Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Relive Coachella!
A wealth of photos from last weekend's Coachella festival.

Thanks to Denise Quan, Jennifer Wolfe, Mary Loynes and particularly photographers Rick Taber and Jack Hannah, who busted their butts in summer-like heat to bring you this color. Here are some of their notes on the festival:

  • RAGING AGAINST THE MACHINE AND A SCARLETT SURPRISE: It was the moment everyone had been waiting for: the reunion of the politically-charged L.A. rock band Rage Against the Machine. Sunday afternoon, extra barricades were brought in to accomodate what appeared to be the largest crowd ever for a single Coachella act. When the foursome hit the stage -- the first time since they disbanded nearly seven years ago -- they were treated to a hero's welcome. They, in turn, launched into a blistering string of their greatest hits, prompting the inconceivable -- a mosh pit in the VIP section.

    The band addressed the audience directly only once -- during an incendiary tirade against President Bush near the end of their call to arms, "Wake Up." Frontman Zack de la Rocha attempted to draw a parallel between "certain U.S. presidents" and "Nazis during World War II." "They should be tried, and hung and shot," he spat. "Just like any war criminal should be." Then the lights abruptly faded to black, and the quartet left the stage for four minutes, leaving 60,000 people stunned and turning to each other saying, "Did he just say what I thought he said?!"

    Friday night, the mood was much lighter during another reunion on the Coachella main stage. During the Jesus & Mary Chain's set, actress Scarlett Johansson popped out from the wings to sing back-up on their signature hit, "Just Like Honey." Bonus tabloid tidbit: Somewhere in the audience was Johansson's romantic rival, Cameron Diaz -- who dated Justin Timberlake just before Johansson's rumored romance with the pop idol. Both starlets were spotted later ... though definitely not together.

  • THE VIPs: At Coachella, the acronym should have stood for Very Important Pigpen. The VIP area was pristine at the start of each day. By night's end,it looked like a debris field -- with cups, plastic bottles and uneaten food scattered everywhere. Apparently, the Very Important People need to learn a very important lesson -- clean up after yourselves.

  • OVERHEARD: Retro-soul diva Amy Winehouse bragging to the audience, "I just met Danny DeVito -- and he's as tall as I am without heels!"

  • ALERT THE MEDIA: There was no red carpet, but there might as well have been. Besides Johansson, Diaz and Drew Barrymore, and perennial festivalgoer DeVito, we spotted Lindsay Lohan, Joaquin Phoenix, Jessica Alba, Danny Masterson, Kelly Osbourne, Tommy Lee, Tara Reid and Angie Everhart. Oh yeah, and Paris Hilton (who couldn't decide whether to end the night with a party at the Frank Sinatra house or a bash at Angie's).

  • HEY BUDDY, WHAT'S IN YOUR BAG?: Essential items for the Coachella-bound backpack should include the usual toiletries (sunscreen, deodorant, lip balm and Band-Aids) and protection against the sun (a hat and sunglasses, for example), but also toilet paper and seat covers (because, well, it's a music festival), glow bracelets (to find each other at the end of the night), a mini flashlight (to locate your car) and -- if you're photographer Rick Taber -- perfumed body spray.

    Why, Rick?

    "Ladies will love me."

    Obviously, Rick's a different kind of Axe-man.
  • These photos are better than Wireimage's and all the other shots. Beautiful shots!!
    I think you misunderstood Zach's comments about Bush. He wasn't just slamming the Bush administration, he was making a point that the entire system that both Republicans and Democrats stand upon is morally bankrupt, as war profiteers are the ones pulling the strings and every president since Truman are culpable.

    But yeah, I've seen thousands of bands in my life and I have never seen a crowd go off like Sunday's crowd for Rage did. I saw their set from the sound booth rail, standing above the entire crowd by about 3 feet. It was an ocean of people who were all completely fanatic as far as I could see.

    I don't know how they'll be able to top themselves in 08'. Maybe finally bring out Bowie?
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