The final day of the second weekend of Coachella was a breezy, exhausting comedown from six days of musical insanity, with plenty of performers finally taking time to watch their favorite bands. Members of Odd Future watched Tame Impala from the VIP area, White Arrows took in Vampire Weekend's mainstage set, and we caught up with Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer in the GA area during Dinosaur Jr., slightly incognito in a Yankees hat and somehow not dying in the nearly 100 degree weather in long pants and a button up shirt.
The Chilis had to play through last weeks sandstorm, as did Dead Can Dance, who told us backstage in their trailer that it was not a good experience for them. In fact, the duo of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard are kind of down on the Coachella experience as a whole. Backstage, mid-day, he called it “offensive” that music from one stage could be heard in another. Gerrard agreed. “You can't engage. I really love Sigur Ros, and I really wanted to see them play,” she said. “I think it'd be an insult to see that group here.”
They booked the festival as an experiment, and have a few more coming up. “We are playing some in Europe,” Perry says. “I can tell you, in Europe they're a lot better organized. They're not perfect, but they're more artistic in the sense that they cater more for the punters. They're not such a rip-off, price wise...we agreed to do them in advance, and we want to do them as an experience. Why not try them once in a lifetime, and see if we can achieve the technical challenge of getting that sound across in those conditions.”
He added: “This is the worst I've seen. Really.”
On the opposite side of the spectrum in terms of enthusiasm was The Three O'Clock, whose unlikely reunion after twenty-plus years of dormancy came about from lifelong aquaintances between the bands primary members -- and longtime fan Paul Tollett, the Goldenvoice head who was once a teenage fan of the bands. “The promoters were kids who used to see The Three O'Clock -- they were big fans,” said frontman Michael Quercio in the band's artist-compound trailer. “It was this thing where all these things come together.”
The band just did a live bootleg for Record Store Day and have a reissue due in June as well as a sold-out show at the Troubadour this week, but the next step isn't clear. “It's funny. Six months ago we didn't even know we'd be doing this. So, who knows,” drummer Danny Benair (who also works in licensing as a primary in Benair Churchill) said.
Guitarist Louis Gutierrez put some perspective on the situation. “It's been great, but it's not reality,” he says. “Think about it. We've gotten back together, we were on the Conan O Brien show, we were on a KCSN radio show, two weekends at Coachella -- to come out of retirement to do something like that doesn't happen every day to everyone. It's difficult to comprehend -- and to process how uniquely special it is.”
Of course, industry players were hanging out as well. Josh Greenberg, the content manager for Red Bull who has a massive presence at the festival, told Billboard.biz that the company is expanding their live music presence, with a series of shows this summer happening as a part of their Red Bull Sound Select project, which is presenting Wavves this week in Los Angeles. He also hinted that some major Coachella performers will be doing small shows presented by the energy drink company.
As the night was winding down, we also caught up with Nina Kossoff and Kari Dexter of Ester Creative Group, who were relaxing with some backstage beers after a hard couple weeks working with DIIV and The Gaslight Anthem. It was Kossoff's first Coachella, and as far as she's concerned, it went great. “It was better organized than I ever thought it would be,” she said. “My last big festival with DIIV was South By, and that was just a clusterf**k.”
She's excited to bring DIIV to the UK for festivals this summer, and revealed that they're working on a new record in between their festival dates. “They're also driving right now -- they're on the How To Destroy Angels tour -- on the road to Chicago. They have to haul ass for the next day and a half!”