Reporting Scott T. Sterling
With the annual music mecca known as Coachella looming this weekend, some of the most popular DJs on L.A.’s legendary KROQ radio station gathered around the studio to share a few of their favorite festival memories over the years for this episode of Radio.com Inside Out.
Muse’s galvanizing headlining set in 2010 was among the DJs’ favorite moments, and received top marks across the board as one for the ages.
“They came out and they started with ‘Uprising,’ and this crowd of – I don’t know if it was 80,000 or 90,000 – they went bananas,” Stryker said. “Everyone knew every word. At a festival, it can’t be that intimate. But when Muse started, it felt intimate.”
“You know during ‘Starlight’ there’s that [clapping part], that thing? Well, everybody around me was not sober, and it was like a bunch of people swatting flies all over the place,” joked DJ Nicole Alvarez of Muse’s 2010 show. “The set just goes on, and they did this Nirvana cover into ‘Knights of Sedonia’ and faces started melting.”
“So when Tupac comes out, one girl to the left of me was like, ‘I think the ‘shrooms are kicking in, because I think I see Tupac,” Alvarez said. “I couldn’t see, because there were so many people in front of me. So I’m just laughing at her, like, ‘Ha ha, she’s on drugs, whatever.’ Then I finally saw him with my own eyes right when they kicked into ‘2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted,’ and I’m like, ‘That’s pretty cool – technology!’”
“The great thing about Snoop and Dr. Dre was they were at festival where you have bands from Muse and Mumford and Sons and the Black Keys, but they got just as much love if not more,” added Stryker.
“I remember that day in particular, it was like 114 degrees, and I’m not exaggerating on that,” Stryker remembered.
“So they show up to the KROQ Coachella house, and of course they’re pasty white guys, and they’ve just got the tiniest tank tops you could possibly find,” added Kat Corbett. “It was like the sun was just punching them, like, ‘Take this!’”
Still, the blazing heat and blistering sun couldn’t keep Mumford and Sons from making the most of the moment.
“Once they started playing ‘Little Lion Man,’ there were random strangers getting up and kind of like square dancing together,” Alvarez said. “Nobody around me really knew Mumford and Sons then, they hadn’t quite hit, but they just knew that they loved what they felt, and they danced. That was a perfect Coachella moment.”
Other memorable Coachella moments for the DJs included the return of Rage Against the Machine in 2007, Arcade Fire’s beach ball-laden set in 2010 and the Black Keys in 2012, who were remembered as much for their offstage antics as the band’s headlining performance.
“Partier of the year for 2012 last year: Patrick [Carney] of the Black Keys,” Stryker said. “He spent 10 minutes talking about the party he threw in Palm Springs. [It was] in a gated community which got shut down at about 10 o’clock, because there are so many old people in Cadillacs there and they didn’t like the noise Patrick was having.”
Speaking of KROQ and Coachella, watch the live-stream from the KROQ Party House, which is set to feature exclusive interviews and performances from Coachella acts including Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, Diplo, Passion Pit, Foals and many more all weekend long.