It seems like the collective internet completely lost it’s shit yesterday when it was announced that Refused and At The Drive In were reforming to play Coachella. It’s probably the company I keep but it seemed like every single person I know was jerking off over it on twitter and Facebook.
At The Drive In and Refused were trending topics on twitter WORLDWIDE though, so it seems it wasn’t just my posse of homies who were going crazy about it and frantically discussing how they can afford to get over to California in three months time for the festival of a lifetime. Everyone except for me that is.
Why? Well, I guess I never really got into Refused or At The Drive In. I mean of course I owned Relationship of Command and The Shape of Punk To Come but I never really thought they were that good despite their status as seminal records, and I haven’t bothered to listen to either of them in the last three years I don’t think. Too busy listening to the Drive soundtrack probably.
But I really am shocked at the outpouring of love for these reunions, as I find it really hard to believe that so many people I’m friends/acquantices with (and even more that I’m not) even know more songs than New Noise or One Armed Scissor – and the only reason they know them in the first place is because they’re CLUB BANGERS. This was of course until last night when everyone frantically started re-listening – or maybe just listening for the first time – to those old records so they could be classified as ‘real fans’ as opposed to all these guys that are just jumping on the bandwagon for the reunion shows. An old tactic yeah, but tried and tested.
I guess maybe some people might know Summer Holidays v Punk Rock Routine or that ATDI song about dancing on the corpses ashes. MAYBE. But I really get the feeling that most people only want to go to Coachella just so they can say stuff like ‘well yeah, I saw the ATDI and Refused reunion shows. I don’t even like them that much but you know it was kinda cool, whatever’ to some drooling little hipster, who is so impressed that you could afford to go because his daddy wouldn’t pay the plane fare this time. He probably hadn’t even heard of Omar Rodriguez or Dennis Lyzken (had to look up how to spell his name, not gonna lie) until Pitchfork broke the news yesterday but they probably now occupy the same role in his head that had been previously occupied by Kurt Cobain/the guy from the Black Keys/James Murphy/whoever is cool this week, so you just know he’s going to be impressed by your big trip and invite you back to his place where you can tell him all about it whilst smoking some crappy yardie weed.
But back to the reunion, has nobody realised how much it is going to fvcking suck at Coachella? Refused and At The Drive In playing huge festival stages. Like that’s going to be good? When you think about seeing those two bands you want to see them in a small sweaty room with a bunch of people going crazy and the amps turned up to 11. Not in some massive field with about 20,000 other people standing still where you can’t hear the guitars or vocals. I can’t really see it being anything but a massive disappointment. Except that most people there probably have only been waiting for it for 3 months rather than 13 years so they’ll just pretend it was a massive disappointment. Or think it ruled.
Actually, you can save yourself all that time and effort and just check out this video of At The Drive In live on Jools Holland during the height of their popularity in what has to be one of the worst live performances I’ve ever seen. Most people have to turn it off after about twenty seconds. If they were this terrible back then…..
Oh yeah and at Coachella I heard you can’t drink and watch bands at the same time – you have to go to a designated bar area to drink where you can’t actually see or hear any bands. I know this shouldn’t really influence my opinion of it, but it does sound like kind of a drag, especially if it’s designed anything like our festivals which means it’s probably a half hour walk from the stage to the bar which is going to get real old real fast.
Despite this rant though I have got to admit the Coachella festival line up is pretty special this year. In addition to Refused and At The Drive In – which even though it will most likely suck is still pretty special – there are about 30 other bands I would love to see but would never really pay to see on their own headline (Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg, Manchester Orchestra, Frank Ocean, Justice, Atari Teenage Riot, Yuck, Squeeze, DJ Shadow, David Guetta, um…Refused and At The Drive In – I’m not gonna lie I would probably check it out if I was there I’m just not gonna pay $2000 for it) and I’m pretty sure my man Girl Talk would positively rip it up at a festival like that, but the fact is I don’t think it’s going to be worth paying $2000 or however much for the experience.
Especially when it looks certain that Refused are going to get announced for Groezrock in Belgium tomorrow which I was already planning on attending for a fraction of the price. I’m not that bothered about At The Drive In – I’ve seen them before.