April 18th, 2010
05:41 PM ET

Day 2 at Coachella: The Overall Experience vs. The Line-Up

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.

Check out photos day one and day two of Coachella.

– Michelle Jones, Denise Quan and Carolyn Sung contributed to this blog


soundoff (30 Responses)
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    April 6, 2012 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
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    October 20, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. yug

    Perhaps all u complainers didn't have the most excellent drugs that I did. I thought coachella was off the hook...especially those glowing purple palm trees – oh and Gossip, Muse, Hot Chip and Gorillaz were pretty awesome too – and the Rose Garden is an Oasis is stoneditude.

    April 22, 2010 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. tjc360

    I want my "Rolling Rock Town Fair" in PA back! I miss those road trips.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. John

    This comment section: "GET OFF MY LAWN" *grumble* "grr young whippersnappers."

    April 19, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. UNREAL...

    we only wish we had a festival of this caliber on the east coast. no, not tenn (6+ hrs away) i mean on the east COAST. you west coasters shouldnt complain too much.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. lchanford

    Hey, what happened to music? I've never heard of any of these people. I wonder what their (music?) sounds like, but ,no I don't want to know I'll stick with oldies, and I mean oldies, fiftys and sixties oldies.

    April 19, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. GLaw

    P.S. I like how this entire article is filed under 2 tags: 'music' and 'Jay-Z'????

    April 19, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. GLaw

    It took 3 people to write this blog post? Jeez.

    April 19, 2010 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bravefart

    Just save your money and come to Chicago for Lollapalooza. The weather's usualy better with a nice breeze coming off the lake and Perry is in tune with what people want to hear and see. My only complaint is there should be electric trolley's to get you around Grant park a little faster so you don't mis half a show walking to the various stages. This isn't intended to bash Coach as much as it is a invitation to come enjoy a well planned, thought out, no hassle event in the nicest big city in America

    April 19, 2010 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. Gordie Howe

    Will you all now please go home and leave our desert. Thank you.

    April 19, 2010 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. fish

    Pretty sure the goldfish was flopping for water.

    April 19, 2010 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. Zelda

    Looking forward to hear how Gorillaz did tonight! It's a real shame that they weren't included in the live webcast, like the headliners from the other nights. If the organizers are smart they'll release a big DVD set and make everyone pay good money to see the show as everyone should, instead of over a grainy webcam or stuck a mile away from the stage!

    April 19, 2010 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Kris Wood

    One word: Boonstock.

    Canadian's just do it better.

    April 19, 2010 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Keywork

    Not mentioning Coheed, are you crazy? Best prog/sci-fi rock band since Rush. Moron.

    April 19, 2010 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  16. Scott

    I'm sorry, but I'm spoiled...

    Nothing is/was more impressive than Rockfest in Kansas City, MO. It is sponsored by 98.9 The Rock and it is truly impressive. They understand that it takes more than a headlining band to pack the house with 50K fans for the one-day event. Location, parking, access to water, security, affordable vendors, stage locations, and venues all add up to huge pre-sales and brand loyalty year after year with that radio station. Someone else would be well advised to follow their business model on that event.

    April 19, 2010 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  17. Santos Carlos

    Why all the fuss?

    ROCK MUSIC for the most part is irrelevant in today's age so why is everyone going on and on about these festivals?

    The lyrics don't make much sense, isn't relate-able and lord knows no one wants to be drowned by sadness.

    Oh well...you hipsters and 'rockers'

    Come on guys...get with the times

    April 18, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  18. eric

    I paid the full three days admission price just to see fever ray's sole North American appearance for 2010. Yes the 2.5 hours wait in line to get in was frustrating. There really wasn't an authority of consistent information to be had on Thursday and Friday. Paying for 3 days of shows only to watch the Friday night headliner on the Sahara stage then turn around a drive 5 hours to get back home seemed more like a suffer-fest then a music fest.

    Overall, glad to see fever ray but overall couldn't have cared for the weak lineup as a whole.

    April 18, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Patrick

    Alex you must be crazy those are some of the best names in music and their contributions are up there with the best of them. I don't care for Metallica or Phish but I cannot deny their musical talents. Music festivals just are not as good as they were back in the day.

    April 18, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  20. alex

    donovan, just because you don't appreciate some of today's bands the way you appreciate the bands you saw back in the day, it doesn't mean there are others who don't. Tastes vary. There is no fixed characteristic of "good" music. Don't be so closed minded. I'd much rather see this coachella line up than some of the artists you mentioned.

    April 18, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Jordan

    Donovan,

    That is a retarded list of bands man! As a 21 year old I'm not disappointed with the bands at Coachella this year (and in recent years), especially with incorporating house music from DJs like Tiesto and Guetta, however I agree the Coachella organizers need to go harder after some of the historic acts that you mentioned.

    April 18, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  22. donovan

    I'm praying that there are better bands by the time my kid will be doing his first 10 years of shows. I would be really disappointed if I was 20 years old and this was all I had to look forward to. I got to see Pink Floyd, Alice In Chains, STP, The Dead, Beasties, BB King, Al Green, Metallica, Phish, all back in the day. And I am grateful.

    April 18, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  23. danveeder

    Day #3... Lessons learned
    Day #4....Lessons learned.

    just write a book called how to learn lessons at music festivals in 24 easy days

    April 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Stevereeno

    I've read one or two critics panning MGMT for playing their new music which just came out this week......so, it's new and no ones heard it yet. DUH!?!

    What,....should they never make new music?!

    April 18, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  25. EA

    Jon,
    Point taken; no one's dad's cover band is pulling off that Maiden song.

    April 18, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Jon

    Peter...listen to this and tell me again that your dad could outplay Coheed.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDryjvqO0_I&w=640&h=390]

    April 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Peter

    hey jon,

    my dad's iron maiden cover and could outplay coheed and cambria, and my dad's iron maiden band sucks. besides didn't the usc marching band already play the grammy's with you and thom yorke last year?

    dumb

    April 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Jon

    Nothing about Coheed and Cambria bringing out the USC marching band to finish off their set? The best live band on earth just played one of their best sets ever. That performance should be the story of Coachella 2010. The stage caught on fire!

    April 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  29. david

    Rusko is gonna steal the show tonight.

    April 18, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |

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