April 25 – 27, 2008
Empire Polo Field
Indio, Ca 92201
Written by Joshua Williams
Photographed by Amy Davidson
Fans of Gogol Bordello
April 27, 2008 - Day 3
The Shout OUt Louds
We finally made it to the final day. The endurance
test that is Coachella is not to be underestimated.
Make sure to bring a good hat. One that breathes.
Also, before I forget—getting out of there
is the worst. Anyway, the first band we checked
out was Shout out Louds
from Stockholm, Sweden. There is definitely an appreciation
of English Pop, and I really enjoy “Tonight
I have to Leave it”. There are also supporting
their new release, Impossible. It felt like a nice
summer day listening to their set. It seemed to
pair well with the fresh coconuts people were drinking.
I wanted to put vodka in one, but it slipped my
Eugene Hutz of Gogol
Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello
was the utterly amazing Gogol Bordello.
This band has a readily apparent abundance of energy
and presence. Front man Eugene Hutz and Violinist
Sergey Ryabtsev owned the stage, flanked by percussion
dancers and backed by a mean rhythm section. “Start
wearing purple” is still running through my
head. It may never leave. This is a mad gypsy band
capable of inciting a riot if they wish. At this
point in the show, the trip was well worth it. Go
see this band. Whenever the opportunity may express
Sean Penn then made
a speech to the crowd, asking them to join him on
an activist tour. He had bio-diesel busses ready
to take people on the “dirty hands caravan”,
whereas they would meet with other activists along
the way, with the final destination being the city
of New Orleans. I am curious to see the outcome.
My Morning Jacket
Following Mr. Penn’s fifteen
minutes, My Morning Jacket
came on. I like this band in parts and not in others.
Take the song “Evil Urges”, for example.
It has a beautiful intro, but maybe the evil urge
is the one that makes them play that verse. “One
big holiday”, though, is pretty cool. The
verse was exorcised from some Southern Rock festival
circa 1976. I enjoy the flying V guitar being up
there as well on Singer/guitarist Jim James.
And then the final
performance of the festival. The one and only Mr.
Roger Waters. This was one of the best performances
I have ever seen. The set was flawless of course.
He started off with “In the flesh” from
The Wall. Then played all the sing alongs. I wonder
if he gets tired of playing “wish you were
here”. If he does, there was absolutely no
evidence suggesting such a thought.
I was utterly amazed
by the synchronization of the plane to the music.
The plane I’m referring is the one that swooped
down towards the crowd during a song and pulled
up on cue with the crescendo of the music. I wish
I could remember which song, but I don’t.
I don’t know if it was planned, but since
Mr. Waters is a bit of a perfectionist, I imagine
it was. Apparently, it dropped pro-Obama leaflets,
but I didn’t see any. And of course the inflatable
pig made it out. Painted by Graffiti artist Slick,
and asking the crowd to choose Obama. The handlers
lost control and it floated away from the crowd,
to be discovered a few days later, ripped to shreds
and dead in the desert.