If you’re a lover of the good old classic rock and roll, you must have heard of Desert Trip.
This year Desert Trip saw 6 of the biggest legends take over California over a weekend to make people relive the olden days! Put on every year by AEG Live (The same guys behind Coachella), this “classic rock Coachella” event was going to be a historical event of sorts right from the minute the headliners for the event were announced. The headliners for the 3 day event were something which would make the dead rise from the graves and come to the concert. The Who, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters and Paul McCartney! You read that right.
The musicians were all part of a breed which were in their prime around the 1960s. Back then, their music was hailed as the music of the generations to come and they weren’t wrong. The event organisers were not going to stop at that. They promised the attendees a brilliant stage with no stone left unturned. Not only that – it marked the first time many of these rock acts would share the same stage for the first time in their respective, decade-long careers!
The first weekend of the event saw over 70,000 people head to the grounds to catch their favourite rock stars live. The crowd had a perfect mix of oldies as well as teenagers who wanted to get a taste of the rock God’s musical prowess. The event was even briefly given the funny nickname of “Oldchella” because of all the kids bringing their along parents to see their favourite artists.
The event had plenty of luxurious options for people who didn’t mind spending a few extra bucks here and there. There was a premium seating area for those who couldn’t stand for long hours, an Airsteam RV camping, an on-site record store, and an all-star lineup of world renowned chefs and 40 of the best restaurants from Los Angeles to New York.
But at the end of it all, the music was the reason why everyone was there and the music was definitely the star of the night. Given the huge names on the lineup, it was bound to be the kind of music which would make an oldie go “Those were the days” or “They don’t make them like these anymore”. The event started off with Bob Dylan blasting out a 15 song set which saw him belt out some of his famous hits like “Lonesome Day Blues”, “Simple Twist of Fate” and “Desolation Row” among many other crowd favourites.
It was then the turn of Rolling Stones to take over and put up a show. And boy did they put up a show! They started off the show by providing fans with an inside peek into their new album “Blue & Lonesome” and then played “Mixed Emotions” for the first time since 1990. They even jammed on a cover of “Come Together” by The Beatles. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, even after all these years, showed no signs of slowing down. Mick Jagger might be the only rock star to get away with wearing his own bands t-shirt! Talk about being the coolest oldies around on the music scene!
It was then The Who’s turn to rip the stage to shreds. They quickly started belting out their hits by starting off with “My Generation”, “Who Are You”, “Eminence Front” and finally finishing it off with “Baba O Riley”!
Then the Pink Floyd maestro Roger Waters took to the stage. What people didn’t know was that they were in for an earth shattering 27 song set from the musical legend! Roger Waters, after the gig, admitted that this was the most powerful sound system he had ever used in his life. When that comes from a rock legend who has been playing gigs for over 40 years, you know you’ve done everything right! He performed some of the biggest Pink Floyd hits like “Money”, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and “Wish You Were Here”. Roger also took his performance and gave it a political feel. Off late, he has been very vocal about his dislike towards Donald Trump and how he should not be made President. He seamlessly merged several visuals mocking Donald Trump in the most unflattering way, complete with a pig flying over the crowd and that just made people more happy!
Throughout the weekend, everyone in attendance was treated to, what might be, some of the best and most memorable performances of a life time. These stars are the true embodiment of what music was back in the 60s and 70s. A huge generation grew up listening to them and their music inspired change in a lot of ways!
If only we had the chance to witness history being made that weekend!
(Picture Courtesy: Desert Trip Facebook)