Coachella/Phish tour journal

So, obviously I go to a metric assload of concerts. But a few times a year go on a week long bender, usually with a festival of some type. Last one was Jingle Ball, then before that was Lollapalooza. Well this past week was the Spring Time Bender.

It started right out of the gate. Young has been on a tour of her properties all over the place for the last couple weeks, and she just did her annual walk through with the property management people for her places in Hawaii, and then in Arizona. So it matched up where we would be in the same place at the same time.

I left work on friday and immediately went to the airport to catch the flight. Luckily I don’t have to fly commercial, while I’m not cool enough (or willing to pay as much), Young was able to book me a private flight through her account with Paramount Business Jets which luckily have a terminal here in Rochester off Scottsville Road. So I was able to get from here to the shitty, and I mean shitty, air strip outside of Indio, CA in about 4.5 hours. That strip was so crappy, I’m honestly not even sure there was a flight plan. May have been a drug mule for all I know. But whatever.

Got there and grabbed an Uber and went to the hotel which was the Fantasy Springs Casino and Resort which is in Indio and only like 5 minutes from the Coachella Festival Grounds.

We had VIP tickets, so we didn’t have to deal with the Rif Raff going through gates and stuff. So we could make it in a few minute walk from our hotel room to the Festival Grounds.

We met up in the hotel around. It was already passed the time the festival started because of work, but there was nothing we really wanted to see early anyhow. When we go there we wandered around for a bit. The first act we REALLY wanted to see was Sabrina Carpenter, but there was a while before she went on.

So the thing with Coachella and Lollapalooza is there are constantly bands that pull out at the last minute, or bands that get added at the last minute. I found out that day that there was an afternoon set from Hanson. Yes, Mmmbop Hanson. Don’t care what anyone says I like that song. There was no chance we were going to make it to the set on time to see the whole thing, but then again, I only like one song, and honestly, I only KNOW one song and safe bet it would be their last song. We got there with 3 songs left, and of course one of those was MmmBop.

After that, we grabbed some food, then as we were walking around, we decided to hit up the Sanora tent to see what was going on there.

Oh dead!

There was a band playing, which I had never heard of before. Late Night Drive Home. Wow, these guys were awesome.

Now here is the thing, with normal concerts I generally record pretty much every song for the entire show. But with festivals, It’s so hot, there are so many people, I get tired, some times have bad views, and also they get litigious, so I don’t record much. SO there are going to be some things here I did not record myself. You can tell, mine are vimeo, Youtube will be other places.

These guys were awesome. Like crazy awesome. They totally reminded me of the Cure. Loved them. However, there are ZERO videos of the show. They aren’t big enough to have Coachella do a Pro-shit song. There were too few people there for a 3rd party recorded, and I personally blame Jason Noble, cause I was too busy texting him (big cure fan) telling him how awesome they were and how they reminded me of the Cure. Plus the fact I didn’t know when to start/stop recordings because I didn’t know any of their songs. It was an awesome, but short 35 minute set.

After that we stayed on the same stage to see The Beths on the same stage. A Band that a year ago I didn’t know. The first time I heard them was actually as the PA music at a Phish show last year. I didn’t record anything, bad line of site, and also the tent had terrible sound unless you could plug into the soundboard. However one of their songs did get released as a Pro-Shot video

After that we headed over to the main stage for Sabrina Carpenter. The last couple years I have seen a bunch of Sabrina shows, and Olivia Rodrigo shows. From 200 person clubs, to giant arenas. I was totally looking forward to this set. And it was a really good set. She played all her good songs, a few new songs, had a sweet little motel set behind her. sadly she only played for about 45 minutes. I didn’t record anything there because I by back was killing me and I was sitting off to the side for a bit with a not good enough for video view, and was busy texting people. But it was still really good. They did release one Pro-shot video from the set.

After Carpenter, there was honestly not anything we really gave a shit about for the rest of the day. We went and rested under a tree for a while, had smoothies. We wandered in and out of stages, but it was like a collection of kPop, and EDM, and some mexican hiphop band with a dude playing an accordian. Nothing that interested us.

