I've been in the desert for both editions of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival as well as this weekend's Stagecoach Country Music Festival and people have been asking me what the differences are between the fests.
Here's a quick, snarky look at my thoughts on them.
Stagecoach: Pickup trucks
Coachella: Falafel, organic flatbreads
Stagecoach: Barbecued pork, brisket, more meat
Coachella: You can't get cell service after 6 p.m.
Stagecoach: You can't navigate the field after 7 p.m. with the hard-partying fans.
Coachella: Beer can only be consumed in fenced-off beer gardens
Stagecoach: BEER! EVERYWHERE!
Coachella: Kids spend all day dancing to the biggest names in electronic music in the Sahara Tent.
Stagecoach: Pay your respects to country legends like Kenny Rogers and rock out to alt-country like the Mavericks at the Palomino Stage.
Coachella: Campground activities include dancing to DJs until 3 a.m.
Stagecoach: Campground activities include spinning on stripper poles.
Coachella: If you're too drunk, you end up doing something stupid that your friends or strangers put on YouTube once you can get a cell signal again.
Stagecoach: If you pass a Breathalyzer you can test-drive a Toyota.
Coachella: Special guest is Tupac Shakur hologram during Dre and Snoop's set.
Stagecoach: Original "American Idol" Kelly Clarkson joins Jason Aldean on the video screen, but RaeLynn from "The Voice" actually showed up with Miranda Lambert on Saturday night and Brad Paisley appeared for Sheryl Crow's Mane Stage set before his headlining slot Sunday night.
Coachella: David Hasselhoff is there.
Stagecoach: David Hasselhoff is there.
Well, the two weekends of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival have concluded and I managed to see Tupac, Biggie, Pulp's final North American show, a crowd surfing St. Vincent and a ton of Inland artists who played the last two weekends. If you were out at the fest or just want to see what we did, check out this Storify entry. It has all of our photo galleries for both weekends, the longer stories we did and select blog entries. Thanks to everyone who used our #pecoachella hashtag on Twitter and who passed along kind words about the coverage.
We'll do it all one more time this weekend for the Stagecoach Country Music Festival. If you're heading out there, we'll be using the Twitter hashtag #pestagecoach.
The biggest difference between Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's headlining set tonight and last Sunday was that everyone knew about the Tupac Shakur hologram and had their smartphones and cameras ready to capture the hologram for "Hail Mary" and "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted."
Beyond that, the hip-hop legends delivered a parade of hip-hop stars again, including Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar and Tony Yayo.
Kurupt didn't make the trip this week, though.
That being said, while the set list was just like last week, it still delivered in an epic way and was a fitting end to the most epic Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival yet, one that saw the ever-popular taste-making pop culture event expand to two weekends with identical lineups.
Judging by the incredibly packed field, the fans approved.
Here's one more look at the final scenes of the second weekend of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio. We've got Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, the Tupac Shakur hologram, AVICII and Florence and the Machine. Thanks to everyone who used #pecoachella and we'll see you next week for the Stagecoach Country Music Festival, where I'm hoping we'll see a hologram Waylon Jennings.
Here are the highlights from the final day of the second weekend of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif.
LONGEST STAGE BANTER
Howlin' Pelle Almqvist of Swedish garage punks The Hives was quite the chatterbox on the Coachella stage on Sunday. He talked about heat, weekend one, how weekend two was the Hives' third performance at Coachella and started talking about how that makes it the third in the trilogy and compared it to "Return of the Jedi."
However, since their songs are so short, if he would have kept it to a minimum, the band could have played a few more songs. Almqvist also had the quote of day about the heat: "It's so hot my grammar is melting."
BEST ONSTAGE ACCESSORY
The Hives had a ninja playing the tambourine. Need I say more?
"Technically, we were the first band to play at Coachella," Cedric Bixler-Zavala told the crowd during At the Drive-In's charged penultimate main stage set Sunday night.
BETTER THAN LAST WEEK
After battling technical problems and a truncated set last week, Justice played a complete set that had the field full of dancing glow-stick brandishing people. They opened with a mutated version of "The Star Spangled Banner" again and played "D.A.N.C.E." again, but they got to play "We Are Your Friends" much to the crowd's delight.
If you didn't see Kimbra show up with Gotye for his set last week to perform the hit "Somebody That I Used to Know," you weren't in luck this week. She didn't show.
BEST SURPRISE GUEST
Thom Yorke of Radiohead showed up for Modeselektor's Sunday night set to do "Shipwreck" with the electronic outfit.
Thundercat's head dressing is just so cool. He even wore it for an interview in the press tent later.
WHAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT
Holograms, of the Tupac Shakur and of the Jem varieties.
"It's hot, right? It's a good day to be a hologram," guitarist/singer Carrie Brownstein of Wild Flag said from the stage during the band's late afternoon slot at the Outdoor Theater.
Despite the heat, Wild Flag waved their guitars high and played one of the most rockin' sets of the second weekend of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
Brownstein and drummer Janet Weiss previously played together in Riot Grrrl band Sleater-Kinney. The band also includes D.C.'s own Mary Timony (Mid-Atlantic represent!) on guitar/vocals and keyboardist Rebecca Coles.
There were leg kicks, awesome guitarist interplay, head bobbing from Coles and, as always, crazy high-energy drums from Weiss.
"Romance" was my highlight but there wasn't a bad song in the set. I will definitely be checking them out the next time they come through SoCal.
