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Coachella Festival - Indio, CA (Oct. 9, 1999)

Coachella--a Review

Posted By: shelley <[email protected]>
Date: Monday, Oct. 11 1999, at 4:51 a.m.

Well, if Morrissey had not been playing at Coachella, I would not have gone there if you had payed me a Thousand Dollars. Coachella was seriously Hell on Earth. Unless you like drugged-out ravers, of course.
It was about 100 degrees out there, and the promised shade seemed to be nonexistent unless you were a "VIP". They had promised a free bottle of water which you could fill up at a drinking fountain, so you didn't have to pay for water. Well, neither the bottles of water nor the drinking fountains were anywhere in sight. I laid down on some grass in the spotty shade of a Raver tent for a couple hours, until it was nearly time for Moz to come out.
There were a few people who must have waited all day to be in the front to see Morrissey because I recognized some of the people up there from the Club Rio show. How these poor people could possibly sit through the excruciating agony of the same droning beat played over a million times by some lame DJ is completely amazing to me. I hope it was worth it, guys.

Anyway, Morrissey came out about 6:45pm and yelled "Hello! We is Morrissey!" (no, that is NOT a typo), and started with "you're gonna need someone..." Unfortunately, you couldn't even HEAR the drums. I thought maybe Spike wasn't even playing, it was that bad. But he was, and Morrissey sang it anyway. The drums got better maybe halfway into the next song, but the sound was never that great. Alain's backup singing sounded a bit strained, which might be some effect of his back injury. Morrissey seemed to be in a decent mood.

There was about a six foot gap between the crowd and the stage, so Morrissey couldn't really reach out to them, which really sucked (especially for the people in the front). It also seemed completely impossible to try to launch yourself on stage from the front or even the side. From where I was standing, it looked like one person had floated to the front and been dropped in front of the stage and Morrissey bent down and said "I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you" during the song as they were being carried away. About four people made it on stage and it appeared as though they had been standing on the side of the stage and just ran out. I don't know where they came from. One guy had the short security guard chasing him around the stage, dodging him like a rabbit. It was pretty funny.
Morrissey didn't have much to say to the crowd except "I can smell your sweat", "Gracias", "I hope you're not in a hurry to get home, because we're not", "are you having a good time? Too bad!" He played November Spawned a Monster, for which I am very grateful (since my bday is next month) but left out my other favorite, "Lost".

So the crowd was pretty lame. They didn't have much of a reaction to Morrissey's newly found love of Mexico, and they weren't especially loud in their applause. Perhaps it was because half of the people there were on Ecstacy or something, or they had just lost too many brain cells from the music that had been pounding in their heads there all day. I don't know.

One point of satisfaction: There was definitely a unity among Moz fans insofar as I saw more Morrissey and Smiths t-shirts walking about than I had expected. Yay! When Morrissey's set was over there was a mass migration out of the main-stage area as we all left the scene, uninterested in the completely boring Chemical Brothers. However, the place soon filled up as the mindless needed a new place to get stoned.

Why in the Hell did Morrissey play at Coachella???? Does anyone have a theory into the specific reason? That place was like my worst nightmare. Morrissey stood out there like an intelligent person at a sporting event. Had the bomb dropped on the place after Morrissey left, it would have been no large loss. Alas, is my Morrissey tour really over? Or shall I dust off my passport...

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