This year’s Coachella lineup was underwhelming from the start, so much so that I didn’t plan on going until a pass fell in my lap about a week before the festival. It wasn’t necessarily the bands in the lineup that I thought was weak, it was the lack of originality and dynamics that I’ve come to expect from a Coachella. No Rolling Stones or David Bowie. No Replacments. Hardly any hip-hop, punk or imaginative electronic music. Too many wimpy “punch-me-in-the-face” bands like Phoenix, The xx, Postal Service… Basically, i feared Coachella had lost its edge. As much as the environment and experience was always more than fulfilling to me, I wasn’t ready to shell out $500 in support of a lineup that seemed staged for taking a big nap on the Polo Grounds.
In the end I had a blast — Coachella is one of those great experiences that triggers dopamine bursts just at the thought. The first heat of late spring under the desert sun, 100,000 people all out for good times, good music and big smiles. 6 stages (with this year’s introduction of the Yuma Tent) and all kinds of inebriating distractions.
I saw McCartney over 15 years ago at Soldier Field with the parents and it was one of the greatest concerts I ever saw. Amazingly, at age 67, Sir Paul the Macca was as on top of his game as ever last night at the desert music festival on the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio. He hit nearly all the high notes and many of those are high high high. Over 2.5 hours McCartney and his band played 35 songs. Wow. Standouts were “The End,” “Helter Skelter,” and “Live and Let Die.” See the awesome videos shot below by YouTube user mwillie70. Here’s the setlist via the OC Register:
There’s a ton of blather from me about to go up about his deeply moving performance, largely a tribute to his late wife Linda on the 11th anniversary of her death from breast cancer. Read all about that shortly. But the power of the set list speaks for itself …
Main set: Jet / Drive My Car / Only Mama Knows / Flaming Pie / Got to Get You Into My Life / Let Me Roll It (with a coda of Purple Haze) / Honey Hush / Highway / The Long and Winding Road / My Love / Blackbird / Here Today / Dance Tonight / Calico Skies / Mrs. Vanderbilt / Eleanor Rigby / Sing the Changes / Band on the Run / Back in the U.S.S.R. / Something / I’ve Got a Feeling / Paperback Writer / A Day in the Life > Give Peace a Chance / Let It Be / Live and Let Die / Hey Jude
First encore: Birthday / Can’t Buy Me Love / Lady Madonna
Second encore: Yesterday / Helter Skelter / Get Back / Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) -> The End