this is what I did last weekend…
This is my religion.
Sorry to keep you waiting this many days to update about Saturday and Sunday’s events, but I have had neither the time nor energy to deal with it til now.
So, Saturday was truly the marathon Coachella day for the crew I was with; we managed to get up at a decent hour, grab some breakfast and head over to the Polo Fields at about 2pm. We had already missed the Institubes DJs, Surkin and Para one, but we got there just in time for Kavinsky. The crowd was still sparse, but it built up over the course of the next hour as he threw down his brand of dark, 80’s tinged techno. Imagine Giorgio Moroder playing with an Atari 2600 in the midst of a bad shroom trip. We then went and grabbed ourselves some beer and lunch and attempted to go see a bit of MGMT at the Gobi tent, but it was packed and overflowing. Having no desire to stand in the sun outside of the tent 75 yards away from the stage, we said fuck it and went back to the dance tent to await the coming of the German Electro monster known as Boys Noize. I had never seen him play before and I was amazed. He absolutely shredded, and considering it was still the middle of the day, the tent was packed. He played this one song none of us had ever heard before, this big room-destroying tune that seriously had the crowd marching and screaming. It was intense. Needing an ear-break, we sat down and enjoyed Erol Alkan’s set from the back corner of the tent, aided by some fruit smoothies (and vodka). After Erol was Hot Chip, who played the dance tent with their full band playing nonstop through the hour like a DJ set. The place was packed and the vibe was amazing; everybody smiling, dancing, singing (“I am Ready, I am Ready for the Floor…”). Superb. Went and grabbed some organic goodies from the food stands, and some malted goodies from the beer tent before sitting in the corner of the main beer gardens to mellow out and watch Kraftwerk. They weren’t too exciting, but nice and spacey and perfect for the sunset. We checked out Mark Ronson’s set briefly, which was cool because his full band continued bringing up new outside singers for almost every song. Ricky Wilson from the Kaiser Chiefs, Jamie Reynolds from the Klaxons, and even Kenna (who is a R&B/pop singer I have worked with at my studio) all came up to sing while Ronson played guitar, smoked cigarettes, and basically looked like a cool motherfucker. The last two bands of the night were the most hyped, and both at the main stage. Portishead, who is just releasing their their 3rd album (after like 10 years) was reaally great. They played a bunch of the fan favorites of of their first album Dummy, and Beth Gibbons’ voice was just gorgeous. Next up was Prince, who played for almost 2 hours and was absolutely incredible. He has so much energy, he is amazing on guitar, and has so much swagger; he is truly a great entertainer. He brought out Sheila E and Morris Day to play with him, and though at times the set did slow when they played some gospel-style shit, they rocked through a 7 minute version of “Little Red Corvette” that had people in the 15,000 strong crowd singing at the top of their lungs. fantastic (though it would have been better if I hadnt had to pee the entire set. thank god for gatorade bottles.)
After 11 hours of festival-ing in the brutal desert sun, we did what any sensible people would do, which was of course continuing drinking and partying until the wee hours of the morning. (Sleep is for the weak.) We arose around 2pm, ate some chicken wings, had some pineapple and gin smoothies, had our EMT friends give us some saline IV drips to kill our hangovers (seriously) and headed back to the show at about 430p.
Like the past two days, our main desire Sunday was to stay in the dance tent. When we got there Booka Shade were playing live on an electronic drum set and a rack of synthesizers and sequencers; very cool, groovy and fun. Wasn’t really feeling Danny Tenaglia’s set next, so we managed to meet up with an old friend of ours (who gave us VIP wristbands) and went to grab some food and cocktails.
The remainder of the lineup in the tent that night was absolutely ridiculous if you are into the type of Electro that my friends and I listen to. Modeselektor, Simian Mobile Disco, and Chromeo all (in a row) absolutely destroyed the crowd (which was growing larger by the minute). Luckily the VIP bar was directly outside the tent, so we were able to run in between sets and gobble down drinks (or in Micah’s case, jump/fall over the fence, be welcomed by a round of applause, and then gobble down cocktails). Justice was the headliner of the night, and the only act playing anywhere on the grounds at that time. We had an excellent spot staked out to dance, and dance we did. The curtain pulls back and there are these stacks of Marshall cabinets 5 tall on either side of this platform bearing their trademark glowing cross. Their ominous opener “Genesis” starts and people just start going apeshit. It was incredible, definitely one of the best sets I have ever seen, just tearing through all their songs, remixes, and a couple choice classic electro/disco cuts…outstanding.
After the show we made it back to the house, drank and hung out in the hot tub for a few hours and passed out. The next morning was extremely brutal and the drive back to civilization was extremely difficult, but all in all it was an amazing weekend.
Though my ears are still ringing.
Stoked to have both my laptop and wireless at our rented Desert Oasis out here in sunny Indio, though sadly i forgot my camera’s USB cord so I cannot upload any of the pics I took today.
We didnt get into the show today until about 4 or so, after having gotten into town, dropping our stuff off at the house and watching a friend of mine power his way through two salads at Subway. The first act we caught was Cut Copy, my current favorite band. They were rad. Excellent vibe throughout, despite the heat. They even fucked up like once or twice with their timing, but were always able to bring it back and get locked back into the groove. Aside from a few excursions around the polo fields for beer and food, we really stayed over on the side of the festival with the small stages/tents.
Ran into Busy P, Murs, and SebastiAn walking around, that was cool. Checked out a bit of Diplo’s set in the Sahara tent; it was really cool but his style is so all over the place it was actually kinda hard to get into it.
Santogold on the other hand fucking ripped. She had a really short set (she doesn’t even have an album out yet), but she sounded great, had a ton of energy, some awesome backup dancers, and overall looked like she was really enjoying herself. Rad.
The highlight for me was Aphex Twin. I have been into this crazy fucker’s music for many years, and he NEVER plays out ANYWHERE, let alone in the States. I really didnt know what to expect (other than to have my mind blown). When we walked into the tent, he had already been on for about 15 minutes, and he was playing cheesy disco house, sitting behind a laptop. ?????? I knew something was up, that he had to be fucking with everyone…and that he was…
Disco house went into minimal techno, which started fluctuating in speed and intensity and started getting really (for the lack of a better word) Gnarly. Next thing you know, he is throwing down 160bpm hard acid techno and all the E’d out ravers are started to look really uncomfortable. i was drooling. From this he somehow segued into this insane drill n bass and just chaotic mess of sounds. Hard grinding synths and massive rumbling bass, sped up and process breakbeats…insanity. For the rest of the hour he played he just kept dropping these insane tracks that literally had me jumping up and down, waving my hat and screaming at people. To top it off, during this storm of the most evil-sounding chaotic techno I have ever heard, a group of dancers all wearing animal costumes (dog, bunny, cow, etc.) come out on stage and start dancing around around the turntables. I was laughing hysterically and I swear i saw some kids on Acid in the corner crying their eyes out. It was glorious.
The only real bummer of the day was Spank Rock. I was super-stoked to see Naeem and his crew play, and it was evident after the first 15 mins that something weird was up. His DJs, Devlin & Darko spun some classic disco and house jams by themselves for a while, and then Amanda Blank came out for a few songs. After about 10 more minutes she let everyone know that Spank got sick today and wasnt going to be able to perform. fuuuuccccccckkkkkkk
We watched her for five more minutes and then hit the road.
Tomorrow is going to be a loooooong day…so many acts to see, parties to visit, beers to drink, hippies to mock. Peace Out!
-Dirty Desert Bastard