Coachella Day Two: The Notorious Late Bloomer | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Coachella Day Two: The Notorious Late Bloomer

Coachella 2009, Day 2

Apr 19, 2009 By Michele Yamamoto Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern TV on the Radio
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The last time I’d checked, it was 94 degrees. We were essentially parked on Jefferson Street, missing Blitzen Trapper as a woman grinded the driver’s side headrest of her friend’s convertible VW bug. As optimistic as day one usually is, day two always seems to get a later start. Ah, Coachella.

Showing up a good four hours later than the previous day, I had managed to miss Blitzen and Dr. Dog only to find out that Glasvegas had gone ahead and cancelled out—a discouraging beginning to say the least. While dejectedly leaving the Mojave tent, however, the Bloody Beetroots were getting started over at the Sahara. So, I did what any normal, frustrated festival goer would do. I danced. The tent was packed and pulsing, moving as one unit, and I was covered in sweat for the first true communal moment of my day.

With an eye on the time, I squirmed my way out of the Sahara tent and onto the field, where the hot air was a cool relief from the boiling atmosphere over the dancing crowd.

By this point, the aggravation of it all began to loosen. How could it not? I stepped carefully around splayed, sunburnt bodies as Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum sang to the field, over a decade removed. “But for now, we are young. Let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see.”

When TV on the Radio marched out in front of their 8-bannered and colorful backdrop, things started looking up. “Things can change so fast,” one of the band members astutely remarked. “Which is why we keep asking you if you’re having a good time.” Yes.

Approaching sundown, people began to drain from the main stage locale and pour over to the Outdoor Theater where Fleet Foxes opened their set with “Sun Giant.” The crowd was subdued, vibing if you will, as the band kidded with the audience in between songs. “I love you is not the proper response.” Even as Thievery Corporation started up on the main stage, the crowd was completely engaged by the Foxes’ voices blending sweetly in the early evening darkness.

M.I.A., of course, culled festival attendees from all corners of the field around 9 p.m. Preceded by dancers covered in strands of glowing light, M.I.A. proclaimed, “Just because I did the Grammys doesn’t mean I’m all sold out.” After calling out the audience to get on stage for a concert-inside-of-a-concert moment, surely sending security and higher ups into a tizzy, the stage was cleared again. “Can we get some order in the place? My baby’s waiting.” Ending with “Paper Planes,” the crowd was on its feet. “The main stage…next time, I’m back in the tent. I prefer the sweat.”

Back to the Outdoor Stage. Jenny Lewis last played the festival as a member of Rilo Kiley. This year, she took the stage as a solo artist. In fact, after explaining that she had written the song for her band, Lewis performed an emotional version of Rilo Kiley’s “Silver Lining” by her lonesome. After the triptych honky tonk of “The Next Messiah”, she and the band closed out the set with her uplifting, “Rise Up With Fists.”

By the end of the evening, the air was still warm. People flowed out of the exits, half-aware of the weekend’s impending close. Today’s the last day and then we go home. Sorry for the haste. Be safe. See you on the field.


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