The festival of the century. Bucket list fest. Call it whatever you want, but I feel incredibly privileged for having been one of the 75,000 people that attended the Desert Trip festival in Indio, CA on “weekend one” (Oct 7-8-9).
There have been a lot of age-jokes about the festival, which I guess is to be expected when you put all these legends on the same stage three days in a row:
The Rolling Stones
Even Mick Jagger himself made a few age-jokes when he entered the stage the first evening.
It’s funny though, cause I never saw “old men” on that stage.
I saw young guys stuck in the wrong bodies.
Every time I see Keith Richards smile that rascal smile of his, I see a rebel kid that lives inside a wrinkly body, and you see it in his eyes too.
It’s not an old dude. He is just badass, maybe even more now than ever before. He’s earned it.
Being young is not always an advantage. Respect and reverence is something you can enjoy when you’ve invested YEARS into whatever it is you do in life.
There is not a 20-year old on the planet who comes even CLOSE to being as cool as Keith Richards. When you’ve done something your whole life, proving time and time again that you’re not only a survivor, but also a winner and you’ve paid your dues a long time ago, it just puts you in a position that younger musicians can only dream of.
Check out Mick Jagger. Most young guys couldn’t do what he does – he doesn’t stand still for five seconds, he works the biggest stages in the world and he doesn’t even stop to catch his breath. What “old dude” does that? It’s all about the energy that you’re projecting, not the packaging you’re stuck with.
Paul McCartney always had his boyish charm, and he’s always looked like a young man, dispite the inevitable signs of aging. His spirit shines through everything he does and all he is.
He’s a young boy with a talent that he’s blessed the world with.
When he entered the stage at Desert fest, I wasn’t prepared for my own reaction. I thought I was going to be all smiles and partyyyy during his set. Instead, his very presence made me cry like a baby for almost 2 hours straight! I simply couldn’t stop it. That’s how powerful that experience was.
It was tears of joy and like a “movie” rolling inside my head that took me to different places and emotions throughout my life, that were somehow connected to whatever song he was playing. First love. First heartache. Days in school. Growing up. Life. Friendships. Career. Every single song is strongly connected to something that has touched my heart. I could barely hold on to my camera when he sang “Here Today” (tribute to John Lennon). Just totally lost it there.
That wasn’t a concert. That was a religious experience. And going back to that age thing, I can’t recall ever having one of those super-emotional experiences at any 20-year old’s gig. Not even when I was 20.
Wrote this in a private Facebook update that night:
“I’ve used superlatives about concerts and artists in my life, but that was compared to what I had seen, heard and experienced up until then. THIS was not just on another PLANET, it was a totally different GALAXY. I’ve never seen anything that powerful in my entire life and I’ve seen a lot.
The whole thing just moved me to tears, I was bawling my eyes out while smiling up to my ears all at the same time, because I really didn’t know what else to do with everything that I felt during that show.
I’ll have to process it a little first, but, man… that was just… they would have to come up with another word that’s stronger than “amazing”, “fantastic” or “out of this world”. Paul McCartney in concert – on a stage this size makes EVERYONE ELSE look like freakin AMATEURS!”
The Who… Oh yeah, when you hear Pete Townshend talk to the crowd, it’s easy to tell that he’s still a loud rebel at heart with a whole lotta attitude! And he did slide on the stage on his knees too!!
When Roger Daltrey swings his microphone like a maniac, I suddenly realize who Sebastian Bach got that move from. :)
In short: These guys wrote the book! The book of rock’n’roll. They had something to say, they had visions, they just went ahead and changed the world.
So to me it wasn’t just an “old dude festival”. Far from it.
My closing words in a private post on Facebook that night were:
“I leave the US this time with my mind full of impressions which will take a long time to process, but it was something extraordinary that I’ll remember for the rest of my life“.
There is a LOT more to say and post from the festival, but I just wanted to share some of my first reflections on that age-thing – cause in this case, age is a measure of your coolness.
Cause when you’ve worked yourself up to this level, there is NOBODY that will EVER get close enough to even try kicking your ass! :) And that calls for some respect.
The ULTIMATE rock band (that’s still around, still touring and going strong!) ROLLING STONES visited Sweden on the 1st of July. My friend Hemmi and I drove the 7 hours up to Stockholm to see them.
I had no idea what to expect. I’ve always missed them when they visited Sweden, either I didn’t have any money or I was out of the country or Keith Richards would get the tour cancelled by falling out of a coconut tree! But now they were back and both me and Hemmi wanted to see the Stones – I mean, you just can’t get an opportunity to see a legendary band like that and not go!
There were plenty of people standing in line when we got there but it wasn’t as crazy as it is at heavy metal concerts. The lady in front of us was from Queens, New York, and she was telling her stories about seeing Beatles when she was 14 – that being her very first concert. “They didn’t have the sound equipment back in those days that they do now, you couldn’t hear anything“, she explained. She had also seen Jimi Hendrix, The Who, whoever – ALL the classics. She was travelling all over the world with her husband so see bands (like Stones…) now. I could see myself in her in a way – I hope that will be me when I get to her age. Hopefully I’ll have found a guy who is on the same page by then too! :D
It started raining. Not just raining, POURING, it was nuts! I’m glad I brought my rain poncho to keep me from getting soaked.