We caught some of Lana Del Ray, but I’m not a huge fan. People made a huge deal about how she had Billie Eilish sit in with her during the song “Ocean Eyes”

But to be honest, I don’t care about either of them, so I lacked the enthusiasm everyone else had.

About this time there was still a few hours of the festival left, but no one we wanted to see. BUT we knew about a concert happening in the Theater at the hotel we were staying at. The “Mountain Dew Presents Legends of Rock Fest”

Whenever you have a Festival like Coachella or Lollapalooza or Jingle Ball or Austin City Limits (not Bonnaroo cause it’s in the middle of goddamn nowhere) there is always going to be awesome shows close by from people that didn’t make it into the festival. We’re talking huge bands usually that will play radio sponsored shows where each band plays 3 or 4 songs, but you have the sickest line up ever.

Thiiiis was one of those time. And it was literally in the same building we were staying in. We missed the first few bands, and not sure who they even were, didn’t feel like looking since we didn’t see them. But for the next nearly 3 hours we saw this, and for $85. This is a line up that you’d expect to pay $500+ for. Brace yourself, cause it’s nuts.

First band we saw was Berlin. Ok, not a HUGE band, it’s not like they are going to go play Madison Square Garden anytime soon. But they were huge for a while there in the 80s

We did NOT catch “Take Your Breath Away” their biggest song since apparently they opened with it, and we got there in the middle of their set.

Next up was Classic Rock Icon’s Heart

There were 2 staged going back and forth The Theater (the bigger one) and the Ballroom (the smaller one). After heart they needed to break down stage stuff so it was over to the Ballroom where Quiet Riot played (missed the first song) but caught the big one

We then ran over to the Theater, missed the first song of a just 2 song set, but caught Night Ranger doing Sister Christian

There was then a 15 minute break, and the next set was sort of weird. With all the old Classic Rock people, The Offspring was next. BUT they didn’t play Come Out and Play. Actually they didn’t play ANY of their popular songs. they only played 3 songs, I recorded 2 cause I didn’t even know what one was and I went to take a piss

Then Back to the Ballroom for Lita Ford that played 3 songs, but didn;t play ANY of her own songs, like “Kiss Me Deadly” she only played songs from her days in The Runaways

This will come into play later. But Talk about missed opportunity. Lita Ford there playing Runaways songs. When Joan Goddamn Jett was there too later. Why not do them together as an Epic Runaways Reunion. Hell Get Cherrie Currie, not like she is doing anything.

Next up was Billy Idol, who did NOT play Rebel Yell, which pisses me off

Next up was another band that sort of didn’t fit. But were actually really good. Kansas. They only played a 2 song set, but I mean, can’t get more classic rock than what they played

After that was another band that didn’t quite fit, and a band that usually plays arena on their own. Smashing Pumpkins. They came out and played a 4 song set, but I missed one for “reasons”

The posters in the hotel only advertised 4 people, and the next person was one of them, which is funny cause he was about the 90% left famous person playing. However someone I’ve seen a bunch of time and love. Steve Miller Band

He did Not play The Joker, so some people were pissed. Or Take The Money and run

Next up was TOTALLY confusing. So Lita Ford already played. I can only assume Lita Ford and Joan Jett still hate each nearly 50 years later. I love Rock and Roll? Nope, not played. Crimson and Closer? Nope, not played.

But instead she played Cherty Bomb, which Ford had already played an hour earlier (although Jett did it better, and I think that was the point

Then took off her jacket and Ripped through I hate Myself for Loving You

At this point we’re sneaking up to like Midnight. there can’t be much more to go. The next band on was Blondie. Another band I LOVE. But “Heart of Glass” or “Rapture” or “Tide is High” were not played. They did a 3 song set of…

Just gotta stop and say, Debbie Harry is almost 80 years old and can still work it

The Ballroom was closed at this point because it was 1am. But they still had things on the Theater to go. They had a 15 minute break. Then John Forgery came out to play some CCR songs

The video there isn’t so good, cause I was losing my shit at that point cause Fortunate Son is one of my favorite songs of all time, plus I’d been up for like 25 hours and a number of adult beverages in me by that time.

