The answer to this post’s title: too many. I saw more pin-straight, bleached-blonde 20-something wannabes with oversized ’70s sunglasses than I’d ever thought I could stomach in a two-day period (I missed Friday, dagnabbit). But what I didn’t see was more of the over-the-top tattoos that I’d witnessed the previous year. The 2007 crowd may have been toned down in body art (piercings were also less on display), but the skin parade was still out in full force. As were androgynous dancers with suspect moves.
And as I’m way late in writing anything about Coachella, unlike my cohort Tixgirl, with her uber-cache of photos, I’ll keep this short. My first year in many without a photo press pass means I can only flaunt images of the hoi polloi. But when I attempted to take pictures of an ivy-patterned tattoo emblazoned on the exposed left side of a particular Coachella-goer, I was greeted with a frosty, “I’d prefer you didn’t.” So I abandoned my tattoo safari. And seeing as I wasn’t actually working the event for once, I reveled in securing shady spots around the perimeter and engaging in people watching — and avoiding any unnecessary UV rays, a Coachella sport if ever there was one.
Since I’m celebrity blind, I had only one “star” spotting: Jason Acuña, aka “Wee-Man” from Jackass infamy. I was lounging bourgeoise like in the VIP section when he sallied through with a five-foot femme on his arm. Tixgirl spotted many other celebs, but I wouldn’t have known them had they slapped me in the face for violating any of my own self-appointed rules.
Dubious fashion rules were in effect, as evidenced by the pink-tutu’d 50-something male and various females wearing synthetic materials too tight for their physique. Don’t these people have friends to tell them when they’re making fools of themselves? (This was the most-asked question of the weekend, after “Why didn’t Placebo warrant a nighttime set?” and “When did Speedos become acceptable outside Europe?”).
This year, the concert promoters took a leap ahead and offered fans the chance to both recycle and save some duckets by redeeming 10 empty water bottles for one full one, thus saving trash-can seekers some two bucks in savings. Kudos to those who came up with this eco-conscious scheme. Double kudos to those who came up with ingenious ways to both recycle and stay out of ray’s harm (via recycled pizza boxes).
I won’t go into in-depth concert reviews, mainly because I’m too late in doing so and that all I now have to say is “Travis rules!” and “I finally saw Willie Nelson live!”, but I will reiterate what I said last year, and the year before, and the year before that: This was my last Coachella.
Maybe I’ve finally grown old. Maybe 100F+ degree heat among mobs of unshowered emo fans has lost its appeal. Or maybe the allure of attending such a notorious event sans press credentials has made me jaded. Whatever it may be, I’m declaring this my final Coachella.