When the Pixies were added last-minute to the Coachella line-up, I had a total flashback moment to my pre-pubescent years. I remembered buying a used copy of “Surfer Rosa” at The Wherehouse (remember those?) and being amazed that I was able to purchase a record with a topless woman on the cover.
I knew that Kim Deal was no longer performing with the band, so I knew that “Gigantic” (my favorite song) probably wouldn’t be performed, but I still wanted to catch some of my other favorite tracks sung by Black Francis like “Where Is My Mind”. When I read an article that Paz Lenchantin was the bassist who they picked up in late 2013, my heart melted. Ummm, can you say high school crush?
When Pixes opened up with “Bone Machine”, I felt that the vocals could have been boosted a bit. I was standing close to a monitor, but it was hard for me to hear Black Francis singing. It really didn’t matter though. I spent most of that song singing along: “You’re looking like you’ve got some sun. Your blistered lips have got a kiss. They taste a bit like everyone”.
Watching three of the original members, and babe Paz, perform really brought my nostalgia into perspective. Though they recorded relatively few albums whose sales were modest, their legacy on rock music in the 90s is unquestionable. You can really their influence in all of the big time bands of that era. Nirvana. The Strokes. Pavement. Radiohead. The Pixies have their fingerprints and influence over all of their music.
The Pixies. Rock legends. Blessed to have been able to see them perform.
This year, I was lucky enough to get approved for a media/photo pass for the first weekend of Coachella. The photo pass allows me to take pictures from the photo pit of each stage, and being armed with an incredible lens, I’ve taken some pretty amazing pictures so far, and I can’t wait to sift through them all and post what I’ve been able to capture.
There were a few acts that I wish could have snapped pictures for (Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, Beck and Arcade Fire), but being a “newby” in the world of concert photography, I wasn’t selected to by artist management to have the privilege of taking pictures. Hopefully, the pics I post of the bands I saw here will help change their opinion of me for the future.
Each entry will contain a little bulb of my overall thoughts of what I was able to see, with a Instagram video post that I posted (my Instagram account is @Methodman13 … you may as well go there now while you’re waiting for the post to go up) and a photo slideshow. I hope you enjoy the moments I captured as much as I enjoyed shooting it. Click on the name of the artist you want to check out to see the blog entry I put up.
Friday | April 11th, 2014
- Tom Odell
- The Preatures
- Dum Dum Girls
- Jagwar Ma
- A$AP Ferg
- The Afghan Whigs (Unfortunately, the pictures I took during this set are unusable)
- Broken Bells
- The Replacements
- Girl Talk
- Outkast (Unfortunately, the pictures I took during this set are unusable)
Saturday | April 12, 2014
- Laura Mvula
- White Lies
- City and Colour
- Julian Casablancas
- Kid Cudi
- Future Islands
- Empire of the Sun
- Pharrell Williams
- Pet Shop Boys
Sunday | April 13, 2014
- Chance The Rapper
- The 1975
- Blood Orange
- The Naked and Famous
- Little Dragon
- Lana Del Rey
- Jhené Aiko
UPDATE: 5/9/14: It was a long, glorious, music-filled weekend of music. I think I may have ruined all of the future music festivals I attend because there really is nothing like being in the photo pit, even for only the first 3 songs, trying to capture “moments” of musicians practicing their craft and giving the audience all that they have. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity. Thank you, Goldenvoice. Thank you, Snoop. You made this music dweeb very, very happy.
I remember when I was first introduced to the music of The Smiths. It was the summer after 8th grade, and I was shipped off to a summer, boarding program called C.T.Y. [Insert nerd jokes here]. I always enjoyed spending the summers away from home (I went to my first summer boarding school after 6th grade). Studying asides, I saw boarding school as an opportunity to meet new people and to learn to be somewhat autonomous.
At the time, I was listening to a lot of KDAY, so my music inclinations leaned more towards hip-hop. I had some alternative rock in my music collection, mostly Depeche Mode … in fact, at the time, my alternative music collection was all Depeche Mode… so every time I was introduced to new music I, tended to soak it all in.
There was a guy in my dormitory who was all about alternative music. He listened to Jane’s Addiction, Pixies… and the Smiths. We did a music swap, and made mix-tapes on cassette tapes (remember those?) for each other. I wish I still had that cassette tape, but I remember some of the tracks were “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side“, “Girlfriend in a Coma” and “How Soon Is Now“
I remember being taken aback by The Smiths music. It was a “new” type of rock music for me. It had hints of pop and rockabilly, but what really got me, was Morrissey’s vocal style. Morrissey’s croon captured my attention, and his lyrics, though very forlorn, was just so soothing to listen too.
After that summer, I kept up with Morrissey’s solo career, and over the years, I’ve amassed a nice little collection of The Smiths and Morrissey. Perhaps my favorite purchase is my most recent one, a live album titled “Panic!” of The Smith, which was recorded in Germany in 1986, that I bought November 24th, 2013. I even posted a picture of the album when I first played it on Instagram.
Ironically enough, the day I purchased the album, was the day Morrissey was originally supposed to perform at the Staples Center. That show was cancelled due to his mother being hospitalized. I didn’t know it then, it wasn’t until a few weeks later when I visited another record store about the cancelled show. I saw the poster, and convinced the owner of Touch Vinyl to let me have it (after I bought a couple other albums). I figured it was a sign that I needed to get tickets to the rescheduled show, so I stopped by the box office when I was at the Staples Center for a Clippers game. Morrissey had been cancelling some concerts in recent days due to health concerns (bleeding ulcer) … thankfully he didn’t cancel the March 1, 2013 show.
While Morrissey’s health may not be 100%, his voice sounded amazing. It was a solid 19 song set, that mixed in old hits, new music and several The Smiths songs. I was sitting in the nose-bleed section, and there was no video monitor projecting the performance on stage, but a ticket is a ticket, and it’s Morrissey.
I could care less about Morrissey’s politics. I could care less about the news about meat being sold at the Staples Center. If you cared about that shit, you should have given your ticket to someone else who cared more about the music.
Morrissey and the band took their bows before they started playing. It’s the first time I have ever noticed a band or artist do so. The crowd went nuts, and Morrissey kicked off his concert with The Smiths song “Shoplifters of the World Unite”, one of the songs that was on heavy rotation on KROQ back in the day, and it seemed like all of Los Angeles who grew up during that time, were at the show.
Morrissey’s performance was all that you could have expected. His style hasn’t changed since I first heard him, and the themes that he’s known for … loneliness, heartaches, letdown, isolation … all came out through the music, though it did seem slightly ironic considering he sells out arenas. And the crowd loved it. Morrissey’s set list is below, with some video clips I took.
Immediately below is a clip of Patti Smith performing her classic “Because The Night”. She dedicated it to her deceased husband Fred “Sonic” Smith, and it was the highlight of her set. Maybe she was the perfect opening for Morrissey because the night really did belong to lovers … of Morrissey.
Morrissey Set List
- Shoplifters Of The World Unite (The Smiths song)
- Irish Blood, English Heart
- Alma Matters
- You Have Killed Me
- You’re The One For Me, Fatty
- Action Is My Middle Name
- That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore (The Smiths song)
- I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
- Meat Is Murder (The Smiths song)
- Ouija Board, Ouija Board
- November Spawned A Monster
- To Give (The Reason I Live) (Frankie Valli cover)
- How Soon Is Now? (The Smiths song)
- Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
(The Smiths song)
- Everyday Is Like Sunday
- Let Me Kiss You
- First Of The Gang To Die