Coachella Day 1: Vampire and Them Vultures

Big crowd and response for La Roux shows they're blowing up in the US

A good first day, once everybody got in.  Non-Coachella veterans usually don’t hear about the grind that makes this festival a love/hate experience.  With its location 125 miles east of LA, a direct drive on day 1 normally involves several traffic jams.  No matter where one is driving from, traffic closer to the venue is often gridlocked.  The parking lots are about a mile away from the main gate.  I waited 45 minutes to get in and some had to wait twice that long in 90+ temps.  There is no special access for those fortunate enough to have VIP or media credentials.  Upon departing, driving away can go smoothly, or parking lot delays can measure an hour or more.  That said, it’s all about the music once we’re inside.  There were predictions that the crowd would be older this year due to single day tickets not being made available for sale, but there didn’t seem to be much of a difference compared to other years.

Vampire Weekend keep getting better and better, and their prime nighttime slot was filled with fans of the band.  Them Crooked Vultures matched all of the great reports I get on them.  I like the guys best when they’re just jamming.  If I had to pick one newer band that appears to be blowing up, that would be La Roux.  If organizers could do it over again, I’m sure that set would have been in a larger space as the overflow was huge.  The band was more mid-tempo that I expected, but the crowd was one of the festival’s most insane.

Here’s what else I saw, in chronological order: Yeasayer delivered nicely before an enthusiastic crowd.  Hockey also played well to a warm response.  Tom Morello is one of my fave guitarists but I just am not into his Street Sweeper Social Club. I love She & Him, and they were charming as expected.  If anything, they might have played their songs so fast that some impact was lost.  Coachella crowds tend to be pretty laid back at most shows, and I was hoping for a better response.  I had high hopes for The Specials after seeing them on Jimmy Fallon the other night.  Only a few of their best known songs really created a stir.  Grizzly Bear delighted their thousands of fans.  I respect them but probably need to see them in a proper music hall sitting in a chair with no distractions.  LCD Soundsystem, as expected, put on one of the day’s best shows, in a major main-stage evening slot.  Fever Ray augmented their spacy music with an amazing light show.  Benny Benassi played in the dance tent and elicited the most joy I saw in a crowd.  Maybe I need to spend more time around the dance tent : )  Passion Pit and Imogen Heap are people I missed who I’ve liked in the past.  So sorry that the volcanic ash prevented The Cribs from getting out of the UK.  With apologies to any rap-loving ravers out there, I stayed as far away from JayZ as possible.

All in all, crowds were fairly laid=back nothing really groundbreaking on day one, but a solid start just the same.


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2 Responses to “Coachella Day 1: Vampire and Them Vultures”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by justin. justin said: Rave's Raves Blog » Blog Archive » Coachella Day 1: Vampire and …: With apologies to any rap-loving ravers out t… http://bit.ly/9UvEFm […]

  2. Shanda Pike says:

    I was so high smoking K2 herb, salvia from http://hollywoodherbalincense.com/ so I hardly remember coachella, good article tho

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