Here are some of the highlights of the second day of the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
WHO NEEDS A HOLOGRAM?
Forget hologram Tupac Shakur, The Black Lips brought out a cutout of the Notorious B.I.G. for their set in the Mojave Tent. They pointed out that unlike Hologram Tupac (which made an appearance during Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's headlining set last Sunday), you could actually touch Biggie.
BEST SINGALONG OF COACHELLA 2012, WEEKEND 2
Squeeze takes the title with Glenn Tilbrook leading the crowd in a primarily a capella version of "Tempted." The band put on a spectacular set that should have been seen by more people.
GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE CROWD
Annie Clark of St. Vincent dove into the crowd on set closer "Krokodil." The group's set was so popular that people were spilling out of the Gobi Tent. Clark also told a story of a dish scrubber given to her as a gift that was in the shape of the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious. As one friend cracked--Sid Dishes?
THIS ISN'T DOGSTAR
Childish Gambino, a.k.a. Donald Glover, is more than just an actor with a side hobby of music. His rhymes brought flocks of people to the main stage.
BATTLE OF THE WE
We Are Augustines and We Were Promised Jetpacks (two bands that have some of the most fun names at the fest), faced off on opposite stages at the same time Saturday afternoon. Both bands sounded solid, but everyone was melting from the heat.
LEVON HELM TRIBUTE OF THE DAY
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals dedicate "Big White Gate" to the late drummer/singer from The Band.
Jeff Mangum still won't let anyone take his picture.
We've got the goodies from night two at the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio--including Radiohead, Bon Iver, Squeeze, St. Vincent, David Guetta and a special guest spot by Richie Sambora.
I am going to start a Tumblr called "Scenes from the Sahara Tent."
I swear, if you want good Coachella people-watching, just visit the Sahara Tent.
Today in the crowd I saw the normal beach ball, as well a an inflatable cartoonish tiger that must have been four feet tall, plus weird balloons, including one that was mylar and in the shape of a heart and read "I Love You."
I guess someone hit up the 99 cents store on their way in today.
It's also the tent where I seem to notice the most unmatched shoes laying on the ground after any given set.
I really love the video screens not only on the stage, but also the ceiling. Afrojack's set was particularly impressive Friday night, but I loved the 8-bit old school Nintendo style graphics that Martin Solveig has going on for his new album "Smash."
I ventured into the Sahara today and caught the end of Toronto's Zeds Dead, who managed to mash up The Beatles' "A Day in the Life" with some crazy beats and then do it again to The Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin."
They were really fun, but I also enjoyed Solveig's set, and on my personal favorite, "Big in Japan," he climbed atop the video platform that was hiding him from the fans up front.
However, set closer "Hello" got the biggest response.
It was a hit fest when Squeeze took the stage in the criminally under crowded Mojave Tent Saturday at the second weekend of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio.
The band opened with "Annie Get Your Gun," and played a nonstop set of fun tunes, including "Pulling Mussels from the Shell," "Up the Junction," "Hourglass," and a crowd participation version of "Black Coffee in Bed."
The band was at the top of its game as performers, with Glenn Tilbrook's voice seemingly not having aged a day since the band started more than fee decades ago. He skillfully handled e notes and brought the soul that gave Squeeze such power as a pop band.
The set ended with a goosebump-inducing version of "Tempted,"led by Tilbrook and the crowd going a cappella for most of the song.
It may not have been crowded, but everyone there was a passionate fan.
The only omission was "Cool for Cats," but the band's performance of that song at last weekend's fest at the official Coachella YouTube page.
Coachella has a variety of styles. There are those whose main goal is to keep cool in their bathing suit, shorts and baggy shirt. And then there are the fashionistas, who strut the desert field in heeled boots, fringed vests, and vintage inspired dresses. And then there are the extremists, who dress to be seen.
And as with this group, hair is the easiest accessory to customize for their avant garde style.
So far on the field, I have seen teased tresses with feathers and twigs to add to their matted nest. Two girls wandering the field were using their locks as a top a la mermaid style.
But the guys are decorating their heads as well, mostly with the now Coachella common Native American feather headdresses, but also with rings of flowers and Greek god inspired laurel crowns.
Here are a few pics of some of these "head cases."
Atlanta garage punkers The Black Lips are never a live disappointment.
Last week, the band batted a beer into the audience and one of the members allegedly dropped trou. This week the band had a very special guest--who wasn't a hologram.
Somehow, the band found a large cardboard cutout of slain rapper the Notorious B.I.G. and had someone dancing around it to Biggie's hit "Hypnotize." The band pointed out that it was even better than the Tupac Shakur hologram that appeared during Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's set last Sunday, because you could actually touch the Biggie on stage with them.
It was pretty epic as the crowd sang along.
They shotgunned beers on stage and also gave a few shoutouts to the Fender Corp., who made custom amps for the band that the group kept describing as really loud.
"Bad Kids" and "Raw Meat" were some of the highlights for the fans who danced in the tent, despite the heat, and who did plenty of crowdsurfing.
Well, its 102 degrees, so why not have some cold refreshing sushi.
Over in the VIP area, there is one vendor serving up the fishy treat. For $3 I bought a piece of sashimi albacore and a heaping helping of edamame. A deal at Coachella without much of festival inflation.
It sounds like a weird choice in this heat, but the workers at the booth told me that they have refrigerator and the fish is coming in from a local sushi restaurant just down the street from the festival.
