Coachella: Top 5

Picking my favorite day is a tough one. If I had to pick a favorite day, I would have to go with Saturday. Really tough decision, but I think I crossed off a lot of bands I wanted to see off my list on that day. Sunday had the bigger names (Rage, Placebo, Roots, Kaiser Chiefs, Tapes N Tapes) and ultimately, the best show, but I think Saturday was my favorite day. The Black Keys, RHCP, Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon, Peter Bjorn and John, Hot Chip, and The Fratellis (I do wish I would have been able to catch LCD Soundsystem and !!!, but that lineup is pretty impressive even without those names). OK, on to the big list. The best five shows I saw at the festival.


#5: Peter Bjorn and John

Honestly, this band got me going crazy. After they played Young Folks, their semi-popular hit that has been on a few TV shows, commercials, and all over the internet, the crowd literally disappeared. That left a nice little lane for yours truly to run right up to the front and get some excellent shots of the band. Not to mention I was able to really connect with the music. They hit everything from the intimate acoustic version of “Amsterdam” to the jamming “Objects of My Affection”. The tail end of their set was the best. They played all my favorite songs from their new album and closed with Up Against the Wall, the chilled out droning that ends in detonation. What a wonderful set.



#4: Explosions in the Sky

If you were able to read my review of their latest album, you will know I have really connected with this band. The reason they made the top five goes back, again, to the fact that the timing is perfect. This band is all I have been listening to as of late, and it was a spectacular show. The raw emotion that these 4 guys played with was unparalleled at this festival. It was definitely the show with the biggest heart. They played on the main stage which was unexpected, but completely tore it up. As far as the no name little bands were concerned, I doubt it got any better than this.


#3: The Arcade Fire


This band is the best rock art band around. They play with such ferocity and passion. I’ve seen and heard what they can do with their old songs live, but it was a real treat to hear the new songs. This was the first time I have ever seen them, so really both old and new were great for me. It’s just nice to know that they can rock the new songs just as well as they can the old ones. Sadly, I wasn’t able to get any really good shots of the band during this set. Lucky I gave up one the pictures early so I could enjoy the music the entire time.


#2: Placebo


If you had asked me to guess my top 5 shows from Coachella 3 months ago, Placebo would not have made my list. I have loved this band for a long time but have never seen them. This show was almost like a reunion for me. Although they played a lot of new songs (which I didn’t mind a bit) they also hit classics like “Special K”, “Every Me Every You” and “The Bitter End”. This show went above and beyond my expectations. It was a great lead in for Rage and ultimately one of my favorite shows I have seen in a long time. This set just might have made my weekend. A sort of feeling like “Wow, now I’ve seen it all.” But I hadn’t seen it all. There was still one more act to catch (actually 2, we saw Manu Chao before Rage)

Below is my favorite picture from Coachella


#1: Rage Against the Machine

This was a storybook concert. Reuniting in their home town after 7 years, these revolutionary socialists got together to speak their mind against the Bush Administration. This wasn’t some Green Day “I don’t like Bush because I said so” speech, this was a solid hour and a half of music that seemed more relevant today than it did 10 years ago. This was epic. This is what reuniting is about. Purpose, reason, fury. They weren’t trying to refill their bank accounts, they were pissed off. And what better way to show it than to get back together in the place where they understand you the most…home. This set was more than a concert. We had been going strong for 3 days. 3 days of music, dancing, screaming, and partying. My body was sore after the first day. At the end of the second day my knee’s were trembling and my back felt like it had been trampled on. But none of that mattered when Rage came onstage. You could see it in the crowd too. After the first 3 songs, the entire crowd was like “Zach we need a breather bro.” Even though we were all half dead, when the next song started, all the jumping, shoving and singing started right along with it. I have been to a lot of shows with a lot of energy. And I am positive I will attend shows in the future with a lot of passion and liveliness, but I don’t think I will ever see a show that had as much strength and enthusiasm as this show. This festival was worth every dime.


~ by dtags21 on May 6, 2007.

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