Zac Brown Band performs Sunday night at Stagecoach. Marilyn Chung/The Desert Sun
The Atlanta Georgia-based Zac Brown Band closed out the 2013 edition of Stagecoach Sunday night with their 2008 chart-topping hit, “Chicken Fried,” a fun loving, down-homesy tune about the simple pleasures of Southern living.
The group’s captivating hour and forty minute set served up some tantalizing string work by fiddling phenom Jimmy De Martini.
De Martini just killed it, especially on “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” a song the band dedicated to Charley Daniels, who performed Sunday afternoon at Stagecoach.
Maria Becerra of Coachella directs a festival-goer during Toby Keith's performance at Stagecoach. Denise Goolsby/The Desert Sun
Maria Becerra is working hard for her money during a month-long stint as a security officer at Stagecoach and Coachella Music and Arts Festival.
Becerra, 31, of Coachella – who had been unemployed – jumped at the chance to to work at the festivals, even though it was temporary employment.
She started April 7. Her final day is scheduled for May 10.
“The past two weeks I’ve worked 180 hours,” she said. “I work 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. – 16 hours a day. Some people work 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.”
A festival-goer stocks up on water, with a side of ice.
With the temperatures soaring to record highs on Saturday and Sunday at Stagecoach, drink vendors – of the non-alcoholic persuasion – were seeing huge increases in sales.
By about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Best Beverage Catering had sold, “A whole pallet of water,” said employee Nancy Escamilla.
There’s 1,872 bottles in a pallet. That’s double the amount they sold each day on Friday and Saturday, she said.
Lady Antebellum performed Saturday at Stagecoach. Marilyn Chung/The Desert Sun
By the time Lady Antebellum signed off at the Mane Stage with “We Owned the Night,” the temperature had dipped back into double-digits after hitting a high of 104 on Saturday – the first time temps broke 100 degrees during a Stagecoach festival.
The festival’s previous heat record of 98 degrees was set on April 28, 2012.
The trio of Hillary Scott, 7-months pregnant – her baby girl is due at the end of July – Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood opened their Stagecoach set with “Downtown,” the first single from their upcoming album, “Golden,” due out May 7.
The song – Miranda Lambert had first dibs on the tune but lifted her hold on “Downtown” when she got word Lady A wanted to include the song on their new album – recently hit No. 1 on the charts.
Pulling the trigger on their hottest song so early in the set caught some in the crowd off guard.
Densie Goolsby/The Desert Sun
For someone who often got lost going back to her car at night during past Stagecoach festivals, the new color-coded pathways are much appreciated.
Pink, orange, yellow and purple signs and swaths of colored fabric are affixed to fences along the long, mile-plus routes to and from the parking lots. The same color scheme was introduced this year during Coachella.
Towards the middle of Toby Keith’s set on the Mane Stage Friday, the Stagecoach headliner switched gears to pay tribute to country music legend George Jones, who died Friday morning at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
Jones, who had been hospitalized since April 18 with irregular blood pressure, was 81.
“He is the face of country music,” Keith told a cheering crowd.
Keith launched into two of Jones’ standards, “She Thinks I Still Care,” and the rockin’ “White Lightning.”
L to R: Brothers Christopher and Joe Duarte of Redlands. Denise Goolsby/The Desert Sun
Business was brisk on Friday at the Calico Hat Company booth at Stagecoach.
The booth, brimming with cowboy hats stacked in neat piles, was a popular stop-off point for festival-goers before entering the main grounds.
Brothers Joe Duarte, 22, and Christopher Duarte, 23, of Redlands, plopped a couple of straw-type models on their heads and made a quick purchase decision.
L to R: Jerry Lucas and Blue and Laurie Cameron and Tia. Denise Goolsby/The Desert Sun
Blue and Tia clomped steadily across a grassy field early Thursday night on the eve of Stagecoach: California’s Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.
The equines and their riders – Laurie Cameron, aboard Tia and Jerry Lucas up on Blue – were patrolling the perimeter of the festival grounds as part of the Alpha & Omega Mounted Security Patrol team.
Alpha & Omega, based in Southlake, Texas, provide equestrian security services for Stagecoach and the Coachella Music and Arts Festival.
“We’re the eyes and ears for law enforcement and festival organizers,” said Bruce Smith, the company’s vice president of operations. “We’re the unarmed part of the security team … we’re an asset to the festival. We can see over the crowd. We’re 10 feet up in the air. Who wants to pet a squad car,” he said, laughing.
As the sun sets on Weekend 2 of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the countdown to Stagecoach begins! On Friday, the official Stagecoach Twitter account posted an Instagram photo checking off the days.
We’re now just over 100 hours away!
In the meantime, enjoy our playlist of Stagecoach 2013 artists:
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and Red Hot Chili Peppers will headline the second annual Firefly Music Festival, June 21 – 23, in Dover, Delaware.