And when I asked how business was going, they said that it was pretty slow during the day, but once the sun goes down, and Indio cools down a bit, they have lots of customers.
It tasted just fine to me, but ask me in an hour or so to see if I still think it was a wise decision.
Here are the highlights of Friday, April 20 at the opening day of the second weekend of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
HONORING LOST HEROES
The Band's Levon Helm passed away Thursday. At least two artists paid tribute to him on Friday night. John Fogerty joined The Black Keys for a cover of "The Weight." Swedish punkers Refused had "RIP Levon Helm" taped to their bass drum.
Jarvis Cocker said that Friday night's Coachella appearance was the band's last North American tour date. The set, which was mixed up from last week, ended with a rousing rendition of "Common People."
GROUNDHOG DAY MOMENT
"For us it's deja vu. For you it's a new day," Refused vocalist Dennis Lyxzén told the crowd Friday night.
He also gets "Most likely to injure himself" thanks to his microphone stand swinging and wild microphone waving.
The heat. With triple-digit temperatures, those of us who attended last weekend were wishing for the cold drizzle. For shizzle.
ODDEST TENT ASSIGNMENT
M83 and The Rapture both had fans spilling out of the tents.
MOST LIKELY TO CAUSE A SEIZURE
Atari Teenage Riot had a blistering set with lots of strobe lights and a song I could have sworn had a chorus of "Die, Hipster."
THE HAPPIEST/UNHAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH
If Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth, then the lights, beats and wonder of the Sahara Tent is the Disneyland of Coachella. It's also where you see the most people crying and puking, which seems a little like Main Street U.S.A. after the parade gets out, just with no parents.
THE MOMENT WHEN YOU CAN'T MOVE
Swedish House Mafia drew more people to the Coachella Stage Friday night than anyone else today and possibly more than anyone else last week that didn't have a set that included a Tupac Shakur hologram.
MOST M.I.A. MOMENT
Kendrick Lamar--all of us who saw M.I.A. a couple of years back haven't recovered from her set, which was pretty much all air horns. You reminded us of that again today.
I was fortunate to spend some time with Poetic Kinetics, the folks who made "Solitary Inflorescence," a.k.a. the GIANT flower growing before festivalgoers' eyes at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.
Patrick Shearn and Cynthia Washburn are two of the people behind the giant flower, which couldn't grow on the Friday and Saturday of the first weekend due to the high winds.
Shearn had made a smaller flower at Burning Man in 2008 and after that piece was seen, Poetic Kinetics was tapped to make a puppet show for the Olympics in Beijing, China.
"I was inspired by the desire to see the festival from up high," Shearn said.
This flower at Coachella is even larger, topping out at 140 feet, with a basket inside the flower where it can be controlled and directed up, down and around.
Washburn said one of the things to keep in mind was to use materials that would be consistent with the weight requirements and resistance to the wind.
So what happens when you reach the top of the flower?
"You can see the 10 freeway," Washburn said.
They created a new breed with the piece, too, which was inspired by a number of orchids.
The heat is on and Glenn Frey is nowhere to be found.
At 1:03p.m. it is already 99 degrees and people are seeking shade. This is where the tents are wonderful.
Wolf Gang just came on stage in the Gobi Tent, playing to a full crowd, with just under half of the people standing and enjoying the British band's pop rock and the others soaking up the shade and resting.
Unlike last Friday, when a hooded sweatshirt was the must have accessory, it's all about shorts and T-Shirts today.
Wolf Gang's singer just tried to get everyone in the back of the tent to get up. Good luck, buddy.
If you're headed out to the desert, be sure to stay hydrated. After last week's cool tones and even rain on opening day, this weekend could be one of the hottest Coachellas on record, with triple-digit temps expected all three days.
If you want to join the conversation with us, feel free to jump in on Twitter and offer your comments and insights by typing "#pecoachella" on any Tweet. That feeds into our Twitter page about the fest. If you take photos, they will show up on our Storify later.
We want to hear who you're excited to see, what you're hearing, what you're eating and what you're doing to beat the heat.
Take a look at some of the photo galleries of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, At the Drive-In, Gotye, Band of Skulls, Gaslamp Killer, Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, The Hives and Fitz and the Tantrums at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
Take a look at some of the photo galleries of Radiohead, David Guetta, Andrew Bird, Suedehead, tUnE-yArDs, Squeeze, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Juice, fIREHOSE and The Buzzcocks at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
Take a look at some of the photo galleries of The Black Keys, Pulp, The Rapture, The Dear Hunter, Gabe Real, Neon Indian, Madness, James, Jimmy Cliff and Tim Armstrong and the rain at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
It was bigger than Jay-Z in 2010, bigger than Kanye West and his dancers in 2011--the Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg set to close the first weekend of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival made "Watch the Throne" look like child's play.
Dr. Dre, one of the architects of modern rap music thanks to not only his solo work, but also with the groundbreaking group NWA, celebrated 20 years of collaborations with Snoop Dogg in the most epic proportions at Coachella Sunday night, music that celebrated not only the coming of age of any teen who grew up in the 1990s, but the genre in general.
First, there were the stars--Wiz Khalifa, 50 Cent, Kurupt, Tony Yayo, Kendrick Lamar and a fellow named Eminem.
Then, there was the hologram of Tupac Shakur.
And by golly, if that wasn't enough--there was the music, a trip through the last two decades of the rap giants' careers, spanning their time together and separately, including highlights like "Gin and Juice," Nuthin' But A "G" Thang," "California Love," "Forgot About Dre" with Eminem and "Who Am I? (What's My Name?)."
