Thank You For The Music (Coachella, California)

Right, here’s my Coachella blog. The festival was amazing but it was so long ago it almost feels irrelevant! I’ve just broken it down into some main paragraphs to cover the most important areas. Thankfully Fish covered the behind-the-scenes parts because that was definitely the highlight for me. We’ve since done an amazing road trip through the South, and we’re in our last day of 4 in New York now. We fly to Colombia tomorrow to start our South America travels! So let’s start catching up on what the States showed us…

Here’s my Coachella summary:

The headliners:

Night one was ACDC. We all got far too excited and went too hard during the evening so after enjoying Interpol and Tame Impala it was all too hard for us to stay upright for a 2 hour ACDC set. We hung around long enough to hear Thunderstruck which was all we really needed anyway. The boys still managed to watch and commentate an entire Crows match back at the tent whilst Mary and I called everyone’s number we could think of. I’m sure everyone enjoyed that.

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Night two was Jack White who I had no time for. I will gladly swallow my pride and admit that I was wrong on this one and I was glad that Fish had him down as a must-see. He did a really rad old-school-country version of Hotel Yorba which was one of my favourite songs for the whole festival.

Night three was Jimmy From Degrassi, or, as he likes to be called now, Drake. What a load of rubbish. You’ve probably all read about and seen pictures of Madonna’s guest appearance in his set where she randomly pashed him and he quite obviously was horrified? Yeah, well that was the most interesting thing about the whole freakin’ set. Yawn factor 10.

The guest appearances:

So, Coachella is known for guest appearances. Whether it’s a hologram of Tu-Pac or Kanye West performing a mini-set, you’re guaranteed a guest appearance during a headline act and can almost expect artists who’ve featured on a song to appear for that part of the set. Case in point – I dragged Fish along to see just a little bit of SBTRKT’s set before we hit the hay on night two. Lo and behold, Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend wandered out and delivered New Dorp, New York then trotted off again. It was amazing. I think even Fish was impressed despite hating that song (DIGRESSION: I love that song but Fish hates it because he thinks the lyrics are dumb. We’re in New York right now and we saw a sign today that listed New Dorp as a location! I was so excited that that wasn’t just a dumb lyric! I now just have to find a statue or something of gargoyles gargling oil…)

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Zach De La Rocha from Rage Against The Machine featured in Run The Jewels set which we tragically missed due to unfortunate clashes. After complaining so much about how sparse the line-up was of good acts I managed to miss bands I would’ve liked to see and Day 2 was a corker for clashes of bands. I think you realistically can only watch up to 5 bands in one day of a festival by the time you factor in food, beverage, shade, and rest needs.

Jack White had a full band behind him which included the lead singer from the Dixie Chicks on fiddle and back-up vocals which was kinda cool.

Now, Madonna… Kiss, shmiss, whatever, that was the least of what was wrong with that appearance. The whole thing was confusing – why was she even there? When people make a guest appearance, especially during the headline set, they should have some connection to the people performing or at least be relevant. Honestly, when she appeared Fish and Mary where sitting down having a chat (because that’s how compelling Drake’s set was) and Kosta and I were standing there going:

“here we go…. Someone is going to appear…”

*opening strains of Hung Up start*

“ohhhhhh, is it Lady Gaga?!”

“Nah….. it’s…. ummmmm…….”

*Madonna comes out on stage*

“Who is that?!”

“Madonna!”

“Oh yeah it is! What’s she doing here?”

The whole thing just smacked of a publicity grab for Madonna.

Highlights:

Right! Enough whinging! Good stuffs!

Royal Blood. Woah. They were incredible. They’re a very unorthodox set up of one bass guitarist/vocalist and a drummer and they will blow your face off. I can’t believe the sounds those guys could produce just between the pair of them. The crowd loved it too.

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My personal highlight was a recommendation from Jacob, Mary’s brother. It was a band I’d never heard of from Alabama called St Paul and The Broken Bones and they were on so early that they didn’t clash with anyone so we went to check them out. They were a suited and booted big band – brass; drums; keys; guitarists – fronted by a man who was as plain as an arrowroot biscuit but had amazing stage presence and had an incredible voice. The best thing I can compare them to is Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, but remove Sharon Jones and replace her with the body of Drew Carey and the voice of the chick from Alabama Shakes. Kaysie, you would love them and I think you need to get Tennis onto trying to get them out for Blenheim fest!

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Interpol were great, as per usual; Milky Chance were excellent despite the lead singer being really sick and nearly losing his voice; St Lucia were fun; Parquet Courts; Kasabian, and Florence and The Machine. Florence was just wonderful and we later found out that she actually broke her foot during the set from running all over the stage!

Celeb spotting:

Guys, so many celebs! I got well excited. My favourite was Donna and Hyde from That 70s Show being right in front of us during Bad Religion (I was more excited about them than the band). We also saw the curly haired dude from Workaholics; a few Victoria’s Secret models; John and Yoko’s son; and some famous bloggers. Mary and Kosta knew all the actual names of these people, but whatever. We thought we saw Kahleesi from Game Of Thrones but it turned out to be another short chick with bleached hair and dark eyebrows; and there were about 8 incorrect Dave Grohl sightings within one hour. There were unconfirmed sightings of Justin Bieber and Iggy Azaelia. Oh and we saw Fitzy from Aussie radio/ Big Brother hahaha.

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The best one, however, was when Fish and Kosta were standing right in front of Aaron Paul during The War On Drugs set. He’s Jesse from Breaking Bad. Mary and I were off watching Ghostface Killah and Raekwon and when we came back the boys had drunk all of the waterbottles of vodka we’d packed so were on another level. Kosta was preeeeeetty excited about seeing Aaron Paul and that name became his answer to anything, the best time being after Mary asked if he was ok: “Mary… A) Aaron Paul… B) Aaron Paul)”. That became the quote of the festival. Now if we list anything we have to start at C because we all know what A and B are.

"And just to my left here is Aaron Paul..."
“And just to my left here is Aaron Paul…”

At the end of the day:

So, we had a brilliant time. The line-up was definitely solid enough to keep me interested and there was the added bonus of not being torn between two bands due to clashes. Even that wouldn’t have been that much of a problem because of the Golden Ticket that is a Safari Pass – just jump back stage, get on a golf cart and get whisked to the next stage. It was freaking hot during the day so I don’t know how it must be if you camp and then have to walk a million miles into the festival grounds. I’d do it all over again but only with the Safari Pass. In summary:

A)     Aaron Paul

B)      Aaron Paul

C)      Safari Pass

D)     Coachella

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