Wow! What a fantastic weekend!
Desert trip was a blast, we enjoyed it so very much. It was great to see such top acts all in the same place and over one weekend.
The event was mostly very well organised, the shuttle service we used was efficient, quick and got us to and from the event with ease. Security was a little inconsistent but mostly straightforward.
Our General Admission passes meant that we couldn’t get anyway near close to the stage but with the large HD screens that didn’t impact our enjoyment.
Very good a nice downbeat start to the weekend. The production on the large screens was interesting and a little different (at least I’ve not seen it done this way) From a photographer’s point of view I liked it. Essentially, it was black and white with locked off cameras sitting at interesting artsy angles and they just mixed between the various shots. My only negative comment would be that none of the angles allowed you to actually see Bob’s face. The rear screen presentation was also good and supported the bluesy/folksy mood of the act very well.
Very impressed at how close the lens on my rented Pen-F got on that first shot; a much better view than we actually had.
Interesting to note that Dylan is the only American musician represented; apart from Neil Young, who is Canadian, all the others were British 🙂
The Rolling Stones
After the blues vibes from Dylan the Stones came crashing on and took the concert up a few stops on the adrenaline scale. Absolutely top notch entertainment playing all the usual suspects a great show and well worth going just for them.
I’m not a massive fan of Neil but like many of his songs; particularly the early stuff. He brought a completely different feel to the early Saturday night show, some folksy but but mostly heavy blues rock.
What can I say, the guy is simply amazing. What a great show and such a change from the Neil Young show preceding. Paul really knows what his fans have come to see and hear. Absolutely an awesome show. The graphics and rear screen presentation were excellent too.
I have to admit I am a fan of The Who and so this was one act that I really wanted to see – I wasn’t disappointed. Pete Townsend, who is probably the original hard rock guitarist still has it and (even at his age) didn’t hold back; managing to end up sporting a cut to his eyebrow in the process. Roger Daltrey also gave it his all; how his throat copes with that kind of abuse I will never know. Totally awesome!
Okay so I’m not a big Pink Floyd fan and this was the end of a long weekend of late nights and we were very tired. As a result we didn’t watch his entire set. I know, I know that is probably some sort of blasphemy for many people; prog rockers especially. I must say the the half the show we did watch was very slick and perfectly timed. I do have a better appreciation of that music as a result.
Is it me or does Roger Waters look like he could be Richard Gere’s dad?
Food and drink
So for the first night we had spoiled ourselves and paid for the ‘Culinary Experience’ which was perfect to give us time to find our bearings without worrying about where food (or drink was).. This was an enclosed area and gave us as much as you can eat/drink from a wide range of high quality ‘vendors’ including all types of food plus wine, beer gin etc etc. It wasn’t cheap but I think it was worth it and if we’d have been a little canny would have been even more so; I mean some people paid for one person who filled bottles with drink and presumably their bag with food before exiting and sharing with the rest of their friends/family. I wouldn’t say that I would do that but as the service stopped when the shows started I might have taken some out for later.
For the other two nights we ate at the various food vendors but made sure we ate a good lunch beforehand as no food was allowed to be brought in and the prices inside weren’t cheap. Alcohol was particularly expensive in my opinion with a round of two drinks never under $20 and sometimes close to $30 – in my country we’d call that a “rip off!” The food quality was good quality though throughout the event and very tasty.
Okay so there was some negative, I have mentioned the drinks prices, the other bad thing was the merchandise selling. This I felt was very badly arranged and organised. Essentially it was a large (50 yard wide) tent with the available merch fixed to the back wall and somewhere between 30 and 50 lines/queues up to the front counter. When you eventually got to the front you had to look down the back wall (which may be 30 or so yards away to you side) and either describe or if you have been able to spend time walking down the lines to check them out) quote the reference number. Your server would then go and pick the items and bring them to you; in the case of clothes that meant rummaging in large boxes hunting for the right size (as they didn’t appear to be sorted/arranged). Then and only then would you get a proper look and be able to decide if it was actually what you wanted. Add on top the slow technology to complete your transaction this meant each purchase took 10 to 20 minutes! (some even more). If they had only listed all the available merch on their event app you could at least be looking whilst you queued and be ready when you got to the front. Also, if they had pickers running about it would also have help speed it up. Anyway, that was only a relatively small disappointment in an otherwise very well run event (it did mean we missed the start of the ‘Stones though).
Other entertainment was also available; an interesting exhibition of ‘rock’ photographs, a Ferris wheel (what would be called a ‘Big’ wheel in the UK) as well photo points etc.
This was a totally fantastic weekend; it wasn’t a cheap event at all costing about the same as a holiday/vacation but, if you are able to invest the money, you would not be disappointed. I must mention smoking because there was a lot of it going on (all types) which I’ve not been exposed to for a long time, people weren’t very courteous about it which was a shame.
All of these acts have been performing longer than I’ve been alive (hard to believe, I know) and as such have such a good songbook to call from meaning that there is something for everyone. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.
Pictures are a mix of phone and camera shots.