But the highlight of the show was "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" with a Tupac hologram so lifelike that it can only fuel more rumors of being alive and hidden somewhere.
For a festival that has had myriad epic moments, like Rage Against the Machine bringing the crowd to a fever pitch at the height of political turmoil in 2007, Prince covering Radiohead in 2008, Paul McCartney sending fireworks and some "na na na nas" from "Hey Jude" to the heavens and Jay-Z bringing wife Beyonce on stage, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre's set to close the first weekend tops them all.
Let's see what magic erupts and what Coachella moments happen next weekend, when the fest makes its first repeat encore with the same artists.
I'll be posting all through Monday and we have photos up at PE.com/photos now. Please take a look and send your observations from the first weekend to us.
How on earth will Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg top the epic performance that just happened on the Coachella main stage next weekend?
After bringing Tupac Shakur back to life, my only guess for next weekend is a reunion of NWA ad bringing Eazy-E back from the dead and then they'll reunite The Smiths and Axl Rose and Slash. Yes. It was THAT epic
We saw Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Tony Yayo and a holographic Tupac Shakur.
I'm about to pack up and head out, but I'll have a full report up soon and Rigo has been working up some incredible photos.
The bass of Justice shook the very core of the Empire Polo Club as thousands of fans jumped around to the French electronic duo, who last appeared at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2008 at an overflowing Sahara Tent after Roger Waters let a giant pig loose in the sky.
The thumping grooves and sometimes church-like synths primed the festival grounds for the double-smash Sunday night reunion of At the Drive-In and the Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg headlining set.
With a light up cross, the duo's symbol, lit up behind them, the group tore through a set after coming onstage a few minutes behind.
The biggest highlight was the bouncing grooves of the band's biggest success, "D.A.N.C.E."
Organizers don't need to worry about not having unique aspects to each weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival--weekend one is turning into its own weird thing.
First there were the ultra rare for Coachella clouds and drizzle on Friday, followed by a cool and sunny Saturday that started to resemble more Coachella-esque weather.
The vibes were good both days, even with the rain, but there was something a little unusual about it.
Radiohead's Saturday night headlining set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival matched that feel--it was just unusual.
Any fans hoping to catch the band do a lot of back catalog material (or heck, anything from "The Bends") would be disappointed with the set list.
But even though the band was on one of the biggest stages in the United States, there was still an intimacy with the crowd as the band had a rainbow of background lights with images that looked like the backgrounds for Windows Media Player that danced in time with the music.
Singer Thom Yorke, seemed almost chipper at times, and led the crowd through a powerful singalong of "Karma Police," an instant Coachella moment. Final song "Paranoid Android" was another bonus, but it would be nice if the band turns it up to 11 since the heat looks like it will be back.
Morning Mr. Magpie
The Daily Mail
Everything In Its Right Place
(With "After The Gold Rush" intro)
Give Up the Ghost
Radiohead is still going strong on the Coachella stage at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, but some fans have been posting photos in the sea of smartphone screens out there.
Here are a few photos from the field and one of someone watching at home on the YouTube screen and doing his own concert photography, which made me laugh.
Radiohead is doing some pretty cool stuff with its set tonight at the opening weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
When the band took the sage with syncopated drum beats, screens above the stage showed each member performing live and more screens floated down above them.
The set has been heavy on selections from "The King of Limbs" and "In Rainbows" so far.
However, the band officially took the Coachella singalong crown from Madness, who won it Friday night with a fun-filled version of "Our House," with a fan-filled version of "Karma Police."
The VIP area and the field are far more packed than they were last night for The Black Keys. The glow of camera phones lit up the field like bright little dots of light with the occasional rainbow strobe of an LED novelty item.
You know who wasn't? Jeff Mangum. He asked that no video or photos be shot during his set at the Outdoor Theatre tonight. It was PERFECT for the sunset set--Mangum on a chair, playing an acoustic guitar, hipsters floating high above because the reclusive singer made an appearance.
OK, I'm off to watch Radiohead. Missive coming later.
I bet if they play "Creep" that they won't get mad and take it off YouTube like Prince did back at Coachella 2008.
The Gobi Tent was ground zero for punk legends today, as a reunited fIREHOSE and a rockin' set from The Buzzcocks dominated the afternoon at the second day of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio today.
fIREHOSE, from San Pedro, sounded better than ever, with the thumping jazzy bass of Mike Watt.
Sadly, not nearly enough people were on hand to see their set. But after they wrapped up, people started flowing in for The Buzzcocks, including actor Dylan McDermott and Queens of the Stone Age Frontman Josh Homme.
The band played a tight set of some of its greatest triumphs, including "What Do I Get" and "Ever Fallen in Love" being two of my highlights. The tent was overflowing.
Bummed I am missing Squeeze tonight, but I'm going to make my way over to Jeff Mangum and catch Squeeze next Saturday.
I've been loving Suedehead since I saw them open for Social Distortion in Irvine last fall. I love them even more because their horn section for that show and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival consists of Dave Sakover and Marques Crews of Riverside band The Debonaires.
If you're coming next week, get here early. Suedehead was the first band on the Outdoor Theatre stage and they killed it.
Singer Davey Warsop used to be in the most excellent punk band Beat Union and the fun mix of soul, punk and Elvis Costello-era power pop was a great way to start my Saturday.
