As if it weren't impressive enough for the promotional masterminds at Goldenvoice to organize and run the annual multi-day Coachella festival -- which boasts a lineup of enough grizzled rock vets (Iggy Pop, the Mozzer), buzzy upstarts (Arcade Fire, Rilo Kiley), backpack-friendly hiphop (Mos Def), mainstream electronica (Chemical Brothers) and hacky-sack troubadours (Ben Harper, Spearhead) to satisfy pretty much any pop demographic you can imagine -- they've gone and assembled a comprehensive film covering the event. It's artful, aesthetically pleasing and possibly the next best thing to actually being there -- and for the most part it doesn't really feel like an extended ad.
Shot with a tastefully grainy filter, the DVD pulls together scene-setting footage of Indio, California, kooky shots of dehydrated fans camping out and frolicking on the Coachella polo pitch, brief interview clips with attendees and performers, and pithy fortune-cookie philosophy from a Goldenvoice rep or two. Oh, and music.
The biggest problem with the package is that each featured performer gets a mere song in the spotlight, and even those appearances are often marred when the edits fade the music into the background and cut interviews over top. Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme gets the best line, referring to Iggy Pop as 'a piece of chewed-up wire' before the Stooges' spastic run through I Wanna Be Your Dog, while the Flaming Lips (predictably) deliver the film's most mindblowing performance, complete with Wayne Coyne crowd-surfing in a rubber 'space bubble.' Nevertheless, it does make you wish you were there -- which is probably just what Goldenvoice is hoping.