Coachella 2009, By The Numbers
Leonard Cohen: hymnal, transcendant
Clubs editor Stacey Anderson sojourned in Indio, California this past weekend for Coachella. She already covered the frantic play-by-play over at our Twitter, so we asked her to wrap-up the festival with a by-the-numbers guide to her three days in the desert. Not to fear, times this year we will likely be blogging about Coachella after this: 0.
- Hours spent in traffic jam to festival: 0.75 - Approximate seconds spent by security checking individual bags for drugs/weapons/bodies: 2-5 - "Yo mama" jokes delivered by People Under the Stairs: 8-10 - Improvement of M. Ward's backing band since Outside Lands Festival (percentage): 100 - Number of times giant claw art installation "Hand of Man" lifted full-sized car from ground and hurled it back down, distracting M. Ward: 4 (smashy smashy!) - Brisk covers of "Roll Over Beethoven" M. Ward unleashed in exasperated response: 1
- Comically wide-brimmed fedoras sported by Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band: 1 (on Conor Oberst) - Elderly pink-haired women with matching zebra-striped canes rocking out in Mystic Valley audience: 1 - Relative punkness of the Hold Steady compared to Sunday openers Fucked Up: 15% - Red velvet chairs and Persian rugs deployed for Leonard Cohen set: 1 and 1 - Estimated Cohen audience capacity: 66% (majority of day's attendees went to Franz Ferdinand...no, seriously) - Elegant composure of the 75-year-old Leonard Cohen as he strolled around stage in fedora: immeasurable - Hymnal, transcendent showstoppers that made everyone, including Leonard Cohen, cry: 1 ("Hallelujah," truly my favorite moment of any Coachella) - Bad-ass torch renditions: 2 ("First We Take Manhattan," "Everybody Knows") - Degree to which his bottomless baritone has weakened: 0 - Audience ecstasy after Cohen set: 100% (inarguable) - Degree to which Morrissey pouted and sulked during main stage set and acted like a little bitch (1-10): 10 (including brief, terrifying foray of toplessness) - Friends who lost wager because Paul McCartney opened with "Jet" instead of a Beatles tune: 5 - Percentage of McCartney set that lagged because no one came for "The Fireman Comes Alive": 33% (the middle, when many people left) - Improved turnaround after halftime when he started playing Beatles and continued for an hour and a half, including a nine-song all-Beatles encore: 110% - Obscure McCartney skiffle covers: 1 (Shakin' Stevens's "Honey Hush") - Gloriously unexpected Beatles tracks deployed: 7 ("Back in the USSR," "Helter Skelter," "A Day in the Life," "Birthday," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)," "Carry That Weight," "The End") - Fucking fireballs that exploded onstage during "Live and Let Die": 4 - Hours it took to exit parking lot: 3
One of the four fireballs that exploded onstage during "Live and Let Die"
- Hours spent in traffic jam to festival: 1.5 - Grinning likeability of Dhani Harrison (George's son, also the singer of thenewno2): 100% - Sound snafus during Blitzen Trapper: countless - Alarming aggression of erstwhile Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer and her Crayola cabaret dancers: 100% - Times Amanda Palmer mocked Morrissey's sense of entitlement the night before and warmed my heart: 2 (including "Leonard Cohen was so humble and modest, and Morrissey was like, 'What! What! What!'") - Accuracy of TV on the Radio set list, as broadcast on mainstage projection screens during set: 0% (no "Family Tree," dammit, but wailing spin on "Red Dress" compensated) - Apparent fatigue of TVOTR singer Kyp Malone, which did not impede his direct command for the sun to set, and it did: 75% - High School Musical stars spotted in V.I.P. lounge: 2 (Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens) - Bands hyped onstage by TVOTR's Tunde Adebimpe: 1 (Gang Gang Dance) - Awesomeness on a scale of 1 too 100 of Thievery Corporation bossa nova/jazz/classical Indian dance party, taking into account sitar, dazed Perry Farrell cameo, and "Lebanese Blonde": 85 - Visceral visual slap of M.I.A. circus (glow-in-the-dark dancers, Tamil newsreel footage, hyperactive "Galang," hurled noise horns): inestimable - Apparent happiness of M.I.A., judging from her laments of "I don't feel comfortable on the main stage. Next time I wanna be in the tents again": diminished - Appropriateness of the shiny, spiffy Killers as follow-up to M.I.A. calamity: 0 - Percentage of bros in Killers audience, and also bros bro-swaying: 95% - Killers songs that were pretty solid: 3 ("Somebody Told Me," "When You Were Young," "Smile Like You Mean It") - Hours it took to exit parking lot: 2.5
- Hours spent in traffic jam to festival: 0.5 - Less-than-hardcore start time of anarchist punks Fucked Up: 2:50pm - Songs before manic mosh pit erupted at Fucked Up: 4 - Ridiculous/awesome antics of singer Damian "Father" Abraham: 3 (bloodletting, bodyslamming, pouring 10 gallons of water over head...followed by sincere, happy thanks to fans for being "not lame") - Sets of Subaru keys Abraham helped soaked front-row fan find after set: 1 (after broadcasting their description through the PA) - Bands I really, really want to be in now: 1 (Fucked Up) - Brawls Brian Jonestown Massacre indulged in: 0 (but not for audience's lack of trying: "Dandy Warhols rule!") - Songs in which singer Anton Newcombe faced audience instead of drum riser: 2 (including best of set, "If Love is the Drug" with Zy Lynn) - SPF Antony was wearing (educated guess): 80 (also sported white caftan and wide, bemused eyes) - Accuracy of Siouxie Sioux/Karen O public correlations, given latter's beaming charisma and giggliness during Yeah Yeah Yeahs mainstage set: 20% - Proximity of enormous eyeball prop over drummer Brian Chase head: 10 feet? (precarious) - Energy level of band, relative to past performances: 60% (though "Zero" was astounding) - Degree to which the Horrors were petulant, uninspired showmen: infinite ("You know where I'd rather be right now," whined singer Faris Badwan in reference to concurrent My Bloody Valentine set. Us too, buddy.) - Overpowering white light ferocity of My Bloody Valentine (1-100): 100 (earplugs non-negotiable) - Times own heart skipped during "I Only Said": 2 - Sentences Kevin Fields spoke to mega mainstage crowd: 1 ("Hello people who have come to Coachella.") - Duration (in minutes) of legendary, punishing breakdown in "You Made Me Realise": 14-15 (the air sizzled!) - Public Enemy audience capacity: 75% (dude, "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos"!) - Chants Flava Flav led for son, Karma: 1 ("Go Karma, go Karma!") - Personal interest-factor in headliners the Cure: 0 - Hours it took to exit parking lot: 0.01
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.
More Music News
- Gabriel Kahane Wears Sunglasses Inside to Look Like a Spy and Sings About It on 'The...
Sat., Feb. 6, 4:00pm
Sat., Feb. 6, 5:00pm
Sat., Feb. 6, 6:00pm
Sat., Feb. 6, 7:00pm
- Shearwater Made a 'Compassionate' Protest Record at the Perfect Time
- A Hardcore, Noisy Friday at Market Hotel Tops NYC's Best Shows This Weekend