Also, they get bonus points for doing the best cover ever of Fugazi's "Waiting Room" and I love Fugazi.
Funny story--back in 2007, before I took over as music reporter, I was sent to help the then-music reporter when the Coachella announcement came out. My assignment was to find local people and get their take on the lineup. Being new in Riverside (and California), I headed for the nearest record store and ended up at the now-defunct Red Planet Records where Dave was working and was awesome and talked to me. It's pretty funny that five years later I'm writing about him on the Coachella stage.
I have been covering the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival all weekend long. Here are some of my highlights from Friday, April 13.
Best no show: Storms
With dark clouds all around, it looked like the Empire Polo Club in Indio was going to be drenched like the rest of Riverside County. While drops and drizzles materialized, the downpour didn't. It was the best no-show Coachella ever had.
Sweet redemption: The Black Keys After a set at the 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival that had lackluster sound for such a loud band, the group brought out a great performance Friday night.
It's just a shame more people didn't see it--both the VIP area and the field had a decent amount of open space. I don't think that will be the case for Radiohead's Saturday night headlining set.
Longest lines: Coffee
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival always has plenty of portopotties, so bathroom lines aren't really an issue, but the chilly weather and day long drizzle made stands selling coffee the hot ticket Friday night.
The smoothies didn't fare as well.
Best stage shutout: Madness
Madness not only brought down the house at the Outdoor Theatre for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with "Our House," they have a shutout to David Hasselhoff, who was on hand to see the British ska band. A close second goes to DJ Gabe Real, who gave props to East of LA, More Fire Mondays and a lot more from his main stage set.
Best dance party outside of the Sahara Tent: The Rapture
The Rapture brought cowbell, saxophone and disco beats to the Mojave Tent Friday night at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. If you weren't dancing, your friends should have checked your pulse.
Sweetest reunion: Pulp
The Britpop band reunited and came back to the States for all of us who missed them the first time around.
With Jarvis Cocker's witty stage banter, lasers and fun pop songs for the masses, we can hope they will stick around for a whole.
Most essential accessory: The hoodie It was chilly in Indio last night and the winds are supposed to gust with a high of 70 today. While some donned parkas and ponchos, knitted caps and scarves, the most ubiquitous item of clothing was the hoodie.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival kicked off Friday with the threat of rain and ended with a solid performance by The Black Keys.
The storms rolling through Southern California missed the Empire Polo Club Friday, with drizzle and drops misting the Indio festival site, even through The Black Keys' Friday night set.
The rock group with a deep-seeded love of blues didn't bring out a parade of guest stars like the rumors swirling around the set of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg Sunday night. They don't have the massive rabid fan base of Saturday night headliners Radiohead, either. But what Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach did bring to festival goers was more than an hour of amped up tunes and a better sounding set than the band's 2011 performance.
The set list was heavy on songs from the band's most recent offerings, "El Camino" and "Brothers," with a pepped up version of "Lonely Boy" and the infectious "Gold on the Ceiling" being the highlights.
It made sense as an opening night act and it was a shame more people weren't watching it.
The rise of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney from two guys playing incredibly skilled blues rock in Akron, Ohio to becoming one of the biggest rock bands in America almost reflects the rise of Coachella itself.
They started out playing a classic form of music, with a twist.
Coachella looked to the classic European festivals, like Reading and Glastonbury, for inspiration in updating those ideals for the United States.
The Black Keys started releasing more albums and getting some attention for songs like "10 A.M. Automatic" and "Your Touch." Coachella started getting more notice for reuniting bands like The Pixies.
As The Black Keys' career rose with every passing album, so did Coachella in the concert world.
Now, in 2012, The Black Keys are packing arenas around the world and are a household name, mentioned as one of the bands championing rock music in the world.
While Coachella has expanded to two weekends, the Black Keys have, too, adding a full backing band.
My only gripe with the set list was that "10 a.m. Automatic" wasn't played. It's a personal favorite But hey, there's always next week.
While the Sahara Tent is known for its dance parties throughout the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, The Rapture broke it down in the Mojave Tent on opening night of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
The New York-based dance rock band last played Coachella in 2008 and the tent was full of people ready to have a good time.
The band delivered, with saxophone, cowbell and more disco beats than you can shake a glow stick at.
Highlights included "House of Jealous Lovers," with the crowd yelling along with singer Luke Jenner and the dancefloor party song "Whoo! Alright Yeah...Uh Huh."
The rain has pretty much held off, other than some drizzle and patches here and there, but the crowd is grooving at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club.
Here are some scenes and observations from the day, including Mazzy Star, Kedrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, The Rapture and Pulp. If you'd like to see your photos here this weekend and next, just use the hashtag #pecoachella.
Pulp, which has reunited for a string of dates, took the main stage with large purple letters spelling out the Sheffield, England, band's name above them at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
Beforehand, messages flashed across the large video screens, including one about fans getting their "just deserts." Pretty cheeky, Pulp.
A highlight of the set for me was "Misshapes," which the band played second.
Singer Jarvis Cocker was rather witty during the set, joking that the the threat of rain that plagued the Empire Polo Club throughout the day was brought on by the bands hailing from the gloomy locale of Sheffield, England.
He also let it slip that Pulp was in line to play last year but it didn't work out.
"Common People" was another great moment in the set.
