Thursday, April 29, 2010

Coachella 2010 Day 1

Because I like it so much, I'm going to follow LA Weekly's (who had fantastic coverage of Coachella, by the way) format of WINs and FAILs of Coachella.

WIN:  The iPhone app was surprisingly useful.  I checked it pretty much every day to see when bands came on.  Improvements for next year's app:  an alarm to let the user know when an overlapping band is coming on and an indicator for when bands you choose are conflicting.

FAIL:  Lines into the parking lots and into the venue.  Better traffic directing to parking could have prevented cars from sitting in traffic for hours (for us on Jefferson) starting north of the 111 freeway.  We sat in traffic for about 20 minutes before we finally got out of the car and walked 4.5 miles to Coachella.  It was ridiculous.  When we finally got to the entrance, the lines were disorganized and not well labeled.  Plenty of people got into the Purple Wristband Only line by accident, making it twice as long to get in.

FAIL:  Ticketmaster selling Coachella VIP tickets without questioning the user about purchasing an actual ticket along with it.  This happened to someone in my party and he mentioned that it happened to tons of other people who thought the VIP package included the price of the ticket because it was the same price as a ticket plus $240.  That package was so outrageously overpriced it's no wonder people thought it included the actual ticket.  Coachella's solution:  go to the ticket window and ask for your money back; tickets are completely sold out.  What they should have done was give him the actual Coachella ticket.  I'm sure he wouldn't have minded if he lost some money and didn't get the VIP wristband.  What kind of shady business sells a VIP package without ensuring the buyer has already acquired a ticket?  Apparently, Ticketmaster, who wants to make extra money off people who unknowingly buy it by accident. 

WIN:  Them Crooked Vultures (made up of Led Zeppelin bassist, John Paul Jones; Nirvana drummer / Foo Fighter frontman, Dave Grohl; Queens of the Stone Age singer, Josh Homme; QOTSA collaborator, Alain Johannes) rocked the main stage.  I was aware that they were a supergroup and I liked what few tracks I had heard before Coachella, but actually seeing and hearing them live blew my mind.  They're all so astonishingly, individually talented, it's hard to believe they could all be contained on a single stage.  Their set rock and rolled through the 80s, 90s, to present times, tinged with amazing solos from every band member. 

FAIL:  LCD Soundsystem didn't even play the one song I wanted to hear, Daft Punk is Playing at My House.  Instead they played all the stuff that I actually dislike, all the beats and him just talking or repeating himself in a monotonous voice.  BORING!  LA Weekly said, We still take issue with LCD's anti-DJ, bearded-hipster melieu... It's strange to see a band whose leader has dissed contemporary dance music as tired but at the same time promotes a strangely retro sound driven by incessant hi-hat tapping and electric bass-lines that belong in a 1978 Dodge van.  For someone who kept whining about his set time being cut short and how DJs all suck nowadays, he didn't really seem to pay much attention to what his fans actually wanted to hear and just played a bunch of his new, and apparently bad, tracks. 

WIN:  Despite his fading voice, Jay-Z put on a fantastic show with back-to-back songs, an Oasis singalong, an Obama reference, surprise guest appearance by Beyonce on Young Forever, and fireworks.  I felt like he really knew how to cater to his fans by trying to fit in as many songs as possible and trying to give personalized shout-outs.  It almost felt like a cult when I was surrounded by people throwing up diamonds in the air.  I can't even imagine how he must have felt seeing a sea of diamonds.  I heard people saying Jay-Z put on the best performance at Coachella and that people were amazed at how many of his songs they actually knew.  My favorites:  Dirt Off Your Shoulder, Empire State of Mind, Young Forever, Hard Knock Life, Can I Get A...  If you can't tell already, I like me some classic Jay-Z.

360 Views of Coachella
5 Ways Organizers Can Improve the Coachella Experience
Coachella 2010 Day 2
Coachella 2010 Day 3