By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
SUNDAY, 4:47 P.M.
Braving a ridiculous queue for the bathrooms, I overhear someone aptly dub them “sweat-a-potties.”
SUNDAY, 6:37 P.M.
Gnarls Barkley packs the Gobi tent. The air is perfumed with weed clouds. Fronted by Cee-Lo and sidekick Danger Mouse, the 14-piece band comes onstage in full Wizard of Oz costumes, including hairpieces and greasepaint. I’m sweaty and enraptured as Cee-Lo warbles tunes from the new ?St. Elsewhere album in his bizarrely feminine but deeply soulful falsetto. At the first beats of their colossally successful single “Crazy,” the crowd simply loses it and becomes one thumping mass.
SUNDAY, ?7:25 P.M.
Having just seen them at the Troubadour, I’m prepared to resent the main-stage Yeah Yeah Yeahs experience, but am somewhat surprised that the larger venue and increased volume actually befit them. Karen O delivers her usual howls and stomps, as I drink something from a coconut.
SUNDAY, 7:47 P.M.
Any film footage you have ever witnessed of animal stampedes will suffice as a visual correlate to the thundering procession of humans heading to the dance tent to see Madonna. As fans chuck glowsticks into the dangerously large crowd, I think to myself, “Someone’s gonna get beaned in the head with one of those.” A moment later, I am beaned in the head with one of those.
Madonna comes onstage nearly a half hour late, looking freakishly muscular in a skintight black leotard. After some cordial hellos and choreography that is equal parts porn and calisthenics, she wheezes a few tracks off her new album, Confessions on a Dance Floor, but then notices a pool of water on the stage and thunders into the mike, ”DO NOT THROW WATER ON MY STAGE, MOTHERFUCKERS!” The crowd turns scared and sullen. Madonna performs a total of six songs, including “Ray of Light” and “Everybody,” then disappears offstage with nary a goodbye. It is exactly as I had expected: theatrically craptastic.
SUNDAY, 10:15 P.M.
Back on the main stage, Massive Attack revisits tracks off of Mezzanine, their pulsing mood music making for the perfect mint on my festival pillow. But then Tool thunders on, harshing my mellow. I duck out mid-set for the trek to the car. Joining the slow post-Coachella procession home, I turn off the radio and enjoy some overdue silence.
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