The wind is blowing this afternoon at the Empire Polo Club for the first day of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
During The Dear Hunter's set, the sunny skies started turning gray with the storm headed from the west. We've had a few sprinkles so far out here, but nothing major, although I fled with my MacBook and iPad into a tent in the food area.
DJ Gabe Real opened up the Coachella Main Stage today at 1 p.m. with a set worthy of More Fire Mondays, where Real is a resident DJ Monday nights at Club Sevilla in Riverside.
On stage, he had his laptop and DJ set up with some More Fire Mondays stickers on them, too and played a dance-worthy set of reggae and roots.
Rosa Balcazar, from Moreno Valley and a student at University of California, Riverside, came to the main stage set early after a friend at UCR recommended Real and she was eager to offer local support.
"It's almost a homecoming," she said.
She was also excited about seeing Hello Seahorse! from Mexico City, who followed Real on the main stage.
This year marks Balcazar's third at Coachella.
"You just feel part of everyone--it's a big family," she said. "When I have my kids, I'm going to bring my babies to Coachella."
I have experienced my first Coachella 2012 miracle--no traffic and no wait at security.
Granted, the press has access to a separate gate, but I still can't believe I didn't any traffic. I'm not the only person in amazement about this, either. Parked next to me we're four folks from Calgary who traveled in for the fest--Sean Ruddy, Lawrence Bailey, Vanessa Andrew and Dave Amadio.
Amadio and Ruddy are both on their third Coachella and Andrew and Bailey are here for their first year. Amadio knows the horror stories of crawling along Monroe Street to get to the parking lots on opening day.
They were excited to see artists like M83, Breakbot, Pulp, GROUPLOVE and more.
Ruddy had some tips for the first-timers.
"Shuttles are fantastic and don't skimp on the sunscreen," he said.
Amadio had a tip, too: "Keep an adult by you in the Do Lab," he said.
They also warned international travelers to splurge for a data plan and to time stamp texts.
Plus, no waiting in line for the bathroom or dealing with the elements when you can watch some of the festival's performers on the Coachella YouTube channel.
It will be streamed live starting today at 3:50 p.m. pacific. an will run through midnight on Sunday.
There will be more than 60 sets broadcast live, including The Black Keys, Swedish House Mafia, Miike Snow, Andrew Bird, Florence + The Machine, The Shins, Frank Ocean, Bon Iver, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Beirut, AWOLNATION, Justice and more.
Also, you'll be able to stream individual video clips from the performances from April 14-June 15.
Noticed a few interesting billboards on the way to pick up the Coachella credentials Thursday. Along the 10 freeway, the road to Indio, I saw a number of advertisements for electronic dance music events and artists, including HARD LA, AVICII's summer tour and Paul Van Dyk's latest offering.
Speaking of electronic music, I spoke with Joellen Ferer, spokesperson for StubHub, about the popularity of electronic music events. She said that the company, which is a ticket marketplace not only for concerts, but other happenings like sporting events, has seen an uptick in interest for EDM events.
So maybe you didn't get tickets in time for the kickoff of the first weekend of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, but all may not be lost if you need to do some dancing in the desert.
Online ticket marketplaces like StubHub are still offering passes for sale.
As of midnight, the StubHub website still had 57 passes left for the first weekend, ranging from $399 to $750 for a general admission pass. More than 1,400 passes were still on the marketplace for the second weekend ranging from $340 for general admission to $795 for VIP access.
"Prices are at their height right after the initial sellout," said StubHub spokesperson Joellen Ferrer.
This year is the first that Coachella has expanded to two weekends, today through Sunday and April 20-22, at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. They will be followed up by the Stagecoach Country Music Festival April 27-29, which is also sold out. Both Coachella weekends sold out in less than three hours after the public on-sale date in January.
Last year, ticket marketplace StubHub sold 3,000 tickets for Coachella, which sold out in less than a week. In 2010, another sold-out year, StubHub only sold about 500, Ferrer said.
As far as 2012 goes, Ferrer said as of last week that 60 percent of the people who have purchased tickets for the twin Coachellas on StubHub were from California and 10 percent were in New York, but people purchased tickets from as far away as Stockholm, Sweden, Singapore, Spain and Brazil.
If you're purchasing tickets at the last minute, the company has people on the ground to meet festivalgoers with the coveted wristbands that allow entrance into the festivals.
The campgrounds are already getting populated and people are ready to go to the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, including yours truly.
Photographer Rodrigo Pena and I are embarking on our sixth Coachella together ( plus a few more before for him) and he snapped this shot of me at the box office this afternoon while we picked up our credentials.
Things looked like smooth sailing at the box office, too. Thanks to Goldenvoice and especially Lindsay Lyons for making the process so easy this year!
Check back here all weekend and at www.pe.com/iguide for even more festival coverage.
Music writer Vanessa Franko is headed to Indio for the next few days to cover the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
She will be posting photos, blogs and plenty of tweets throughout the weekend. Follow her at @vanessafranko and use the hashtag #pecoachella to get your photos and observations included throughout the weekend.
