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Arts and Entertainment

Coachella: Day One 04/16/10

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Beyond the far reaches of LA, where its last subsets of cities have finally dwindled down, lies a strange place: a desolate and scattered collection of cities where any passing bystander is unsure where civilization ends and the desert starts. Indian casinos, gentlemen’s clubs, and outlet malls are a common theme along the freeway, and you kind of get the feeling that this is where Hollywood’s lost dreams end up. The inhabitants seem to know this, too, for their freeway literally says, “10 E - Indio, Other Desert Cities”, directly acknowledging this stark existence on both the literal and metaphorical front. But amidst this barren landscape, something, once a year for the past 11 years, very special happens.

That is the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, known simply as Coachella, which has a record 85,000 people arriving this year to partake in the three days of festivities. Some 140 bands are performing, most notably Jay-Z, Muse, and Gorillaz, who are headlining Coachella’s main stage. However, for Jay-Z, he is faced with the challenge of legitimizing himself as a respectable talent among the youthful crowd of Coachella. Many have seemed to question the hip-hop star’s merit in regards to playing in the same festival, in the same slot, on the same day, as Sir Paul McCartney did a year before. That is not to mention the other headliners that night: LCD Soundsystem and Them Crooked Vultures.