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Coachella Chronicles: Day 2

What you missed at the second day of Coachella



    It was a stone groove, my man (And yes, it’s about time for a Trading Places quote). But it is appropriate, in that it’s what everyone should be saying after a glorious second day out in the desert.

    I mean, weatherwise, I just don’t think it could have been any better. The sun was out, there was a gentle cooling breeze, and there wasn’t a rain cloud in the sky.

    And people were basking in all of that sunshine - many camped just outside of the shade of all three tents, soaking up all that they could to make up for what they missed the day before.

    Where there seemed to be a contingent of people upset by Friday’s gray, everyone was happy on Saturday. Regular concertgoers were ecstatic for the lenient mid-70s weather, and the folks who wanted to get their half-naked on were happy too, because before the sun went down, they got to strut it like they had planned to on Friday.

    Now, I haven’t been to every Coachella they’ve had, but I think that Weekend 1: Saturday 2012 has a chance, and a pretty good one at that, of being the best day of weather that the festival has ever seen.

    And on top of all that - there was music, too! And it was every bit as good as the weather (and that’s saying something).

    My strange Saturday path went something like this –

    • The Black Lips
    • Destroyer
    • Azealia Banks
    • Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
    • fIREHOSE
    • tune-yArDs
    • Buzzcocks
    • Andrew Bird
    • Laura Marling
    • Jeff Mangum
    • St. Vincent
    • The Shins
    • Feist
    • Things worth noting:

    Harlem rapper Azealia Banks had a moment of lightness in her otherwise all-business performance when she giggled and announced to the throng of people that had come to see her 2:50pm set that she had “never played to a crowd this big before.”

    Mike Watt stayed right next to the bass amps and faced the drum kit during almost the entirety of the fIREHOSE set.

    Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum’s highly anticipated set was very strange. First, all photographers were notified that they would not be allowed to shoot any of the performance. Then, shortly before he played, it was announced over the monitors that they did not want anyone shooting pictures or taking video. Actually, they said it twice. Of course people did, but it was bizarre that they asked. It didn’t seem to damper the mood of anyone there, however, as the moderately sized, yet rabidly enthusiastic, crowd sang along with Mangum as he played his NMH songs acoustically.

    Feist also had some weird photographic rules, forcing photographers to the extreme sides of the photo pit. Once you chose a side, you were not allowed to move from that side and it also put us directly up against the monitors. So not only will there not be any front-on shots of Ms. Leslie Feist, I think I’ve lost most of the hearing in my right ear. Hopefully, it’s just resting and will come back.

    Six of the 13 acts I saw on Saturday were either women or female fronted, and even though I haven’t caught very much of it, there seems to be a lot of hip-hop this year. It seems like Coachella is evolving at a very nice pace.

    Now there’s only one more day to go. And there is a whole lot to see on Sunday. My dogs are barking, but I think they’ll carry me through the final stretch. It’s supposed to be hotter on Sunday. I’m hoping that only applies to the music.