1-1:40 p.m. Mantastique
2:05-2:55 p.m. Band of Skulls
3:25-4:15 p.m. Santigold
4:45-5:35 p.m. Fitz and the Tantrums
6:05-6:55 p.m. The Hives
7:45-8:45 p.m. Justice
9:10-10 p.m. At the Drive-In
10:35 p.m. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg
Noon-12:30 p.m. Sleeper Agent
12:50-1:30 p.m. Lissie
2-2:40 p.m. Metronomy
3:10-3:55 p.m. Seun Kti & Egypt 80
4:20-5:05 p.m. The Growlers
5:30-6:15 p.m. Wild Flag
6:55-7:45 p.m. The Weeknd
8:25-9:15 p.m. Girl Talk
9:45-10:35 p.m. Florence and the Machine
11:15 a.m.-Noon Alf Alpha
Noon-12:35 p.m. Fanfarlo
12:55-1:30 p.m. Housse de Racket
1:55-2:40 p.m. Le Butcherettes
3-3:45 p.m. Greg Ginn and the Royal We
4:10-4:55 p.m. Real Estate
5:20-5:55 p.m. Thundercat
6-6:45 p.m. The Gaslamp Killer
7:10-7:55 p.m. The Airplane Boys
8:20-9:10 p.m. Company Flow
9:40 p.m. DJ Shadow
1-1:35 p.m. Juice
1:45-2:25 p.m. We Are Augustines
2:50-3:35 p.m. Childish Gambino
4-4:45 p.m. AWOLNATION
5:10-6 p.m. Kaiser Chiefs
6:30-7:20 p.m. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
8:10-9 p.m. The Shins
9:30-10:20 p.m. Bon Iver
11:05 p.m. Radiohead
11:40 a.m.-12:10 p.m. DJP
12:20-12:50 p.m. Suedehead
1:20-2:05 p.m. We Were Promised Jetpacks
2:30-3:15 p.m. Destroyer
3:40-4:25 p.m. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
4:50-5:35 p.m. tUnE-yArDs
6:05-6:55 p.m. Andrew Bird
7:20-8:10 p.m. Jeff Mangum
8:40-9:30 p.m. Feist
10:10-11 p.m. Miike Snow
11:40 a.m.-12:10 p.m. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
12:30-1:15 p.m. Spector
1:40-2:25 p.m. The Vaccines
2:50-3:35 p.m. Azealia Banks
4-4:50 p.m. fIREHOSE
5:15-6:05 p.m. Buzzcocks
6:30-7:20 p.m. Laura Marling
7:45-8:35 p.m. St. Vincent
9-9:50 p.m. Flying Lotus
10:15-11:05 p.m. SBTRKT
11:35 p.m. A$AP Rocky
11:25-11:55 a.m. Tijuana Panthers
12:05-12:40 p.m. Keep Shelly in Athens
1:05-1:50 p.m. Dragonette
2:15-3 p.m. Black Lips
3:25-4:10 p.m. The Big Pink
4:40-5:25 p.m. The Head and the Heart
5:55-6:45 p.m. Manchester Orchestra
7:15-8:05 p.m. Squeeze
8:35-9:25 p.m. Kasabian
10-11 p.m. Godspeed You! Black Emperor
11:40 p.m. Sub Focus
11:25 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Pure Filth Sound
12:25-1:15 p.m. Destructo
1:25-2:15 p.m. Mt Eden
2:30-3:20 p.m. Borgore
3:35-4:30 p.m. Jacques Lu Cont
4:50-5:50 p.m. Zeds Dead
6:10-7:10 p.m. Martin Solveig
7:35-8:45 p.m. Sebastian Ingrosso
9:15-10:35 p.m. David Guetta
11:15 p.m. Kaskade
Get to know all of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival artists with our interactive map.
1-1:30 p.m. Gabe Real
1:30-2:15 p.m. Hello Seahorse!
2:40-3:25 p.m. Kendrick Lamar
3:50-4:40 p.m. James
5:10-6 p.m. Jimmy Cliff & Tim Armstrong
6:30-7:20 p.m. Arctic Monkeys
7:50-8:50 p.m. Pulp
9:45-11 p.m. The Black Keys
11:30 p.m. Swedish House Mafia
1-1:30 p.m. The Sheepdogs
2-2:45 p.m. The Dear Hunter
3:15-4 p.m. Yuck
4:25-5:10 p.m. Neon Indian
5:40-6:30 p.m. GIRLS
7-8 p.m. Madness
8:50-9:40 p.m. Mazzy Star
10:05-10:55 p.m., Explosions in the Sky
11:20 p.m. Refused
Noon-1:30 p.m. Abe Vigoda
1-1:40 p.m. Wolf Gang
2:05-2:50 p.m. Other Lives
3:15-4 p.m. EMA
4:30-5:15 p.m. Gary Clark Jr.
5:45-6:30 p.m. Death Grips
7-7:45 p.m. WU LYF
8:15-9 p.m. Frank Ocean
9:30-10:15 p.m. Atari Teenage Riot
10:50-11:35 p.m. The Black Angels
Midnight, The Horrors
Up first is a Palm Desert native who made his Coachella debut in 2011. DJ Alf Alpha will be performing on Sunday, April 15 and Sunday, April 22. You might have seen him at his monthly residency at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs or spinning at The High Point, the monthly party at the Pomona Fox.
Also, Northeast Los Angeles' Kiss Kiss Bang Bang are on the bill. They are playing both Satudays of the 2012 Coachella festival. The band formed from garage punkers The Beat Killers and has a model for a lead singer.
Plus, the Tijuana Panthers have been added to the Saturday bills. The Long Beach-based band has groovy garage tunes. I like "Creature" a lot. Check them out on their Bandcamp page.
All three have been added to the map, representing SoCal just a little bit more.
Find other bands from Southern California and beyond with our interactive Coachella artist map. Click the link photo below to satisfy your inner Magellan.
