adebimpe. During the set he calmly told us whilst we fried in the sun:
"Alright guys, our mission during this set, is to bring the sun down"
And while I don't have a great clip of it, they also performed Wolf Like Me, the hit single from their second album, Return to Cookie Mountain. Katrina Ford of the Baltimore, MA band Celebration, came onstage to sing alone with Kyp and Tunde.
After the set, I moved along on my own, and stumble upon James Morrison's set in the Mojave Tent. I thought that maybe he wouldn't be that great live, but the brotha can sing! I got a shoddy clip of If You Don't Wanna Love Me for your pleasure.
There isn't a lot to say about them really, but Thievery Corporation was a joy to listen to as well. Have a look at the band performing the end of El Pueblo Unido from their recent album Radio Retaliation.
Ok, but let's talk about MIA just a bit. This is a girl who was onstage at the Grammys the due date of her pregnancy. This woman has guts. This had to be one of the most intense entrances to date that I've seen at a show. Her set can be described by a quote during her show:
"Im probably going to get kicked off the main stage for this one, but fuck it. I ain't gonna change. "
She played a lot of her hits, including the ever so popular Paper Planes. Then she stressed the security out as much as possible by telling the crowd to come on stage. Disaster. I even saw a girl get tackled off the stage. Why no video you ask? Well I have tons for M.I.A., but Youtube won't let me upload it. Ill try and have it up for my last piece of my series.
Before seeing The Killers, the nights headliner, I stopped in to get a picture of Jenny Lewis, and a short clip of Atmosphere performing Godlovesugly. I wish I got a clip of him literally saying
OK now all the hot people STFU" along to the beat while singing the chorus.
The best performance of the night went to The Killers. Honestly, at first, I didn't think they deserved to be on the main stage. But these guys know how to put on a show. The crowd loved these guys, and the effects were great. Heres their setlist for the evening, and snippet of Somebody Told Me, Mr. Brightside, and my friends Bri O., Emily, and Helen N. dancing to Human (I would have recorded my favorite song of theirs, Jenny Was a Friend of Mine, but I was too busy playing air bass):
2. Somebody Told Me
3. For Reasons Unknown
4. This Is Your Life
5. Joy Ride
6. Bling (Confession of a King)
7. Shadowplay (Joy Division Cover)
8. Smile Like You Mean It
10. A Dustland FairyTale
11. Sam's Town
12. Read My Mind
13. Mr. Brightside
14. All These Things That I've Done
16. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
17. When You Were Young
This was definitely a more exploratory night, as I was not afflicted with the massive back aches of the other nights. Which brings me to Coachella Lesson #4: SIT DOWN EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE! It hurts like all hell at the end of the night if you don't and it takes away from your experience, which I of course learned the hard way.
I played air bass from Jenny Was a Friend of Mine all the way back to my tent, and slept well; knowing that day 3 was going to bring me on last day of desert adventure. Stay tuned for the final part of my Coachella 2009 series.
Until next time my friends,