Coachella and Crew, Day Three
In April of 2010, Patrik Sandberg traveled to Palm Desert, CA in order to attend the Coachella music festival, at which he kept a text-and-photo diary for V Magazine. This is part three of that diary.
Jeremy Scott’s party had been suitably mythic. It ended–in my memory–when a naked reveler, who shall remain nameless, calamitously shattered the party’s centerpiece: an ice statue bearing Scott’s likeness that had been lording over the festivities from the center of the pool. She apologetically held up its disembodied rear and screamed “HEY Jeremy, I have your ass!” to thunderous laughter. It goes without saying that the following day had everybody feeling a bit tired.
At the festival, Deerhunter were finishing up a spacey and hypnotic set to an entranced crowd. When I finally had the guts to approach one of my tween idols, Julian Casablancas, he told me he was about to go on and to come over and watch him. I obeyed, and became quickly enamored with his backing band, which boasted two incredible drummers. They launched into The Strokes’ “Hard to Explain”, sending new residents of the Mojave Tent into hysterics. Julian finished up the set down in the midst of the crowd, and I decided to join Christopher Owens of Girls and his girlfriend, Hannah Hunt of Dominant Legs, in the tent nextdoor to check out Charlotte Gainsbourg. Underwhelmed, I retreated to the band trailers and formally met Mr. Casablancas and his bandmates, who had only a few moments to chat before heading over to see Phoenix.
Once we reached the golf carts to the Outdoor Stage, security told me I had to cash my beer, and Julian began to scream “CHUG IT! CHUG IT!” I’ve heard that Julian no longer drinks, so this must have been a vicarious experience. This being the probable case, I felt it my duty to comply. I met up with Actually Huizenga and we took a ferry over to what turned out to be a closed backstage, so we watched from the sidelines with Aggy Deyn and some friends from the label.
Misfortune would have it that the latest casualty, and greatest tragedy, of the Icelandic volcano crisis was Gary Numan, whose set I’d been looking forward to seeing since the festival lineup had been announced. Luckily, London’s The Big Pink stepped in as perfect rock’n’roll heroes to save the day. Milo Cordell, Robbie Furze, and their live bandmates Akiko Matsuura and Leopold Ross stepped seemingly out of the ’90s to churn out music so loud it slapped the audience like wind, while blinding lights stunned us into pure and total synæsthesia. Tracks like “Velvet” and “Dominos” achieved a new animus, live. Ross’s t-shirt, beneath his constant, throttling head-bang of shoulder length hair, spelled out a comparative state of bliss: “SAFE IN HEAVEN, DEAD.” No status update could describe Coachella in more perfect terms.