COACHELLA FESTIVAL DAY 3 – Roger Waters and Spiritualized!

OK, so now it’s 103 degrees so you’ll forgive me if I stay under canvas in VIP and neck a cool beer instead of hauling myself the quarter mile across this parched site to see Duffy.

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OK, so now it’s 103 degrees so you’ll forgive me if I stay under canvas in VIP and neck a cool beer instead of hauling myself the quarter mile across this parched site to see Duffy. Today’s not the celebfest it has been and there are way fewer people here than Saturday.
That said, here are the highlights:

LOOK TO THE SKIES!
It’s a flying pig!
Like Glastonbury, Coachella isn’t one of those festivals organised by a faceless committee; it’s the personal baby of a guy called Paul Tollett who once told us that one of his dream headliners would be Pink Floyd.
You can see his point. There can hardly be anywhere on earth more fitting to witness the Floyd in full majestic flow than out here under the freakily expansive desert skies. Unfortunately, the Floyd aren’t a functioning unit so we get the closest option which is ROGER WATERS who, of course, used to be in Floyd.
Unfortunately old Rog is a bit of a bore and his three hour festival closing set on the Main Stage – complete with intermission – is a bit of an endurance test, truth be told.
In the first half he plods through some pompous solo stuff that no-one knows, his massive band jazz-soloing like billy-o, plus he pads out some classics like ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’ and ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’.
Then he almost wins us back by releasing this giant inflatable pig which has scrawled on it images of Uncle Sam wielding bloody meat cleavers, the words “Don’t be led to slaughter” and “Obama” next to a ticked ballot box. Subtle eh?
Set two is a stodgy run through of ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ topped off with the wearisome ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ and ‘Comfortably Numb’… which we aren’t actually. We’re shattered. This is not what either Syd died for.

SUNDAY BEST

SPIRITUALIZED
There aren’t that many of us in the sticky Mojave Tent but those of us who are get taken to church. This is just about the last of Jason Pierce’s Acoustic Mainline performances and we’re damn glad we caught it because stripped down like this – just Jason on acoustic plus a keyboard player, a three-piece choir and a string quartet – these songs bleed.
The whole thing is entrancing but if we have to pick out the best, the teary-eyed moments are the old space companion ‘I Think I’m In Love’, the fragile cover of Daniel Johnson’s ‘Soul On Fire’ and the set-closer, a rousing Velvet Underground take on the Edwin Hawkins Singers 60s gospel classic ‘Oh Happy Day’.

SUNDAY SNATCHES…

GOGOL BORDELLO whipping up a gypsy dust storm on the Main Stage, PERRY FARRELL, fresh from the reuniting Jane’s Addiction for last week’s NME Awards, does ‘Stop’ and ‘Jane Says’ electronically with a backing tape at lunchtime in the Sahara dance tent – go figger!
MY MORNING JACKET play the slot before Roger Waters on the Main Stage and are funkier than expected while SEAN PENN, who was whizzing around in a golf cart yesterday, speechifies from the Main Stage, encouraging us to join something called the Dirty Hands Caravan which is a bunch of biodiesel-fuelled buses which will leave from the site tomorrow and snake across country towards New Orleans cleaning up parks, protesting the war and generally making the world a better place to live in while Ben Harper serenades us around the evening campfire.
Only in America, dudes, only in America…
STEVE SUTHERLAND

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