Saturday, April 21, 2012

Coachella 2012

A week ago I had no sights on going to Coachella, but after catching up with my friend David and joking about not having an "in", he called me back and offered me a wristband. I swear I wasn't fishing. You all know my life is in serious shambles at the moment and I should be aggressively searching for a new home, but thanks to a bunch of people (namely David, Chase, Elliott, Mike, and Jenn), Coachella 2012 (weekend 2) became a reality for me. I should also mention I got sick this week, so between not finding dogsitters and feeling like shit, I almost called the whole thing off as late as Thursday. I am surrounded by awesome people who really came through for me.

So because I didn't really plan on Coachella, I never really even thought about who I would want to see. And an obvious perk of doing what I do is getting to see/work shows, so in the past two weeks alone I worked at the Rapture and Yuck and saw Housse De Racket, Band of Skulls, James, The Big Pink, M Ward, and Squeeze, and also passed on a significant amount of shows. So blah blah, stop bragging. Really all I knew was my group wasn't coming until late Friday, so while at the James show at the House of Blues, I took to Twitter and found an early ride with Jen (@JennyJenJen). I got to sleep at 3:30 am, David dropped off my wristband at 7, and Jen and I were on the road by 7:15, she checked into her air BnB around 10:30, we grabbed some Wendy's and got to Coachella early enough to get beat down by a full day of desert sun.

Since I'm not here with any press credentials, I didn't feel obligated to do or see or shoot anything specific, so my day kicked off with Other Lives, Givers, and James. Actually, that is not entirely true. I spent almost my whole first hour of Coachella between the "charging station" trying to charge my phone and waiting in the water filling lines.

Other Lives were awesome as ever and the crowd seemed to love it, with people around me associating the band with Radiohead and Bon Iver, since they've supported both on tour. When I'm home I'll post more video to add to my growing Other Lives archive. Sadly I think in the Josh's eyes I've turned into SuperGroupie and he couldn't be bothered to chat after the show, so I was on my way to Givers.

Givers were nearly done by the time I got to their tent and it was packed. It was pretty obvious from the first time I saw them at Sunset Sessions that they would be a band to watch with a big future ahead, so it's great to see them doing so well just a little over a year later. It was also great to see them maximize the use of their stage with their usual high energy.

I thought I was going to see Yuck, but the crowd was large and mostly I just wanted to say hi to their tour manager, so I moved along to get a spot for James.

I know I still owe you photos from Thursday (see videos on my YouTube channel), but you should know this is one of my top 5 all time favorite bands of all time. Anything I say comes with great bias because their music soundtracked so many personal ups and downs, loves and out-of-loves, great friendships and great friendships lost. I don't remember the setlist off the top of my head, but I do know it was a different set than last week and also different from Thursday. It kicked off with "White Boy" and followed with "Born Of Frustration", during which Tim Booth came into the security pit and jumped on the rail just by me (see photos). I'll have to go through my video for the rest of the setlist. They played "Sometimes", "Tomorrow", and of course "Laid". I'll upload those on Monday, but be warned...the sun was so bright and even though I was "front row" along the railing, I was still about 25 feet from the stage. The further I am, the closer I have to zoom, and thus the shakier the video becomes.

The rest of my day isn't really worth talking about because I totally crashed. I finally explored the VIP area, found an outlet and some grass, and I was in my own world. I listened to Jimmy Cliff and Arctic Monkeys and Pulp from the little VIP oasis, visiting with Kristian who is bartending here, as well as Vito, a friend and fellow SoundDiego contributor.

When I finally charged my phone and ate and cooled down a bit, I decided to catch Mazzy Star. I love Hope Sandoval and remember my best friend playing a demo of She Hangs Brightly that she somehow acquired from a cousin and "Halah" being one of my favorite songs to sing-along to. She started the set with old songs, but requested near darkness onstage. I already couldn't see the band and you know I cannot stand a lightless stage, so after about 6 songs, I left to meet up with David and Dustin who had finally arrived. We had some Heineken then roamed, catching some Black Keys, some M83, more Heineken in the Rose Garden VIP area, laughed at the dance tent, then met up with Eli back at the main VIP area before we caught the shuttle to our resort.

Oh yeah...did I mention that? We're staying at this plush resort called the Mira Monte. There's a shuttle to and from Coachella and when we wait for the shuttle, there's a party bus stocked with Heineken for the taking...and we were taking. Me, the girl who might be homeless in a month, is doing it super fancy at Coachella 2012. Don't think that I don't know how lucky I am.

I guess I better charge up this phone and get ready for day two. Cheers!

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