San Diego was in the midst of a bit of a heat wave, so on Sunday morning as the temperatures climbed above 80 here, I knew it was going to be blistering in Indio. I thought I was prepared for it. I wasn't. It easily felt about 15 degrees hotter than it was on Friday, which might have been partially psychological as the once fresh green grass was more or less browned and trampled by day three. This had multiple effects on me. One was that I was a whole lot less ambitious about hurrying from stage to stage and I did a whole lot more sitting in the shade of other people. I also poured water over my head all day just to cool down.
Travis and I drove the regular route via the 215 and got there quickly but we left a little later than planned, so we got there as No Age was finishing, despite it being our goal to get there for their set. You can read the rest of my diary after the jump.
Like most people, I was much less excited about the lineup for Day 3 in the first place, but after the incredible sets from Paul McCartney, Leonard Cohen, and pretty much EVERYONE I saw on Friday, I knew I couldn't have high expectations. The band I wanted to see most that day was Okkervil River, and with a 2:35 set on the mainstage, everything else was just me wandering, enjoying the sights and sounds of Coachella, hanging with Natalie, and staying hydrated. I was so far from the stage during their set, I didn't bother with photos, and that kind of was a lasting theme all day. But I love Okkervil River, so I watched and listened and sang along with Will and thoroughly enjoyed the music.
After the set, I followed Natalie to the Outdoor Theatre for Gaslight Anthem who were probably my biggest surprise of the day- I didn't know anything about them but I really enjoyed their set. It didn't surprise me later to find out they're a SideOneDummy band. Being from Jersey they get a lot of comparisons to The Boss which I could hear quite a bit, but they really reminded me of labelmates Fake Problems, which I've already proclaimed is my favorite-band-of-2009-that-isn't-new-but-is-new-to-me. That's the beauty of a festival. Some bands might disappoint, but sometimes it is the unexpected ones that stay with you.
This was pretty much the scene all over the festival that day. People had to be inventive with ways to keep cool.
Jake told me that our friend Pete was doing drums for Sebastien Tellier, so I decided to go check him out. If you've read this site for a while, you might remember Pete was the drummer for Z-Trip at SoCo Music Experience a couple years ago. It's always good to see him play no matter who he's with. Sebastien was great and I ran into Catdirt and CDW. They love their French musicians. And I know it's gross, but how can you not feel bad about whatever chick lost this?
The rest of the day was kinda meh for me. I watched Peter, Bjorn and John for a while from the far west side of the stage where the VIP area was as I waited for Pete to come hang out. He did for a bit but then went to attempt to get me a backstage pass and a few missed text messages later and I was wandering, listening to Yeah Yeah Yeahs (who sounded tons better than the last time I saw them), finding food, finding Natalie and Travis, and before I knew it, I was laying in the grass waiting for My Bloody Valentine, at which point the sun had dropped enough that I was suddenly freezing in my water soaked jeans. Fortunately I had taken an extra shirt but my thin hoodie didn't cut it and I fell asleep as the murmur of MBV attempted to penetrate my super deluxe earplugs.
I wasn't ever much of a fan of The Cure, but having never seen them in concert before I figured I had nothing to lose. Travis and Natalie and I met up once again and laid on the grass while we watched. Instead of commentary, I'll just end this post with my tweets from during The Cure's set:
21:56 Robert Smith's fingers look like vienna sausages. Sound is great, though. And talk about committing to a look. #coachella
22:28 Sorry, but lack of stage banter makes me feel like I'm just listening to a CD. #coachella
22:48 Additionally, lack of stage banter feels like you're only here for the paycheck. Not a bad performance, just anti-climactic. #coachella
23:49 The Cure gave me a once in a lifetime performance. Once because I would never watch them again. Goodbye, Coachella. Maybe next year. #
Travis and I left mid-set, exhausted and anxious to get home. I learned my lesson about writing off Coachella, because all-in-all it was a great experience and I might actually do it all over again next year.