April is gone and with its departure came the close of the famous music festivals—Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach: California’s Country Music Festival—that favored our fabulous Palm Springs Valley for three weekends in a row. As a die-hard music fan, I could have gone on forever attending week after week at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio. But alas, they are both history for now, but sure to reign supreme again in 2013.
This year’s back-to-back Coachella weekends were an experiment by promoter Goldenvoice that seems to have been a rousing success. With the same roster of artists performing both weekends, many chose to mix it up with different sets each time they took to the stage, for their own fun, and also in case fans made a repeat visit. But with almost 80 acts over three days, it was pretty much impossible to check out every single one. Trust me, I tried!
Friday’s Black Keys and Saturday’s Radiohead shows were as well-received as everyone expected. But the Sunday night performances of Dr. Dre with Snoop Dog were what really got the tongues a’waggin’. Dre and Snoop were joined on stage by other notable rappers like 50 Cent, Eminem, and Warren G, but little prepared the first weekend’s audience for the addition of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur presented in a shirtless tattooed hologram image looking as real as the day he was shot and killed more than 15 years ago. Baby, I’ll be blunt, it blew me away! And the second weekend was just as hot. Now how are they going to top THAT?!
Stagecoach is much tamer by comparison, not to mention smaller (about 55,000 per day versus Coachella’s more than 90,000). But the country weekend is no less beloved by the loyal lovers of all things Western. Boots and hats were de rigueur to get everyone in the mood (yes, including being worn by yours truly). Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Alabama, and that dreamy Brad Paisley (sorry, can’t help myself!) were all showstoppers.
It’s hard to believe that I have to wait eleven months to do it all over again. But I’ll have my eyes peeled to watch for the sale of tickets to next years’ festivals so I don’t miss out. And I’ll be on the road from my abode in Rancho Mirage back to Indio ready for another rowdy good time.