10 years of the Coachella music festival
Friday 24 April 2009
Set in a lush Californian valley surrounded by mountains and bathed in the hot desert sun, Coachella heralds the start of the festival season.
The festival's line-up has been consistently good over the years, and, despite the economic downturn, this year's tenth anniversary event was no different. As the programme put it: "On this 10th Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, take comfort in knowing that for at least 72 hours, we can put aside the woes of the world. After all, there's a Beatle here."
Headlining the opening day, Paul McCartney satisfied his fans with an outstanding two-and-a-half-hour set. Current solo songs from his side project the Fireman were mixed in with Wings material and Beatles favourites, including "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Lady Madonna".
Onstage before McCartney was Morrissey, who abandoned the stage during a rendition of The Smiths' "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" to escape the smell of barbecue. But the vegetarian returned to continue his set, explaining to the perplexed crowd: "The smell of burning animals is making me sick. I couldn't bear it."
There were other British stars among the 129 acts who played during the three days. Although Amy Winehouse did not make it back from the Caribbean, M.I.A gave her first performance since giving birth to a baby boy in February. The London-based singer songwriter was joined by special guest Lil Wayne. Franz Ferdinand and the Ting Tings had the crowd dancing, while My Bloody Valentine were watched by 17 Again star Zac Efron. The Cure headlined the final night of the festival, playing through their vast catalogue of much-loved hits. Elsewhere, fans enjoyed sets by Leonard Cohen, Fleet Foxes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs who showcased their new album, It's Blitz.
While the rest of the world's music fans were celebrating Record Store Day on Saturday 18 April, Las Vegas rockers The Killers wowed the crowds with their headline set. Another tremendous success.
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