Coachella 2008 | Sunday Review
From time to time, we get emails here at LMB that can serve as their own blog post if I would just get around to posting some of them. Some are so good that they just immediately grab me as something that everyone else needs to read, and this review of the last day of Coachella was just too good to pass up. Thanks to our boy, Aaron, for sending it in.
Coachella was awesome.
I was only able to attend Sunday’s festivities as I had to work on Friday and Saturday. I drove into Indio in the early morning, waited in zero traffic, got onto the grounds at 11am and headed to the Gobi Tent to see Brett Dennen. He was soundchecking at the same time so we got a few songs early. He sounded fresh and ready to rock. Brett made a few comments on the heat but settled into a nice groove that had a pretty full tent, especially it being so early in the morning. Kinda upset he won’t be appearing at High Sierra this year. First saw him playing in the parking area when he was starting out 3 years ago…
As people woke up and filtered into the grounds all I kept hearing was buzz on Prince’s amazing set the previous night. I heard about the “Creep” cover and the fact that he just rocked the desert into oblivion with jam after jam. Made me wish I had been there, but also happy in the fact that I WAS HERE NOW. Coachella had a nice vibe, everyone seemed in a great mood. They set it up where there are no drinks allowed up front on the stages…which at first I thought was a horrible idea (even though I rarely drink), yet the grounds were clean as hell and you were never bumped with beer. It didn’t smell. No mud. I was insanely surprised.
After Dennen I walked over to Grand Ole Party, who had a nice groove going on. Drumming and singing, the lead was on top of HER game. Never seen them before but the ladies I met up with said good things. Half way through it got a little repetitive so I wandered over to the PS3 tent for some air conditioning and an early (even pre-beta) version of Little Big Planet. Don’t even ask how I got into the VIP tent to try it out…Pure dumb luck.
I then started over at the Mojave tent, saw some of I’m from Barcelona, who’s act was a bit too much like The Flaming Lips mixed with Arcade Fire (but not as good) for my tastes. I see what they are doing though, and some in the audience were lovin’ it. They threw a bunch of balloons in the air (large red ones) that entertained until popped.
Then Holy Fuck melted my face. Damn those guys make a lot of sound. It’s a group huddle of insane proportions really. Just the grooves they make are infectious. They’d be my “what band surprised you the most?” award.
I headed over to Duffy, as I heard a lot about this lady’s voice. And damn is it a good one. Really hits home with the vocals and the gentle guitar work.
The Field couldn’t make it through international waters so they were a no-show. Stars was a treat on the mainstage. Never heard or seen their work but a lot of dedicated fans were rockin’ out under the sun. I stayed at the Main stage for Gorgol Bordello, who gave me a culture shock if there ever was one. He’s got some god damn energy…shirt off, perfect flavor for the main stage at the moment. Fit the atmoshphere and mood to a “T.” I also wanted a good spot for Jim James and My Morning Jacket, so I stuck it out under the blazing sun…
I made the folks I met up with come to MMJ. They had to see this band I…It would be the first time…
Once “One Big Holiday” was in full effect, the crowd’s attention was caught. From there, they played a slew of new songs (I was hoping for them all!) I got right up front when “I’m Amazed” started. That’s one that’s going to FLOURISH in the live setting. “Highly Suspicious” had the crowd in a frenzy — “what the hell is this???!” and “Smokin’ from Shooting” just has that special tune. It felt like I was at an indie rock show but at the same time a Phish show (to be honest). “Smokin’ from Shooting” took me on that journey we all love to go down…the reason I go to live concerts.
You could look around and slowly but surely the audience was believing in this band…understanding what MMJ was trying to do — And he too is understanding. This will be my 7th show, and with the new material, I think James is realizing his rock star potential. What a set! I was on a rock high after that one. Can’t wait for a FULL two hours.
I’m sure you read all about Roger Waters but the PIG and the planes dropping seed for strobe light effects. Awesome way to end the night! As Justice blarred and bumped in the background I had to make the 2 hour drive back to LA for work…so that’s what I did…
Love it. Probably wouldn’t do the camping/3 day thing unless the lineup was SURREAL but for the day I did it. Awesome.
About the author
Justin Ward is the Editor at Live Music Blog and has been with the site from the very beginning. He currently lives in San Francisco and regularly tweets other stuff over @justinpward.
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