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Coachella Valley Music Festival captivates crowds

The realization of what we had seen took a few days to finally set in. It?s has now been 6 days, 23 hours, 24 minutes and 16 seconds since Coachella was brought to a close and our tired and bodies are pleading for rest.

We arrived at the campgrounds on the evening of April 28 exhausted from the eight-hour journey from Fresno. All we wanted was to get unpacked and get to sleep. However, we were greeted by a line at least three football fields in length, packed with thousands of tired and restless campers all awaiting entry.

After what seemed to be an eternity we reached our site and pitched our tent, but there was no rest to be found. The horde of loud and angry people, along with the assortment of hippie drum circles, was enough to keep the soundest sleeper awake.

But our misery would soon pass. The dawn of the next morning brought with it the rebirth of our anticipation; The Coachella Valley Music Festival was at hand. The thrill of what was to come gave way to a landslide of emotions, the months of waiting we were forced to endure had at last come to close.

There were no bands that we were particularly excited about the first day, so we spent most of our time exploring the event. Towering works of art were all around us, each made especially for the occasion, even the trashcans were painted and decorated to appease to the eyes.

The Coachella Valley Music Festival has drawn thousands to the Indio Valley desert just outside of Palm Springs. Like Woodstock of the 1960s, this annual event has increased in size since its 1999 inception.

Numerous tents were set up to provide shade and entertainment for the attendees, one of which blared boisterous rave music while raining down a cool mist upon its residents. But it was the wide assortment of the populace that was most fascinating. The assimilation of folks from every walk and way of life was a beautiful site to see, each driven together by the joy of musical history being made.

The second day provided no time for leisurely browsing. We went from band to band, seeing groups such as Wolf Parade, Mates of State, Bloc Party, Sleater Kelley and Massive Attack. But the highlight of the trip was realized in the final two performances of the night.

The Yeah Yeah Yeah?s took the stage to a booming roar of applause. Karen O, the vocalist of the group, split a colossal smile and thanked the audience for being the largest they had ever played for. The announced crowd for both days were over 60,000 spectators.

The set that followed was perfect, playing such tracks as ?Machine?, ?Cold Light?, ?Art Star?, and some newer songs off there latest album Show Your Bones.

But no performance would out-do Tool. From the moment Maynard (vocalist and front man of the group) took his first breath on the mic, the audience was transfixed. The power of the music and the bands legendary videos on the giant screen were fixating. It was virtually frightening to see what humans are really capable of when provided with ample inspiration.

The size and scale of the event is and will forever remain unmatched, simply put, the Coachella Valley Music Festival is the most ambitious of it?s kind. It?s captivating effect on the people will indisputably provide memories to last a lifetime.

For more information on this year?s event or to plan for next year, go online at www.coachella.com.

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