Saturday, April 30, Indio, Calif.
2:38 p.m. While EW languishes in traffic, Canadian rapper Buck 65 ends his fest-opening set. But the real action comes afterward in the backstage area. ”I just had to elbow Danny DeVito out from in front of my trailer,” he tells us later.
4:15 p.m. During a photo shoot, Rilo Kiley are shocked to spot a plane overhead that reads ”Sirius [LOVE] Bauhaus-Rilo Kiley.” ”Oh, wow,” exclaims singer Jenny Lewis, as Justin T. and Cameron D. wander by, unnoticed. ”This is probably the only time those two names will ever be seen together.”
6:16 p.m. Texas young’uns Eisley are superpolite to the autograph seekers who surround them at the Rilo Kiley show. Says singer-guitarist Chauntelle DuPree: ”It’s only weird when they ask you to sign their boob.”
6:50 p.m. Who did festival darlings Secret Machines most want to see? ”Cocteau Twins,” says singer-bassist Brandon Curtis. ”But then they canceled. They couldn’t get out of jury duty, I think.”
9:20 p.m. The long-dormant Bauhaus make a dramatic return; singer Peter Murphy descends from the ceiling upside down and sings the entirety of the 1979 underground hit ”Bela Lugosi’s Dead” in a suspended state. It is epic.
10:57 p.m. Though Weezer and Wilco wowed, it’s Coldplay’s Chris Martin who actually gets the subdued masses to clap and sing along. Bravo, chap.
Sunday, May 1
1:55 p.m. Rock showboaters Gram Rabbit play: Fluffy bunny ears are everywhere.
4:34 p.m. Craning to see the much-hyped M.I.A. before his thrilling late-evening slot, indie rapper Aesop Rock admits, ”I’ve never heard of her before.”
7:26 p.m. Arcade Fire singer Win Butler’s beautifully messy stage dive sends the crowd into dellrium.
7:46 p.m. Backstage, the Bravery and the Futureheads bond over the scenery. Laughs Futureheads bassist Jaff: ”It’s a million miles from where we’re from — this really s— coal-mining town in England.”
8:40 p.m. Ian Curtis, are your ears burning? New Order play not one but three Joy Division songs.
10:15 p.m. Nine Inch Nails lead the audience into ecstasy with old favorites ”Head Like a Hole” and ”Hurt” — oh yeah, and some new stuff.
12:01 a.m. A reunited Black Star and second stagers Bright Eyes play to a nearly empty field. More than ready to Coa-chill, an exhausted EW staggers home.