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Coachella 2009 Day 3: Busy P

April 19, 2009 |  4:57 pm


With the sun beating down on the Empire Polo Field and the terrible promise of temperatures reaching into the triple digits fulfilled, the masses converged in the shade of the Sahara tent for a galvanizing set by French electrohouse DJ/producer Busy P.

As befitting Day 3 of what the doyen of Ed Banger Records (government name: Pedro Winter) termed from the stage the "best festival on the planet," many in the crowd seemed wild-eyed and over-awed, more than likely hungover too. They were people worn smooth by absorbing culture in its raw form, by assimilating almost too many sounds from across the range of frequencies, by circulating the vast event site hemmed in and buoyed by so many other like-minded music aficionados of every stripe.

Let me be clear that I count myself among this group: We have been dazzled by so many spotlights, numbed by so much high volume sound and awed by the presence of such high caliber Rock Stars on the Southland's most titanic stage, that it can be hard to get back in the game at midafternoon on the last day of a long weekend.

Busy P must have somehow sensed it. Accompanied by his Ed Banger label mate DJ Mehdi, Busy P delivered a pupu platter of pummeling beats that at once awakened and inspired his audience again with the transformative power of overwhelming sound. His beats thudded up against the hangovers, overpowering them and prompting a lot of what can only be classified as Goofy Dancing. There was easy skankin', others raving with an almost Tourettic savagery and a couple of people appeared to be doing the Elaine.

In fact, with his vast arsenal of different beats -- cortex-rattling all; some jittery, others entrancing, by turns Balearic and slyly referencing hip-hop -- Busy P seemed to have a command of percussion akin to the Eskimo vocabulary for snow. His cluttered productions, with their blunt sensuality and trashy synth grace, awakened the crowd; at the outset, nearly half sat, but by the end, a good four-fifths were on their feet and shaking fists.

This shared experience would be where we rallied, where the overextended and partied-out would regroup, energized again to go out and respond to yet more ultra-stimulation.

The DJs closed the set with a surprise oldies banger, the Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)." And with that, the mechanical unity that Busy P had created in his world-wearied constituency had run its course.

-- Chris Lee

Photo by Kristian Dowling / Getty Images