(Brief note regarding Lina's very complete Do and Don't list: I'd like to add one thing: DO bring your tickets!
I overheard someone saying they got within a half hour of arriving here before realizing they forgot their tickets, they had to turn around to go all the way back to LA.
2:00 p.m. Stuck in traffic on the way to free event parking lot, I rolled down the window to feel the desert air, its like sticking your head inside a clothes dryer. I can't help but feel a bit of schadenfreude for those who don't have AC.
4:45 p.m. We finally get our ID's checked, and our tickets, OF MONTREAL is playing, or so we think, we take off running full speed toward the Outdoor Stage. We get there 10 minutes early. The lead singer is dressed like an indie Elvis in a white bedazzled suit and his guitarist has pink feather wings. My body temp raises 10 degrees just looking at them. “All I want is a drink and to be left alone, ” are the lyrics, “is that too much for Britney Spears to ask,” he ad libs. He changes into a green and white bib shirt, I can't tell if it's glam clown or pirate . I stay long enough to hear Helmsgate blah, blah, my favorite song of the moment, you know the one he wrote in Iceland, that gies “Chemi-ca-a-a-als, gone mess me up inside” I dance and sing with such reverie and joy only to sort of be buzz killed by the fact that it's still over 100 degrees and the rest of the crowd is lethargic and unmoving. I realize this band would have been kick ass at sundown, but as daytime outdoor rock, not so much.
5:20 p.m. SILVERSUN PICK-UPS. I love this band. Lucky me, I make it right in time to hear Little Lover So Polite, my favorite song! I'm two for two. These are new bands to me so I'm lookin' forward to hearing these guys live, instead of on Indie 103 stuck in my car in all the bullshit Hollywood Blvd. construction. We had a split second decision to make, and decide to sacrifice Gillian Welch, on the the logic that we'll see her next week at Stagecoach Country Music Festival. Silversun Pick-ups, though we can see them anytime, is a really great outdoor band, the energy radiates, we watch the lead singer sings. Lazy Eye, the song with a four-minute build, makes us shake off our laziness especially with the pay off when the singer croons, “sunshine, sunshine.” I have to be pried away.
6:00 p.m. Smoking Lounge. We head over to the swanky air-conditioned Smoking lounge to get our free American Spirits, and too cool off. We are checked for ID twice, our driver's licenses were scanned inside. We grab a couple of 7 dollar beers before booking it across the polo fields to see Amy Winehouse at the Gobi Tent.
6:30 p.m. AMY WINEHOUSE, has a couple of dude back-up singers, dancing in unison like the back up girls of old Motown. (I love her, I've already blogged about my deep love for Amy Winehouse, and see Judith's post below for a great review of her performance, I didn't want to repeat too much.) She has a live horn section, which really amps up her bluesy soul drenched style. “Where are you guys going to go next?” she asks, pausing for a second to add, “Peaches! Go see Peaches!” We try to move closer but clearly, the organizers underestimated the draw of Miss Winehouse who is one heavy rotation on indie 103. The sides of the Gobi tent bulge and spread .
7:06 p.m. RUFUS WAINWRIGHT. At this point my attempt to be fashionable and wear wedges goes proverbially south, I decide I need the additional two inches to see over the crowd and sacrifice comfort. The bottoms of my soles feel like they are peeling off. Ruffus open to big applause, wait! That's not Rufus at the piano. Some spiky haired dude is tickling the ivory, and we all know Rufus doesn't use gel. Rufus eventually comes out in a PJ/Muslim/Hoodie floor length thing, his chuck taylors peeking out, he plays Hollywood Is Over, the takes his place at he baby grand, I hate these tents, and find myself thinking of the small earthquake that hit 29 Palms yesterday, 3.3. on the richter scale and wonder if my last moments will be spent listening to Rufus. Who now is taking off his weird floor length parka. He's wearing red white and blue striped tiny boy shorts with matching collar. “I feel like a faggy Sinatra” he says. Ok, if I'm gonna die soon, I'd like to to be to something a bit harder, a bit more masculine. I run to catch Peaches who is just starting at the Outdoor Stage. I kick off my killer shoes to facilitate this.
7:35 p.m. PEACHES. She's wearing a signature pleather one-piece, a metal mask and is holding a lightsaber like an erect penis. Her first number is Impeach Bush, and she sings it, I guess we call it that, while standing on the kick drum. She's playing with a few chicks from La Tigre, the crowd thinks they're young boys, which I guess I did too, mistaking the faint mustache for a sign of prepubescence. I'd love to stay, Peaches is getting hotter by the minute, but the Jesus and Mary Chain is starting in 10 minutes…
Overheard: dude! How old are you? (to the chick with the mustache from Le Tigre) You're like 12!
7:55 p.m. JESUS AND MARY CHAIN. They open with Happy When I Pray and Candy Talk. His voice hasn't changed that much, and neither has his stage presence. This isthe original shoegazer band, he's 48, but with his mellow stage presence he can play til 80 without having to change much, unlike Mick Jagger. He caresses the mike and stares intently out into the audience, and the rumors were true, SCARLETT JOHANSON joined them singing back-up in a paisley shift dress and a fedora on Just Like Honey. “Miss Scarlet Johanson, I love her,” he said as she left the stage. It was hard to really hear her chops, she only sang one word “honey.”
9:01 p.m. Jarvis Cocker. They started a late, but the crowd, die hard fans, could care less. He's sort of like Leonard Cohen, not the greatest voice, but poetic, and those who get him kind of think they're better than those who don't, that they're keyed into something special the rest of us don't understand. Personally, I just wanted to hear Common People. Some people must have thought the same thing, cause we left in droves to the VIP tent. Though I did overhear a fashionable chick say, “He better NOT do any Pulp covers.”
9:40 p.m the first time I sat down for more than 5 minutes. My feet won't go. They burn.
10:00 p.m. I eat my first bit of food all day, a slice of pizza. I want so bad to see Sonic Youth, but I can't walk back to the outdoor stage, I can't.
11:00 p.m Bjork. Judith did a great job posting about this already. When I got into the photo pit to take pictures it was impossible to move. Another photographer commented it was the most photographers he's seen in a pit in COachella ever Bjork wore a corset with bones on it and multi-colored dress. The neon female chorus horn section with flapping fans was very dramatic, especially when the first song was her new single Earth Intruders. It felt like we were being take over. I sat through the set because of the shoe situtation and towards the end we left to try to beat the crush to the parking lot.
12:00 a.m. We are wandering aroud the parkign lot, I'm hobbling, looking for our car, all of the cars are covered in dust, and becuas eof the lack of lighting you can't tell one from the other.
12:20 a.m. I find my Jeep.
1:30 a.m. We are stuck in the Jeep, no cars are moving. We've sat for an hour, people have given up turned their cars off right in the driving lanes and some have gone to sleep.
2:00 a.m. Two ambulances race toward the Polo Field and we finally move.
3:30 a.m. I finally get home to go to bed.