Coachillin'

by Humberto Guida
05.03.2010

I wanted to be at Coachella bad. Really bad. It was the end of the first night of the hottest music festival in the country and there were two nights left. I was hoping to nab a scalped ticket because, like the procrastinating asshole that I am, I waited past the press credential deadline and the general tickets were sold out – all 75,000 of them. Tickets were exchanged for bands on site and concert-goers were to keep them on all weekend. Fans who couldn’t stay for the entire festival sold their bands on Craigslist.com for upwards of $1,000, which is a little beyond my budget. Besides, people were getting ganked all weekend by counterfeit bands they had bought. One girl sat outside the gates for a whole day sobbing about having spent all her money ($400) on a fake band. As for the old school, over/under the fence move, witnesses told me that several gate crashers got tasered and arrested (not always in that order). How was I going to get inside? Well, I had one last hope.

Her name is Tanya Valiente. She’s known as Electrobunni, a striking model and social impresario who defines what I believe to be modern edgy beauty. She’s a Queen of the Night from my hometown of Miami, which means she’s cunning and resourceful and kicks ass, despite being a tiny beauty with really fair skin and very dark hair. Visit her website to see why some say her looks literally cut like a sharp knife. Along with her fairy godmother (a restaurateur from Reno), Valiente managed to acquire a band for me, a real one, for nothing more than a pack of Lucky Strikes and a bottle of Sailor Jerry Rum (for whom Valiente promotes). From that point on, I was Coachillin’.

Valiente, a music snob, directed the itinerary, which was highlighted by the most demonic performance I’ve seen since I was little heavy metal head. The act was Fever Ray. Holy shit, are they dark. Fever Ray "super fans" wearing dead animals (heads and paws included) as coats. “That was the best nightmare I’ve ever had,” Valiente said.

Little Boots was a hit. She closed her set with a different rendition of "Stuck on Repeat" that literally knocked Valiente’s little boots off (she actually threw them at a really tall person who wouldn’t get out of her way so she could see (she’s really tiny). Next stop was checking out lesser known but major buzzworthy acts like Aeroplane (best DJ set of the festival), Glitch Mob, Bass Nectar, The Gossip, and The xx, the much-hyped indie band from London who had most other performers including Jay Z on the sidelines watching. Everything was going great until Valiente got lost and had a mini-panic attach. But she quickly learned that if you get lost, “follow someone that looks like they know where they are going!”

What of the biggest acts of the week? Some of the big name European artists like Gary Numan didn’t make the festival because of the Icelandic volcano. Old schoolers like Devo were neat, but they also looked 100 years old, “really weird and sad slightly pathetic,” according to Valiente. I have nothing more to say about Phoenix, Jay Z, and LCD Soundsystem other than they were what you’d expect – although MGMT didn’t play “Kids” which is whack. I hate when big bands don’t play their big hits to prove some sort of point or something. Gorrillaz definitely did not disappoint. The combination of five-story HD screens showcasing the animated group backing a live performance was very multimedia. And it’s no doubt that when they got into “Stylo” the entire festival was on the same vibe. 

Beyond the music, the festival provided me with a chance to be silly, since silliness abounded. And when you put me in the middle of 10,000 maniacs, all of whom have lost their heads, I start to mess with people. After a nostalgic set from Afro-centric rappers De La Soul, there was no sound as they switched the stage. I used this opportunity to step onto a chair I stole from the handicapped area in the middle of the field and soap-boxed to the crowd. “Who the hell let all these little kids in?!” I yelled out. Seriously, there were way too many junior high kids, not to mention a number of toddlers and even babies. “Get a sitter,” Valiente added.

One re-occurring maneuver I’d pull is looking over a large crowd and yelling at nobody in particular, “Wellington! Wellington I’m over here! Wellington, Godamnit don’t you see me?! Turn around. No the other way! Wellington!” The other exclamation I couldn’t help myself in calling out actually involved the participation of an entire section of fans near the main stage. “Excuse me! Everyone can I have your attention?!” I yelled at the thousands of people within earshot. They all perked up and listened. “Can you all stop where you are? Don’t move. Now please look around the ground. I lost my contacts!”

As a testament to how nice, and fucked up, everyone was, a section of about a thousand concert-goers politely looked in the grass and dirt for my fictional contact lenses, like they’d be able to find them. I even had a security guard using his flashlight. Man, this would never happen on the East coast, where I’d most likely get my ass kicked from this kind of stupidity. I love California! After about ten minutes I let everyone know that I don’t wear contacts.

The most amusing thing about the whole festival was the outward, blatant inebriation of the crowd. Man, were people tripping out. And the large beer and cocktail gardens were churning out wobbling, sauced concert goers, many of whom have been featured in YouTube clips like this one. Hilariously, the concert tackled this problem by coming up with a solution that turned out to be to tempting for some of the tweakers in attendance. At the entrance/exit, the festival had put up a mail box, re-labeled with a sign that read “Amnesty Box.” It was meant to be a last chance for concert goers to give up their illicit stash by dumping it there on the way in or out, no questions ask.

