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Coachella 2011: Cee Lo Green goes long, gets cut off (maybe during a cover of 'Don't Stop Believin'') [Updated]

Cee Lo Green started his main stage set late at Coachella on Friday evening. And he apparently played over his set time, because after he rocked his megahit " ... You" and launched into what sounded like a cover of "Don't Stop Believin'," his sound was suddenly cut at 5:40 p.m. What appeared at first to be a technical glitch turned out to be intentional. His band continued to play for a minute or so more but Cee Lo shook his head and walked off stage as the confused crowd dispersed.

"I know he went on late, but they should have at least let him finish his set," said a fan as she walked away.

-- Jessica Gelt

[Updated 6:47 p.m.: Gerrick Kennedy saw the entire Cee Lo set, and has this to add:

Showing up late to your own gig at Coachella only gets you so far. For Cee Lo, it got him nothing but grief.  

Restlessness and anger quickly spread through the swarm of fans that had convened to see the singer on the main stage Friday afternoon. With the heat pounding the crowd, it wasn’t long before profanity-laced queries of when he’d show started to ring out. And then came the boos. 

“If we’re coming to your show and you don’t even show I’m like ... you!,” a shirtless fan sang to the tune of Cee Lo's breakout hit. After nearly half an hour, and plenty of walkouts later -– Green arrived. 

“Sorry guys, I just landed. Y’all still gonna party with me? I only have 20 minutes,” Green said. “It ain’t my fault. They should have ... given me a better time slot.”

The statement got him nowhere, as people piled out and shot him single-fingered gestures. It was a drastically abbreviated set. He was able to tackle five songs, including hits “Crazy” and his signature tune, which took on a new meaning. 

“It’s all my fault. Blame me,” and then his sound was cut, leaving the audience -– and a confused band -– to attempt to finish what was thought to be an encore (a cover of Journey's “Don’t Stop Believin’”). Green exited the stage amid boos, clearly angry, as the band played on -- though no one could hear a note.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photo: Cee Lo Green performs at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, California. Credit: Brian Van Der Brug / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (24)

this article is complete bull. Nobody was angry at Cee Lo and nobody was flipping him off. He told the crowd to put their fingers in the air to the song. I especially love that quote about the person singing to his song saying he if you don't show up to your own show, "" you. Please, did you have a reporter roaming the crowd. This article is such bull and it is so obvious.

That boy needs a diet. Pronto.

Obviously Gerrick Kennedy knows nothing about the show or any of the performances there, so why was he even reporting at this show. If he as actually there, he would have known that Cee-Lo told them to put their middle fingers in the air for the song "F--k You!" which was actually a big hit last year.

"After nearly half an hour....Green arrived."

If the schedule is that tight, then management (and jaded reviewers) needs to lighten up or light one up.

Being "fashionably late" doesn't apply when you're performing at a festival like Coachella. The sets are scheduled very tight together, with each artist given a time slot of about an hour. Many Cee Lo fans from around the world paid a lot of money and travelled far to attend the festival. All Cee Lo needed to do was show up on time. Seriously disappointing that he was over half an hour late and then he told the crowd "they're rushing me" when he realized the next scheduled artist was standing by to take the stage. He acted like a spoiled brat, only half singing his F.You song with the look of contempt on his face. His band started playing "Don't Stop Believing" and Cee Lo stormed off like a baby. That's how I saw it. He needs to lose the ego and think about his fans and the other artists at the festival.

No excuse for lateness, i still love his music

I was there, and the crowd was hacked off. There were plenty of people booing during the first 30 minutes of Cee Lo's set time as they waited for him to show up.

Then, when he finally started playing, the performances were rough, one of the lead guitarists' instrument wasn't even working, and it was clear that Cee Lo was a little rattled. There were definitely a lot of people that decided to walk away.

The kicker was the plugged being pulled on Cee Lo right at the 5:40 PM mark. I have to admit I was a little surprised that happened. It' too bad the whole set when down this way because Cee Lo was one of the specific acts I had come to see.

I imagine he could perform a good show, but it's really pathetic to care so little for your fans or potential fans to basically blow-off your debut at Coachella.

No big loss. I doubt too many people paid $250 to see Cee Lo Green. Anyone playing that early on Friday night is just filler, anyway. Such arrogance to think he can show up late and still play a whole set, taking time away from the real acts.

