Streaming Cafe

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Streaming Cafe Adventure: Roco-Coachella!

by Joel Thiessen

A few of us Cafe employees ventured out to Indio, California for the famous Coachella Music Festival 2011!

Barista Michelle hanging out in front of the Main Stage.
The adventure was a lot of fun and began with a delightful drive down to Bellingham, WA. Then the plan was to fly to Seattle, however our plane was delayed an hour because the light in the lavatory was burnt out! Apparently it is against FAA regulations to fly with a burnt out lavatory light so
they needed to replace it - but there were no spares in Bellingham! What to do now?!? Well obviously we need to drain the lavatory because it is against FAA regulations to fly with a functioning lavatory that has been deemed unsafe…Wow, I'm sure glad I'm not a Pilot, that is a lot of regulations to remember!

We finally touch down in Seattle with 10 minutes to get to our gate that will take us to L.A. NO PROBLEM! We jump on the subway tram for 2 stops and then sprinted to the D Gates to catch our flight. We made it just in time however there was one slight problem, they switched the gates without telling anyone! Oh geeze. Back to the tram for another 3 stops! Fortunately we make it to the gate for boarding and got to our seats. Ready for take off? Nope! There was a problem with one of the tray tables, and you guessed it, it is against FAA regulations to fly with a defective tray table! Call the mechanic and get that thing fixed!

Needless to say, after all of that we DID make it to the festival and had a blast there! I think next year, we might just drive...

The line up for this festival is so extensive that there was no way in the world we could see all the bands that we wanted to. Sacrifices must be made!
Barista Vicky couldn't put down those dang novels!
On day one we saw The Kings of Leon, Ms. Lauryn Hill, The Black Keys, Cee Lo Green who had a very interesting show. Apparently his plane came in quite late which caused him to be 20 minutes late for his 30min set. He managed to rifle off a couple songs (consisting of two of his singles "Crazy" and "F**k You") through an impromptu sound check but the plug was pulled suddenly during the intro to a Journey cover. Probably for the best. Interpol was a big show for me. I have been a huge fan of Interpol since Turn on the Bright Lights so I was very happy when their show consisted of many older songs with a smattering of some of their newer hits like "Barricade" and "Mammoth". To make it an even more memorable experience, the band paired up with The Creators Project which really revamped the whole live video monitor experience with some crazy edits and light show effects. After the show we managed to get a poster signed by the band. It was quite the spectacle. The Rural Alberta Advantage was fun because we saw a Canadian band draw massive crowds at an American festival.

By the end of the day all of us were so burnt out from the 40'C shadeless sun, we could barely make it back to our tents at night. We started to observe that there is a technique to surviving this festival and getting the most out of your day: take it slow between bands and don't move during the show! The less moving
the better!

Day two we managed to pace ourselves a bit better and had some energy reserved for the headliners. That day we saw Bright Eyes, Foals, Mumford & Sons, The New Pornographers, Freelance Whales who were a really neat surprise. While we were waiting for another band to get set up we heard sweet guitar riffs and quirky vocals coming from a stage next door. One of the best things about these big festivals are the hidden gems that you've never heard before - but if they are playing at a festival this size chances are they are good! The Arcade Fire was an all "balls" out in your face pedal to the metal show. Win Butler made it known that they did not take this opportunity for granted and in return The Arcade Fire gave everyone their monies worth! Tons of energy and a superb song selection with epic lighting and big color-changing balls that poured from the sky during the crescendo of "Wake Up" made this entire set one big unforgettable party!

Zach Frickin' Galifinakis!
The third and final day did not disappoint we saw Best Coast, MEN, PJ Harvey, CHROMEO - Funny story about this one…While we were still waiting for CHROMEO to start playing, I glanced over my shoulder and saw a face I recognized. But who could it be? I didn't know anyone in California…But this man's name was on the tip of my tongue. OH RIGHT! It was Zach Frickin' Galifinakis!! I danced to CHROMEO with Zach Galifinakis, no big deal. On a side note, did you know Chromeo was on Yo Gabba Gabba? I love that show…www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDG0c3saE4I Death From Above 1979 was sweet as 5 years after they broke up I can safely say it was pretty awesome to see Death From Above's first show back together. I feel sorry for the PA system...The National  was probably the biggest surprise of the whole festival. I've heard The National before on compact disc and enjoyed them, but I was not expecting anywhere near the energy these guys put out. I mean it was nuts. Matt Berninger was off the stage, standing on the barricade and holding hands with the audience. He was singing loud. The guitars were ripping and drum was booming. It blew me away - I absolutely loved it! The Strokes Strokes were another big draw for me, a band that really plays the "we like to rock and don't care about you guys at all" card very well. Again they played a lot of their older stuff that was well mixed with tracks from their new album. They followed Duran Duran (who I didn't see as I was busy watching Chromeo) and Julian Casablancas mentioned something about them playing a flute solo. Awesome.And now the big headliner, Kanye West. I am trying to think of something cool to say about Kanye West, I really am. He had a magnificent entrance as he was suspended above the crowd on a moving platform but everything (literally) went down from there. People were expecting cameos or special guests but there was nothing. Just Kanye.  A lonely little man.

The whole experience was really fun and unforgettable. The friends that we made, sunburns we got and memories we left with were all worth every penny and time spent waiting in airplanes!

Before we left home we made sure to grab a couple Streaming Cafe stickers to leave with our American friends during our adventure:
We left stickers on scaffolding and stages...
We left our mark on Outhouses and Port-a-Potties…
We gave a calling card to some crazy L.A. music lovers!
Plus we put some on the Main Stage (Bands like Interpol, The Arcade Fire, The Black Keys, Kanye West and
The Stokes were so interested in our whole streaming technology thing!)

We even tried for the beautiful Indio Moon, but we settled for some palm trees…
…okay, so I might have made up a couple of those stickers, but we really did leave them on the scaffolding and in port-a-poties!
What a fantastic adventure it was!