CVIndependent

Sun11182018

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Reviews

19 Jun 2018
A sold-out Splash House officially got the summer season started in Palm Springs June 8-10. The celebration started at the Palm Springs Air Museum on a pleasant if windy summer night, before the daytime fun began at The Renaissance, The Riviera and The Saguaro. I’ve been coming to Splash House for a few years now, so I fully understand how this hip counterpart to Coachella is an excellent excuse to party—and show off the results of your CrossFit training. Cole Porter said it best: “And that’s why birds do it, bees do it—even educated fleas do it; let’s do it.” And so some of the best DJs around created the soundtrack as the young and the young at heart looked for love—or at least a dance partner for the night. The VIP section at the Palm Springs Air Museum allowed attendees to spread their figurative wings and relax on comfortable…
30 May 2018
Locals in the Morongo Basin refer to the Joshua Tree Music Festival as “our festival.” The Sweet 16 version of the festival, held May 17-20, broke records, with a reported 3,500 people in attendance. For me, the festival is kind of like a block party run by the local artist community. You run into your actual neighbors controlling traffic, submitting art projects and/or just having a good time. With more than 25 bands performing, there was music for everyone’s tastes. When someone asks me who is playing at the festival, I always say I have no idea—but the music is always great. This is a testament to the organizers’ ability to produce a festival that stays away from the mainstream, vanilla acts we see at most musical gatherings. Tradition dictates that the pre-party takes place on Thursday, with the serving of free beans and rice. Desert Rhythm Project warmed up…
22 May 2018
After 40 years, U2 still delights. U2 brought the Experience + Innocence tour to the Forum on Tuesday for a two-date run. Since U2 is not headlining the Joshua Tree Music Festival, alas, I ventured to Inglewood to experience evocations to U2’s decades past—and hope for the future. The tour, in support of U2’s 2017 album Songs of Experience, is full of considerate and pertinent songs in this political age—but all the new material pushed out some of the hits, including, “Where The Streets Have No Name,” which started a riot of love when they filmed the video to the song in Los Angeles in 1987—a shoot which became famous when the LAPD shut down the filming. U2 performed on two stages connected by a catwalk; that catwalk had two curtain-like screens that an audience member could partially see through, if the screens were not lit with video imagery. The…
30 Apr 2018
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What do Beyoncé and Garth Brooks have in common? They both brought something amazing to this year’s world-renowned local music festivals. On Sunday afternoon, Garth Brooks and his wife, Trisha Yearwood, appeared in the Rose Garden at the Empire Polo Club for a press conference, where Stacy Vee of Goldenvoice announced this year’s Stagecoach had set a record with 75,000 attendees. Brooks started off by thanking Goldenvoice CEO Paul Tollett and Vee, Goldenvoice’s festival talent-buyer, for the invite to play at Stagecoach. He also mentioned that Yearwood had played the festival 10 years prior in 2008—its second year. I asked Brooks during the press conference how many times he had been approached to play the festival, and what made him finally decide to say yes this year. “We’ve been very lucky that Stagecoach has asked for us to be here,” Brooks said. “We retired back in 2001 and raised our…
29 Apr 2018
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Keith Urban may be from New Zealand, but his brand of country music is as American as it gets. On Saturday night, Keith Urban returned to Stagecoach for the first time since 2010—a day after releasing his new album, Graffiti U. Despite blustery winds on Saturday night, Urban put on a magnificent performance. When he started his set by playing the first few chords of “Somebody Like You,” the excited welcome from the Stagecoach crowd was just as loud as the music. The wind was a challenge for Kacey Musgraves, who performed just before Keith Urban and appeared frustrated a few times—but the wind didn’t seem to faze Urban. As the wind blew Urban’s hair all over the place, he joked with the audience, “This was exactly what I was looking for tonight, Stagecoach.” He added a little later that it “smells like it’s pretty cool down in the front,”…
28 Apr 2018
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The 12th iteration of Stagecoach kicked off Friday—and festival attendees had one less stage to enjoy than they’ve had in previous years. The Mustang Tent—which hosted many bluegrass, folk and alt-country bands over the years—is gone. There are now only two stages with music going at any given time, and the alt-country, bluegrass, folk and classic-country acts have been scaled way back. The Mane Stage opens later in the day (the SiriusXM Spotlight stage fills the gap before 4 p.m.), and the Palomino Tent is smaller. Considering previous Palomino headliners like the late Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Lynyrd Skynyrd drew crowds that could fill the current Palomino Tent way beyond capacity, this may or may not have been a good decision. Does this mean Stagecoach is no longer any good? No, it doesn’t; Stagecoach on Friday was still a fantastic time—even if some of the cutbacks, leading to a…
25 Apr 2018
Friday the 13th brought Grammy Award-winning country star Maren Morris to Pappy and Harriet’s. The show was originally scheduled as an indoor gig—but plans were shifted after the show sold out in minutes. The concert location was changed to the outdoor stage, which has a capacity of more than 1,000—and the show was still a sellout. Pappy’s was spruced up with a new wooden barrier erected behind the west perimeter wall that helped with the cold, breezy conditions. Maren Morris created a VIP check-in area that allowed guests to meet the artist and get a photograph with her prior to the general-admission gate opening. I got there early so I could position myself in front of the stage—and I met super-fan Rodney Braman from Wyoming, who got the VIP treatment. Braman told me that he drove 14 hours with his family to catch the show. Tenille Townes was an incredibly…
23 Apr 2018
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Coachella 2018 will be remembered for a lot of firsts. Beyoncé was the first black woman to headline at Coachella. This was the first year when there was no rock headliner—and a year when rock music took a backseat to rap. It was also a year of change. The Sahara Tent—known in the past for featuring some of the biggest names in EDM—had a new layout and was in a new location. This Coachella introduced West Indio Market, a large food court. Yeah, Coachella has come a long way since the first festival in 1999; in fact, my friend Courtney, who attended the first few incarnations of Coachella, said it’s totally unrecognizable compared to those first festivals. However … let’s examine these aforementioned 2018 remembrances. Was there really less rock music at Coachella in 2018? I’m not sure that was the case, outside of the headliners. The Sonora Tent featured…