There´s no way to measure the exact number of orgasms per minute within the audience of Desert Trip. However it is legit to consider that the world is a better place to live now than before the festival. More than 70,000 people couldn’t hide their blushed cheeks, shaky legs and the sweat in the backs and foreheads. All those people, including myself, will get through this week with a big smile on their face. A great and contagious after sex smile.
Neil Young and Roger Waters performances increased the number of -noticeable- orgasms. They delivered at their best, they were the most vocal about social and politic aspects, basically they were the jewels of the crown. All the respect to the rest of the members of a memorable line up: Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and The Who. But, come on, those two guys just nailed it.
What the Canadian songwriter did was beyond spectacular. Nobody dared to give a different statement than this one in the improvised expert debate groups that were formed. The average age of the audience in Desert Trip was over 50 years old and all conversations about music were very substantial; they had really well thought intellectual points. On the other hand, this extremely smart way of analyzing music and it’s execution on stage became more basic when the conversation turned to which candidate they should vote in the next elections, for Hilary Clinton or for Donald Trump. It’s obvious that the national debates between them are primitive and makes it easier to extend this elemental way of deliberation all around.
Young assumed his activist role and made his point crystal clear. Before his show began, we could understand what his intentions were. The stage included two tipis in a pretty Western atmosphere. It was just a matter of time. The moment when Young would point his guitar towards Trump while nailing a solo was getting closer.
“Come back tomorrow night. Roger is gonna build a wall and make Mexico great again”, he joked to an audience that was as divided in political issues as loyal to the songwriter.
He was superb in every aspect: he played guitar like if it was the last day on Earth and his voice was endless, his attitude was the perfect suite for his ‘rockanrolla’ simplistic character.There are no fancy clothes needed for a real artist, just his talent while playing ‘Rocking On a Free World’, ‘Down By The River’, ‘Words in Between Lines’, ‘Harvest Moon’ or ‘Heart Of Gold’. He proved to be breathtaking on his own, but mate, when a legend like him is surrounded by a group of young and extremely talented guys, the place can burn. The guys of ‘Promise of the Real’ were the perfect fit and provided enough rough power to help Young´s message spread loud and clear. It was great to see a 70 year old genius playing with some dudes in their 20´s and enjoying it like never before. It´s pretty cool to see him killing it and with such a strong connection with guys that are 45 years younger than him.
Dylan and the Rolling didn´t use their shows to advocate for a revolution, Young did it his way on Saturday and McCartney mentioned the black rights issues in the USA before playing Blackbird. But it was on Monday when Waters took everyone to a continuous climax with a mix of excellence and activism.
ROGER WATERS UNDRESSED DONALD TRUMP
Waters was magnificent in every level: in the visual aspect, in the sound and in the content of his message. The feminine harmonies stood out incredibly in ‘The Great Gig in the Sky’. Everything was impressive in the show but there was something that really made it daring: the political content. Waters undressed Trump, he mocked him, he caricatured him, he turned him into a flying pig, called him a liar, racist, sexist, ignorant and sang some of those lyrics that time don´t rust. Waters fought the postwar establishment with the same weapons he is using now. He also had time to declare that Israel should leave Palestine, a stand that was not approved by a noticeable group within the audience. Risky business the one Waters got into during his performance, but worth it from the perspective of a guy that feels the responsibility to use the privilege of being in front of thousands of people. Chapeu
The Englishman took over the responsibility of closing such a unique festival, and he succeeded. Before him, The Who performed classics like ‘My Generation’, ‘The Kids Are Alright’, ‘Pinball Wizard’, ‘Baba O´Riley’ or ‘Won´t Get Fool Again’, among other anthems. You can´t go wrong with Pete Townshead and Roger Daltrey.
Beyond all the orgasms that were experienced during these three magical days, it will be impossible to forget the sunsets of Indio, California, and those mountains that embrace this idyllic location; or the good vibe of a more mature and less narcissistic festival than Coachella; or the superb organization; the impeccable sound. How can we leave behind You Can´t Always Get What You Want from The Rolling Stones or their cover of The Beatles song, Come Together; or the vibrant connection between McCartney and Young while they shared stage to play ‘A Day In The Life’, ‘Give Peace A Chance’ and ‘Why Don´t We Do It On The Road?’; or the first song that The Beatles recorded (‘In Spite Of All The Danger’); or the way Dylan is still on the road at 75 years old; how can we forget Waters whole performance…
Desert Trip gave us so many moments that we had witnessed a unique ad unrepeatable experience. Is it possible that this event will be in the same league as Woodstock 69′, Newport Folk Festival 65′, Live Aid 85′ or Monterrey 67′? There are several arguments supporting this reality: the spectacular line up, the social and political context, the magic of the performances, the unfolding energy and the feeling that this festival was something special. Time will tell.