Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Coachella 2007

by RLSegarra (writer), Los Angeles, May 01, 2007


Friday morning and I am packed and ready to go! I have been waiting since February for this trip, this musical experience. Anyone who knows me can vouch for the fact that I love music and I fully support unknown artist, but I am not a music snob and I have been known to pay outrageous prices for well known bands to see them play in smaller venues. This day, April 27, 2007 I am on my way to the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, three days of a combination of unknown bands and headliners performing on 5 different stages, plus the Dome, starting at 2 p.m. and ending with the last headlining band coming on at 11 p.m. It is music heaven awaiting me.

I did not receive my tickets in the mail but I was assured by ticketmaster that I simply had to go to the Will Call at Coachella and my new tickets would be there for me to pick up. Will call opens at 10:00 am so I arrive just before ten so I can get my tickets, grab something to eat check into my hotel and come back to enjoy the music. The best laid plans... over 5 hours later surrounded by people puking all around me from heat stroke (an article on ticketmaster is on its way) I have my tickets in hand and head to my hotel to check in and rehydrate, also to connect my laptop to the "free internet service" (which it would not do) so I could give a day by day account of the Coachella experience. (I believe ticketmaster has a conspiracy going on here since those 5 hours would have been Fridays piece.)

The Coachella Music festival has 5 stages plus the Dome that has bands playing from 2:00 p.m. until the headlining band takes the stage at 11:00 p.m. I arrive and hit each stage for a few minutes to hear the music and catch the crowds response. The bands are pounding out the music and giving it there all and the crowd is with and into each and every performer on every stage that I go to.

Friday I want to see Bjork so most of my time is spent at the Coachella stage. I am a fan of Arctic Monkeys, Jesus and Mary Chain and Interpol, so the wait for Bjork is filled with these talented bands throwing the crowd the best performances they can muster. I am on the sidelines, so to speak, for Arctic Monkeys but wind up being in the sardine can that is almost to the front of the stage starting with the Jesus and Mary Chain. it is unbearably hot, the only way out is up and over the crowd to the security guys by the fence in front of the stage. I was not completely hydrated from the morning fiasco. I have been in the middle of the sardine can for over 3 1/2 hours and drank my last swallow of water before Interpol comes on. My shirt and pants are soaking wet from my sweat and the sweat of others around me. Interpol has just finished an amazing performance and Bjork will be out soon. The crowd is begging for water and the security guys throw about 4 bottles out to a crowd of thousands. I notice people, perfect strangers are sharing bottles of water and I wanted so bad to have a drink but the bottles never came my way, and yes I would have drank the water and backwash of perfect strangers if I had gotten my hands on a bottle. I can't do it. I am so thirsty, I have drank a lot of water that day but have not needed to use the restroom at all, I want to see Bjork this close but all I can think of is getting a drink of water so after all that time 10 minutes before she comes on, I give in and I am lifted out of the sardine can.

Bjorks' performance that night even from farther away was brilliant and amazing. Saturday night the Kings of Leon would come on and blow everybody away with there powerful guitar playing, Calebs' singing and Nathans' drumming. A must see band live! Arcade fire, WOW! Sunday would find me again at the Coachella stage on the left hand side a little ways back so as not be in any way "Sardined" when Rage Against the Machine hits the stage. Manu Chao and his band play before Rage and he comes out and blasts everyone off there feet. In Spanish and English he condemns President Bush, the war in Iraq and explains to everyone that the way to stop terrorism and ignorance is through education and hope. After their killer performance, and as everyone awaits the return of Rage, Manu and his band members return to the fence in front of the stage and proceed to hose down the very hot crowd supplying them (where were they Friday night) with much needed relief. Then, after intense anticipation, Rage Against the Machine takes the stage and transports the whole crowd from front to the very back on an explosive musical journey that had everyone singing along and dancing and jumping to every single song. De la Rocha delivers his messages with force and energy. I am back in a sardine can, mosh pits are springing up around me, I am getting pushed and banged into, first on this side than the other side and it is wonderful. There is chaos than unity as we sing and raise our fist in the air. De la Rocha before one of his last songs shouts at our hearts that a system that profits each time we drop a bomb in another country and we rebuild is a system so corrupt that it is beyond changing it. It needs to be destroyed! Rage is back, and it is, people, better than ever.

There was bad and good in my festival experience, the people were amazing,the dreadlocks adorning heads of all colors were beautiful and awesome, some outrageous in their dress an appearance and all so supportive and proud of the not so well known bands they came to see. The food was good but like any venue priced outrageously, and the scalpers were everywhere. The art was stunning and amazing, from the perpetual art machine to the giant rocking horses. But the music......the music was...was wonderful, powerful, and ahhh....heaven. Coachella 2008 I'm there...just no will call please.

About the Writer

RLSegarra is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Coachella 2007

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By Steven Lane on May 01, 2007 at 01:23 pm
I am the guy in the back, the one with the lawn chair, binoculars and the ice chest....Yeah, the guy with the never washed Bjork "Tee" shirt and the battery operated hand fan... "Hey, don't step on my blanket."
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