Coachella’s done. It’s all over. And dare I say, I’m feeling a bit o’ Coachella burnout. I’m done with the seven dollar Heineken, the welded art, the glistening flesh, the punishing heat, the non-operational cell phones, the sweaty tents and the dusty walks to the car that fill my shoes with dirt. Will I be back next year? Probably. Because as much as I complain about it, I kind of like all that stuff, too.
And then there’s the music. It’s the reason I keep coming back, the reason I subject myself to the crowds and the insanity. There’s always something that stands out as the reason for it all. This year there were two somethings: Portishead (as I mentioned earlier) and Roger Waters.
Waters put together a near three-hour set to finish off the weekend, and while for some, the notion of a three hour Floyd-set sounds like the fourth level of Hell, for me and the thousands of people in attendance, it was more like the Second Coming. Waters opened with an hour of music drawn from The Wall, A Saucerful Of Secrets, Wish You Were Here and his own solo work. There were explosions, lasers, crisp, colorful visuals and a low-flying skywriter plane. He wrapped with a stunning rendition of “Sheep” from Animals.
And yes, the Pig flew. The Obama Pig. When it had completed its transit through the crowd it was released. As it soared into the sky the folks next to me said that Waters is fined by the FAA every time he does that, but he releases it every time anyway.
All of this before he even got to the main event. Waters took a short break. The rest of us talked among ourselves. And when he returned, he kicked off a remarkable performance of the timeless 1973 album. It was a big, happy singalong, and as “Eclipse” faded into the pulse of a heartbeat, we could have gone home happy. But he came back out for “Another Brick In The Wall” and “Comfortably Numb.” I can’t remember a time when more voices were shouting on the Coachella pitch.
So yeah, maybe I’ll go back next year. I’ll let ya know when the time comes. For now, though, I’m done with festivals. I kinda want to make some “pigs fly” joke, but I’m gonna leave it at that and empty the sand from my shoes.