The next morning though there was no time to stay in bed and nurse my head - we had BART trip to the airport, then a car to rent and a LONG drive to make to the Coachella festival, just outside of Palm Springs.
We (my bf and I and two FNM fan/friends) took turns driving on the epic journey, stopping only for food and gas and getting lost several times.
Turn-offs in California just aren't well-marked and despite our vow to NOT go through LA, we ended up accidently doing that anyway. Pasadena traffic at rush-hour is NOT fun.
We did make it eventually but it was about 8 at night. Not exactly the "nice, relaxing day in Palm Springs" I first had in mind. Oh well. Next time.
Next morning of course was COACHELLA, DAY ONE. We headed off to the festival, which was about 10 min by car...only the traffic was seriously backed up to our hotel. We took a side route and got there quickly.
Then came time to wait to get into the parking lot...luckily it didn't take us too long, though we were placed in the farthest lot from the venue. I heard of other people waiting for HOURS to get into the parking areas - people were literally running out of gas, cars were overheating, etc. So we were lucky as we could be.
So after an extremely long walk to the festival area, we were in a clusterfuck crowd of people in non-existent lines for about an hour. And it was hot out. Hot, hot, heat. I don't mind crowds but when you can't see a way out and you're standing for an hour and it's 90 degrees...well, then it's annoying.
Turns out there were MANY problems that day... scanners weren't working, volunteers ran out of wristbands, tons of people were sold fake-tickets, people were climbing the fence and breaking in, etc.
Anyway, after getting our wristbands finally (and seeing about five different girls collapse from the heat... and probably drugs, even though it was 2PM) and passing through TWO security checkpoints (they confiscated my 100 calorie bag of almonds!) we were finally let into the Polo Fields.
First stop for me was to hit up the merch table. They all sell out by nighttime and I wanted a band shirt. I picked up a Them Crooked Vultures tank top (one of my fav bands) and promptly put it on ontop of my dress. The outfit I had picked out looked fine back at home, but now that I was here, it looked unflattering and out of place. Besides... gotta show my band support!
First show we caught was a bit of Street Sweeper Social Club on the main stage, but the main draw for us was Dillinger Escape Plan in the Gobi tent which melted my ears off. They were amazing, such showmen and I swear their singer was a monkey.
I was secretly hoping that Mike Patton would come on stage and sing because he did during their Irony is a Dead Scene EP but alas that didn't happen.
Despite the fact that Mike Patton was actually standing in the VIP section to the side of the stage and watching them!! But I guess he's allowed to not be in every single band and I'm glad he was enjoying the show.
After DEP, we wandered around a bit, overwhelmed by the crowd (they sold an extra 15K tickets than normal which wasn't a good thing), ate some food (huge baked yam with brown sugar and butter), drank some beer and watched The Specials on the mainstage.
Then came one of the bands I was most excited about seeing: Them Crooked Vultures.
What happens when you combine three of my favourite bands together (Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters and Led Zep)? TCV. Though the album is very QOTSA (which is one reason why I love it) it's got that John Paul Jones Led Zep touch.
And of course, seeing three of my most fav musicians on stage at once was nothing short of amazing: John Paul Jones on Bass, Josh Homme on guitar and vocals and Dave Grohl on drums. They are both SO very good at what they do. Homme's voice is lovely, Grohl's drumming is outer worldly, it's that good, and JPJ plays every instrument known to man and does it so smoothly, so effortlessly.
And the sound was incredible. JPJ's bass and Grohl's drums just reached out to you and shook you. It made such songs as Gunman (OMG, SO GOOD), Mind Eraser and Scumbag Blues (JPJ's bass ...speechless) stand the fuck out. My only complaint was that they played Spinning in the Daffodils when they should have played Reptiles or Elephants, but not biggie. I'm sure I'll catch them again soon.
If you're so inclined, watch this video, the jamming beginning to Spinning in the Daffodils (sorry shitty sound) complete with moody, blowing fog machine:
After the excellence of TCV, we checked out Little Dragon for a bit in the Gobi. I really liked her on the new Gorillaz album and she was really neat to watch live. It was a great set to catch and a nice surprise.
Then finally, as the day was drawing to an end we caught Jay-Z.
Highly cool to watch. I'm not a rap person, but I did enjoy his latest CD and though Rhianna didn't come out to do Run This Town, Alicia Keyes did come out to do Empire State of Mind, and his Canuck buddy Drake was there too.
Even freakin wife Beyonce came out for a duet... by then though we had made our way back to the car to beat the crowd and rest up for Muse and Faith No More the next day!