DAY THREE: Rally For The Finish
Ah, day three. That's when the "festival feet" blues start to kick in. You know, that's when the reality of all of the constant standing and dancing and walking starts to kick in, and your feet start to swell up and pulse incessantly. But it did not matter, because we were ready to end the three-day Coachella love fest with a bang!
Our primary destination for the day was catching the Spiritualized set. As we entered the tent, Jason Spaceman was just settling down to the mic, and his backup singers/orchestra were tuning up their instruments. As the strains of "Soul on Fire" began to lilt into the air, a communal look of peace seemed to settle on much of the assembled crowd. Full disclosure-I am a huge Spiritualized fan-and I was in rapture for all of the set. Hearing "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space" truly brought tears to my eyes (thanks to my posse for not laughing at me), and it was even cooler to find out that a very awesome sounding gentleman in our area proposed to his lady during that song (she of course said yes). I've heard from some folks that were some sound problems, but it sounded pretty clear from where we were standing. Overall, it was one of my favorite sets from the weekend. I can't wait to see the Spiritualized tour when it swings through Lollapalooza this summer.
I parted from my crew to head over to see the Love & Rockets reunion gig, and I have to say that I was not disappointed in the least (well, other than the awful rave-tastic hat that Daniel J was wearing... please, scrap that immediately). The band shredded through a nice walk down memory lane for all the ex-goth kids, including "So Alive," "Ball of Confusion," and the lovely "Haunted When The Minutes Drag."
After my alt-goth moment, I hustled across the polo field to catch the middle of the Modeselektor set. This Berlin trio had some of the most insane hype of the day (plenty of people told me not to miss their live sets) and as I arrived in the dance tent, I was shocked to see the over-capacity tent going completely nuts! Mixing in a combination of live PA and DJ set, Modeselektor dropped a punishing set of acid-tinged and acid disco inflected electronic beats that had the whole crowd jumping up and down, hollering for more. By the time the band got out from behind their setup to soak the crowd down with bottles of champagne (it was pretty damn cool), it was clear to see why Thom Yorke thinks Modeselektor is such a bad-ass outfit: they literally put American dance fans on notice.
Next up was the mighty Simian Mobile Disco. With one of the best live performances and stage setups in the dance world, I was very honored to be able to stand on stage and see James and Jas working up close and personal. Playing to an insanely packed tent, Simian Mobile Disco debuted a few new tracks while beating the crowd into a frenzy with their classic tunes like "Hustler," and "It's The Beat." It's nice to see that the Simian Mobile dudes are becoming known for their killer live show, as they've been in the game a long time, and have worked their asses off to get crowds dancing!
After that complete sensory overload, we thought it was high time to head over to Roger Waters' festival closing set on the main stage. As we walked over, we could hear the ex-Pink Floyd songwriter was getting deep into Dark Side of The Moon, a perfect album to catch some well-needed Spicy Pie pizza. Apparently as we were ordering our slices, Roger's inflatable pig decided to make a break for it, and floated off into the desert darkness. Gotta love that the swine made a break for it!
Overall, this year's Coachella met, if not exceeded many of my expectations. It was nice to see that dance/electronic music is becoming as important as rock on all of the stages. I would have liked to see a bit more diversity across all of the music genres (it was overwhelmingly indie rock) and a lot more diversity in the crowd. But hey, beggars can't be choosers: Coachella is surely one of America's premiere musical festivals, and I am psyched to see what they can do to top themselves next year (pssst... here's a few hints: OMD. Bowie. Gary Numan. Nitzer Ebb. Boards of Canada. You get the picture...).