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Web Exclusive: Coachella — The Photographer’s View

On Friday, Bjork was charismatic, Amy Winehouse brought sexiness and sassiness to the overflowing Gobi tent and Jarvis Cocker spent half of his set charming the audience with witty banter. Saturday, the climax was LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire was intense and Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino, with her shimmying and high, ethereal voice, was a captivating presence.

Editor’s note: Olivia Hemaratanatorn was assigned to photograph all three days of Coachella for Daily Variety and Variety.com. These are her comments.

THE HIGHLIGHTS

On Friday, Bjork was charismatic, Amy Winehouse brought sexiness and sassiness to the overflowing Gobi tent and Jarvis Cocker spent half of his set charming the audience with witty banter.

Saturday, the climax was LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire was intense and Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino, with her shimmying and high, ethereal voice, was a captivating presence.

Sunday, the showmanship of Tapes ‘n Tapes’ has greatly benefited from intense touring, CSS’s electroclash tunes were all high energy for dancing (and some aerobics with Lovefoxxx in a blue unitard) and the guitar duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela delivered a passionate performance.

ACTS THAT HAD PEOPLE TALKING AFTER THEIR SHOWS:

Winehouse, Julieta Venegas, Gogol Bordello, Andrew Bird, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lupe Fiasco, Teddybears and Rage Against the Machine.

MISSED ACTS

Noisettes, Tokyo Police Club, Of Montreal, Rufus Wainwright, !!!, Girl Talk, the Rapture, Cornelius, Ratatat, Teddybears and Spank Rock.

WEATHER’S TOLL

A lot of sunburned bodies. More bikinis and guys not afraid to go shirtless (even spotted one topless girl). People didn’t seem deterred from being out in the hot sun to see the acts as the tents and shady areas weren’t overflowing. A small crowd gathered under the misting area. After the day started to cool off, many sat or lied down in the grass.

I’M TRYING TO TAKE A PICTURE HERE!

Certain VIP were allowed in the photographers’ pit. Some were holding their digital cameras up the whole time, others were dancing with their arms in the air and many just took up precious space. Some photographers couldn’t get into the pit because it was too crowded.

THE GOOD NEWS

Event was more environmentally conscious than in previous years: increase in solar panels for art installations, a battery-operated car was on display, carpooling and recycling incentives.

Less trash on the ground, thanks to the water bottle exchange program.

Addition of decorations and names for the food areas. The South of Border area, for example had piñatas in the eating tent.

The grass seemed greener.

Related review: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – Day 1
Related review: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – Day 2
Related review: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – More on Day 2
Related review: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – Day 3
Related review: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – Weekend Overview

Web Exclusive: Coachella -- The Photographer's View

Empire Polo Fields, Indio, Calif.; 60,000 capacity; $85 per day, $249 three day pass

Production: Presented by Goldenvoice. Reviewed April 27 - April 29, 2007.

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