Coachella 2013: Day 3
A wind storm made the third day of Coachella a different experience. Handkerchiefs were selling like hot cakes. Hot cakes were selling pretty well too. After a long night of partying at the Neon Carnival my entire body ached. This was the final day of Coachella though. The day when thousands of festival goers pick themselves up and carry their hangovers onto the field for just one more day of music.
Still though, it wasn’t until 5pm that I found myself rolling onto the festival grounds, still blinking rapidly to try and shake away my double vision. The wind was beginning to pick up, and for the first time that weekend I felt a bit cold. The wind was also blowing all sorts of earthly products into my face, which was giving me and many other festival goers intense allergies. Before today, I would have attributed red eyes to insane amounts of marijuana being smoked everywhere you went. Today, the red eyes and runny noses were the perfect ad campaign for Allegra. As the sun went down the cold forced me into the merch line to buy a hoodie. An hour and fifteen minutes later, I was finally ready to start day three of Coachella.
I rushed over to try and catch a glimpse of Tame Impala, but arrived just in time to watch the crowd disperse. I quickly made a b-line to the Mojave tent where La Roux would soon be taking stage. The red hair of vocalist Elly Jackson was so bright it could have been seen from outer space as she slowly wandered on stage singing For The Kill. Every time I hear the song, the images from the music video directed by our very own Geremy Jasper and Georgie Greville of Legs. Jackson’s ensemble was one of my favorites from Coachella this year. She looked like she walked straight out of a Rick Astley music video. Her pitch black circle glasses added to her uniform reminiscent of the 80’s apocalyptic sci-fi thriller Blade Runner. She arched her back, swayed her head and snapped her fingers while she skipped and sang to La Roux’s new wave tunes.
The best part of La Roux’s set: Usually I hate it when people sing along at concerts, and during La Roux I was surrounded by a choir of superfans that knew every word; but their voices could get me down… I was too busy getting down.
After La Roux I stayed in my grooving space and got ready for the moment that I had been waiting for all weekend… The Faint. Never have I ever dance as hard at a concert as I did when I saw The Faint perform in Vegas six years ago. I was ready to try and outdo myself though. They tok the stage and immediately put the macabre vibration out into the air with the slow, heavy intro to the song Control. As the intro ended and the music hit maximum velocity, the entire crowd exploded into a giant dance orgy. I thought I was going crazy on the dance floor until I noticed a short girl to my left going absolutely fucking bonkers over the music. Upon closer observation I realized that the short stack of dance moves was Mae Whitman of Perks of Being a Wallflower. I was impressed.
The best part of The Faint’s set: When they played their awesome B-Side track Take Me To The Hospital.
By the time I left The Faint, Wu-Tang Clan clan had already begun their performance. Although they were the headliners for the night, it was like all of Coachella had gathered to watch the reunited Wu perform. I was sincerely hoping that they would resurrect Old Dirty Bastard, but I guess Dirt McGirt had more pressing issues up in heaven.
The best part of the Wutang Clan’s set: Notorious for making arrangements to perform and then backing out at the last minute, the best part of Wu-Tang Clan’s performance is that they showed up at all. Truth be told though, it was a lot cooler seeing them perform at Milk during Made fashion week.
Truth be told, I am not a huge fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers. The few songs that I like, I really like, but I could never find myself listening to more than two songs in a row. I seemed to be the only one at Coachella that wasn’t a superfan of them though. An enormous crowd amassed rather quickly in preparation for The Peppers performance. Girls with lyrics scribbled across their stomach passed a joint around next to me. Patches of people were already singing their songs before the show had started. One security guard could not contain his excitement as he traded stories of Pepper’s concerts long since past with the young kids next to me.
The band took the stage as a lone saxophone wailed in the background. The cool part about watching a band that has been around as long as The Red Hot Chili Peppers have, is that they’ve got their shit down pact. Each member of the band, including their drummer who looks like he could be Will Ferell‘s twin brother, is a rockstar through and through.
A sweaty, shirtless Flea bounced around the stage like Tiger from Winnie-the-Pooh while his mouth morphed into awkward shapes across the jumbo screen. Anthony Kiedis held the microphone like it was an object of sexual desire. In typical Kiedis fashion, the singer wore a trucker hat that simply read Off! and a long tailed tuxedo suit jacket. John Frusciante, who is definitely my favorite of The Peppers, swayed back and forth with his eyes closed and his mouth open wide. Frusciante’s attachment to the music he was playing seemed almost religious, like someone raising their hands up to the air while singing gospel music in church.
As they played, I started to realize why so many people were connected to The Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s and their music. The band’s music feels exactly like Southern California. They have been telling the story of Los Angeles for 30 years now and have built themselves into the fabric of the city.
Their songs feel like waiting outside of a club on Sunset, or walking across the overpass in the hot sun because your car broke down. The songs can feel like being young, tan and sexy on the beach or isolated and lonely as you ride home on the bus all alone after acting class.
The best part of The Red Hot Chili Peppers set: Flea’s voice. His voice is this rough, nasally modulation that comes out of his mouth sounding like a squeaking mouse screaming. You can’t help but love it.