The Charlie Daniels Band performs during Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival in Indio,CA, Sunday, April 28, 2013. (Michael Snyder/The Desert Sun)
The Charlie Daniels Band opened to a very appreciative and energetic crowd Sunday night in the Palomino tent.
It was filled to the brim with fans dancing in the crowd and on hay bales. A beach ball was even being thrown around.
For 76-years-old, Charlie Daniels can still fiddle like crazy.
Even before John C. Reilly got on stage, the crowd was yelling various quotes, titles and characters from some of his more memorable movies.
“Shake n Bake!” (From Talladega Night: The Legend of Ricky Bobby)
“Boat’s n Ho’s!” (The title of a song he sang with Will Farrell in Stepbrothers)
“Dewey Cox!” (His title character from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story)
The beer garden on the west end of the Stagecoach venue underneath a series of white peaked tents is the furthest place from the Mane Stage to watch a show, but it’s packed today.
People were hunkered down, even sitting on the cement while watching Florida Georgia Line.
I’m guessing it’s a combination of dedicated beer drinkers and country music fans seeking shelter from the triple digit temps.
The barbecue at Stagecoach is so good it made one vegan start eating meat again.
Tanna Key, 19, a UCLA student from Georgia was almost embarrassed to admit that she gave in.
“I’m normally vegan but when you have barbecue this good you cant resist,” she said.
What made her give in was the brisket chili from Meat, Inc. and the barbecue sauce from Dirty Harry.
From the south she didn’t think festival barbecue could beat what she’s had back home – but she was wrong.
There are plenty of watering holes for the adults at Stagecoach.
There’s a cantina, the Jameson Lounge, a full bar and seven places to buy beer.
But what about the kids?
That’s where the Half-Pint Hootenanny comes in.
It provides a variety of activities for the young cowpokes that include entertainment, a petting zoo, face painting and temporary tattoos.
This group of friends from all over Southern California couldn’t party in the RV area because they weren’t camping and had been kicked out of the parking lot.
So they did what any hard core and dedicated partier would do, they set up shop along the walking path into the venue on a grassy patch underneath a date tree.
“This is the pre, pre, pre, party,” yelled one exuberant festivalgoer.
The group of about 15 had folding chairs out, a table with flippy cup being played, and coolers with plenty of beer.
This pedicab driver paused for a photo April 26, 2013, at Stagecoach. (Xochitl Pena/The Desert Sun)
Anyone who has attended Coachella the past two weekends and Stagecoach today has seen the pedicabs.
They are driven back and forth all day long taking weary music fans from their cars to the venue or vice versa.
I had guessed the drivers make decent money, but not upwards of $5,000 for both Coachella concerts combined.
At least that’s what one friendly driver told me.
When the fans aren’t listing to country music or buying various goods from all the vendors, many of them are inside the Playstation Society tent keeping cool, playing video games like God of War and Guacamelee or using the handheld VITAs.
The inside of the tent looks like a man’s dream rumpus room with cushy couches, big flat screen TV’s and a poker table.
People can just grab an empty console or VITA and start playing. A major bonus is people can also have their phone charged up while playing.
Fans may not have noticed, but when Robert Ellis, 24, took to the Palomino Stage on Friday, he was a little rattled.
He was using a borrowed guitar from Gibson and hadn’t noticed until it was too late that it was missing a guitar strap.
“That’s why I had to sit on a stool which kind of threw off my whole vibe. At a festival I’d prefer to stand because I like to get people’s attention,” he said after his set.
There might not be as many shade areas around for Stagecoach fans, but there are plenty bales of hay inside the Palomino and Mustang tents that resemble couches and offer fans a slightly scratchy place to sit.
“It brings out a country feel. Kind of like a barn,” said Carl Burlew from Sacramento while sitting on a hay bale with his mother.
The two had set up shop in anticipation of Connie Smith and thought they were actually quite comfy.
Country music fans can also bring in folding chairs and set them up directly in front of the stages, which many did for the early afternoon sessions.