Indio, Palm Springs is a land without mercy. Flat lands encircled by mountains which trap the summer sun’s heat. Skinny palm trees are the only forgiving shade, and water matches the temperature of the land itself, offering no cool solution to a heated problem.
However, ever year at the end of April, thousands of music fans gather in this unforgiving enviornment to participate in one of America’s largest and most coveted music festicals. Indio for all Indies.
This year, the festival opened the stage to old and new favorites. The large outdoor Coachella Stage saw names as large as Coldplay, Weezer and the Nine Inch Nails.
However, names had little to do with the size of performance at this festival. Weezer lacked enthusiasm, and the fact that the fans, who had been standing all day in the hot sun, looked more inspired that Cuomo made his reputation for being a snide fan-hater very visibe.
In one of the smaller tents, The Kills blew some of the larger acts out of the water. Musicians VV and Hotel writhed and screamed on stage, with an edge and vivacity that is rarely seen in Rock anymore. They haven’t redefined rock n roll, but it seems they’ve revived what it oncce was. Their sexual chemistry is not to be missed, and the precision of their music cuts like a knife.
Though the first day held gems amongst the hazy sun, it was the second day that lit the festival aflame. With acts such as The Fiery Furnaces, The Faint, NIN, The Dresden Dolls, and show stoppers The Arcade Fire, the day was one mind blowing experience after another. If one was close enough to the stage, Musicians from other bands could be see lining the side of the stage, hoping to participate in the experience of watching.
The Arcade Fire was the star of Sunday, tearing up the stage, and even some of the side structure, with one melody after another. Hailing from Montreal, the Arcade Fire is certainly my favorite of the weekend, and judging by their turnout, many others as well.
At the end of the experience, one was left with exhaustion, dirt and two ticket stubs. Luckily, the heat didn’t cause complete dimensia, and the outcome of two days, flipping from one band to another, left me just slightly frazzled.
Lesson learned: do not treat a festival like a radio, running from stage to stage. Pick a few acts, and commit. Otherwise you end up feeling used and abused by the sun and the space. Music is a lovely thing to experiment with, but beware when there are 49,999 other doing the same thing.