Right now, our writers, Bill & Laurie Fanelli, are braving the hot sun, thousands of sweaty concert goers, and the lack of inexpensive water to cover Indio, California’s Coachella Music & Arts Festival. We’ve been receiving short little updates, and here is a collection of Friday’s. Stay tuned for today’s and tomorrow’s, folks.
Friday was a true test of endurance here at Coachella. I spent most of the day in the Sahara tent and Bill made it front row the entire day. DJ Mehdi started this off, spinning for about two hours. The Ed Banger crew were all there in support of each other and shamelessly cross promoted at every oppurtunity. That’s okay though, because they all put on solid sets. The guys from Justice could be seen at Sahara for the bulk of the day and every DJ up until Sandra Collins spun at least one Justice track. I just hope I’m not sick of Justice before they close out Coachella on Sunday.
The Midnight Juggernauts were our opportunity to rock. We found them to be pretty average, with potential to come into their own down the line. They didn’t seem fully comfortable on stage, but they pulled it off. Elsewhere, Sebastian played a faboulous set, perpetually smoking a cigarette throughout the entire performance. His seemless transitions into Busy P, without skipping a beat, was impressive, especially since Busy P was great for crowd interaction. Seriously, he grabs a gold star for spinning The Chemical Brothers “Do It Again.”
Adam Freeland had a fantastic stage show, beginning with 20 people joining him on stage with giant silver F balloons tied to their wrists. One by one, they dove into the crowd. Freeland’s set was high energy, which peaked in the end when he went for a stage dive. On the contrary, however, Sandra Collins was a good, more mellow set. She seemed like she was truly have a great time on stage and that translated into the crowd. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Diplo‘s set was a pure party, even featuring balloons falling from the ceiling. It was a nice surprise when M.I.A. stopped by, in the end of his set, while he was spinning “Paper Planes.” Soon after, Aphex Twin proved that he is a mad genius. He dropped incredibly complex beats and was extremely focused. Though, I felt he could have interacted a bit more with the crowd, having barely waved hello or good bye. Thank God for his back up dancers, four people in animal costumes, who kept the crowd going.
I took a break from the Sahara tent at this point to go check out Serj Tankian, who put on a fabulous show. Tankian is more theatrical and animated as a solo artist than previously with System of a Down. His vocals were on point, and he took turns at both the guitar and piano. Somewhere out in the festival, Bill stuck it out through Pendulum, and he really wasn’t that into their set. The vocals were muddy and each song blended into the next.
Fat Boy Slim was the must see show of the night. He started about 25 minutes late, but that only seemed to build the anticipation even more. The tent was over flowing with people and when the infamous DJ appeared with the “World of Pure Imagination”, the same song from Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, in the background, people were extatic. Fat Boy Slim played for about an hour and 20 minutes, and even sampled Coachella favorite Arcade Fire.
All and all, it was a great first day at Coachella. WE are definately going to be moving around more on Saturday and can’t wait to see Prince! Who wouldn’t be?
For more coverage of Coachella, keep checking back as we’re getting the feeds. And don’t forget to check out the AT&T Blue Room for video feeds of your favorite artists. This is one exhilarating weekend, so far.