The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival… holy @#$! shit, what an absolute amazing experience!
This was my second time attending the nation’s reigning mother supreme of music festivals (and the most-successful festival according to Billboard Box-Office). For anyone with a hard on for live music of all genres, Coachella is the ultimate wet dream. There truly is no other way to describe the magic that is everything Coachella. My obsession with Coachella stems from the diverse line-up all in one setting, surprise superstar performances, and 100,000 music and art lovers dancing, singing, and getting their life in the California desert.
This year’s Coachella adventure kicked-off with a friends’ reunion in Los Angeles with my best friends Cheri and Harry a.k.a. Hit & Run (childhood friends from Tampa) and Kristin (who just so happened to be visiting California the same weekend). I linked up with other former Tampons Jamal and Robert that evening, and received the ultimate surprise when I found out that my New York friends and family (sans Jason ::insert tears::) were in L.A. celebrating Gary’s birthday.
It was one big, fat, gigantic Tampa reunion in Los Angeles that just so happened to come together randomly. The entire randomness of it all is best described by Nadia’s greeting to me when we first ran into one another that evening: “What the fuck are you doing here? Are you real? Is this night even real?”
The weekend continued as we met up with Daddy Neil and Rusty, drove to Palm Springs and prepared for the onslaught of the next three days. One of the weekend’s highlights was meeting Chloe and Erin, two fabulous (and quite hilarious) beauties from the UK. We instantly clicked on night one during Outkast’s ho-hum reunion performance, and spent the rest of the Coachella weekend singing and dancing the nights away.
The music highlights of this year’s Coachella include:
- Empire of the Sun… I had been dying to see them live since I was first hypnotized by their “Walking on a Dream” single six years ago, and the boys certainly did not disappoint. They were the perfect blend of pomp, flash and drama needed for the Sahara tent, and my pick for the best performance of the weekend.
- Skrillex… Sonny Moore remains one of the few prominent on the EDM scene whose artistry and craft emanates from his every DJ set. For those cynics who wrongly insinuate that there is no true talent or work in being a DJ, Skrillex’s thrilling set at Coachella is the receipt to silence them.
- Rudimental… It was a treat to finally see this British band perform, especially to witness how their music which encompasses drum and bass, R&B and soul, and pure funk came together in a live setting.
- Calvin Harris… Mr. Harris now boasts the second largest performance attendance in the history of Coachella, second only to 2012’s Dr. Dre, Snoop
DoggLion and the 2Pac holgram’s historic California Lovefest. He played an effortless set of his greatest hits, from “Feel So Close” to Rihanna’s “We Found Love” to new single “Summer.” No guest performances, no surprises. And for those cynics who complained that his set played it safe, well why reinvent the wheel when it is still spinning?
- Arcade Fire… I will admit that I only knew a few handful of Arcade Fire songs. I am not infatuated with Arcade Fire like their hardcore following of fans, nor am I one of their many detractors who simply do not understand their hype. I have always stood on neutral ground with them, so I was anticipating their headlining, closing performance to find out in which direction I would be swayed. In the end, I enjoyed their performance, despite lead singer Win Butler’s misguided comments regarding us in the VIP section.
- MGMT… I forgot how much I loved MGMT until I woke up from my afternoon nap on the lawn and was greeted by the sounds of their music.
- Lorde… if only she could follow the rule of “less talking, less storytelling, more singing,” then she would have had an A+ set.
- CHVRCHES… when a band sounds as glorious as their studio recordings, it’s a win-win situation. CHVRCHES lead singer Lauren Mayberry’s voice sounded like heaven.
A random festival-goer summed up the entire weekend best, when he and I accidentally walked into one another. I immediately apologized during our run-in, and he just laughed it off, smiled and remarked, “it’s all good man. No need to apologize. It’s the best weekend of the year.”
…and yes it was.
To my dear friend Mike Hammonds, thank you for being the best music festival partner in crime. Daddy Neil, thank you for being you, for teaching me the music festival bunny ways, and for reminding me that this was “my Coachella.” And lastly, dear Coachella, I’ll be missing you next year, but will return in 2016 to cash in on the best weekend of that year! [READ: 2012’s Coachella Adventure post]
“Comfortable” by The Knocks featuring X Ambassadors: I am pissed that I missed The Knocks at last year’s Governor’s Ball in New York City, because I become more and more enamored with their music each and every passing day. “Comfortable” was this year’s unofficial Coachella anthem. Perhaps because I demanded that this song be played on repeat at high decibels. Or simply because this anthem ROCKS, and will serve as a reminder of this beautiful weekend in Coachella Valley. :: sigh ::
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