there were 3 big differences this year as opposed to last year. one was that i did not drink way too much on the thursday night that i arrived out there. we still went out for sushi and tied one on, but i was careful to not go too big. last year the thursday night we got out there, we ended up doing shots (!!) late night and i was seriously hung over for the rest of the weekend, which sucked. this year was way better. the second difference was the way they had the festival set up this year; the only ways to get in and out required INSANELY LONG WALKS. when you've been working all day, then had a few beers and seen a few bands and you're just completely over it, walking for two miles in the dusty dark is NO FUN. no fun at all. the last big difference between this year and last: flat stanley.
my sister's kids have sent me their flat stanleys in the past, so i knew what to expect when our nephew lou's was en route. i figured i'd bring him into the radio station, talk about him on the air (and send the audio of that back with him) and take a few pictures. but this year, he arrived the afternoon before i was leaving for the desert, so i decided to bring him with me. i was silly excited because i am nerdy like that. i figured i'd just start by taking him to the festival with us each night, and see what happened. but flat stanley ended up coming everywhere with us; he came to wristband check-in, he played golf in the backyard, and he hung out with almost every band that came to the house. sometimes, he acted as an icebreaker when bands first arrived; he gave me a reason to start chatting with people, which is nice sometimes when band members are shy or the situation just feels a little awkward. almost no one had heard of him but after i explained that it was for my nephew lou's 2nd grade project, every single person was up for taking a picture with him. by the end of the weekend, i was so grateful i'd had him there with me and honestly, the flat stanley stuff was one of the highlights of my coachella experience. stan had a big weekend!
stan with the hives
stanley at the festival
with the awesome merrill garbus of tune-yards
with pat carney of the black keys, friday night main stage headliners!
aside from the ridiculous zig-zaggy way the coachella people were routing us in and out of the venue (through the campsite, past the shuttle buses, across huge fields of nothing but sand, you get the picture - they even had entire blocks blocked off to pedestrians! so so so lame), the rest of the weekend was great. we'd spend all day at the house, with my boss in charge of breakfast and cocktails and our promo director adam in charge of early dinners; bands came through like we had a revolving door, for interviews and performances, and pretty much across the board this year, every artist was friendly and every performance blew our minds. during my saturday show (10a-2p) the bands came through so fast & furious - one band would get up off the couch and another would sit down - that i didn't even get to eat or get up to pee for my entire shift! it went by so fast but when 2 o'clock rolled around, i had to go to the bathroom so badly and i was so hungry, i was shaking. it was kinda nuts, but worth it. i mean, gary clark jr. alone made it worth it all:
gary clark jr. playing live in the house. he was AMAZEBALLS.
j and i with our new BFF, gary clark jr.
the head and the heart's performance made me get all teary-eyed, for rillz: those harmonies! stunning.
the head and the heart performing on our couch(ella)
i couldn't find the video of this performance, but here it is from their ACL on PBS show:
other than that, j and i had a great time together - the shins, bon iver, & radiohead sets were especially great. we spent a lot of time in the beer gardens with big groups of friends, so we didn't see as many performances as i would have liked. but every year gets a little better, so next year we'll make a point to see some more bands and less beer lines. and i'll try to remember to wear comfortable walking shoes.