April 18th, 2010
05:41 PM ET
People are willing to forgive a lot of blunders in the business of music festivals if they walk away from the event with a warm fuzzy. At Coachella, people are still up in the air about whether the line-up can overcome frustrations like a two-plus hour wait in the hot sun on the first day to pickup tickets, the nightmarish parking lots at the end of the night, the all or nothing ticketing and the 15,000 additional tickets sold this year.
Day 2 of Coachella has now passed and some valuable lessons have been learned.Find another way to the venue, pay a nice neighbor $20 to park in their yard and avoid the free festivalparking unless you want to be there until 3am. That $20 will be the best money you spend if you plan to drive to the event.
Saturday's lineup had a little something for everyone, even though some acts had to cancel due to the flight disruptions in Europe caused by volcanic ash. Hitting the many stages on the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, The Raveonettes, the body thumping bass of Bassnectar, Hot Chip, MGMT, Dead Weather, Faith No More (remember the lurching goldfish flopping for air in their music video) Muse, Tiesto and David Guetta.
Mike Patton of Faith No More hit the stage and later dove off it in a startling red jumpsuit-like ensemble showing Coachella-goers that he can still belt out the tunes that "We Care A Lot" about. They opened their set with a cover of "Reunited" by Peaches and Herb - a cheeky reference to their reunion last year after an 11 year breakup.
The first time MGMT played Coachella in 2008, their performance didn't live up to the hype surrounding their remarkable debut album. This year, they earned their stripes. Playing with confidence and muscle, they debuted new material plus kept an enormous crowd happy with fan favorites like "Electric Feel."
It took just one strum on the guitar and people herded to the outdoor stage like it was a calling - the caller being the British buzz band, "XX." It took two songs for the dream-pop trio to put their audience into a trance-like state. Apparently, the XX have a big fan in Friday's headliner Jay-Z, who was spotted in the front (and later with Beyonce in the pit at Muse).
And make no mistake, one of the big draws of the night, was Muse with their rock opera-like anthems that harken back to the days of Queen, where soaring vocals, abrupt tempo changes, and dramatic flourishes were standard operating procedure. Muse manages to elevate the anthem sing-a-long to a new level. The crowd belted out the lyrics to many of their hits and got a taste of an old favorite when the band put their spin on the lounge lizard standard, "Feelin' Good" (and they were).
David Guetta took the stage with another "Sexy B-tch." Apl d Ap from the Black Eyed Peas joined him on the Sahara stage, giving fans a late night dose of dance that was mirrored by Tiesto on the main stage over an hour later.
No question the line-up is great. But like an aging Beverly Hills doyenne, the overall experience "needs some work." Perhaps a little lift, some filler for the lines that are starting to show. It might ease the frustrations of weary people who don't do well with lines.
We'll see at the end of day three whether the line-up (not the lines) can overcome the overall experience. Did you go to Coachella? We're interested in what you have to say.
- Michelle Jones, Denise Quan and Carolyn Sung contributed to this blog
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