Thursday, June 16, 2011

Every year at Stanford I said that I would go to Coachella if the lineup was good enough; this year was finally the year (it also helped that it was my last chance to go at Stanford). So Jenny and I drove down to Palm Springs with a few friends (in one of the friend’s cars) and stayed at the Embassy Suites (thanks to the same friend). Aside: Special thanks to Nicoletta.

Friday we headed to the festival around noon where we all had to figure out how to sneak in our contraband: 3 Clif bars, 3 bananas, and an empty camelback. We ran into this sneaky character just outside the gate…

After getting in we were surprised at just how awesome one of the first acts was. If you’re looking for a hilarious good time check out Black Joe Louis and the Honeybears. I’ll let you figure out which member is Black Joe.

Friday’s other awesome surprises included Ozomatli, who came down into the crowd and kept playing after their set ended.

And the Cold War Kids, who put on the first show that sounded really good.

The night ended with a bang, including Interpol (disappointing), The Black Keys (always good), and the Kings of Leon (surprisingly good), back-to-back-to-back.

Saturday’s highlights included the always-rocking Gogole Bordello…

The surprisingly dressed Cage the Elephant…

The much-anticipated Mumford and Sons…

And my favorite, Arcade Fire, who at the end of their show, released 2000 clear plastic orbs filled with different colored lights from the top of the stage.

Sunday was a little disappointing with sets that weren’t the best from City and Colour and the National, and then Kanye West’s performance, which was absolutely terrible. I’m pretty his sure his soundman is afraid to turn him down (consequently his balance is whack.).

We left the festival at midnight and then drove three hours to Nicoletta’s house in North LA. Since she was flying back, Jenny, Jeff, and I got up at 5 (two hours after we got there) and then drove the six hours back up to campus, completely exhausted. Whew.

All in all Coachella beats Bonnaroo by a mile. The lack of humidity and decent housing helped, but most importantly, there were far fewer people allowing people to get closer to acts, and the lineup was much more up my alley. Definitely worth the trip.

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