Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Coachella 2008: Saturday

Apr 26th – Sat:

My plan was to get 4 hours sleep, wake up at 6:00, and tackle the 18 mile run I had mapped out for myself. That was the plan. The reality is I screwed up setting the alarm, woke up on my own at 7:00, rushed to get ready, do a bit of stretching, and wolf down a banana before heading out at 7:20. My route took me north, outside of Palm Springs to a dirt road that cuts through the desert.

By 8:30 it was already blazing hot and I was about to begin the climb up the mountain to where they have a tram. I was at 500’ and had to reach 2600’ over the next 4 miles. This didn’t seem like such a big deal on paper, however I had not planned on it being so hot or the road so steep.

The first 2 miles were on the same dirt road I was following. I was trying to conserve water until I could make it to the top and refill my two belt containers. Soon after connecting to the paved road, I caught up to an old guy who was walking up to the creek. I joined him for awhile, as I was starting to overheat.

After he turned back, I alternated running and walking until I reached the top. My water was long gone and I was really fatigued. Great view though. Drank from a drinking fountain and filled up my two bottles. Checked the time. 9:30. A little worried since we were supposed to leave for the festival around 10:30. Started down the mountain.

Fast pace the whole way down, but my legs and feet took a beating. By the time I reached the bottom I was beat. It was in the 90’s already and I was getting burned, plus, I still had 4 miles to go. Jogged another mile until my left foot felt like it was broken. Every step was really painful. And even though I still had water, I was starting to get that tingly feeling in my hands, which I know from personal experience, means I unable to cool down and getting close to sun stroke.

So I tried hitch-hiking. I thought someone would for sure pick me up. I was clearly not carrying any weapons, and anyone could see from my red face that I was dying out there in the heat. Nobody stopped. I continued jogging and hitching for another mile without any luck. I probably could have made it home, but it was way past when I should have been back, so went inside a realtor office and used their phone to call the hotel and ask for a ride. So embarrassing. I’ve never had to be “rescued” before.

I only made it 16 of the 18 miles I needed, and some of that was walking, so I’m concerned about whether I’ll be ready for the marathon. Hopefully the heat and hill training will make up the difference. Hurried and showered, choked down a PB&J, and headed to Coachella.

Rachel had two Saturday tickets to scalp and I had 1 for Sunday. She was able to get face value for hers, while I had to let mine go for $30 less than face. If I go again next year, I’m just gonna buy some scalped tickets outside. It seems they always go for less the day off, even if they sell out.

I had to really take it easy today. I was already burned and exhausted from my run, so I sought shade and sat as much as possible.

The Bird And The Bee:

Their jazzy pop isn’t my favorite, but they sounded great and put on a good show.

Man Man:

5 dudes that really get into their performance. They incorporate a lot of instruments and are quite entertaining to watch.


A fantastic band that didn’t live up to my expectations live. Pretty much came down to poor song choice. Plus, I let myself be exposed to the sun for their show. Left early to see…

Cold War Kids:

Glad I did. They sounded great on the main stage, and like The Raconteurs, translated well to a big arena with their indie rock style.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks:

However, did not. I expected much better things, but again, poor song selection led to a disappointing set.

Death Cab For Cutie:

The theme continues, unfortunately, as Death Cab chose to play a series of average songs, instead of the clear fan favorites. Additionally, whoever was mixing their sound was doing a terrible job. A few bright spots, but mostly bland.

Rilo Kiley:

I’ve never been a big fan, so it came as no surprise that I wasn’t thrilled by seeing them live. Left early to see…


Honestly, one of the artists I was most excited to see in the entire festival. Which of course set me up to be highly let down when she played only a few decent songs, and let all of them drone on forever, interspersed with her babbling to nobody in particular when they did finally end. Pretty much a huge mess on stage. I think a good 10 minutes of her set was spent complaining about the lights. Skip the show, buy the CDs.


HOORAY! A band that actually lived up to expectations. They are phenomenal live, and played their best songs from all their albums. Even the new stuff I had never heard before was excellent. Glad I got to see them.


Starting at close to 11:00, he ensured that almost the entire crowd was at his stage, since there was nobody else to see by then. I think 90% of the crowd was there out of complete curiosity. Sure, I like some old Prince classics, but the guy has put out like 30 albums, and 99% of it sucks. Sorry Prince.

Morris Day and the Time (I think) opened things up, which was fun, and then Sheila E. came out to do her thing. Once Prince took over, things went downhill fast. I guess he though people were as familiar with his discography as he was, since he pulled out some real obscure numbers to drive away the crowd with. We caught a couple hits and then called it a night.

With Prince serenading us faintly in the background, we got lost trying to find the car and stumbled around in the dark for an hour before finding it. Poor Rachel had a sore foot and could barely walk. Prince was still playing when we left. He made have gone all night for all I know. He’s Prince after all.

Not sure what time we made it to bed. Sometime after 3:00 I think. All of us felt like we had sparred a few rounds with Mike Tyson. Can’t believe Jon and I went all 3 days last year.


rachel said...

great reviews. you'll be pleased to know that i look normal when i walk now. phew!

can't wait to see pics. i need to email you some. i haven't downloaded them yet, but hopefully will get to it today or tomorrow.

HHM said...

Yeah, running in unexpected heat can really blow. My training in Vegas really takes a dive during the summer months. I empathize completely.

Nichols Family said...

Oh man! Be careful! That is so scary when dehydration sets in. Oh I'm glad you had fun at the concert. Can't wait to see pictures. I love The Breeders but I haven't seen them in ages and I seriously can not remember if I ever saw them as Pixies! Once Karen and I counted how many bands we've seen and it was over 90. You could probably easily beat that.