The perils of parking at Coachella

To someone who has never been
to Coachella, it might be easy to laugh at the notion of someone not being able
to find his or her car.

But with six parking lots and thousands of cars, it
actually can be easier than you think.

Last year I was among one of
those people wondering around the parking lot looking for the car.

But this year my sister and
I vowed that it wouldn’t happen to us again.

Apparently many made the same
promise because this time around I noticed several cars with balloons. That
could only mean one thing: they were using them as markers to find their cars at the end of the night.

I have to give them props for being
innovative, my sister and I based our car-locating efforts on landmarks.

Needless to say one of those
was a balloon, and we found the car in a manner of minutes.

Next year I’ll probably bring
a balloon.

That’s if I can remember.

Peter. Bjorn and John at final day of Coachella

The bongos came out during
Peter, Bjorn and John’s set and that could only mean one thing, they were
getting ready to play “Young Folks” or the “whistle song,” as described by a
fan at the third day of Coachella.

Besides bringing out the
instruments, the trio also brought out some guests for a couple of their songs
during their set.

The band, which is best
known for their single “Young Folk,” brought out fellow Swedish singer Lykke
Li for the performance. Just prior to that they had brought out Robyn for their latest single “Nothing to Worry About.”

The group was making the
leap from a tent performer in 2007 to the main stage where they were on Sunday.

“We played two years ago
but this better,” Peter said. He was talking about how Paul McCartney had
played that very stage just two days before.

They played several songs
from their new album “Living Thing,” opening up their set with “Just the Past.”

But almost immediately into
their set, the crowd was thrown off with the sound. The bass was so high your
body vibrated.

That prompted a fan nearby
to say that’s “a little more bass than I need.”

But the fans didn’t seem to
faze by it and just continued singing along with Peter.

As the indie band got into
their second song, “It don’t move me,” a group of fans moved their way through
the crowd waving a Swedish flag.

From “Lay it down” to “It
beats me,” off their 2005 album Falling Out, they seemed to be having fun. I enjoyed watching Peter, who was
either dancing in place or bopping around. At one point Peter went down the
stage and danced with the fans.

But the inevitable occurred
during their set, a “fan” asked who was who?

It’s almost as if Peter had
heard her, or they must get that question a lot because he introduced himself
and his bandmates.

“This is Peter,” he said of
himself, “this is Bjorn and this John.”

My Bloody Valentine was spectacular

but it took people a little while to warm up to them (they were on the main Coachella stage before The Cure).

Unlike the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, there was plenty of room to find a seat (at least according to people who sat near me) but I didn’t mind because I was able to see them from up close.

Guitarists and singers Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher were both tremendous, as was the whole band, but hard to hear above the fabulously loud music 

It was, at least to me, ironic when I walked to Public Enemy and their first song was “Bring the Noise” because My Bloody Valentine is the definition of that.

The group actually made some people in the audience put their hands over their ears on their last song where they thrashed along continuously for more than 10 minutes   


Public Enemy on the outdoor theatre

performed their entire “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back” album and despite some small snafus with the live bass and drums (I wish they would have stuck to the original beat of “Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos” the performance was tremendous.

Flavor Flav stage dove three times and one guy ahead of me pointed out it was the first time he had ever seen anyone stage dive feet first but I didn’t see any injuries.

One weird thing was during the instrumental parts of the songs Professor Griff would should “Obama Deception” over and over.

Chuck D seemed to support President Barack Obama, as he essentially asked what they thought of his winning, while he warned the crowd to think for themselves. 

Before the “Black Steel” song he asked people to remember “R and B” or former presidents Reagan and Bush, and how they wiretapped.

The group, after performing “Party For Your Right To Fight,” went into “Welcome To The Terrordome” and “Fight The Power” which actually caused the set to go long.

I don’t think people minded.  

The Cure is on stage …

and just got done with a great sounding “Pictures of You” on the main Coachella stage.

Robert Smith’s voice sounds great and the band’s strong basslines and crisp drums sound really clear while the stage lighting is what you would expect in dark purples and blues.

The Cure is now on “Lullaby,” which caused the crowd here to break out in loud cheers.     

Watch Coachella at AT & T Blueroom from your home

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Some prices and times at Coachella festival

$7 for a barbecue chicken sandwich

$2 for 16.9-ounce bottled water

$4 for 20-ounce Gatorade

A one and a half hour wait on Jefferson St. in Indio to get to the Coachella festival Saturday afternoon (this is the amount of time it takes to get from Ontario to Indio on a good day)

One hour to find my car in Lot B Saturday night as I did not remember where in Lot B it was. Note: This same problem happened to me last year after Prince’s performance

$7 for a 12-ounce beer

Anyone else … feel free to put more facts in … 

Literally stuck in the mud at Coachella

Believe it or not, there were 12 vehicles stuck in the mud at Coachella Saturday night.

“Even the tow truck got stuck,” said Indio Police Department spokesman Ben Guitron. “We had a water leak in an irrigation area. How do you predict a leak, that then turns into a guiser?” he said.

Eventually, police were able to clear the scene, Guitron said.

“It keeps us on our toes,” he said. “It’s like figuring out a Rubik’s Cube. How fast and efficient can you do it where the public feels comfortable and not experiencing any major issues.”

More random Coachella thoughts

Coachella at night is fun to watch because people will sit and watch a flaming art piece called Serpent Mother instead of watching a headliner (which I saw Saturday night during the Killers) which my colleague Liset Marquez reminded me of today.

Not that there’s anything wrong with this but it just seems like a waste of a $100 one-day ticket or $269 three-day ticket to basically watch a serpent type thing on fire.

I think you could light a plastic dinosaur on fire for much cheaper.



Peter Bjorn and John

brought out Lykke Li to perform “Young Folks” on the Coachella stage for their Sunday performance at the Coachella stage. I didn’t see this (I was writing my festival story here at the press tent) but my colleague Liset Marquez caught it and texted me the scoop.