I choked up during Jimmy Cliff's performance. It happened, of course, during "Many Rivers to Cross" which played at my father's funeral. For most of the day, it seemed that Coachella had been upended -- nothing was familiar about the festival I'd attended for the past eight years. I'd been accustomed to a music lover's paradise: 90+ degree weather, incredible bands, beautiful bodies laid out enjoying the vibe. Instead, the later part of the day was miserable. It started off well enough; at around 1 p.m. what was usually a time of oppressive heat made walking through the field bearable. Later, however, it got cold. Really cold. And it was drizzling, the skies were gray, and nothing seemed fun anymore. I wanted to watch less than half of the bands today. Girls were wearing ludicrous chain mail headpieces and wellies. The bathrooms were so far away, and I kept needing to pee. But as the first few opening notes of Cliff's song about love and loss wafted through the crowd, the festival finally jelled for me. I was at Coachella, and I was watching fantastic bands in one of the most beautiful venues in the world. The past few hours had been a chaotic mess, marked by bands I just wasn't that impressed by (Yuck); a state of denial regarding the weather (Overheard: "It doesn't mean anything if you can't feel your toes. It won't get gangrene or anything from the cold." !) and the general feeling of distate for those fucking hipsters (stupid chain mail headband-wearing girls, I'm looking at you). Jimmy Cliff, with his populist set of standards, was just the antidote to the feeling that everything was just meh. "Many Rivers to Cross" reminded me of why I was here in the first place, bad weather be damed. Sometimes all it takes is a really custy song to get to you, and "Many Rivers to Cross" brought that connection--between my emotions and the music I loved back to the forefront of Coachella and itsraison d'être
. -Lilledeshan Bose
decorating their hybrids with celebratory statements; "Coachella 2012!",
"Carpoolchella!" and even "dickchella" (which came accompanied with a
retina-searing anatomically correct doodle). However, no group better
displayed a culturally relevant understanding of sleepy hipster irony than
a white SUV artfully decorated with the KONY 2012 logo. The Invisible Children campaign collapsed in on itself after a few embarassingly public
displays of "stress," hamstringing the non-profit's efforts to spread
awareness of Joseph Kony's child army in Africa. Still, we can see why a
'chella goer would appreciate both the festival and the cause. -Neda Salamat
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