As you might know, I am a huge classic rock nerd (How nerdy? Feast your eyes on this photo of me with The Beach Boys). So when the people who put on the big Coachella music festival announced the Desert Trip festival — a three-night affair featuring Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones on Friday, Neil Young and my favorite Paul McCartney on Saturday, and The Who and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd on Sunday — I knew I had to find a way to go. Tia Leah’s husband, Ted, felt the same way, so together we started conspiring to go. Luckily for us, Heather and Leah’s aunt and uncle, Terry and John, live in Palm Desert just a short drive away from the concert, and offered us a place to stay if we got tickets… which we did!
Ted and I arrived at “Oldchella” (as the show has come to be known) early on Friday so we could take a look around before the music started. One of the coolest things we saw was a huge tent filled with hundreds of framed photos of the artists from throughout their storied careers.
When we found the photo above we took this silly photo of me imitating Paul, then sent it to Heather. Less than twenty seconds later Heather sent this one back of Annie imitating her dad, lol.
We soon headed down to our seats and saw that the grounds were HUGE. Our seats were probably a third of the way back from the stage, but even from there the musicians were far enough away to look like ants. The crazy thing was that there were probably forty thousand (or more) people behind us! I don’t know what they could see of the performers (probably nothing), but the good news is that the vision screen onstage was immense and exciting to watch. The sound was also by far the best I’ve ever heard at a festival, so the shows were still very enjoyable even if you were far away.
This is the vision screen onstage which could be seen from a mile away.
Yeah, yeah, yeah — the performers were all in their 70s — but you wouldn’t know it by listening them. They all sounded amazing, had endless energy, and played long sets full of their classic hits. My favorite night (unsurprisingly) was Saturday when Neil Young and Paul McCartney performed. They not only were both great, but teamed up on a couple Beatles’ songs including McCartney’s first ever live performance of the White Album track, “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road.”
One drawback of the festival was that these were LATE nights out. The shows ended at midnight, and then between walking all the way to the car, inching out of the parking lot, and driving back to Terry and John’s, we didn’t get to sleep until after two. Yikes.
Getting back late lead to a super cute thing happening, though. Because Annie had school on Friday and a soccer game on Saturday, Heather and the kids didn’t come down until Saturday night (which meant that I hadn’t seen the kids since early Thursday morning). When I finally got home at 2 am I accidentally woke James, who was sleeping nearby. He opened his eyes, gasped upon seeing me, and then said, “IT’S DADDY!” He then gave me a big hug before falling back to sleep, cuddled up against me. That was a pretty spectacular way to end the night.