You have to give Paul Tollett credit.
Actually, we should all bow down to him. He not only created Coachella but curates who we see every year. There are plenty of people who go to Coachella as if it’s some kind of rite of passage. The kids love it and get lost in the Sahara tent for what seems like days. For many of them this is their first jump into the live music world. They have heard about it for years from their older bro/sis/friends and it’s something they need to experience. I get it and personally, I love it. It’s the first festival of the year and it’s a beautiful event. It’s the best-managed festival I’ve ever attended. Goldenvoice (GV) is on their game 24/7 and they set the tone and artist schedule for everything that happens for the year in every festival in North America and beyond. Don't believe me, look up how many festivals LCD Soundsystem are playing. This all started with Paul saying, "listen, why don't we...." BAM! LCD was suddenly legitimate as a headliner....for everyone! I will now run the opposite way in traffic on the 405N.
However, for me, it’s always been about the music. I’ve gone 100% for the music and without the bangin’ lineups year after year, we wouldn’t go. What I mean is, if Coachella was filled with bands like Smashmouth, Gin Blossoms, Sugar Ray, Third Eye Blind (I’m talking to you, Kaaboo….was Limp Bizkit booked? Where is Nickleback? Creed? This will be Rooney’s first paying gig outside of fairgrounds and backyard keggers in years), it would not pull the crowds and clout that it does.
You realize that Coachella sells out 50%+ of both weekends in May every year. I have friends who ALWAYS say, "I don't know if I am ready to commit just yet." They throw the “payment plan” at us to help their cash flow and why not? It works. Also, this happens a full 7 months before the line up even comes out. Why? How? Because GV has earned our trust in making something happen and they are consistent. It’s really amazing. BTW, those friends always regret not jumping at the chance to get in on the early tickets. In GV we trust.
While the Desert Trip selling out one weekend was a no-brainer, clearly GV understood what was happening before we did and added a second weekend (always part of the plan, but we didn’t know that. Well played, GV.). And then everything – both weekends, all six days – sold out within a few hours. WOW. That’s impressive. Deep down impressive. Paul just played every other promoter in the world and made them not only smirk in admiration for what he just created, but beyond that, they are without a doubt jealous. Soak up envy and vanity, GV. (BTW, I love those sins! Sins are fun.)
Back to Coachella, because, why not. (Yes, that’s a statement, not a question.) They are creating bigger and better events. GV is setting the pace for the world to experience the live event. In 2017, it’s completely possible Paul gets Led Zeppelin to headline Saturday night in October. Think about it…. Are you telling me that once Paul, Roger, Pete, Mick get back to the UK and tell tales of how good the event was, Robert Plant won’t at least be intrigued? Jimmy has always been on board but Robert is holding back. I can’t blame him, really. It’s not easy to sing those songs. It wasn’t easy in his 30s. If Zep hits the desert stage in 2017, he would be 69. For two weekends, though, hey, he might do it. Maybe Paul talks Roger Waters and David Gilmour into a two weekend cease fire for a full final Pink Floyd experience. The possibilities are open with Paul involved.
Either way, if you’re alive and living in California, you’re lucky. GV is creating and pushing for us music-loving maniacs. It’s addicting and that’s a good thing.
Enough of that. Let's talk about the new Radiohead album. That's far more interesting a topic. Thoughts are coming.