They finally opened the doors, with a bit of delay, and I was so relieved to see that there was a ROOF on the Tele2 arena, and not an open air arena. That just made my day. I got in the absolute front of the first section after Golden Circle as well, whereas Hemmi stood a little bit behind, but he’s so tall he can see anything anywhere anyway. :)
The first opener was Swedish singer Amanda Jenssen, a very talented young lady who was competing in the Swedish version of American Idol. I like her, she’s a real musician and she’s doing her own thing.
The second band was something from Norway that quite frankly was so boring I nearly fell asleep. Not my thing at ALL. Besides, it would have been quite enough with just ONE opener.
When it was time for the Stones to enter the stage I was really excited – what would they be able to do live?
I’ll tell you what they did. They absolutely FLOORED ME! I had NEVER in a million years, thought that men in their 70s would be THAT great, that full of life, that amazing – I can’t find another word to describe it.
Mick Jagger was all over the place, all the time, not still one second (except for songs where he was playing an acoustic guitar and singing). Keith Richards…. I LOVE Keith Richards, he’s the coolest man on the planet! I want to kidnap him, take him home and have him tell me stories about his life! Wouldn’t that be the greatest thing. :D
It was a strange sensation, seeing these men – obviously “old”, yet not being old at ALL. There was a glow and an energy beyond belief in Keith – and all of them for that matter. All I could see was a bunch of young naughty, happy boys trapped in older bodies. It just didn’t fit – those bodies should be exchanged to fit what’s inside them – if it was possible. :D I just loved every second of it.
I normally film every show I go to. This was one of the few times that I didn’t care – I filmed maybe 4 songs, the rest of the show I just let the music take control of my body and just LIVE it, experience it! I don’t mind the filming, sometimes it’s even better than without the camera, because the camera zoom functions as binoculars in a way, but this just…nah. Camera away. :D
Everything was top notch. Fantastic backing vocalists, very cool stage show… But you know, even if it hadn’t been for all that – it would have been enough to just watch their faces, the band having fun together and letting the crowd join the party. That’s what it’s all about. It was 100% genuine and I totally and fully understand why they have been on top for 50 years and why people all over the world still worship them. It’s because they’ve got “IT”.
It was just such a pleasure to see that show and I deeply regret not getting tickets to any more shows. But, I really had no idea what I was about to experience. I can only hope that they will come back, just once more – or just do a show or two in Europe again after their tour of Australia.
If you get a chance to see them, DO IT! :D
So the general ticket sales for ROLLING STONES started this morning. It’s been 7 years since Jagger, Richards & co visited Sweden (the last time they were supposed to play here, they had to cancel all gigs because Keith Richards fell out of a freaking coconut-tree!)
It’s just a band that I always wanted to see but the few times they’ve been in Sweden, I’ve either been too young, or too broke, I wasn’t in the country or they cancelled… So THIS time, it was time to get those much anticipated tickets!
As always, there’s a bit of an adrenaline-rush when tickets for something go on sale. It’s a race, it’s exciting and nerve wracking, cause you KNOW that thousands of people all over the country are waiting, just like you, for THAT very second when the sale begins, to get their hands on those precious tickets!
In my case, it was extremely bad timing.
I had to be at the doctor’s this morning, and since you never know when you’ll be able to get another appointment, I couldn’t cancel it. But it was at 8.55 AM and the ticket sales were supposed to start at 9.00…….
I had plan A, B and C ready in my mind.
Plan A was to show up VERY early and hope I would get called right away. I would be out the door just in time for the ticket sales.
Plan B was to “go to the bathroom” in case they were late calling my name, and get those tickets using my smartphone. What are they gonna do, tell me I can’t go do the loo? :)
And plan C was to just either not show up at all or simply tell them to let somebody else go before me.
Either way, I wasn’t about to miss this opportunity!
I was lucky. I got there early, got out after less than 10 minutes and went to my car to get in the virtual waiting line for those tickets…!
It said that I was in line and when it was my turn, the page would refresh and let me choose my tix. After 10 minutes, there was still nothing. Totally dead. I thought I had missed my chance.
I called my friend Mari to ask her if it looked the same on her PC and she confirmed that it did. It looked stuck, but she told me to hang in there, it was the same for every single major ticket sale. I know that but patience is not my strong side when it comes to things like this. :)
So, I put the smartphone on the passenger seat and drove off, figured that maybe I would have better luck trying from my PC.
Then, in the middle of traffic, I saw that the page had updated! And it told me to choose my preferred seats/tickets!
I pulled up to the side of the road and stopped so that I could finish my purchase.
And I got my tickets! The day was saved!! Ten minutes later, the 60,000 capacity arena, was SOLD OUT!
It’s 2014. The bands and artists that wrote music history won’t be around much longer. This is the last chance to see legends – real, true superstars in every sense of the word. They wrote the book. Everything that came after them did just that – came after them.
[John Lennon & Mick Jagger]
It’s the real deal, simply something as close to music royalty as you will ever get.
[Jimi Hendrix & Keith Richards]
I’m glad I got to see Tina Turner and Paul McCartney, and I’m so glad that I got to meet Beatles-producer George Martin.
Stones and Elton John are on the road this year. I’ll try to get good tickets for Elton as well. It’s a privilege I’m not missing out on. :-)