Friday, April 24, 2009

Coachella Friday 2009 - There and Back Again

Coachella 2009 - Franz FerdinandIf you were following the ExperienceLA Twitter, you would have gotten the play-by-play of my Friday at Coachella with Katie, my Grammy Museum pal (Follow them on Twitter: @thegrammymuseum). But in case you weren't following along, here's the recap (with Flickr photos!)
Neither of us had been Coachella, but we played the trip by ear (The adventure's in the unknown. That's the best kind of trip. The planning part? It's stifling!). We began our road trip at 10:30am (unsure of whether or not that was going to work in our favor with traffic). We had some close-calls where the traffic looked bumper-to-bumper, but we got in at around 2-3 hours. We stopped at an A&W restaurant (which served their famous rootbeer in mug glasses) where I charged my iphone up hoping that it'd last me through the rest of the day (kinda, not really).

Speaking of iPhone, while on the road we used the awesome Coachella iPhone Applicaton (Coachooser) to plan out the bands we wanted to see during the afternoon/evening. It ended up working out well, we saw our overlap in music interests and figured when we'd eat dinner/snack.

Coachella 2009 - On the Road, By the WindmillsSoon before we knew it, we were passing by the windmills like Don Quixote (ok, i think he had more adventure on the brain) and met up with the expected traffic of cars getting into Indio. When we parked, we spent some time making sure we had enough sunscreen on - it was hot! - before we headed in for people and music.

I'll skip the part of how long it took to get my pass inside - fast forward - and then we were inside seeing all the different types of people attending and the stages everywhere. The dance/DJ stages looked the coolest because they were practically art with brown and red (and later, the lights).

Coachella 2009 - M. WardAfter staying for a bit with Katie for The Hold Steady, I headed off to M.Ward's set. M. Ward is one of my favorite singer/songwriters, so I was extremely excited. While I'm sure a number of us (me included) hoped that Zooey Deschanel would make it a partly She & Him performance, alas didn't happen. But M.Ward was great, with songs from his latest album "Hold Time", plus a great cover of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven."

Coachella 2009 - Franz FerdinandKatie and I couldn't find each other post M.Ward (Coachella is huge, we were afraid of this), but after some cell phone communication issues, we managed to meet up again. Next on our Coachooser list was Franz Ferdinand who were incredible! There was this perfect desert sunset lighting for their entire set and it looked amazing on the stage video monitors.

Morrissey followed with his set and the crowd - obviously longtime fans - was loving his music. I'm not too familiar with his music, but the vibe from the crowd was awesome.

Coachella 2009 - Paul McCartneyAfter some tacos (yum), we waited around for the Paul McCartney set. We could only stay for about an hour and a half before heading out (little did we know his set was going to be THREE HOURS). Given McCartney's body of work, everyone got a little bit of everything. My favorite moment was when he brought out a ukulele (and ukuleles are a fave of mine of course) in honor of George Harrison (his wife was in the audience) and played "Something" (my favorite Beatles song). Excited as I was for M. Ward, Paul McCartney on ukulele playing "Something" was pretty much my perfect Coachella 2009 moment.

We headed out to the mayhem of Coachella parking to find the car (I had never wanted the iPhone 3G with that Parking application as badly as that half hour) and to wait for the parking to make sense (I'll refrain from talking about that).

All in all had a great time at Coachella listening to awesome music, seeing those that have established the place as tradition, and just having a great time.

Check out all my pictures through Flickr from Coachella 2009:

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Manager

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