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Coachella brings together popular bands

File photo.
File photo.

I may not have attended Coachella this year, but through the means of social media, I was there in spirit. This past weekend I watched some of the livestreams, read my friend’s tweets and followed Coachella’s instagram in order to get as close to that festival experience as possible.

This event is a three-day-long music festival in the California desert with over 180 bands scheduled to play and with an estimated 10,000 people in attendance within the two weekends it runs. This year a string of highly popular bands took the different stages, such as Phoenix, the Lumineers and Vampire Weekend. Sadly enough, it would have been nearly impossible to go sit and watch all of the amazing bands play, but I did watch some of my favorites.

I was most interested to watch the incredibly talented The xx. I figured that if I was ever going to watch them play live, I might as well do it from the comfort of my own room and just enjoy the sound. To me, the band doesn’t scream “fun concert.” Their sound is soothing and intricate, filled with mysterious and harmonious whispers. The only true reason to go would be to stand and experience the music but as I discovered, they are more musicians than they are performers.

As talented as they are and as good as they sounded, watching them wasn’t too exciting, which would be expected. Occasionally, the lead singers would approach each other but otherwise there was not too much action on the stage. The most exciting part of the performance was when Solange Knowles joined the band to sing one of her own songs, “Locked in Closets” and then a beautiful duet with frontman Oliver Sim, which was Aaliyah’s “Hot like Fire.” Overall they sounded awesome and really assured us of how talented they are.

I also watched the Red Hot Chili Peppers simply because of all the complaining I had heard due to the fact that they were rumored to have taken the headlining spot instead of the Rolling Stones just an hour before the lineup was announced. (They covered the Stone’s “Beast of Burden” which may or may not be a coincidence.)

Overall, I would say that I have seen them do better. Their harmonies were shaky and they didn’t sound their best, but I did appreciate the energy that flowed from the stage. The interesting part was the brutal sand storm that swept in just as the Peppers started their set. The strong winds were even visible from the livestream, but the band played through the awful weather, and the dedicated festival-goers stayed for the performance.

There is nothing quite like attending the real festival. Watching a mega concert from your laptop is nothing close to the experience of camping out in the desert, standing for hours in a big crowd in 90 degree heat and actually seeing some of the best bands and performers in alternative music and hip hop.

From the livestream you can see the band up close as well as the huge crowds and that signature ferris wheel that light up against the starless California sky. The festival will continue with the same bands for round two starting April 19 so be sure to check out some of the livestream performances on Youtube.

About the Author

Sierra Savela

Sierra Savela is a Chimes guest writer for the 2012-13 school year.

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