So I wake up Friday morning with my ears still ringing from the fuzzy-psychedelic-fantastic Black Keys performance I caught the night before at the Glass House. With happy butterflies dancing around in my tummy, I’m stoked to endure three more full-days of ringing ear syndrome as Friday, April 17 marks the first day of Coachella 2009. Celebrating 10 glorious years of this premier music festival, probably the world’s best, Goldenvoice put on a stellar line-up and I was adamant about seeing all the bands on my Coachooser. Ha! That’s a laugh now.
Unfortunately, I got a very late start on my first day of Coachella. Being the nice friend that I am, my buddy’s flight was delayed by several hours and I had to wait for his arrival before we embarked on our journey to the devil’s armpit. Needless to say, I missed my beloved Black Keys performance. But from what I heard from a few friends that attended their show with me the night before, it was nothing in comparison. I guess the sound wasn’t that great either, which I can totally understand because I encountered some pretty shotty sound on the Coachella stage during a couple late afternoon / early evening performances. The Black Keys are made for an intimate sound stage, however I’ve seen them rock it out like it’s the end of the world on a couple large stages.
Somewhere in-between exploring our luxurious diggs, pre-partying, getting lost and then getting stuck in the mad Coachella traffic, my Havaianas finally touched the Empire Polo Fields (Coachella) right as Morrissey was taking center stage. Rolling about 15 deep, we marked our territory for the weekend in the VIP area and commenced on a Coachella weekend to go set to go down in the books!
Vodka/Red Bull in hand, friends all-around and a big smile on my face I was in pure bliss. The Moz was so beautiful in his radiant essence as he serenaded us with songs from both his solo career, and The Smiths. Pushing 50, “this charming man” played songs such as “Girlfriend in a Coma,” “Ask Me” and “How Soon Is Now,” as though he were in his prime. Apparently, the British Sinatra actually stormed off stage for a hot-minute due to the stench of red meat on the barbi! “I can smell burning flesh and I hope to God it’s human” he said as he left the stage midway through “Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others.” But no worries, the Mozz returned in full effect.
Now onto the highlight of Day 1, or should I say the highlight of Coachella 2009? Sir Paul McCartney represented!!! I came in with a bit of a negative mindset towards his performance but he most definitely turned it around into the most positive of the whole event. The man was amazing! And at his age, how in the world did he play just about three hours and some four or five encores? Whatever fountain of youth pill he’s been taking, I want in on.
McCartney was epic and I am so grateful that I got to see this legendary Beatle perform. The universal feeling all around was like a natural high. From toddlers to sweet old couples fit to be my grandparents, McCartney united the crowd from every age group. Yes, he did play some of his tunes from his latest album “The Fireman,” but he killed it with his Beatles and other classic pieces. There was Wings’ “Band on the Run” and “Live and Let Die” (with fireworks, yet) and the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” “Paperback Writer,” Hey Jude” and “Get Back,” as well as a quite emotional mid-set “My Love” at the piano, in memory of late wife Linda.
I can’t explain the flurry of emotion running through me during his set. And I couldn’t have shared it with a better person but the one person I used to chill out to “Revolver” with while we smoked some greens and ate pizza in my junior high bedroom. McCartney evoked such sweet nostalgia, uncontrollable happiness where I danced till my feet got soar, all the way to bitter sweet melancholy as I tried to hold back the tears. It was just beautiful, the music, the feelings and the reality. Additionally, the fireworks added to all this glorious emotion. Check it below: “Live and Let Die” with fireworks spectaculoso!
So who was on my Day 1 Coachooser you ask?
- M. Ward
- The Black Keys
- Franz Ferdinand
- Ghostland Observatory
- Silversun Pickups
- Paul McCartney
- The Presets
- The Crystal Method
Who did I see of that list?
- Paul McCartney
- The Presets (Saw about five minutes worth and the sound was way to loud by the way)
Here’s a few pics of Coachella Day 1: