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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Reviews

30 Apr 2019
What a treat, going to my first Stagecoach. I have many pleasant memories of past Coachella fests, and I was fortunate enough to attend the legendary Desert Trip, so the grounds were familiar to me—but here, they were just a little more country, as the Osmonds like to say. I saw lots of guys wearing $21.95 straw cowboy hats from a company that makes tractor supplies … and I must confess that I bought one, too, solely for the UV protection. I only spotted one MAGA hat—worn by a college-age lad sporting his finest preppy look. But everyone was friendly and pleasant, even when I bumped into people rushing to the stage. On Friday, Kane Brown started his 7:30 p.m. set with “Cold Spot”: “It’s 4:30 Friday; I get off at 5. I come into your place, you come into mine. Got a bottle of Jack and cheap red wine;…
29 Apr 2019
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The last time Lynyrd Skynyrd performed at Stagecoach in 2014, the band performed for an overflowing crowd in the Palomino Tent. For Stagecoach 2019, Lynyrd Skynyrd was again scheduled to perform in the Palomino Tent … and the more things stay the same, the more things change. First: The Saturday performance is likely to be one of the legendary band’s final performances. Guitarist Gary Rossington, the only remaining original member, is having health issues related to his heart, so the band’s current farewell tour is likely to actually be a farewell tour. Second: The Palomino Tent is about half the size now as it was back in 2019. Goldenvoice apparently didn’t take this decrease in supply and increase in demand into account. A huge crowd was already packed into the tent late in the afternoon. Sammy Kershaw performed the set prior to Lynyrd Skynyrd—and few people departed when he finished,…
22 Apr 2019
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The final day of Coachella 2019 started off with a slower pace—no surprise, considering Saturday is the longest day of the festival, and Kanye West performed his Easter “church” service at 9 a.m. Though I didn’t attend Kanye’s Easter service, I nonetheless trickled in late myself. Some people were sporting the now-infamous $70 T-shirts and $165 sweatshirts that Kanye sold at the service—and it made me sigh and shake my head. I didn’t think I’d ever see anything like this happening at Coachella … and I don’t mean that in a good way. Now, for the good news: Sunday had some fantastic musical offerings, including some great acts coming out of the R&B genre. Speaking of that … • R&B/soul singer Blood Orange (right) took the Outdoor Stage around 6 p.m., decked out in a Smashing Pumpkins T-shirt that said “ZERO” across it—just like Billy Corgan used to wear in…
21 Apr 2019
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Day 2 of Coachella’s second weekend started off on the breezy side—but it still felt fairly comfortable. As the day went on, however, the wind picked up, and the nighttime actually felt … chilly. The weather aside, Saturday offered a fantastic variety of music. Here are some highlights: • Christine and the Queens cancelled the group’s Outdoor Stage appearance due to a death in the family, moving all the acts up an hour. When Ty Segall and White Fence (right) took the stage on Saturday afternoon, two factors worked against them: the wind and a lack of acoustics. The wind indeed blew away some of their thunder, but the group still managed to put on a great early-afternoon set that drew interest as attendees arrived at the site. • The Interrupters, the go-to ska-punk band at any Southern California music festival (first below), took the Outdoor Stage later in the…
20 Apr 2019
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I’ll admit it: I was skeptical as I walked into the Empire Polo Club for the start of Coachella Weekend 2—but a relaxed vibe and above-expectations performances led to a wonderful Friday of music. Here are some of the things I took in: • Just after 3 p.m., I found myself at the Coachella Stage watching Los Tucanes de Tijuana for the second time this week. The Coachella performance was much different than the one at Chella—and the Coachella crowd couldn’t seem to get enough. The band played 1994 hit “La Chona” early in the set and also at the end. “La Chona” has become a verb, of sorts, as people like to post online videos dancing to the song, and the Coachella crowd was happy to do so as well. • Late in the afternoon, I was blown away by Calypso Rose’s set in the Gobi Tent (right). The…
18 Apr 2019
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The second-annual Goldenvoice event known as Chella took place at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio on Wednesday night, and local Latin-music lovers packed into the Fullenwider Auditorium to catch performances by Giselle Woo and the Night Owls, Cola Boyy, Mon Laferte and Los Tucanes de Tijuana. Giselle Woo and the Night Owls—the show’s local act—sounded incredible. If there was a standout beyond Woo herself, it was her guitarist, Christian Colin, whose solos left many of the attendees in awe. After Woo’s brief set, the crowd demanded one more song—which unfortunately never happened. After a bit of a delay due to technical issues, Cola Boyy finally took the stage. The Oxnard native has a very distinctive voice, and his show was a ’70s throwback, of sorts, thanks to modernized takes on soul and disco. Some of those beats were pretty sweet. Mon Laferte, one of Chile’s biggest music stars, took…
03 Apr 2019
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The 11th edition of the annual Desert Stars Festival made its debut at its new location in downtown Joshua Tree over the weekend—and it was a rousing success. The new location of the festival—which was also moved from fall to spring this year—is near the Joshua Tree Saloon in the arts district of downtown Joshua Tree. The first thing I thought when I walked onto the site was that it has a similar vibe to the back patio of Pappy and Harriet’s, where the festival took place for 10 years. I was only able to attend on Saturday afternoon, while festival-goers were trickling in. Local band The Flusters took the main stage at 2:35 p.m. and debuted two new songs which offer a glimpse into the evolved songwriting for the band’s upcoming new album, which guitarist Danny White told me will be out “next year, hopefully.” Given the temperatures and…
23 Oct 2018
The first Desert Daze outside of the Coachella Valley or the Morongo Basin occurred Oct. 12-14. While some may say that all of Southern California is a desert, more or less, the weather on Friday the 12th at Lake Perris was decidedly un-desert-like. Tempestuous clouds forecast rain—and that forecast came true, leading to a truly disappointing Friday night. However, Saturday and Sunday made up for Friday’s abrupt end. Planners decided to have just one entrance point for all fans to the festival on Friday. Once you got to the entrance gate to Lake Perris State Recreation Area, a bottleneck meant that it took up to three hours to get to the parking lot. As I waited in traffic, a fellow photographer from another media outlet walked by me and waved; she’d decided to make the 45-minute walk from the park entrance. As I waited in my car, I was witnessed…

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