As is the case with any festival, the time will inevitably come when you have to pick between two bands you want to see that are playing at the same time. Generally, I’d say splitting your time between both is the way to go, but in the end that’s easier said than done. This past weekend I had to make some tough decisions and pick one artist over another (and in some cases, over yet another). Since everyone’s musical taste is differs, some of you will disagree; leave your gripes in the comments and be done with it. Here are the shows that presented me with musical dilemmas and logistical nightmares.
Metric (4:45-5:35) Alt-J (5:20-6:05) vs. Of Monsters and Men (5:45-6:35)
We started our day with Metric — a nice chill way to kick off Coachella. As we soaked in the outdoor stage atmosphere on the lawn and went through the customary “oh’s, ah’s, and oh my god’s,” we also familiarized ourselves with the lay of the land. Since I just popped my Coachella cherry, I’m not familiar with how it’s been laid out in the past, but I found that the general crowd flow, positioning, stage distance, bathroom access and concessions were all crafted by logistical gods. Next we went to Alt-J in the Mojave tent, making it just in time for the start of their set. They were fantastic and incorporated a lot more of the ground-thumping bass in their live show that shines on their album. We left them a couple songs early to go see Of Monsters and Men. This was our first mistake.
Band of Horses (9:30-10:20) vs. Purity Ring (9:40-10:30)
We left a disappointing Yeah Yeah Yeahs set early (more on that later), and found good positioning for Band of Horses’ set. I didn’t really have a preference between the two but I’m glad we started with BOH; later I heard conflicting reports from the Purity Ring show, and Band of Horses really connected with the audience during their performance. To put it in perspective: some of the people in my group had never heard their music before and had planned to move on to Wolfgang Gardner, needless to say, a drastically different kind of show. When the time came to make moves, everyone unanimously decided that it was too good to leave. That never happened again.
Earl Sweatshirt (12:05-close) vs. Bassnectar (11:50-close)
We decided on Bassnectar. Even though I had already seen him twice, I gave in to the rest of the group who had never witnessed him live. Compromise is a crucial aspect in fully enjoying any festival, folks. Bassnectar certainly delivered some succulent bass, and the lights in the Sahara tent are face-meltingly INSANE, but I did feel guilty that I didn’t see Earl Sweatshirt. Even more so when I found out that Tyler the Creator and Flying Lotus joined him. Bummer.