December 16, 2012 |
If the S.S. Coachella is going to last, it's going to need its own rituals. On the night before the inaugural Coachella cruise sets off (I'm currently pregaming in a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., hotel room) I'm missing all the usual signposts of an impending Coachella back in California. The buying of sunglasses, the selection of driving music for the 10, the debates about after-parties and the congratulations-you-made-it-to-Indio rounds at the Beer Hunter bar (OK, maybe that last one is just me)
April 13, 2013 |
There comes a time in every party girl's life when the party stops being fun. Such was the case Friday night at the parties surrounding Coachella when massive lines, overcrowding, ridiculous displays of outsized drunkenness and the general fatigue of everyone made for a tough night out. The evening's biggest letdown came in the form of the Diesel + Edun / Rolling Stone: Studio Africa party. Located at a posh ranch just off the festival grounds, the party -- scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. -- was crammed to capacity by 11:15.
January 25, 2013 |
For Brit-pop fans, Thursday night's Coachella announcement was like a birthday, Christmas, Hannukah and an unexpected inheritance check all arriving at once. Devotees of the dance-leaning Sahara Tent, however, might be taken aback by the light bill of major EDM superstars, or even rising newbies who haven't played L.A. in the last six months, on the bill this year. One has to scroll down to the third line of any given day before a proper dance act is listed (some electro-leaning bands like The Postal Service and New Order have higher billing)
April 17, 2012 |
The late Tupac Shakur rose again last weekend at Coachella -- brought to life by James Cameron's visual production house Digital Domain, and two hologram-imaging companies, AV Concepts and the U.K.-based Musion Systems. The capacity crowd reportedly went silent with shock when Shakur appeared to rise from the stage, shout a profanity filled version of "What's up Coachella?" and then joined headliners Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre for two songs. But that shock value will only last so long as holographic images are poised to increasingly feature in mainstream music performances.
April 13, 2013 |
The question lingered for nearly the entire set: When would Baauer drop "Harlem Shake," his syrupy instrumental dance track that spawned a viral craze? Would he do it early to get it out of the way, as Gotye did when he played "Somebody That I Used to Know" this time last year? Would he pull an MGMT, which memorably ignored its anthem "Time to Pretend" in 2008? Baauer's ubiquitous jam had to come -- didn't it? For 55 intense minutes the New York producer teased the audience, working to deliver proof that he's not a one-hit wonder, but a production force working to bring the hot subgenre of trap rap to the masses.
April 22, 2013 |
The Lumineers knew what would win over the Coachella crowd Sunday afternoon. They didn't tuck “Ho Hey,” the feel-good, Top 10 anthem that broke the Denver folk-revival trio less than a year ago, deep into their main-stage showing. They put it very early in their performance. A steady flow of stragglers ran toward the Grammy-nominated breakout band to capture the moment on smartphones and help them shout “Hey” during the song's sinfully irresistible chorus. COACHELLA: Festival photos since 2004 “We're just getting started,” lead singer Wesley Schultz promised.
January 8, 2013 |
As was often the case, television personality Huell Howser captured the Coachella scene perfectly. Howser, who died Sunday at age 67 , traveled throughout Southern California during a career highlighting its myriad cultural offerings. As such, he journeyed to Indio, Calif., with typically boundless curiosity for a segment on KCET-TV in 2008 on the annual festival. Howser's take comes near the end of the feature: "It's just a beautiful, beautiful feeling here. Everybody is mellow and kind of chilling out here waiting for the particular group that they're here to listen to. It's all good.
April 12, 2014 |
The buildup lasted much of Outkast's oft-riveting Coachella performance on Friday night, rolling toward those set-ending classics and album tracks that defined the early '00s: "So Fresh, So Clean," "Ms. Jackson" and "Hey Ya!" Triumphantly returning to celebrate 20 years as a team, Antwan "Big Boi" Patton and Andre "3000" Benjamin presented repeated arguments as to why they'd earned such a huge Southern California welcome for their first shows since the Atlanta duo went on hiatus in 2007.
April 18, 2013 |
This weekend at Coachella, about 190 acts will return for the second, and final, weekend of the annual festival. And the simple truth is, whether you're headed to Indio, recovering from last weekend's festival and looking for some couch viewing on the Web or merely curious to witness new sounds of today, it will be impossible to catch everything. A shame, but not the end of the world; unsurprisingly, not everything was great. As someone who went last week intent on catching as many new and/or unsung acts as possible, I returned with opinions on what to see and not. Below are a few tips.