Coachealla Report : Day 1

Crowd for Kanye West

So it’s Day 2 of Coachella and as it is a bit after 12:00 noon the bands are starting to play again. I just woke up after a night of drinking, sorting through the thousand photos I shot yesterday and very slowly uploading the 19 I picked via my EVDO card. Having programmed the Coachella Scheduler gave me an added bonus of “Side Stage” wristbands which gave my fiance and I access to all areas except the main stage. I took some photos of a couple of the bands that I was interested in that weren’t on the main stage, Lady Sovereign and Lyrics Born as well as a bunch of random concertgoers and a few big acts on the main stage from far away. I always go to coachella with plans of seeing a crapload of acts, but I end up seeing about half of what I had planned. This year I ended up seeing Kanye West, Depeche Mode, Lyrics Born, Daft Punk and Lady Sovereign. I was planning on seeing Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Shy FX, Damian Marley and Common, but between the drinking, walking around, eating and frequent trips to the RV to download photos, I ended up missing those great acts.

Lady Sovereign

Lady Sovereign puts on a kick ass show. The crowd was totally hyped and while she swilled her heineken on stage and talked about being pissed (drunk, not mad) she still did a great job on all her songs. She joked with the crowd on her song about fake tans, instructing them how to properly annunciate Orange. I talked to her after her performance and asked her a most important question, “Do you like drum’n’bass,” to which she replied, “I love drum’n’bass, but I like jungle better.” I told her to check out my website and she said she would.

Lyrics Born

The next act I caught was Lyrics Born, whom I have been a big fan of for quite some time now, and I especially like Latyrx. He was backed by a full live band, which included an especially kick ass drummer and a backing female vocalist Joyo. He sounded great, just like he does on his album, which is always a good thing, there is nothing worse than an artist with a great studio album who sounds like crap when you see them live. Once again the artist had the crowd totally hyped and the Gobi tent was packed and overflowing.

Next we went and downloaded some photos to the ol lappy and then headed back out into the sun to see Kanye West. Kanye was on the main stage and had 40,000 pasty white folks singing along with joy. I didn’t realize so many people wearing cowboy hats and ugg boots would know the lyrics for Kanye’s music, but they did. It was hard to tell if the crowd was bigger for Kanye or for Depeche mode.

We then had wonderful carney prepared festival food and made some drinks back in the RV whilst pulling the photos off of my CF card. After dining and drinking and then drinking some more we went to the Tesla Coil where I lugged my tripod and shot some long exposures of the manmade lightning. After that we went and watched the first few songs of Depeche Mode, who the fiance is a big fan of. I don’t particularly care for them, but we both noticed they seemed old, off and slow and we were not impressed.

For some reason we walked over to see Daft Punk, who I also don’t particularly like, but who put on a great show with crazy shiny robot helmeted costumes and were playing from inside the tops of high tech LED encrusted pyramids.

All in all it was a good first day and I had a good time. Having the RV is much better than camping as we can sleep in much later and it makes for a great base of operation. Today I am planning to catch Murs, Amadou & Mariam (the blind couple), Los Amigos Invisibles, Matisyahu (whom I will photograph during his book signing as I can shoot on the main stage), Jamie Lidell, Gnarls Barkley, Digable Planets, Seu Jorge, Coldcut, Massive Attack and Tool. We’ll see who I actually end up watching. Oh yeah and one more thing… Cobra Snake:

Cobra Snake and GF

Complete Set of Images