I’m back from a great week in Palm Springs and though I see grey skies outside my window here in Vancouver, my disposition is still 100 degrees and sunny, thanks to the awesome show that is Coachella.

Unfortunately my plan to review every band playing the festival before I went down there never happened. There was just too much good music (and I easily get distracted). So instead I’ve decided to offer up my review on Coachella 2008, my take on the good, the bad and the ugly, and my recommendations on who you should definitely check out and who you should leave alone.

I saw an amazing amount of music: 32 bands over 3 days, however I didn’t see everything so I will (in fact, I hope) offend, annoy, infuriate and piss some of you off. If you think I’ve got it wrong, let me know… tell me your favourites or ones you hated. On to the review:

For the record, here’s who I saw:

Friday: Sebastian, Busy P, Adam Freeland, Vampire Weekend, Tegan and Sara, The Raconteurs, The Verve, Santogold, Jack Johnson and Fatboy Slim

Saturday: VHS or Beta, James Zabiela, MGMT, Kate Nash, Bonde do Role, Dwight Yoakam, Death Cab for Cutie, Rilo Kiley, Portishead and Prince

Sunday: Shout Out Louds, Duffy, Stars, Gogol Bordello, Booka Shade, Metric, Love & Rockets, Roger Waters, Simian Mobile Disco, Chromeo and Justice

Not a bad little line-up, eh šŸ˜‰

Best Sheryl Crow Impression (for playing a number of instruments and looking hot): Jenny Watson from Rilo Kiley. Just like when I first saw Sheryl Crow in 95, Jenny played 3 instruments, sang, interacted with the audience and looked super hot in a little 70’s number with knee-high black boots. Too bad the lead guitarist is a bit of a douche bag, but their show was really good…

Loudest and Hardest: This is a straight-up tie between the first act and the last: DJ Sebastian (known best for his remix of Rage’s Killing In The Name Of) and Justice (known best for D A N C E). Justice probably edges out the win here because of their loud, rock-influenced beats, however I like Sebastian for his mixing of styles and pure, crisp and super-loud beats.

Pinkest Shorts: Preppy lead singer from Vampire Weekend who delivered a tight set that had the crowd grooving though I fear for our fashion future if pink shorts are coming back into fashion.

Speaking of fashion, what is up with the 80’s clothing revival and with nose piercings. First of all, those of us who survived the 80’s with neon coloured tights and oversized glasses and short shorts (on guys!) all vowed never to go back… WHY are we going back??!?! And secondly, the nose piercings (the idea clearly coming from the ring through a bull’s nose) are super popular. Why??!? They don’t look good. Not on anyone. At least with the lip or eyebrow piercings there’s usually one person that can pull it off. I saw hundreds, if not thousands of rings through noses and I could honestly say none of them looked any good. End rant.

Biggest Disappointment: The Raconteurs. I’m a huge fan of both White Stripes and the Raconteurs, and the chance to see Jack White perform was really exciting, so I got there nice and early and was about 10 rows back when they hit the stage. Sadly, they did not sound very good and Jack White’s vocals were high and tinny. Sound check people, sound check!! I actually left half-way to catch another band. It all made me very sad.

Coolest Guitar: However, Jack White did get the coolest guitar award… A bronze plated axe that looked super cool.

Biggest Comeback: Tie between The Verve and Portishead. Both rocked out and both sounded spot on. Nah, I gotta give this to The Verve, I mean they’ve got RichardfuckinAshcroft on stage, man!

Best Experience: Don’t mess with Fatboy, cause the man can rock a house party like no other. With an audio visual show second to none, the Saraha tent was a mad, mad dance party under Norman’s control.

And finally down to the best of the best…

Best in Show: There can only be one… muthafuckin’ Prince. His holy Princeness put on a 2 hour show that had us all in awe. What a diva! And man, can he pull it off… ‘I’m so funky I can hardly sleep with myself’. Yeah, Prince, yeah you are… His two-hour set included covers of Radiohead’s Creep, Sarah McLachlan’s Angel, Sheila E on percussion, Morris Day and Jerome Benton doing their thang and the tiny tower of power, Prince… Words cannot describe how entertaining the show was. And from a pure musical perspective, Prince has mad skills on the guitar, the likes of which I’ve never seen… do yourself a favour, get thee to a Prince show with all haste… his Princeness commands you so…

And that’s it, my best and worst of Coachella 2008. Do you agree with me, think I’m full of crap? Did I miss your favourite artist or performance? Let me know…

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