Of course, nobody dumped any of their stash, not even the paranoid-stricken party people who ate their magic beans before they entered. I know this because when I walked past the receptacle, I shook it and there was nothing in there. Now this didn’t stop one desperate degenerate who apparently couldn’t hold himself back from the hope there were some treats in that thing. After looking around for security, he sprinted up to the Amnesty Box, yanked it out of its foundation and took off for the exit. He got a full 20 feet before a security guard who missed his calling as an NFL safety sweeped in out of nowhere and speared the poor moron to the ground. Next year, a festival spokesperson told me, there will be no Amnesty Box.

Now, despite the fact the aforementioned account of my Coachella Music Festival experience portrays a lucid experience shaped by Electrobunnies and zonked out concert-goers, I actually did get to see one of my favorite artists, regardless of genre – Richie Hawtin, aka Platiskman. As the closing act at the electronic music stage, Hawtin performed as Plastikman, his legendary altar ego, in the United States for the first time in years. For me, his performance was the holy grail of the festival. As is the case with all Plastikman projects, and the essence of Plastikman himself, the first 10 minutes of his set were minimal, repetitive forays into sound. It actually drove away some of the crowd who had arrived to see what the hype surrounding this mysterious virtuoso was about. And just when you thought he was melting into his own repetitive effects, he dropped the funk. It was insane. For more on Hawtin and why Plastikman is to electronic music what Pink Floyd was to rock ‘n roll (plus my exclusive interview with the man himself) tune in next week. 

I can see you… but not like, in a stalker way or anything like that.
- HG

(Photo of Tanya Valiente provided by Blast 'Em Photography)

follow Clubplanet @  
More About Nightlife
Click here for RSS feed
Above & Beyond Announce New Album for 2018
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 15.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica}p.p2 {margin:...
The ClubPlanet Interview: Sir Ivan
Sir Ivan is a musical superhero.  Dressed in a bejeweled cape; his mission is to...
Music for the Masses
A roundup of great house, electro, progressive, pop and vocal dance tracks. Wolfgang...
Music for the Masses
A roundup of great house, electro, progressive, hardstyle and vocal dance tracks. GoodLuck -...
SUNDAY FUNDAY:  True2Life ft Lady Bunny - (For You) I’ll Wait
Sunday Funday:  True2Life ft Lady Bunny - (For You) I’ll Wait - [UNIQUE2RHYTHM] The...
SUNDAY FUNDAY:  Steven Redant & Peyton - Let It Shine
SUNDAY FUNDAY:  Steven Redant & Peyton - Let It Shine - [SWISHCRAFT] “Let it Shine”...
Music for the Masses: Miami Music Edition
Special Miami edition - the best new music we heard on South Beach during Miami Music Week and...
SUNDAY FUNDAY: Afro Bros ft Ghetto Flow - 18+
SUNDAY FUNDAY:   Afro Bros ft Ghetto Flow - 18+ - [SPINNIN] People throw a lot of...
Tags
blog     coachella     dj     electrobunni     feverray     glitchmob     humbertoguida     jayz     la     littleboots     losangeles     mgmt     musicfestival     nightvision     phoenix     tanyavaliente

Log in here to submit a tag

CP Buzz on facebook

Music for the Masses
A roundup of great house, electro, progressive, pop and vocal dance tracks. Wolfgang...
Music for the Masses
A roundup of great house, electro, progressive, hardstyle and vocal dance tracks. GoodLuck -...
SUNDAY FUNDAY:  True2Life ft Lady Bunny - (For You) I’ll Wait
Sunday Funday:  True2Life ft Lady Bunny - (For You) I’ll Wait - [UNIQUE2RHYTHM] The...
SUNDAY FUNDAY:  Steven Redant & Peyton - Let It Shine
SUNDAY FUNDAY:  Steven Redant & Peyton - Let It Shine - [SWISHCRAFT] “Let it Shine”...
Music for the Masses: Miami Music Edition
Special Miami edition - the best new music we heard on South Beach during Miami Music Week and...
Above & Beyond Announce New Album for 2018
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 15.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica}p.p2 {margin:...
The ClubPlanet Interview: Sir Ivan
Sir Ivan is a musical superhero.  Dressed in a bejeweled cape; his mission is to...
The ClubPlanet Interview: Dave Winnel
Doing interviews is a challenge for DJs.  They are often stuck in a room answering the same...
The ClubPlanet Interview: Junior J
Spinnin is the breeding ground for the next generation of DJ talent.   Martin Garrix,...
The ClubPlanet Interview: Rodg
Armin van Buuren called Rodg “one of the best producers of 2016” and when you listen to his album...