Coachella Day 2: Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons…

Via Waylon Lewis
on Apr 17, 2011
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Day One.


Word of Day #3? exhausted. We slept like the dead. Working on laptop in Starbucks wifi, for maybe third time since 1990, constant stream of Coachellians, most younger than myself by a mile, talking about how tired they were, makes me feel better.

Ironic: go to this kind of amazing thing, only time I’ve resorted to Starbucks ever. Ordered for here, which you’re allowed to do though they don’t advertise, and the poor lady whose feet were hurting was in a bad mood initially, so put the ceramic in togo cups.

Lotsa crappy iPhone photos. Many better online of course that you can googleup.

Day #2.

Yesterday, woke at 10, meditated after shower, air-drying, then checked out pool in my 60s shorty shorts…there’s a pool and hot tub, but all the water at the motel was gross so we just read the Times, chatted with neighbors, sweated.

For breakfast/lunch, Kasey, Bob and I found an old 1950s or 1940s place dedicated to dates [see photos]…had a yummy local shake. Before that went to yelp-recommended crappy old school-but-not-in-a-good-way diner. Factory farmed cheese, meet, gmo food, all brought to you by Monsanto. Yummm. Still, fun to be out of Boulder, and see what much of America has done to itself, and its waistlines, and cancer rates, and animals, and nature.

Finally got to the fest, met a cool photographer who knew everyone named Rodney, he and I were walking through the VIP area back and forth to our cars, he’s been to 10 Coachella or somthing, everyone except for the year that was cancelled. He half-invited me to schwank private party at hangar, but it was a lot of deets and maybes and I didn’t plan on it. Next year. Barely missed Broken Social Scene, but so much good music hear you don’t realllly care, there’s always two great bands or three or five playing concurrently.

Ran around fest while still light a fair amount, met up with friend from Boulder who I never see, ever, at the H&M wellness tent. Great place. The tent full of trees, advertising organic stuff, giving out free water, I went back again, they recognized me (strangely, since there’s a line out the door), welcomed me back to this cool wet oasis in this dry hot sunny desert. Felt a bit wiped, stressed by private life stuff, a bit down, and wondered if I’d have any fun. There’s a sort of forced-fun mentality, people get into it via drugs, alcohol…but for me, as Buddhist, I’d rather take my fun straight up, or not at all. So I tried not to push myself to fit in. You can tell those who are fitting in—nodding heads, half-dancing, not really into it, but not bold enough to just step out of it, too. We all do it.

Creative art installations all over, huge spiders the size of a small house, a hip hop dome yelling about peace, huge beer garden where we got white wine in a plastic cup (though Coachella seems very eco-minded, overall, the trash is divvied up into recycling, composting, landfill and they give out free water, apparently, if you bring ’em 10 empty plastic bottles, which helps keep things naturally clean.

Mumford & Sons was highlight of my day, probably festival, maybe life (though Flogging Molly and crowd was unbeatable). I was dancing, singing and yelling and our random crowd area was all bonded together, big tough guys half-crying, little 14 year old girls videoing god-knows-why and the whole crowd just ecstatic, dancing and yelling and singing on the waves of sound and emotion. Those who are too-cool are already over Mumford, but those here are religious about ’em, knew the lyrics. They’re an emotional, earnest band, a band that’s half-saved me over last few months of personal life duress and heartpain and stress and fear.

Later, Old-school Van Dyck techno, actually really fun, he’s a pro, just lifts everyone again and again once every five minutes into orgiastic climax and release. Great crowd. Before went to a few songs of Feliche Brothers? Didn’t know ’em, but liked. Bright Eyes stopped by, sang a song. Later went to a few other bands and an arty Cirque de Soleil-style band, not wowed. Then finally Arcade Fire, biggest crowd yet, they’re top popular band in the world right now, amazing accomplishment for indie alt band, and all their songs were perfect, dead on…but somehow a little flat, for me n’Bobby, lacking that charisma or heart that we got out of Flogging Molly or Mumford. At end, though, by this time leg bleeding, back aching, feet aching, brain numb, not wanting to go to parties later though half of everyone was, just wanting to work on elephant, blog this up and go to bed, there was a huge led-filled glowing in coordinated colors balloon release. It was magical. I’ll include photos, videos.

Got home, fell asleep over laptop three times, finally gave up and slept like the dead.

I’ll add great videos of Mumford and Arcade etc. laters. For now, check the led-lit balloon drop.




About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


5 Responses to “Coachella Day 2: Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons…”

  1. kim stetz says:

    i am going with you next year!!! having major Coachella envy.

  2. […] slept like the dead, Bobby my buddy and I. Read our guide to Coachella here, my Day 1 here, Day 2 here for […]

  3. Alice says:

    I am totally with you about the Mumford set, it was the highlight of the weekend for me as well.

  4. […] and pedestrian plazas and daily markets in NYC, the parks and cafes in Halifax, the eco-as-fun at Coachella, the enjoy-your-life mentality of the participants in Carbondale’s 5Point Film Festival. In […]

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