Coachella and the DJ

By: Neil Feineman

While it may be tantamount to heresy, I don't really like Coachella all that much. I liked it when it first started, especially the year it was only one day. Maybe because it was still a struggling festival, there was a warmth and rawness to it that seems to dwindle with each passing year: Madonna. $250 room rates at the Motel 6. Reunions of bands who hate each other but need money. Roger Waters and Jack Johnson. Ugh.

But the one thing they got right at first and pretty much have kept right. That year when it was just a Saturday, Oakenfold held the main stage at sunset and, regardless of how you feel about him or his music, it was cool to have a DJ command that type of environment. But then he gave way to Jane's Addiction, which was amazing for about 20 minutes. Then, as most who were there will tell you, the smart crowd moved to the DJ area where Fatboy Slim was just killing it.

Over the years, it's been the same. For all the promotion and talk behind the headliners, it's the DJ tent -- Daft Punk, the Ladytron/Groove Armada cluster fuck, Underworld, Matthew Dear. The best part -- it's as far away from the VIP area and attitude as you can get and still be inside the festival grounds.

This year's no different. And while Sunday has some amazing stuff (Spiritualized, My Morning Jacket, Justice, Gogol Bordello, Dmitri from Paris, Danny Tenaglia and the Field, Saturday is the prize with buzz bands like Jamie T (incredible, btw), and MGMT, James Zabiela, Turbonegro, Hot Chip, Steven Malkmus, Cafe Tacuba, M.I.A., The Cold War Kids, Kraftwerk, Portishead and, of course, Sasha and Digweed. It's likely to be their last joint appearance on these shores for a while so, although it's anticipating the end before it's even begun, expect a big group hug at the end.

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Show Details

Coachella Festival

Empire Polo Field
81-800 Avenue 51
Indio, CA 92201

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Hours: 11:00:00 AM - 12:00:00 PM
Capacity: 50000
Ages: All Ages

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Boy dances in dress to Stevie Wonder

May 18, 2008

Like a horrific traffic accident, you almost can't turn away... at least the music is classic!

Credit: Jordan Dawes

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Travel Tips

If you live in Southern California, sleep in your own bed. Even with the price of gas, you'll still be way ahead of the game.

Do Good

The Indio Youth Task Force is the official benefactor of the festival. Check out their link on the Coachella Website.