By LP Hastings
By Michael Goldstein
By R. Scott Moxley
By Gustavo Arellano
By Gustavo Arellano
By Matt Coker
By Nick Schou
By Bethania Palma Markus
Photo by Jenny LynnIt was the best of times; it was the worst of times, except when the Pixies played, and then it was the best of times again. And then we were sweaty and hung over and peeling off runnels of dead white skin and holding our cell phones over our head to fish for a signal and pleading with security guards and tip-toeing through shit with hole-y Converse and seeing our reflection in Oakley sunglasses and recoiling like the Elephant Man—god, are we that FUCKING BLOATED!—and then we couldn't take it anymore, and we straight-armed some kid with braces out of our way and yanked open our car door and drove and drove, and when we walked into the Taco Bell on Highway 111, it was like we'd just gotten out of a hostage situation: food was $2, and the toilets flushed. So it was the worst of times again. But complaining about Coachella is the best part of the whole thing: the privilege of a proud survivor. Ten minutes after getting a ticket, we saw a 12-year-old girl barf through a fence. That plus the Pixies was worth $80 easy.
SATURDAY, MAY 1: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF COACHELLA9:30 a.m.: Tuning in to the local rock radio stations. Creed lives forever. 12:15 p.m.: Dios are balls-roastingly fantastic, though their opening set marks the first of many eye-rolling, state-the-obvious pronouncements in the 98-degree heat when front man Joel Morales steps to the mic and yelps, "It's fucking hot!" 12:48 p.m.:Shortly after arriving, we begin hearing rumors about a "special surprise guest" who'll be playing after Radiohead—Jane's Addiction? David Bowie? Morrissey and/or the ever-present Smiths reunion gossip? 2:12 p.m.: I headed toward the toilet farthest from me, banking on the theory that people are lazy and would rather not walk an extra 10 feet to a cleaner toilet. Who knew? I thought I'd be the Christopher Columbus for this particular port-a-potty; instead, I was barely Cabeza De Vaca. Not only was there a very healthy pile of fecal matter, but TWO used tampons. At 2 in the afternoon. Coachella was open for two hours and already this lonely tail-end toilet was clogged with tampons. Two women? So quickly? Or rather a woman with two vaginas? 2:25 p.m.:Mexico's Kinky fired off a fabulous set of rock & roll—screw the "en español" part—full of driving beats and punk rock accordion players. The heat melts away half the other superlatives we can muster, and the sunblock smearing up our notepad takes care of the rest. 4:32 p.m.: The hardest thing to do at Coachella is to get drunk. The planning that went into alcohol distribution was brilliant: Where else can one choose to enjoy either a beer or a performance by your favorite band, but not both simultaneously? I'll tell you where: the Beer Garden! And I wasn't even able to get drunk, despite spending enough to purchase a small portable television. Some hard work belting beers would get me buzzed. "Okay! Now I can go enjoy that mediocre band everybody likes!" I would think. Then I'd sweat out all the booze, and my brain went from soft and light, which I like, back to hard and heavy, like normal, which I hate. "Every time I see you, you're drinking something," said my friend, which is something I hear all the time anyway. "Yeah," I'd say sadly. "But this time, it's not working." 4:45 p.m.:Beck, a last-minute add, is playing the sweltering Gobi Tent, and it seems like everybody wants to be there. It's so packed that the tent is bursting, and there's a crush of bodies trying to get in—if you're late getting there, you should probably forget it. Turns out, though, that he's doing an acoustic set, which a lot of people don't seem to want to stick around for (especially in this swelter-storm), unlike his electro-gizmo-whatzit shows. Beck also has to compete with the bass-heavy sounds coming from the Sahara Tent and the occasional emergency vehicles that drive past, blaring their sirens. Two songs in, we notice another massive wave of bodies leaving. 5:17 p.m.: "This is like Woodstock," says one girl, drinking a beer. "Except without all the rapes." "Oh," says her friend. "You mean the old-timey Woodstock."
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