Tag Archives: coachella 2011

Top Photos of 2011

We’ve made it around the United States this past year capturing some of the best live events of 2011. There were the treks to the desert for Coachella, the ferry rides to Governor’s Ball and, of course, the annual Golden Gate Park love-in at Outside Lands. It’s safe to say that in 2011 we were at more shows, festivals and events than any year past. Here are our picks for some of our favorite photo moments of the year past.

Aesop Rock @ The Great American Music Hall, Noise Pop 2011
Photo: Brian Valdizno
Rob Sonic unleashes candy from a broken piñata on a hungry crowd.

Ellie Goulding @ Rickshaw Stop, Popscene
Photo: Brian Valdizno
Ellie gets ready to swallow the mike at a packed Popscene show.

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Coachella 2011: Day Three

Adios, Coachella. (Photo courtesy of pitchfork.com)

If Saturday was dominated by heat, Sunday brought the winds. Desert breezes took some steroids for the festival’s closing day, and by evening, gusty winds cooled down the grateful crowds as they took picture after picture of the day’s massively beautiful sunset: a red glowing cloud backdrop as the Ferris wheel, palm trees and balloon chains arched across the sky.

The day’s lineup also breezed through a variety of genres, featuring acts as different from one another as Jimmy Eat World and Bloody Beetroots. By the end of the weekend, campers’ hair and bodies were painted and airbrushed beyond recognition, feet were sore and ears were ringing. But once Kanye’s last note echoed across the polo grounds, winds once again swept the crowds out and away, back from whence they came, scattering across the state and the country. Here’s to a Monday filled with reminiscence and utter exhaustion. See you at Coachella 2012.

Some reviews from Sunday:

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Coachella 2011: Day Two

Desert rain. (Photo courtesy of mirno.com)

After Friday’s dazzling displays and painless navigations, we knew the other shoe had to drop on Saturday. No, it wasn’t the volcano of last year, but it might as well have been during the face-melting heat of the afternoon. The sun became the nemesis of Coachella Day Two, turning up the heat to a slow broil for the hungover and clothes-less masses. Brains were scrambled for the festival hump day–one woman “mentally altered on substances” fell off the Ferris wheel–but the day still had its shining moments.

Though expected, the stupefying heat proved an obstacle that some bands couldn’t surmount. Positioned in the unforgiving sunlight, mid-afternoon acts Here We Go Magic and Erykah Badu suffered from low numbers and lethargic crowds. When lines for hydration stations are more dangerous than the gnarliest Gogolo Bordello pit, you know you have a problem. Performers fortunate to be under canopies fared better, wooing staggering festival-goers into sweaty, explosive dance parties. Lil B also drew some interest away from festival’s larger stages and toward the Oasis Dome as he was joined by the whole Odd Future crew (who oddly claimed they were kicked out) to turn up Saturday’s swag (also swag, bringing in your personal spatula for the cook dance.)

Fans who survived the endurance test were rewarded with mind-blowing acts by veteran performers Broken Social Scene and Animal Collective on the mainstage. At the end of the day, the final strains of Arcade Fire were worth the aching feet and absurd post-festival clusterfuck.

Some reviews from Saturday:

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Coachella 2011: Day One

We've been waiting for you. (Getty Images)

After 2010, when festival organizers found out very quickly that their eyes were bigger than their stomachs, 2011′s Coachella Valley Music and Art’s Festival arrived on Friday with few of the logistical nightmares that had become standard at past installments of the desert get-together. With Goldenvoice and Co. realizing that less really is more, Coachellites were able to enjoy Day One relatively hassle free. Crowds mere manageable. Traffic was bearable and parking was orderly. Cell phones actually worked. And the new chip-carrying wristbands were surprisingly efficient.

After all, with the elaborate preparations leading up to this years’ event, from the dressing and personalized shipping of wristbands to the addition of a sixth stage, the 12th edition of the Coachella Music Festival may not have been bigger, but it certainly was better, at least from Friday’s experiences. With the source of most of the problems–the crowd levels–kept at bay, Day One will be remembered as all Coachella opening days should be: a 12-hour ribbon-cutting to a desert oasis that had fans running across the polo fields from Odd Future to Lauryn Hill, soaking in mist and ear-slamming bass at the Do LaB or dancing the night away at Cut Copy. This is the festival experience we’ve been waiting for. Welcome to Coachella.

Some reviews from Friday:

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Coachella 2011 Preview: Fistful of Mercy

Fistful of Mercy are as chill as a (folk? soul? acoustic?) rock supergroup can get. (spinner.com)

Ben Harper, Dhani Harrison (yes, Beatle offspring) and Harper’s longtime friend Joseph Arthur have hit high marks in little time. Formed just over a year ago, Fistful of Mercy wrote and recorded its first and only album, As I Call You Down, in three days. It went smoothly and was very well-received. They played on Conan soon after. It’s enough to make a struggling artist want to cry.

Granted, all three members have paid their dues in other areas and are established musicians–precisely why, despite their short time playing together, they’ll be an intriguing act to catch next Sunday. The tracks on the album are promising: three-part harmonies, instrumental interplay, a great banjo-infused romp (“Father’s Son”) and more.

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