Yes, there were some excellent sets -- Yeasayer, for one on the Outdoor Stage. Saw them at Coachella a few years back. Saw them at SS Coachella on the high seas this past December. Quirky. Odd. Fun.
But, the big story this year is not any single band or artist -- it is the new massively super-sized Sahara "tent." This is where all the DJs spin. And, this is where ALL the action is happening this year. Make no mistake -- Sahara is the main stage this year. The former "Main" stage simply can't compete.
Sahara is not so much a tent. It is a massive semi-circular airplane hangar (actually more like a hangar for a blimp -- it is that big -- see the picture on the left for a sense of how massive it is). Sahara wasn't just packed in the night -- the madness began in mid-afternoon. And, "packed" isn't even the right word. Even with its new scale, Sahara overflowed. With bodies. With energy.
This picture below gives you at least a sense of the sensory assault experienced in the Sahara -- a multi-media blitzkrieg. Can't explain it. Must simply be experienced. Massive screens in the front. Massive video cubes on the ceiling. And, sound literally emanating from every direction -- and that means big bass. All the time. Absolutely hypnotic.
We ventured in mid-day -- and spent much of the day and night inside. That was not our plan. And, I doubt it was the plan of others. But, nothing else could compete with that experience. It really is that simple.
And, the surprise winning DJ of the night? Moby. Yes, that Moby! Came back with a vengeance last night. Who knew he still had it in him.
2013. The year of the DJ. The year of Sahara.
Maybe that's why the headliners this year are so weak. Maybe some of the usual suspects realized that they wouldn't be able to compete.