They take another 15 minute brea, actually like 25 and it’s sneaking up towards 2am for the last band. We assume it’s going to be someone who is going to knock out 2 or 3 well known but short songs.


The Closer was Lynyrd Skynyrd, and did 5 songs which is more than any other band did, and hell Freebird alone was longer than some bands sets. They played for 45 minutes

When they came out the first song they did was “Call Me The Breeze” and had Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top playing guitar with them. At First was like WHOA why would he come here to sit it with one song. We’ll it’s because they played the hotel on Saturday. You’ll see that later.

Then Ronnie Van Zant talking about The Troops and goes into Simple Kind of Man

They then played tuesday Gone and dedicated it to old guitarist Gary Rossington, showing a video montage of his life.

By this point it was after 1:30am and there is a sound ordinance they have to meet, so knew there were only 2 songs left. First one was pretty obvious

Then the last song. Not sure there is any band on earth more that HAS to play a single song last.

After that is was like 2:05 in the morning. So we stumbled out of there, found our way to the elevator, managed to make it to our room and passed the hell out.

Saturday morning we didn’t wake up till like 2pm in the afternoon. Went downstairs to one of the restaurants and got pancakes. Then got back to the room. Flipped around on TV and landed on some Nick show “Game Shakers” and fell asleep again.

Woke up a bit later, took showers, got dresses, and decided to head over to the festival. We’d already missed the first 2 people on each stage. But who cares.

When we got over, the first band we wanted to see was the Aquabats. These guys are awesome. Dressed like Super Heros, have weird shit on stage. their shows are insane, I wish I had recorded it, but I was still sort of not with it from the day before cause it was so early. So here is one of the Pro-Shot songs

After that we went to Vampire Weekend.

Weird. So Weird. I didn’t record much of the show since I don’t know their songs. But the show got REALLY weird.

At one point they brought Paris Hilton out to play Corn Hole Again Abe Lincoln

There were other songs they played, but I was distracted, and that was weird, and they were Pro Shot

Then headed over to the main stage to see Sublime. So I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sublime. There are 2 bands I’ve never seen live which I wish I could. The Talking Heads, and Sublime. I had a chance in 1995 to see them but flakes out signing I would catch them in the summer. Then Bradley Nowell died. They came back in the 2000s as that weird “Sublime with Rome” with Rome Martinez singing. But it sucked. So I had lost hope in ever actually seeing them live.

Then a few months ago, Jacob Nowell, Bradley’s son, decided to take over the band and bring them back. At first I was like, Gross, this is a lame ass Zappa Plays Zappa cover band.

But he ended up brining every one of the original members back, and when he plays and sings sounds JUST like his dad. There were times in the set when he was playing, I would close my eyes and imagines I was back in the 90s.

Some of the Pro-Shot videos are better than mine, so there will be a mix here.

After That we went to get food, wandered around for a while. Went to get drinks. Go to the bathroom. And then head to the main stage to see Blur

OK. So here is the thing. A lot of you may have seen a lot of stories online about how bad the Blur set was. BLur is a MASSIVE band. Probably the biggest band globally from 1995 – 2010. They would play European soccer stadiums with 80k+ people.

They hadn’t played a US show in like a decade. So for them they probably expected this show to be absolutely massive, and they would tear the roof off.

The Problem was, Sublime just destroyed the world. A Reunion after 20+ years, and KILLED it. 2nd best set of the entire festival.

And Blur had to play BEFORE the No Doubt Reunion. How can you best either of these?

You can’t

But instead of actually trying, Blur went total asshole. I recorded next to none of this show. It was straight garbage. The band likes to blame the crowd. But the reality is that they came out on stage with ZERO energy. Messing up lyrics, walking through songs. There was NOTHING to pump the crowd up.

By the time they did Song 2, which should be the song to energize the crowd. no one ever cared and just wanted the song to end. Think about all the videos I post on here, and how you can hear the crowd. This is a crowd of over 100k people, and no one gave a shit..

