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
Keeping that sensibility and commitment often returns Tollett to an idea he learned while studying chemical engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. "One of the big words [there] was 'entropy' — things go from order to disorder," Tollett says. "I always talk about it — you've got to overcome that. Just because you have a good show doesn't mean it eventually has to go away. Work really hard, overcome that, because it's not a fait accompli."
Coachella was birthed just months after the catastrophic flameout of the final Woodstock festival, in 1999, which disintegrated into an unholy cauldron of fire, mosh-pit rape, nu-metal excess and $4 bottles of water. Goldenvoice's event was notably humane by comparison, a tradition that has raised the bar not only for other festivals, but for itself. Coachella fans learned to expect more than just competence — something closer to nirvana in the desert, with many making plans to return months before the next festival's talent lineup is even announced.
Only three years ago, the Coachella campgrounds shook with a joyous, militant chant: "What better place than here, what better time than now!" Hundreds of young rock fans were on the march, stomping past tents and sleeping bags, shouting that same lyric into the night over and over, all in anticipation of the next day's onstage reunion of Rage Against the Machine. For a moment, an Indio Police helicopter hovered overhead, but this wasn't trouble, it was celebration, and they meant every word: "What better place than here?"
Tollett expects next year's Coachella to be a step forward in the festival's evolution. After a full decade of general fan satisfaction — and with one imperfect gathering in Indio in 2010 — anything less would only be a letdown.