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Coachella 2006: I was there

Spencer Patterson

Of the hundreds of shows I’ve seen and covered, I never expected two robots with nary an instrument in hand to provide me with my all-time most memorable concert experience.

I’d hoped Daft Punk’s 2006 Coachella Music & Arts Festival set might be something special, but it was tough to imagine how the French electronic duo could possibly live up to the hype surrounding its first U.S. performance in nine years. Until, that is, the curtains opened, revealing the group’s never-before-seen pyramid construct.

What went down for the next 80 minutes can only be described as mass euphoria, as those of us packed within (or spilling far beyond) the massive dance tent found our senses overloaded and our brains overrun, by way of music, lights and collective energy. Reality briefly ceased to exist: I never once checked my watch, pondered what song might come next or said a word to my friends. I simply marveled at the phantasmagoric light show and danced as much as my compressed surroundings would allow to Daft Punk’s reconditioned disco fun, as familiar tunes mingled and merged to become uncharted new entities.

Can Daft Punk’s 2007 Vegoose compare? For me, doubtful. The scene, the spectacle and the music felt so perfect on that April night, it’s hard to believe lightning like that can strike twice. But I’ll be front and center come 10:15 Saturday night just in case. With Daft Punk in the house, literally anything seems possible.

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