Coachella Valley Music Festival By
Some 100,000 fans braved the desert heat (100+ degrees) over two days at this
years Coachella Valley Music Festival in Indio, California. For the fifth
time since its inception, Coachella has proved to be the ultimate American rock
Over 75 bands, rappers, and DJs appeared and the five-stage festival provided
more music than one could possibly take in.
Typical of the fest, many fans baking in the sun outside the overflowing Gobi
tent could only hear (but not see) Becks Saturday afternoon performance.
were better at the second stage Saturday night, with a hip-hop heavy line-up featuring
Eyedea and Abilities, MF Doom Kool Keith, and others. The highlight of the first
night for many was the return of the Pixies. Despite some minor rough spots, they
brought down the house.
Radiohead provided an excellent crescendo Saturday night. They stuck mainly to
their hits, and offered a spirited take on the decade-old Creep.Saturdays
best performance came from Kraftwerk. Their multi-media presentation was both
euphoric and chilling as songs like Computer World sounded as relevant
today as they did 25 years ago.
Sunday was even hotter, but few of the bands seemed to suffer for it. Muses
tired-sounding Brit-pop helped prove that there can be only one Radiohead. Later
on, rappers Atmosphere hit some technical snags, but delivered a fun set. Soon
after, rapper Sage Francis dished out the rhymes and the satiric commentary in
equal doses. Main stagers Belle and Sebastian charmed with their 60s-inflected
pop, after which Air delivered a stellar collection of songs.
The Flaming Lips offered too much political rhetoric and not enough music. Still,
they provided the most awesome sight of the night: singer Wayne Coyne crowd surfing
in a giant plastic bubble.
Second stage headliners Le Tigre added a badly needed shot of estrogen to the
line-up (they were one of maybe three female groups).
Meanwhile, on the main stage, the Cure played endlessly, and went a half hour
over curfew during their encore, tearing through hits like Love Cats
and Boys Dont Cry.
Heat, crowds, lines, and outrageous ticket prices werent enough to ruin
Coachella. With this years line-up, nothing could.