josh (joshc) wrote,

the great big coachella post

once we'd bussed to the airport, flown from seattle to san francisco to palm springs, picked up gallons of water and bags of snacks, driven to indio, and found the parking lot, it was time to carry all of our stuff to the first long line of coachella. To keep bad things out of the campsite, all campers needed to be searched by three or four guards. this necessity resulted in a trail of people stretching back to the road and from midnight to about two in the morning. as stupid as this seemed, it turned out to be actually kind of fun. while we were in line, matt and andrea arrived and joined us with their bottle of special fiji vodka, that went nicely with our foster's oil cans (removed from their hiding places), and candy and dried fruit. eventually, I think that the guards gave up on being thorough or we found a tricky way to get in without being searched. Soon, we were inside where we found a very intoxicated ameila and set up our 300 square foot tent city. by three am, having snacked and talked, we went to sleep.

the morning:
the thing about sleeping in in the desert is that it gets warm and light early (after getting rather cold); so it's not so likely. we hid in rapidly diminishing the shade of our tent, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches [lesson: organic peanut butter isn't the best choice]. with not much to do, we decided to move on to the next line -- to get in to the festival. luckily, there was more shade to be had as we waited for our next opportunity to be searched. [you should know that throughout the entire festival, chris was posting kexp stickers on available surfaces.] once we got inside the grounds, we found lunch and waited for the bands to start.

saw a lot of bands. erase errata was in a tent, which seems like a good idea except it is the hottest part of the day and the tent isn't very well ventilated so we enjoyed a few songs before escaping from the sweat lodge setting. howie day was outside, and kind of mellow. some thought he was a less fratty dave matthews, or a less wussy john mayer. I don't remember the evens (not pictured), except that Ian M talked a lot. the stills were my favorite band that I hadn't heard before Saturday. ... and you will know us by the trail of dead played a few new songs and generally rocked out as expected. death cab for cutie did not go postal, and we watched from a distance while they sounded great. sparta did not reunite with mars volta to form at the drive in, but they were nevertheless very enjoyable. though I am embarrassed to not know as much as I should about the pixies, they put on a good show. black francis who looked very pleased with himself wasn't as fat as expected. kim deal looked very happy, too. by getting to the pixies early, we were able to get fairly close for radiohead, whose show was pretty much along the lines of the hail to the thief tour. Thom Yorke's vocal troubles weren't evident and he played "Creep" for the pixies and did lots of great alien dancing. awesome show, but I love radiohead and don't claim to be objective. speedwalking from the radiohead encore across the festival grounds brought us to kraftwerk. honestly, we were too tired to properly appreciate this show. on the way back to the campground we heard the o.c. theme song when we passed phantom planet, but did not see any of the cast members who were in attendance.

saw lots of bands and an independent film, bomb the city, about graffiti artists. hybrid induced much dancing very early in the day, as did !!!, though they had to try harder given the direct sunlight of the outdoor stage. much band hopping/sampling ensued and I don't remember much about elefant, muse, atmosphere, or the thrills, except that they all sounded pretty good for a couple of songs. broken social scene was my favorite band to listen to while lying in the sun, proving that my problem with their last show was me. thursday was my least favorite band of the day, they are not emo. I didn't like the cooper temple clause enough to skip cursive. belle & sebastian were cute, as expected. chris did a bunch of band sampling while I went to bright eyes since I knew that I wouldn't be able to enjoy anything else knowing that I was missing them. connor oberst got musically political (as did many bands) and played "lua," which I hadn't heard previously. air, like their CDs, sounded french and great. I think that I heard prefuse 73 while taking pictures of art installations. though the flaming lips played only a few songs, they can do no wrong in my book and people who don't enjoy wayne falling from the heavens in a giant plastic ball to roll over the crowd, people in fuzzy costumes with flashlights, singalongs, meandering speeches (not saying "fuck bush"), and multi-colored balloons are just crazy. I wish they'd been the headliners. that said, many people showed up for the cure, who played some songs that I knew. during their set, we made a quick visit to basement jaxx and le tigre, who had coordinated dancing and videos.

the heat:
as you may have guessed, I was fairly certain that the heat would kill me within a couple hours. However, I wasn't really bothered by the long hot days of standing around. There were many moments that felt great. Between sunscreen and shade, none of us were sunburned (which, given my skin physiology, means that I left without a tan).

the people:
provided great people watching and were generally rather nice. many non-duplicate band and ironic t-shirts. a good proportion of the people were dressed as if they were going to bar rather than a 100 degree festival. some should probably have that mole checked out. symmetrical tatoos kind of give me the creeps.

the endorsements:
adidas climalite crew, though not exactly ironic or stylish, kept me very comfortable, as did non-trendy new balance trainers. water, even at $2 per half liter. on-site camping was convenient, quiet, and it was rather nice to sleep on a polo field. flying into palm springs vs. lax, worth missing traffic. buying a t-shirt on the first day. I didn't do this and ended up not getting any of the less satisfactory last day leftovers.

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