I actually stopped recording at this point, because the lead singer started to be a dick. He would stop songs in the middle and yell at the crowd. When they did the Song “Girls and Boys”. You can look it up on Youtube or Instagram. He stopped and was like “You’re never going to fucking see us again”. The set was supposed to be 75 minutes. but it was only 50, and he was a total and complete ass the entire time. Thousands, literally thousands of concerts I have been to in my time, and this was one of the 10 worst sets I have ever seen. And that included when Jmes Taylor sang with his back to the crowd. And When Neil Young played 1 song 9 times then smashed his guitar and walked off. And when Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray pissed on the stage and ran out the door. It was THAT BAD

After that abomination people were like WHOA. So there wasn’t much movement before No doubt came on.

Outside of Phish, I have seen more No Doubt Shows than any other band. I was at the Rock Rio Reunion. I was at the Hiatus show. There hasn’t been a show in 15 years I have missed. Again, HUGE band. But I have been into them since I went to see them at Horizontal Boogie Bar where the admission was an empty can of coke. I was them with under 100 people. I was there in 99 at Finger Lakes when it sold out all 25, but by the time they were 4 songs deep due to swearing there was only 3000 and brought everyone into the shell.

I was there for Beacon Street Collection. I was there when their best song was “Trapped in a Box”

So to actually see this band, which has been a major part of basically my entire life, who hadn’t played in 9 years. When they came on stage. I just about lost my shit.

When I record videos I usually try to do them as good as I can.

But When No Doubt Hit The Stage? Using the same Rock Steady Into from 2009? And Hit Stage? NOPE. Sorry. You can here Young losing her shit, and me jumping around lol

Anyone who has been following me on my concert stuff knows that in 2023/24 my biggest person has been Olivia Rodrigo. Her shows are AWEOME. In her Current “Guts” Tour I was here in New Orleans, St Louis, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. Her shows are totally crazy. Me being a VERY late year millennial. My Early years were totally taken over by No doubt, and my later years have been all about Olivia rodrigo.

So Imagine the amount of shit I lost when…..

No Doubt Brought Olivia rodrigo on stage to sing with them.

Then the 2 Big No Doubt Songs

After the No Doubt Show was done. We left Festival site and went back to hotel. Actually, took a cart to drive us there and rested the entire way.

When we got back to the hotel, there was another show in the theater. We missed the first band (Skid Row, which is weird weird.)

But we were there for the second show. Which was Foreigner. A Band which played in Rochester like 2 weeks ago at Kodak theater and wanted nothing to do with. BUT instead of doing a 100 minute set of crap, did a 30 minute set of

That was fine and Good. But The next band was not only going to be awesome, but also have special guest. Which was The Doobie Brothers. With Michael McDonald on vocals for the first time in like 30 years

That was a huge Doobie Brothers show. So we expected that to be the end. BUT instead there was still one band left to go. ZZ Top, which explained wby Billy Gibbons was there was Skynyrd the night before

After the show, we went back to the hotel room, and passed out.

Sunday we got up. there was still a day of Coachella to go. But there was not a single thing there we wanted to see. So instead we stayed in the hotel room and watch the movie White Heat. Then took a nap.

Monday Morning we got on a plane (she chartered) to go to Vegas. It was nice cause it was only a 25 minute flight. When we go to the air port that was when we had to decide on things. So Honestly I was tired and and just wanted to go to our room at The Venetian and pass out. BUT my stupid sister lives in Vegas.

At this point I was only there for the Phish show at The Sphere on Thursday, Nothing more. But then my sister kept calling, and Young wanted to do stuff. Then on Tuesday in Rochester my mom had a medical appointment to see if she was ok to even go to Vegas…. She was. So got on a flight and came there, along with my aunt and uncle, both doctors and headed back.

So Now, we have everyone one here. Have everyone rested. Have time to kill.

So Wednesday we went to the Venetian for the 6pm B52s concert, since Young and I were staying there anyhow. I’ve seen then a bunch of time, Young has seen them a bunch of Time, My mom has seen then a bunch of times. But what the hell, lets have one more.

Then we go to see them, and the B52s play SUPER Deep Cut songs no one even knows in the start

Then they song about the Queens of Las Vegas, since they are

Then they went on to play the hits

This is the ending of the night. So after that it was back up to the Room to crash

Then Thursday the real fun began with Phish at The Sphere in Vegas. We’ll start that on the next page