We're only a few days away from the first weekend of the 13th edition of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Usually, that means Goldenvoice releases the set times earlier in the week so you can start planning your desert adventure.
This will be my sixth year covering the festival and I have a few tips I wanted to share:
-If you have a smartphone, use the Coachella app. The Coachchooser is helpful and inevitably I lose the awesome paper program keepsake they give out. That is the best way to see set times.
-If you're driving in each day, keep a couple of bottles of water in your car. At the end of the night you may be dehydrated and you will be so happy that you remembered to do this.
-Go earlier to hit less traffic coming in and at the security line. In all of my years of covering the fest, earlier is better. There's usually a little bit of the line before the gates open, but I've gotten really lucky right around noon-12:30.
-Know Highway 111, love Highway 111. Highway 111 starts from the 10 Freeway in Whitewater and goes through Palm Springs and the desert cities and continues to Indio and beyond. I don't recommend taking it the whole way if you're coming from Palm Springs, (there are a ton of stoplights), but if the 10 is already getting backed up, Highway 111 is an alternate route off pretty much every exit.
-Plan on where you're meeting your friends in the evening in advance. If you're meeting up with friends, 6 p.m. is usually the time when everyone seems to be there and the cell signals are jammed. Pick someplace very specific (maybe Zia records or the Musician's Institute tent) because everyone will be gathering at the large scale art sculptures. I've found the signal usually clears by the time the penultimate band hits the Coachella stage.
I'll be sharing more tips, and the set times, as the week goes on. If you have some Coachella tips to share, post them in the comments below.
The set times will be on our interactive artist map and here. If you want to know more about the bands playing Coachella, click on the map below.
Not only does Coachella attract fans from around the world, but also bands from around the world--15 countries this year to be exact.
Our amazing graphic artist Chris Ramos took my online map and turned it into a real paper map for this week's Guide. If you get a chance, pick one up! Click on Chris' image below to go to the online interactive map.
With the festival taking over the next two weekends, I'll be out at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, posting photos, blogs, details about the inevitable David Hasselhoff sighting, etc. at @vanessafranko.
If you're from the I.E. and you'll be going to the fest and planning to Tweet, use the hashtag #pecoachella. My goal is to showcase what you're seeing and hearing as well. We'll be doing some special presentations with it on the website, too. Take pictures of your friends, your campsite, your best "Carpoolchella" photo, tell us about the traffic and more.
In the next week we'll have even more Coachella content coming your way with interviews, stories, photos and more.
When I started watching the London band's video for "Chevy Thunder," I noticed a few familiar sights and just a few seconds into the video there's a clip showing the 60 Westbound Freeway in Riverside between Martin Luther King Boulevard and University Avenue.
Then there's the band at the Salton Sea and at the Border Motel in Calexico.
Not only is the super catchy power pop fun, but we can't wait to see how they'll document the trip to Indio. Fingers crossed that they'll check out Shields Date Gardens and see the popular presentation "Romance and Sex Life of the Date."
When they're playing at Coachella 2012: Sunday, April 15 and Sunday, April 22.
Find other bands from Southern California and beyond with our interactive Coachella artist map. Click the link photo below to satisfy your inner Magellan.
We're less than two weeks from the kickoff of the first weekend of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and to get ready for the festival, I'll be highlighting some bands worth checking out. Today I want to talk about tantrums--they don't always have to be a bad thing. For example, Los Angeles soul comes to the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in the form of Fitz and the Tantrums.
Fitz's smooth vocals have a nice Daryl Hall quality to them and this will be one of the can't miss sets at Coachella 2012.
However, if they're going to stick with the suits--we recommend a nice linen or seersucker to help escape the head of Indio in the spring.
Fun fact: Fitz and the Tantrums' first show was at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood in 2008.
When they're playing at Coachella 2012: Sunday, April 15 and Sunday, April 22
Find other bands from Southern California and beyond with our interactive Coachella artist map. Click the link photo below to satisfy your inner Magellan.
One of the most memorable things about any Coachella festival weekend is the time spent with the Do LaB-whether it's being captivated by the Lucent Dossier Experience or seeking a little bit of shade in the mid-day Indio heat.
There's always more music going on in the Do LaB, too, and the lineups for the two weekends of Coachella 2012 have been announced.
Most importantly, the performing troupe and Coachella favorite the Lucent Dossier Experience will be at the Do LaB for both weekends.
The weekend one lineup (April 13-15) also includes Chrisb., Christian Martin, David Starfire, Deru, Gladkill, Goldrush, Hopscotch, Idiot Savant, Inspired Flight, Jobot, Jupit3r, Kraddy, Machindrum, Nastynasty, Nit Grit, Patricio, Pumpkin, R/D, Russ Liquid, Salva, Sammy Bliss, Stephan Jacobs, Sugarpill, Two Fingers and Worthy.
The second weekend includes another dose of the Lucent Dossier Experience as well as David Satori, Dov, El Papachango, Geno Cochino, Griz, Ill-esha, Imagika, Jeremy Sole, Jupit3r, Love & Light, Lowriderz (An-ten-nae and DJ Laura), Lynx, Marley Carroll, Minnesota, Natasha Kmeto, Obscure, Patricio, Quade, Ruff Hauser, Saqi, Shawna and Sidecar Tommy.
We're less than two weeks from the kickoff of the first weekend of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and to get ready for the festival, I'll be highlighting some bands worth checking out.