Cee Lo was one of the very few Coachella artists who can actually carry a tune lol

1 hit non-wonder.

In the immortal words of Charlie Sheen, "Hey dude, I've already got your money."

Celo: Fame, easy come, easy go.

Cee Lo was pissed when he got on stage and acted like it. SHOW UP ON TIME, LO! No excuses!

Yeah, this is top grade bull. If you guys watched the whole set you would know that the soundcheck ran way long, as in 20 minutes past his set time. Same thing with Lauryn Hill, we couldn't hear her DJ for the first minute of her delayed set. There was mic feedback through her set. You guys might know this if you were actually there, at the festival, live, instead of watching the webcast. Amateurs.

So, third rate acts like CeLo and "MISS" Hill can't show up on time or complete a sound check in a reasonable manner..Hmm, go figure.

This is what happens when you book 4000 tier two bands to a desert festival fat on it's own press (and that's no swipe at CeLo, just the unfortunate truth). CoachHella is Pearl Jam's second release - look how cool we are, we can do anything we want, and if you don't get your not cool enough. I guess that's in the air too - that Ariel Pink freak basically told the crowd to wait for him while he sulked backstage IN BETWEEN songs.

Hey CoachHELLA, book some REAL talent next time and music fans, not hipsters, will attend. No matter how fast you sold out, your lineup is CRAP. How you got the few decent bands to show I'll never know - maybe the only thing bigger than your ego is your checkbook to pay bands.

No one should ever show up late...love you regardless Cee-Lo. An artist/performer that CAN actually sing. You've been around and will continue to do so!

I'm going to submit a comment again, telling the truth. It seems like moderate only approves the comments that he likes. Cee-Lo was performing in London on Thursday (hint the schedule conflict). Add the flight back to L.A. and then to Indio by Friday (which there will ALWAYS be traffic), you will not be able to make in time either. That's why he said "They should have gave me a better time slot." HE told the crowd to put their middle fingers in the air for "Forget You"

@ Raoul A large number of the crowd was cheering his name.
LOL at some you basing your opinions on the webcast. Do your research.

For those people making excuses for him, he was booked for Coachella in November, before London or LA was on the books. Part of managing an artist is ensuring their schedule allots for their commitments (which are contractual), it's not Coachella's job to accommodate him - oh and what "better time slot" does he think he should have gotten on the main stage? Check your ego.

Hey darlings, last year I waited for a lonnngggg time because Imogen Heap was stuck in that gnarly traffic that leads to the event. And yeah, Cee Lo is one of the reasons I bought my ticket. I don't understand why so many people hate on Cee Lo.

Idiot! Fire your manager!

Was it even his own band that was playing? The guitarist and the bassist were completely out of it, esp. the bassist. Playing everything completely wrong. The drummer, too. I would have pulled the plug after the first song when it became obvious that the band had no idea what they were doing. maybe they were filling in for cee lo's real band.

This is my 2nd comment. Apparently the bassist had this to say:

"I'm the bass player & you guys deserve an explanation. With the late start, we had to get on stage & start playing right away. No time to check exact tuning, you just have to trust your crew & play blind. Couldn't hear much of anything, bad sound problems. No rescue, onstage no one else could hear what was going on either. By the time I could do something about it, it was our last song. Fucked up. Sorry to everyone who's mad about it, trust me, I'm pissed too. Will be sorting it out accordingly."

@CoachellaBelievesItsOwnHype Why exactly did you pay $400 to go to a festival where you hate all the acts? Not really sure who you have to blame for your anger but yourself. Seriously.

As for other comments, this is just what music festivals are like. Too many bands from all over the world, all in the middle of touring, set times too short and too close together. There is no festival that will ever run smoothly from beginning to end. Ever. Over-priced, over-booked, over-crowded, over-rated. I wouldn't blame the artists for the traffic.

I'm not a racist (due to being white and married to a pretty, ebony angel), but I do have my prejudices. They are that none of my black friends or relatives can show up on time for ANYTHING. Lol.

I find it disrespectful that CEE LO blamed Coachella for the time slot, blamed his flight, etc. I wish I had hidden camera footage of this guy casually strolling through the airport. I 100% guarantee the footage looked like this.

My 2 cents.....


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