Last Friday morning before Day 1 of Coachella 2010, my good friend Lyndsey & I sipped coffee in the backyard of our desert home while gazing out at a sparkling little lake on a bright green golf course with the breathtaking Palm Springs mountains in the distance. While we were lounging in the shade preparing ourselves mentally for the craziness that was about to ensue on the Empire Polo Fields later that afternoon, Lyndsey told me a story about her 1st Coachella experience that captures the essence of Coachella beautifully.
On the Friday of Coachella 2008, The Raconteurs played the sunset show on the main stage, which is the best timeslot of the weekend, & they were incredible. Jack White is a musical genius & one of the best live performers I have ever seen.
During The Raconteurs’ set, there was a moment, while Jack was at the piano performing Blue Veins in the warm desert breeze after the sun had just dropped behind the mountains, that Lyndsey said made her feel SO unbelievably happy she almost started to cry. It was tough but, at the time, she managed to hold herself together. This particular moment is also one of my own favorite Coachella memories because it was pure perfection.
A few days later, after 3 glorious days on the polo fields, Lyndsey was at LAX preparing to fly home to Boise, Idaho. She had just passed through security & suddenly, out of nowhere, tears started streaming down her face. She was overwhelmed with sadness because Coachella was over but she was also overwhelmed with joy because her 1st Coachella weekend had been so amazing. Lyndsey has now been to Coachella 3 years in a row & she & I are already planning on renting a house as soon as possible for Coachella 2011.
Coachella is SO much more than just a music festival. Although the music is obviously the primary focal point, there are many other vital components. The people, the desert setting, the atmosphere, the lights, the artwork, the food, the beer gardens, the weather & the all around super happy, positive vibes combined with the mind-blowing musical performances make Coachella an unforgettable EXPERIENCE that keeps people coming back year after year.
Last weekend, 225,000 people (an average of 75,000 per day) trekked out to the California desert from all over the country, & even around the world, to spend 3 full days enjoying good music, good weather & good company. Every person I saw on the polo fields seemed to have a permanent smile plastered on his/her face. There were far too many fantastic performances to count & there was no way to see them all but my TOP favorite shows included Aeroplane, LCD Soundsystem, Fever Ray, Jay-Z, Major Lazer, Muse, The Dead Weather, 2ManyDJ’s, De La Soul, Florence & The Machine, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Spoon, Orbital, Thom Yorke & Gorillaz. I still can’t get over the fact that I got to see James Murphy, Jack White AND Thom Yorke all in one weekend!
I’m grateful to have the Sasquatch Music Festival at The Gorge in Washington coming up over Memorial Day Weekend to help alleviate some of my Post-Coachella Depression but I still can’t help but be counting down the days until Coachella 2011. Only 359 days to go! :-)
Check out these clips of my favorite shows!!!